Pupule ballot: ‘Iolani and Damien climbing

Radford linebacker Joshua Ale closed in on Damien's Logan Lauti. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Here’s how this pupule voter cast his Star-Advertiser Football Top 10 ballot for this week.

Pupule football ballot
Sunday, Aug. 20, 2018

1. Saint Louis (2-0, 1-0 ILH Open Division)
Hurricane Lane washed out a much-anticipated showdown between the unbeaten Crusaders and the banged-up Mililani Trojans. If healing is the key to success, fans should be grateful both teams can rest this weekend. But we are still getting over this cancellation. There’s no time for a makeup date. Meanwhile, Saint Louis is in the Top 10 of one poll nationally and still at No. 14 in another.

Status: Yokozuna.

2. Kahuku (3-0, 1-0 OIA Open Division)
Kapolei was scheduled to play at Kahuku on Saturday.
Did you know: QB Robbie Sauvao and RB Toalei Lefau have the same rushing attempts (19) and yardage (141) so far.

Status: Yokozuna.

3. Mililani (3-0, 1-0 OIA Open Division)
Dillon Gabriel has now passed for 6,913 yards and 79 TDs in his illustrious career. But the key numbers that make this offense click include this: zero interceptions in 2018. The hurricane bye means all of the injured Trojans get time to heal before they fly to California for a battle with St. John Bosco next weekend.

Status: Yokozuna.

4. Campbell (3-0, 2-0 OIA Open Division)
The Sabers had had a bye (Aug. 11), and were scheduled for a bye over this weekend before taking a trip to the mainland. That means, at least when they get back to practice, more competition at QB for Kaniala Kalaola and Krenston Kaipo.

Kalaola, the transfer from Kapolei, is 13-for-27, 249 yards, four TDs and one pick. That’s a Jim Plunkett-esque line if ever… a whopping 9.2 yards per attempt. And a nice QB Rating of 167.10. Most of the productive passers in Hawaii will be in the 140-150 range, and the extremely efficient passers are above 180. Marcus Mariota, for example, hovered near 200 in his one season as a starter.

Kaipo, the incumbent at QB, has come off the bench and thrown the ball nearly as often. He is 12-for-20, 198 yards, three TDs with one interception. His familiarity with the system — he had some brilliant moments last season as the starter — might explain the higher completion rate (60 percent versus 48 percent by Kalaola). Kaipo’s YPA is a staggering 9.9. His QB Rating is a whopping 182.66.

There is one significant difference between the two, statistically. Kalaola has run for 42 yards and a TD on just two carries. Kaipo has 4 yards on two attempts. It doesn’t seem like Coach Darren Johnson needs to make a choice now or anytime soon, particularly if the competition is sharpening both slingers.

For the record, neither Kalaola nor Kaipo lead the team in QB Rating. That would belong to Poki‘i Adkins-Kupukaa, who completed a 60-yard pass in his lone attempt thus far. Campbell won’t start PAK at QB, not when he has major responsibility at safety, fills in time to time at WR, and is also a Star-Advertiser All-State first-team pick as a kick returner. But what else can’t the talented junior do?

Status: Ozeki.

5. Punahou (1-1, 1-1 ILH Open Division)
The game at Farrington has been pushed back to Sept. 1, and like many teams in the Open, there are no byes left on the regular-season schedule. Punahou’s slate: at Farrington, at Mililani, Saint Louis (Aloha Stadium), at Campbell, Kamehameha (Aloha), at Waianae. That’s a schedule that any Buffanblu since 1970 — the first season after the OIA-ILH split — would have loved.

Status: Ozeki.

6. Kamehameha (1-1, 0-1 ILH Open Division)
This is the one spot that’s flexible this weekend for this ballot. The Warriors are in SoCal to play Carson today (Friday). With a win over Kapolei and a strong offensive performance in last week’s loss at Mililani, there is a lot of confidence and momentum for Coach Abu Ma‘afala’s squad.

Status: Ozeki.

7. Lahainaluna (2-0, 1-0 MIL)
Coming off dominant victories (over Kapaa, 30-10, and Baldwin, 49-6), the Lunas already had a bye scheduled this weekend. Regardless of classification, they have been the premier team in the MIL the last several seasons. It’ll be tough sledding on this ballot for the Lunas getting higher. None of their remaining MIL regular-season opponents is ranked.

