VIDEO: Coach Mark Kurisu on Leilehua’s 28-25 win over ‘Iolani

Leilehua head coach Mark Kurisu gave Damien some hope on Saturday. Jamm Aquino/

The Leilehua Mules could have rested key players in an interleague game with ‘Iolani that would have no bearing on the OIA Division I standings.

Instead, No. 8 Leilehua spoiled ‘Iolani’s plan to run the table and win the ILH D-I title outright. The Mules hung on to edge the Raiders 28-25 thriller at Aloha Stadium on Saturday night. Leilehua played some of its best football of the year in what could be a state-tournament rematch down the road — if both teams can make it out of their respective league playoffs.

Mules coach Mark Kurisu talked after the win over ‘Iolani about his team’s preparation and maturity.


  1. Jacob Makaiwi October 5, 2019 11:27 pm

    Awesome comments coach. My personal opinion is simply that the top 1 or 2 teams go to the next division up, unless you’re obviously already in the Open Division; and that the top 1 or 2 lowest teams drop down a division. It may be hard to have an outer island team join the Open for the moment because they’d have to travel to Oahu a lot, but maybe if they take charge of their divisions it could work. I am loving the Open, Division 1, and Division 2 format; especially with it being interleague. I feel most games are competitive and closer this way. The JV football teams and their success in their divisions may also impact a decision though, so it may be hard to determine. But I honestly just want to see the Mighty Mules back in the top Division and hopefully compete for a championship up there like how they used to! haha. But they obviously have to play well now and hopefully just keep winning right now where they are. Go Mules!

  2. Chicken Grease October 6, 2019 7:44 am

    Kurisu’s WAY too humble. Use of t/o’s near the end was brilliant. Slowed the Raiders’ game down enough to earn them an INT.

    And if we can mention how the play-by-play announcers (won’t mention them by name, but there IS only one TV source and one radio source, no?) need to work on their objectivity. Didn’t think they were as enthused about Leilehua’s (am not a graduate from there, by the way) essentially-ESPN-highlight reel INT as they were about Iolani’s 2nd half trucking-toward, you know? Almost sounded dejected about that particular miracle (and, yes, that’s what it was in addition to Aiava’s grad effort. Mules had a bit of luck, too, near the end). They shouLd just call their presentation “ILH Network” if the announcers going be like that. You got public school parents listening and watching your coverage, too, please remember.

  3. justafan October 7, 2019 9:28 am

    Leilelehua is a good team but appeared to be very undisciplined. So many personal fouls – not sure why they felt the need to push someone who is already out of bounds, or blindside someone when the play is done. If they lost the game, those fouls along with the turnovers would have been largest contributing factor.

  4. Saw it October 7, 2019 12:49 pm

    @justafan- the push turned out to not be intentional. He was trying to avoid hitting the cheerleaders and put his arm out instead of charging pads first. It was unfortunate that Iolani’s QB was in his path.

  5. Justafan October 7, 2019 6:41 pm

    @Sawit ok I can understand that. It’s tough in the moment to avoid contact. However that wasn’t the only personal foul. I get that emotions run high but there were way more personal fouls than that. That type of undisciplined behavior can taint an otherwise good team. Overall it was a good game and pushed both teams to play hard.

  6. saw it October 8, 2019 1:01 pm

    @justafan it wasn’t just Leilehua who had personal fouls. There were a few blatant ones the crowd seen which were obviously ignored by the refs. They just flagged Leilehua for theirs only. Football is a competitive sport with a lot of testosterone flying all over the place. In almost every team you’ll find this type of behavior whether hidden or not-and no matter how many times a coach could re-iterate that negative behavior is unacceptable. It’s premature to say that the team as a whole is undisciplined, but instead a few as with any other team.

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