Six squads ready to rumble in HHSAA state football semifinals
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA 2019 Football State Championships will continue this weekend with state semi-final games taking place across all three divisions and on the islands of Oahu, Kaua’i, and Maui.
In the Division II semi-finals the #1 seed and returning Division II state champions Lahainaluna Luna’s (9-1) will take on the Roosevelt Roughriders (10-2).
Roosevelt defeated KS-Hawaii 31-7 in the first round of the state playoffs last week on the Big Island and this will be the second consecutive outer island playoff game for the team.
Lahainluna earned the # 1 seed after winning nine consecutive games in a row after dropping their season opener against Damien in week zero of the season.
Lunas running back Joshua Tihada has rushed for 19 touchdowns an 1114 yards on the season, while Lahainaluna’s defense gives up just 11 points a game.
Lunas head coach Dean Rickard know’s the Roughriders will present the biggest test of the season.
“This is what we have worked for since the beginning of the season,” said Rickard. “We played Roosevelt last year and we are kind of familiar with what they run, we look forward to the opportunity to compete against them.”
The other semi-final Division II match-up will feature the Kaimuki Bulldogs (10-2) traveling to the Garden Isle to take on Kapa’a (7-1).
Jayden Maiava has 36 touchdowns and just 6 picks on the season.
Maiava has emerged as one of the top play-makers in the state, but will have his hands full against a Kapa’a defense that on average gave up just six points a game during the regular season.
The Division I semi-finals will feature the Leilehua Mules (10-2) traveling to the Big Island for a showdown with the undefeated an perennial BIF heavyweight Hilo Vikings (12-0).
Vkings head coach Kaeo Drummondo realizes that at this point in the season, the vikings have to play their best football in order to continue their reign of unmatched of dominance.
“We talk to the players an emphasize this is a second season for us,” said Drummondo. “Everybody who is in the tournament is worthy, everybody is going to be a quality opponent, we tell the kids go out there and play free, play fast, and have fun.”
The other Division I final will feature the ILH and OIA regular season champions as Iolani (9-2) travels to Moanalua (10-1) to take on the Menehune.
The two battled in the first game of the season to a 20-18 battle won by the Menehune on a field goal as time expired.
This game could prove to be the closest game of the weekend and Menehune head coach Savaii Eselu is ready for another classic against the Raiders.
“It’s good fun,” said Eselu. “Coach Look does an amazing job, its a tall order, it’s a tall task because I know they are ready to go we just gotta match it.”
The Open Division will be highlighted by the return of perennial power the St. Louis Crusaders (10-0) taking on the Mililani Trojans (8-4) at Aloha Stadium in the prime-time match-up on Friday.
The Campbell Sabers (6-5) will take on OIA Open Division regular season champions Kahuku (8-3) in the early game, with the winner advancing to take on the winner of the Crusaders and Trojans.
The first Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA 2019 football State Championships will take place on Nov. 29 at Aloha Stadium.
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