HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After starting the season 0-4, the Maui Sabers finished strong, winning five of their next six games.
And coming off a 26-13 victory over Baldwin nearly two weeks ago, the Sabers don't think they're biting off more than they can chew going into this Saturday's matchup against the Hilo Vikings at Wong Stadium in Hilo.
"(They're) champions of the Big Island, they've been tournament-tested before," said Maui head coach Rodney Figueroa. "We want to make the finals. It's a big challenge."
Hilo head coach Kaeo Drummondo is coming off an 8-1 season and currently sports a four-game winning streak.
But when asked about how much regular season momentum helps his team going into the state tournament, Drummondo said that everything that happened over the last couple of months is irrelevant.
"(Our) record doesn't really matter now. I just really want them to focus right now on the task at hand," Drummondo said. "We've been here before; we were in the same situation last year so I don't really want them to focus on the record, I want them to focus on who our opponent is and what they have to do to be successful."
To be successful against the Sabers, Drummondo and his coaching staff has had to do their homework.
"Offensively, they like to run the ball a lot so defensively, we have to be stout and get off blocks and tackles," he added.
As for how Figueroa intends to gameplan for Hilo? He plans to keep things the same.
"We'll prepare how we prepare for teams on Maui," he said. "I watched their film, they're a spread offense, they like to run the ball and our team is studying things; looking for tendencies and things like that, and I think these boys will be ready."
Maui will look to upset the Vikings this Saturday in Hilo. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.