State berth still in play for Waianae and Campbell

Campbell's Pokii Adkins-Kupukaa won the Cover2 Herman Wedemeyer Award as the best two-way player in the state last season as a sophomore. Photo by Marco Garcia/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Before Kahuku and Mililani play for the OIA Division I championship, Waianae and Campbell meet in a game of survival.

The Seariders and Sabers were on the short end of lopsided semifinal games on Friday at Aloha Stadium and have two weeks to prepare for their matchup for the OIA’s third and final spot in the open division of the HHSAA/First Hawaiian Bank State Football Championships.

“We have two more weeks, we’re going to prepare because we want play somebody again,” Campbell coach Darren Johnson said after the Sabers fell to Kahuku’s 42-7 in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader. “We want to get our kids to finish right.”

Waianae coach Walter Young had much the same outlook after Mililani rolled to a 42-6 win in the nightcap.

“We’ll go back home and regroup and get ready for the next game,” Young said.

The OIA third-place game between the Seariders (6-4) and Sabers (7-4) precedes the Kahuku-Mililani title game on Nov. 4 at Aloha Stadium.

After an 0-3 start, including losses to Saint Louis and Kahuku, Waianae picked up its first win of the season with a 27-14 OIA Blue victory over Campbell back on Aug. 25 at Raymond Torii Field.

Waianae’s Kanai Mauga scored on both sides of the ball — on a fumble return and a 1-yard run — to help ignite a six-game winning streak that elevated the Seariders to second in the division and into the OIA semifinals.

Campbell went 5-1 after dropping the regular-season meeting with Waianae, the lone defeat a 45-6 loss to Kahuku on Sept. 29 to close the regular season.

The Sabers’ rematch with the Red Raiders on Friday went much the same way as the first meeting, with Kahuku’s pressure stifling the Campbell offense and coming up with three interceptions in the second half to fuel the rout.

“Turnovers hurt us again and I think we died out on defense because we were on the field too much,” Johnson said. “We’ve got two weeks to fix up everything and do it again.”

Johnson was on the other side as a member of the Kahuku coaching staff in years past, and experiences such as Friday’s could be part of the process in building the Campbell program.

“To beat teams like that we gotta get bigger and stronger,” said Johnson, in his first season at Campbell. “(The Sabers) gotta get here to understand how to beat them and if you don’t play them you’ll never beat them.”

Among Johnson’s objectives toward that end is to “get our athletes in Ewa to stay home and let them build their own memories and let them build their own tradition.”

In more immediate terms, earning a place in the four-team open division state tournament is the most pressing priority for both teams.

Waianae qualified for the inaugural six-team open division bracket last year and opened with a win over Farrington before falling to eventual champion Saint Louis in the semifinals.

Campbell played in the Division I tournament and blew past Waiakea in the first round then lost to ‘Iolani in the semifinals.


  1. pride and perfection October 21, 2017 7:56 pm

    Just checking for some clarification on the upcoming State seeding format….

    If Saint Louis comes out as the ILH Champ, then I would assume that they will become the #1 seed for the State tournament. So naturally, in the real world, it should be the Crusaders drawing the #4 seed in the semis (Campbell or Waianae).

  2. Coach C October 21, 2017 9:25 pm

    P&P to answer your question. Why would Kahuku and Mililani play for the OIA championship then play two weeks later? StL.plays OIA#2 . OIA#1 plays Oia3 then the winners play for State champs.

  3. Jason Keuma October 21, 2017 9:29 pm

    Pride and perfection. Exactly. That would leave Kahuku playing Mililani Again. It does not matter how it boils down, this three division (not really three divisions) is not well thought out. I cant wait to see what new version comes out next year.

  4. Jason Keuma October 21, 2017 9:32 pm

    Coach C if ILH 1 plays OIA 2, then that leaves OIA 1 playing OIA 3, which would possibly be the same team that they just played. Sounds very ILH regular season-ish. Beat a team, then have to beat them again.

  5. pride and perfection October 21, 2017 9:41 pm

    Mahalo Coach C.

    So based on your formula, it would appear that the OIA#1 (#2 State seed) would thus have an easier route than the overall #1 seed St. Louis. Thats why its not a good thing to have only 4 teams in a State tournament!!

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