Status: Sekiwake.

8. ‘Iolani (3-0, 2-0 ILH D-I)
The Raiders’ matchup with Moanalua had the potential to be a shootout, but with no byes remaining, there’s no way to make the game up, it appears. The numbers for first-year starter Jonah Chong: 47-for-62, 615 yards, 10 TDs, one interception, 9.9 YPA, QB Rating 209.13. Granted, one game was against a D-II foe that lost a ton of seniors to graduation (Kalani), but Chong’s numbers are as close to potential as imaginable.

Status: Sekiwake.

9. Kapolei (1-2, 0-0 OIA Open Division)
I voted the Hurricanes No. 8 on my ballot two weeks ago and No. 9 last weekend. This weekend, it’ll be No. 10. It’s not often a sub-.500 team is on my ballot, but there are exceptions. Both of Kapolei’s losses are to Top 10 opponents (Kamehameha, Punahou), and both were reasonably close.

The injury to QB Christian Rapis (during the Kamehameha game) is a factor, but the Hurricanes remain highly competitive with sophomore Noa Bailey. Zion-Jabez Robello and Ezekiel Waioloma have racked up effective rushing numbers out of the backfield. Next up: a trip to Downey.

Status: Komusubi.

10. Damien (2-0, 2-0 ILH D-I)
The game with Aiea scheduled for today is cancelled outright. There’s no puka on the Monarchs’ schedule to fit in a makeup game. They travel to Mt. Spokane next week.

Damien finally cracked the Star-Advertiser Top 10 earlier in the week, deservedly so. They will also move up a notch on my ballot this coming weekend. Why? Though the Purple people eaters don’t have a lot of big-name college prospects like Kapolei, they’re playing Damien football. And Kapolei’s starting QB is injured, and that makes enough of a difference.

Status: Komusubi.

On the cusp
Waipahu (2-1, 1-0 OIA D-I)
A 37-19 win on the road over Radford last week gives the Marauders some momentum into this scheduled bye week. One sign of tougher competition in Division I: workhorse RB Alfred Failauga is averaging less than 4 yards per carry (241 yards, 70 carries). Status: Komusubi.

Farrington (1-2, 0-2 Open Division)
The Punahou game was pushed back to next week, which means one more week of reps. That helps first-year starters like QB Richard Tagataese. It also gives injured QB/WR/TE Chris Afe (hand) more time to heal. Status: Komusubi.

Waianae (0-3, 0-1 OIA Open Division)
The Seariders now have a break from game action until Sept. 8 (at Kapolei). The slow start doesn’t spell trouble, not when two opponents were Saint Louis and Kahuku. The Seariders have begun like this before, only to go far in the postseason. Status: Komusubi.

Leilehua (2-1, 2-0 OIA D-I)
Wins over Kailua and Castle have the Mules above .500. Next up is a trip to Nanakuli, followed by a showdown at home against ‘Iolani. Nanakuli could be a trap game for the Mules. Status: Komusubi. Status: Komusubi.

Status: Maegashira
Kauai (2-0, 0-0 KIF)
Moanalua (2-0, 2-0 OIA D-I)
St. Francis (3-0, 2-0 ILH D-I)
Kailua (0-3, 0-1 OIA D-I)
Kapaa (1-1, 0-0 KIF)
Hilo (0-1, 0-0 BIIF)
Castle (0-3, 0-2 OIA D-I)

Status: Juryo

Kaimuki (2-0, 2-0 OIA D-II)
Pearl City (2-1, 2-0 OIA D-II)
Aiea (1-1-1, 1-1 OIA D-I)
Kaiser (1-1-1, 1-1 OIA D-II)
Roosevelt (2-1, 0-1 OIA D-I)
Maui (1-1, 1-0 MIL)
Pac-Five (1-1, 1-1 OIA D-II)
Radford (0-3, 0-1 OIA D-I)
Baldwin (0-2, 0-1 MIL)
Kealakehe (1-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Konawaena (0-2, 0-0 BIIF)
Kamehameha-Hawaii (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Kamehameha-Maui (1-0, 0-0 MIL)
Kalaheo (1-2, 1-1 OIA D-II)
Nanakuli (0-3, 0-1 OIA D-I)

