Both Red Raiders, Govs seeking late turnaround
Kahuku travels to Farrington Friday night as both teams look to get back in the win column. CJ Caraang | SL
With the end of the Oahu Interscholastic Association's regular season looming, both the Kahuku and Farrington football teams are eager to put an ending to losing streaks.
The Red Raiders (4-3 overall), who dropped a spot to fifth in the ScoringLive/Hawaiian Electric Football Power Rankings this week, have fell short in three of their last four games, including back-to-back losses against Mililani and Campbell the last two weekends.
The 13th-ranked Governors (2-7 overall) are on a three-game losing streak and are coming off a 66-point loss at the hands of No. 1 Saint Louis Friday night.
The teams will cross paths Friday night, when Farrington plays host to Kahuku at Edward ‘Skippa' Diaz Stadium at Kusunoki Field in a meeting of first-year coaches.
Mililani (5-0 league) is the lone team to have clinched a spot in the four-team OIA Open Division playoffs. Campbell (2-1), Kahuku (1-2), Kapolei (1-2), Farrington (1-3) and Waianae (1-3) all remain in the playoff hunt going into the weekend.
We caught up with Kahuku's Sterling Carvalho and Farrington's Daniel Sanchez a few days before their clash in Kalihi.
Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho (left) and Farrington coach Daniel Sanchez (right). CJ Caraang | SL
ScoringLive: Describe your team's current situation in one word and explain.
Sterling Carvalho, Kahuku coach: "Determined. This team is determined to bounce back and to get that ‘swag' back."
Daniel Sanchez, Farrington coach: "Optimistic in the most positive way. Regardless of our record, we still have a chance of making the OIA Open Division playoffs."
ScoringLive: What has your first season as a varsity head coach been like so far?
Carvalho: "Unpredictable. There have been some great times and some unexpected events that have brought us down temporarily. There are also some expected issues that arise on and off the field that, as a coach, you cannot control, but requires your attention. However, I am loving it because I love our players, my coaches, school and the community."
Sanchez: "My first year has been very eventful. We got to travel to Las Vegas, we play in the toughest league in the state and everyday for the coaching staff and myself is about teaching more than just football, but life lessons to our student-athletes."
ScoringLive: What did your most recent loss teach your team?
Carvalho: "The most recent loss has taught our team to overcome adversity. To ‘rise up,' to rely on each other as teammates even more."
Sanchez: "The most recent loss taught the team about the vital commitment to the offseason program. The days of showing up a couple of months before the start of the season are gone. We fully endorse our student-athletes to get involved in other sports, but for those who decided not to play another sport, they need to be committed to our offseason tutoring and strength programs."
ScoringLive: Now that we are almost through the regular season, what has it been like to play this integrated Open Division schedule this year?
Carvalho: "To be part of this Open Division this year really shows that competition brings out the best in each school and each player. To play against big, physical teams each week has been a battle. The competition has been great. However, as I knew before the season, injuries were going to play a major factor. Hopefully each player will heal up and every school will have their best players healthy for the playoffs."
Sanchez: "Playing in the Open Division is challenging. Every week you are going against the top programs in the state; there are no weeks off. I have to thank our athletic trainers, who do a great job of preventing and mending our injuries on a daily basis."
ScoringLive: Which game this season has proven to be the most beneficial for your team and why?
Carvalho: "The game against Punahou. That game shows that we really can dominate the trenches and make adjustments as needed. We just need to execute in all phases of our game and get back to playing great football."
Sanchez: "The Kapolei game has been the most beneficial to our team, not because we won but it showed that if we play Farrington football for four quarters, we can be successful."
ScoringLive: What are your thoughts on this week's opponent?
Carvalho: "Farrington is a big and physical team. They are a prideful and traditional-rich program. We had the privilege of scrimmaging them during the summer and know they have athletes. Coach Sanchez will get his players ready for the battle Friday night. Farrington also came off a loss and they will be determined to protect their home field and finish the season strong."
Sanchez: "Kahuku has been one of the most dominant programs in Hawaii football. They are well coached and have a ton of athletes."
ScoringLive: Complete the sentence. Your team wins Friday night if _____.
Carvalho: "We score more points than our opponents. A math teacher by profession, the formula for winning a football game is simple: outscore your opponent. The team with the greater number on the scoreboard at the end wins. To achieve that outcome, we must execute the plays (on offense) and schemes (on defense), win the turnover battle, limit the penalties, play assignment football and play with fun and passion."
Sanchez: "Our team wins on Friday if we can control the trenches on both sides of the ball."
Kickoff between the Red Raiders and Governors will take place 25 minutes after the completion of the 5 p.m. junior varsity game.