HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In what was hyped up to be a preview of the OIA Open Division title game back in September, Saint Louis took down Kahuku 30-14, in a game that wasn’t as close as the final box score would indicate. During that game, the Red Raiders lost their defensive leader and captain in Miki Ah You, and seemed to lose their identity on the football field.
But that was then, and the time is now for Kahuku to show its true mettle.
“The message is very clear that we need to be playing the best in order to become the best. So the message is we lost to them early in the year,” said Kahuku head coach Sterling Carvalho. “And now, if we want to be able to get our revenge, to get back to where we need to be which is on top of high school football, we need to beat this best team in the state right now.”
Over the next three games following that September 7th loss, Kahuku would go 1-2, losing to the likes of Mililani and Campbell in back-to-back weeks before going on a three-game win streak that led them back to the OIA title game, where they fell to the Trojans once again.
But just because Kahuku owns a record of 7-4 and haven’t played its best football as of late doesn’t mean that Saint Louis head coach Cal Lee is letting his foot off the accelerator.
“One big thing is that you can’t, you know everybody knows what happened in the first game, but it’s a whole different ball game,” Lee said. “We’re starting this game 0-0. We got to do the things that we need to do to be successful. And you start with practice. What you do in practice is what you do in a game.”
While Lee said that the team learned some lessons from looking at the Kahuku tape from earlier this season, he’s expecting a much different Red Raiders team on both sides of the ball. And he’s expecting a better version of his team because of that.
“Winning two-three months ago makes no difference. It doesn’t count,” Lee said. “We’re starting 0-0 and hopefully we can score some points and play some points and keep them out of the end zone. And good things can happen if you do the right things.”
As for Carvalho, his coaching staff has been meticulous in its preparations for the Crusaders on both sides of the ball.
“Our coordinators, they have a gameplan. They’re ready,” Carvalho said. “It’s all about executing;getting into the right places, right depth, right assignments being executed, right blocking. Against a team like Saint Louis, you have to execute. It’s the bottom line. It’s basically the Final Four now in Open Division football. So, it’s game time now.”
Kahuku takes on Saint Louis this Friday at Aloha Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. HT.