Status: Makushita
Honokaa (1-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Hawaii Prep (1-0, 0-0 BIIF)
McKinley (1-2, 0-1 OIA D-II)
Waiakea (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Waialua (0-2, 0-1 OIA D-II)
Keaau (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)
Waimea (0-1, 0-0 KIF)
King Kekaulike (0-3, 0-1 MIL)

* * *

Molokai (1-0, 0-0 MIL). Farmers edged Pahoa 14-8 on the road. Honokaa at Molokai, Aug. 17.

Pahoa (0-1, 0-0 BIIF)
Ka‘u (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)

Lanai (0-0, 0-0 MIL)
Seabury Hall (0-0, 0-0 MIL). At Hawaii Prep, Aug. 18.
Hana (0-0, 0-0 MIL)

Kohala (0-0, 0-0 BIIF)


  1. Choloropicrin August 24, 2018 3:49 pm

    Watching the Bishop gorman vs Mater dei game and realize that Bam Amina #13 plays for Gorman. Family is from Waianae, he played at kapolei fresh and Soph, now at Gorman. Father was an all state player for Waianae

  2. Dafun August 24, 2018 4:50 pm

    Can you explain to me why Campbell is #4? They haven’t played anyone good and were horrible last year compared to kamehameha and punahou. But your so called rankings have them above punahou? They would get worked by kahuku, mililani, st Louis, punahou, and kamehameha. Seriously man? Punahou and kamehameha should be above Campbell. Common man do the rankings correctly

  3. Just ranting August 24, 2018 5:56 pm

    Farrington has no business trying to be in with the open division boys. Not with the caveman coaches they employ to lead their kids. Always have talent but not enough brains. Wish someone who knows the spread and zone read type offenses was picked instead of handing the reigns over to another run first, panick later type coach – too predictable! Even if they were in division I, they would not be competitive with their brain trust. Kalihi has boys that are strong, have speed and are athletically gifted because the best always end up recruited and don’t want to play for a team with no formula for winning and who can blame them? We’re a town with a lot of pride and hope the next coach is not a running back or an offensive lineman. Just ranting.

  4. Northshore August 24, 2018 6:58 pm

    Dafun: Don’t get worked up over nothing because Pupule’s Hawaii high school football ranking is all bogus as it gets. It’s Japanese (Honda’s) Sumo rankings and I’m sure the kids could care less especially when he can spend the time to rank them with Japanese Sumo words and can’t provide three separate division rankings. Just have to accept it and focus on the anticipated games. Look forward to the play-offs and that’s when it will be meaningful. The weekly Honda’s ranking is a guide as to who accomplished an unexpected win… a division II team beating a division I…like in pre season. Here’s the way I look at the rankings…take Punahou for example. When the rankings initially came out, Punahou shouldn’t have moved down until anyone under Punahou had defeated them. Kahuku, who’s above Punahou, is the only team that defeated Punahou so why should the other schools go above them in the rankings? Does one lost drop them below teams that haven’t played them yet? As you’ve mentioned, “com-on-man do the rankings correctly” and be bias about it. Three separate rankings, especially for the teams in division I and II being recognized for their hard work.

  5. Paul Honda August 24, 2018 11:15 pm

    Northshore, you still haven’t posted your personal rankings. Why not have some fun with it? It’s a ballot that I post, not the Declaration of Independence. I can debate about 1 through 10 and beyond day and night, but if you don’t post your Top 10, it’s no fun.

    In case a few of us have forgotten, high school rankings have the nutritional value of whipped cream. Tastes good, lots of fun, but not big part of a healthy diet. Enjoy.

