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Kahuku undaunted by Bishop Gorman challenge

Kahuku has had a lot to celebrate rolling up 18 consecutive wins. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

The time has come.

Kahuku’s only nonconference game of the season will be played in Las Vegas against consensus No. 1 Bishop Gorman a week from today.

The Red Raiders (5-0, 5-0 OIA Blue) have yet to be challenged thus far, winning by an average of 46.4 points. They have not allowed a point for 14 straight quarters.

Enter Bishop Gorman. The Gaels (3-0) have won all three games against out-of-state competition, including a 44-14 road win at Cedar Hill (Tx) and 35-20 triumph last night over St. John Bosco in Long Beach, Calif.

“We’re excited,” Kahuku senior Kesi Ah-Hoy said. “We’re not treating this game any different. It’s just a regular game,”

Bishop Gorman is currently ranked first in the USA Today Super 25 while Kahuku sits at 17. A victory for the Red Raiders could really shake things up.

“We’re excited. It’s a big opportunity to take on the number one team in the nation,” Stokes Nihipali-Bothelho said. “It would be a really good feeling if we could pull off the upset.”

The Gaels surely have their share of college prospects and commits. Quarterback Tate Martell and defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, who transferred from Saint Louis, are both 2017 four-star recruits on ESPN that are committed to Ohio State.

Palaie Gaoteote and Jacob Isaia are both juniors that moved to Las Vegas from Oahu. Isaia was an offensive lineman on last year’s ‘Iolani team. Gaoteote is one of the highest ranked linebackers in his class and currently holds offers from USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame and LSU among others.

Kahuku also has its share of college prospects, but perhaps none more intriguing than quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava. The freshman was offered by Jim Harbaugh and Michigan before taking his first high school snap. How he handles the atmosphere at Gorman’s sold-out Fertitta Field could be very telling.

“We gotta be confident, Maiava said. “Trust the O-line and just do what we do.”

When asked about the game, Kahuku coach Vavae Tata only offered that he’ll “look at the tape.”

“We don’t treat them as gods, we just trust the process of our preparation,” Ah-Hoy said. “Our coaches put us in the best position to be successful and that’s what we do.”

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