The First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championships don’t officially get underway until Nov. 15.
Nonetheless, Friday’s ILH Open Division second-round final between Saint Louis and Punahou might as well be considered part of the season-ending tournament.
The state’s top two ranked teams are unanimous with No. 1 Saint Louis attempting to win a fifth consecutive ILH championship against No. 2 Punahou on Friday in a rematch of the Crusaders’ 25-19 victory over the Buffanblu on Sept. 20.
During the current 35-game winning streak of the three-time defending Open Division state champions, Saint Louis has had only win decided by fewer than the six points that separated the Crusaders and Buffanblu last month. Saint Louis held off Kahuku 31-28 to win the state title in 2017.
All four spots at the top of this week’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser Football Top 10 are, in fact, unanimous. Kahuku’s 7-3 win over Mililani in the OIA Open Division title game pushed the Red Raiders up a spot to No. 3 this week — marking their highest ranking of the season.
The Trojans, who have lost four games in a season for the first time since 2012, drop to No. 4 for the first time since Week 2.
Campbell, which secured a trip to the state tournament beating Farrington on Friday, took back sole possession of No. 5 in the rankings, a full 10 votes ahead of Hilo, which tied the Sabers in the rankings for the No. 5 spot a week ago.
Moanalua, which survived in double overtime to beat Leilehua 21-20 for the OIA Division I title, jumps past the Mules for No. 7. Leilehua is No. 8, ahead of ‘Iolani, which secured its bid to the state tournament by beating Damien on Friday.
The Raiders are No. 9 and MIL champion Lahainaluna is No. 10 with Damien (four) and Kapaa (one) also receiving votes.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10