Mules Won’t See Home Turf In Septem­ber, But Rarin’ To Go

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Central Oahu Sports -

Sept. 17. This game comes on the heels of a bye week for the Mules, cre­at­ing the po­ten­tial for game day rust, since it fol­lows a 13-day lay­off. Also, with Aiea hav­ing been in the OIA’s White Con­fer­ence the pre­vi­ous two years, the teams fig­ure to be less versed on each other’s schemes and per­son­nel. Which school this fa­vors re­mains to be seen.

Game of the year: Mililani at home Oct. 9. If tick­ets were on sale now for this matchup, it would be sold out. The Tro­jans used this game as a spring­board to their own break­through sea­son a year ago, hand­ing Leile­hua its only loss in the Red West. With the game set for the sea­son fi­nale, the Red West crown could be on the line, not to men­tion a more fa­vor­able seed­ing in the OIA play­offs the next week. That’s with­out con­sid­er­ing the ri­valry and re­venge fac­tor. Should this game mir­ror past ones, the Mules will be glad to play it at home.

Game of the year II: Ver­sus Kame­hameha at home Aug. 21. It may only be week one, and it may not be an OIA game, but the Mules will be happy to get first crack at the de­fend­ing Di­vi­sion I state cham­pion War­riors, who elim­i­nated Leile­hua 40-0 in the state semi­fi­nals last Novem­ber. The Mules’ ros­ter in­cludes sev­eral play­ers who en­dured that game and who are ea­ger to make with a close win over Kapolei in the Mules’ Red West opener, but an up­set loss at Camp­bell the fol­low­ing week sends them into its bye week 1-1 in league play. Road wins at Aiea and Rad­ford by Cas­tle in the semi­fi­nals. A win in the third place game earns it one of three state tour­na­ment bids, and the Mules travel to Maui to de­feat Bald­win for the sec­ond straight year. Leile­hua’s sea- With mo­men­tum on their side, the Mules go on to work­man­like wins over Kapolei at home and at both Camp­bell and Aiea to move to 3-0 in the Red West. Af­ter a come­from-be­hind win at Rad­ford, they are in their best form in weeks five and six. They de­feat Wa­ianae in the most phys­i­cal game of the year to move to 5-0 and avenge the loss to Mililani (from 2009) with a late touch­down drive to beat the Tro­jans in a high-scor­ing af­fair and fin­ish 6-0. Seeded first in the West, the Mules record wins in both the quar­ter­fi­nals and semi­fi­nals to ad­vance to a muchan­tic­i­pated matchup with Kahuku in the ti­tle game. In the fi­nal, Mules de­fense comes up big and leads the team to its first OIA ti­tle since 2007. When seed­ings for the DI state tour­na­ment are an­nounced, Leile­hua earns the No. 1 spot and a bye. In the semi­fi­nals, the Mules meet Kahuku again and win yet again in an­other low-scor­ing af­fair. In the ti­tle game, Leile­hua leads Saint Louis from be­gin­ning to end in a 24-16 win to com­plete a per­fect 13-0 sea­son.

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