It’s as big as any game this season and Hanapepe Stadium will be rocking the westside, as the Menehune battle the Red Raiders for first-place in the KIF on Friday night.

“I think it’s probably the biggest game we’re going to play, but our team takes that concept into every game we play,” Waimea head coach Liko Pereira said.

And the Menehune wouldn’t mind a repeat performance of last season’s first contest against Kaua’i.

In that game, Waimea manhandled the Red Raiders, thanks to the hard running by Kenny Estes, who followed a strong Menehune offensive line unit.

However, Estes went down with an injury last year and the momentum shifted to the Lihu’e school.

Now a senior and healthy, Estes is primed to get another shot at the Red Raider defense.

The reigning twotime state 4×100 relay track and field champion has said that he is more than ready to play the reigning two-time defending KIF champs. But if Waimea is to come out on top on Friday night, they’ll have to put more points up on the scoreboard.

In their first contest against the Warriors, the Menehune could only muster up a field goal.

“We tried to spread the offense around at the beginning and it didn’t work as much as we’d like it to,” Pereira said.

Then at halftime, Waimea made some adjustments and found the right mix of plays.

“We went back to old Waimea football, with off-tackle type of running and more sweeps. We just tried to simplify our game plan and the boys liked it,” Pereira said.

And that’s what Waimea wants to do from the start — attack the Red Raiders and get ahead of them from the begining.

“Coach Morgado and his crew have done an excellent job and they are going to come out and play their best game, so we have to do the same,” Pereira said. The third-year Menehune head coach said that controlling the ball and counting on his offensive line to flourish are the two keys for them coming out on top in the end.

“We can do it again. We have a pretty good returning line on offense, so we’re banking on them to move them (Kaua’i) around. They (Kaua’i) are quick, but we have to move them and if Kenny (Estes) can get outside, I don’t think anyone can catch him in this league,” Pereira said.

Waimea will also have the 12th man, its fans on display at Hanapepe Stadium, which should be glaring with blue and white apparel.

“I know we’ve got the best fans and I love them for that,” