High school football: BIIF uneven to begin year

  • TIM WRIGHT/Tribune-Herald More often than not, BIIF games have been blowouts this season, such as Keaau's 52-14 win against Waiakea on Aug. 31.

The first two weeks of the BIIF season have been… lopsided.

There have been 10 total games so far and the average margin of victory is 41.8 points — almost six touchdowns. That likely would have gone up on Thursday, but the matchup between 0-2 Waiakea and 2-0 Hilo was scrapped due to an electrical failure. The game was rescheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at Wong Stadium.

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There have been four shutouts and the opening game of the BIIF season between Kealakehe and Konawaena — which the Wildcats won 24-7 — has been the closest contest, despite a three-possession margin.

This week on the Division II side, Kamehameha-Hawaii (2-0) gets a bye. It’s a well-earned week of rest, with the Warriors having outscored league opponents 104-6. With an odd number of teams (5), in D-II, one team is on a bye per week.

The only other holdover from last year’s D-II is Hawaii Prep. Konawaena and Honokaa decided to move up to Division I, while eight-man squads Ka‘u, Kohala and Pahoa made the jump to the 11-man game this offseason.

Ka Makani have had rousing success early in the year, collecting a pair of big wins over Pahoa and Kohala. Previous to this season, Hawaii Prep had just one BIIF victory in three seasons, going winless the past two.

This week, they’ll go for the newcomer sweep against Ka‘u (0-1), which could be the matchup of the week. The Trojans are coming in as the most highly touted eight-man team, winning four out of five titles during the short-life of the eight-man game on the island.

Both teams like to keep the ball on the ground, completing a combined four passes in three games between them. Even in a 48-0 loss to Kamehameha, the Trojans decided to keep things grounded, not attempting a pass.

The Ka Makani rush defense flexed its muscles last week, holding Kohala to negative-38 yards on the ground last weekend. Hawaii Prep has also notched five defensive touchdowns this season.

Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. on Saturday in Waimea.

Kealakehe at Honokaa, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” has become the theme song for Kealakehe’s season so far, with the Waveriders playing four away games to open up the year, including a preseason tilt on Oahu.

Both teams are coming off tough losses a week ago. Honokaa (1-1) couldn’t generate any offense against Konawaena in a 60-0 home loss to the Wildcats, while Kealakehe scored first against Hilo, but let the Viks score the next 41 straight, falling 51-21.

Kealakehe won’t make any excuses, but consecutive games against the two toughest teams in the league (Hilo, Konawaena) to open the season and getting hammered by the flu — which kept more than 30 players out of practice at one point — likely didn’t help first-year head coach Wyatt Nahale ease into his duties.

The test for the Dragons will come early. The Waveriders (0-2) are hungry for a win to turn their season around, and Honokaa’s run-heavy offense isn’t built to come from behind.

Konawaena at Keaau, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Wildcats didn’t miss a beat on the road last week, scoring 27 first-quarter points. Kainoa “Boo” Jones had his best game in Konawaena green, completing 13 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns. The game was likely moving slower for the junior QB after a tough non-league game against Mission Viejo on Aug. 23 where he was under constant duress.

The Cougars were able to blow by Waiakea last week 52-14, bouncing back from a 56-0 loss to six-time defending D-I champ Hilo. Keaau is looking for rare back-to-back BIIF wins, but haven’t beat Konawaena since 2010.

Pahoa at Kohala, Saturday at 1 p.m.

At the end of this game, one team will have their first win of the season.

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Pahoa (0-2) has started the year with HPA and Kamehameha-Hawaii and have been outscored 20-111.

Kohala (0-1) couldn’t get going against HPA last week in their BIIF opener, falling 45-6. The Cowboys also had a tough time with OIA opponent Kalani in the preseason, losing 35-0 and managing 32 yards of net offense.

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