State Football Tourney Opens Friday
Big challenges lie ahead for the Big Island Interscholastic Federation’s two representatives in the First Hawaiian Bank/Hawai’i High School Athletic Association State Football Championships, which start this weekend.
BIIF Division I champion Hilo, making its second consecutive appearance in the state tournament, will play Friday night at Aloha Stadium against Oahu Interscholastic Federation runner-up Kahuku.
Kahuku, under first year coach Lee Leslie, lost to Mililani in Friday night’s OIA championship game, also at Aloha Stadium. The Red Raiders played most of that game without quarterback Tuli Wily-Matagi, who left in the second quarter due to a concussion.
Kahuku, ranked fourth in last week’s ScoringLive.com Power Rankings, is 8-2 heading into the game, which will be broadcast on OC16 and ESPNHawaii.com.
The winner will face Punahou, the top seed in the tournament, at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15. The Buffanblu are ranked 16th nationally.
Mililani is seeded second and will face the winner of Friday’s first game at Aloha Stadium, featuring Farrington and Maui Interscholastic League champion Maui High.
BIIF Division II champion Kamehameha-Hawai’i gets to stay home for its opening round game. Its visitor, however, is OIA Division II winner Nanakuli, who needed overtime Friday to defeat Pearl City in its league’s championship game.
Nanakuli, ranked fourth in ScoringLive’s Division II Power Rankings, is undefeated at 10-0.
Each team will have a Kanehailua at quarterback when they meet at 3 p.m. Saturday at Paiea Stadium. Kale, a senior, has thrown for 1,462 and 14 touchdowns for the Golden Hawks. Micah, Kamehameha-Hawai’i’s senior signal caller, has thrown for over 1,600 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Saturday’s winner will travel to Maui and face top-seeded Lahainaluna at 6 p.m. on Nov. 15. The contest will be played at War Memorial Stadium.
Iolani, champion of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, is ranked second in the Division II tourney. The Raiders will face either Pearl City or Kapa’a on Nov. 15.
First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championships
Division I (all games played at Aloha Stadium)
Maui vs. Farrington – 4:30 p.m.
Hilo vs. Kahuku – 7:30 p.m.
Pearl City at Kapa’a – 3 p.m. at Vindinha Stadium
Nanakuli at Kamehameha-Hawai’i – 3 p.m. at Paiea Stadium