  6. Northshore August 25, 2018 4:55 am

    Paul Honda: After reading your quote, “high school rankings have a nutritional value of whipped cream…tastes good, lots of fun, but not big part of a healthy diet.” I get it, it’s all in fun and game and as I’ve said it before, and through your admission, it’s bogus and meaningless especially if it has the nutritional value of whipped cream and not lobster and steak. My personal rankings are personal and I would prefer to keep it that way but St Louis is definitely number one in the state at this time and the team to beat. BTW, why is the BIIF, MIL, KIF teams are not designated in division I or II? Are they holding out to see who will be the champions for their league and then categorize them to play in the state divisional playoff? And just a reminder, whenever you do write an article on a game, I (we) should be able to read the sequence of each quarter from the beginning (top to bottom) and not get the gist of the game by having to scroll from bottom to top. LOL! most stories do start from the beginning to the end as you read along or is this just another way of having fun and not a big part of a healthy diet? Mahalo for your thoughts and reasoning (lots of fun). Enjoy journalism.

  7. Dafun August 25, 2018 6:28 pm

    I just don’t understand how Campbell is ranked higher than punahou or Kamehameha. It just doesn’t make sense honestly. Theyre horrible compared to those 2 teams

  8. JunkandapoleIcannotshow August 26, 2018 12:54 am

    All this talk about st lulu and Millville to take the title. Same thing was said last year. Let me refresh ur memory. Kahuku put Millville to sleep and gave lulu that title straight up handed it to them at the end. This year Kahuku will be 2018 open champs.

  9. Jimmy H August 26, 2018 6:59 am

    @Northshore…Honda called your bluff. You had your chance and didn’t step up. Instead you decided to go below the line and attempt to discredit the author only to make yourself look silly. I love your feedback on how to write an article, but yet you post your rants as one giant paragraph with not having any journalistic desire to separate your ideas.

    Mr. Honda: please keep putting out rankings for some of us to enjoy, but most of us to whine about. We appreciate the time you put into your work and this website.

  10. Northshore August 26, 2018 5:12 pm

    Jimmy H: And who rattled your cage? I’ve never discredited or mocked Honda. You missed the point. It doesn’t matter how the schools are ranked because as Honda stated, “taste good, lots of fun, but not big part of healthy diet.” I take as it’s all fun and game…”show and tell” so I’m okay with that. Did he call me bluff? Not really and it wasn’t a requirement to have some fun. As you’ve mentioned, keep on enjoying his rankings and Honda’s hard work on this website. MY opinion was to keep the rankings at three divisions without having to rank them with Japanese sumo status…this is Hawaii not Japan and if he would be able to write the football game article in chronological order. Was that too much to ask without discrediting Honda? If you do have opinions of your own maybe you should share it with us instead of trying to discredit people instead of the their comments. Mahalo!

  11. Atatiava August 26, 2018 5:48 pm

    1. St Louis
    2. Kahuku
    3. Mililani
    4. Punahou
    5. Campbell

    1. Iolani
    2. Leilehua
    3. Damien
    4. Moanalua
    5. Waipahu

    1. Lahainalua
    2. St Francis
    3. Kauai
    4. Kaimuki
    5. Kapaa

  12. Dafun August 26, 2018 10:07 pm

    I still don’t think Campbell should be ranked higher than Kamehameha. They haven’t proven anything at all.

  13. Atatiava August 27, 2018 11:31 am

    Dafun, perhaps. We will see Sept 7 when they face off.

    Interesting that both St Louis and Kahuku have 3 weeks break before they play each other on Sept 7 as well. I will probably be watching that one and not the Campbell/Kamehameha game. Maybe watch one live and stream the other. This season is awesome!

  14. Hina August 27, 2018 12:47 pm

    North shore dud you need to relax and enjoy the poll for want it is !we all know the only one counts at the end speaking for myself I do enjoy the Japanese rankings and the time and effort Mr Honda put into his graft

  15. Straight Facts August 29, 2018 8:30 am

    0-3 team makes the top 10? I believe waianae can turn it around. Just dont see why winless teams are ranked top 10. @Atatiava I like your divisional top 5. Looks legitimate

  16. Straight Facts August 29, 2018 8:33 am

    Excuse my comment, not top 10 in this ballot. I want to say they were top 15 on scoringlive? Anyone see that? I believe it was when they were 0-2. Regardless, they’re still in talk of being on top of ballots

  17. Pupule Monsta August 29, 2018 9:47 pm

    Dis rakings is pupule alright. Seems like mista honda like to stir da pot das all. We see how dis season pans out, shtill earlay.

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