The race for No. 2 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Football Top 10 this season has been fascinating from the opening week.
Punahou started the season ranked second and held the spot for two weeks before Mililani edged past the Buffanblu with wins over Campbell and Kahuku.
The Trojans kept their No. 2 ranking for a month, but the two teams split their second-place votes evenly among the 10 voters last week and finished in a tie for the first time.
After both suffered their first losses of the season, one team was clearly more impressive in defeat in the eyes of the voters. Punahou, which led Saint Louis for much of Friday’s game before giving up a late TD to lose 25-19, swept all 10 second-place votes this week to become the clear-cut No. 2 in the Top 10 released today.
Mililani, which lost to the nation’s No. 2-ranked team, St. John Bosco, 42-10, was third on all 10 ballots. The Trojans have to gear back up and challenge Saint Louis six days later on Friday night in the second game of a doubleheader at Aloha Stadium.
Despite the close win over the Buffanblu, Saint Louis remained No. 6 in the country in the USA Today Super 25 and No. 7 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25.
The top eight all remain the same this week with ‘Iolani returning to the Top 10 at No. 9 after a decisive 38-21 win over Damien to take control of the race for the ILH’s lone berth in the Division I state tournment.
The Raiders can clinch the berth by sweeping their final three games, but have a ranked showdown with No. 8 Leilehua coming up next week after hosting Radford on Friday.
Kamehameha, which got a late TD pass from QB Kiai Keone to beat Farrington for its first win over a Hawaii opponent this season, held on to the No. 10 spot ahead of Lahainaluna and Damien.
Kaiser also received a vote this week.
TOP 10 SCHEDULE
Friday, Sept. 27
>> No. 1 Saint Louis vs. No. 3 Mililani, 7:45 p.m., Aloha Stadium
>> Castle at No. 6 Moanalua, 7:30 p.m.
>> Radford at No. 9 ‘Iolani, 3:15 p.m.
>> No. 10 Kamehameha at Kapolei, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28
>> No. 2 Punahou at No. 5 Campbell, 6:30 p.m.
>> Keaau at No. 7 Hilo, 7:30 p.m.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10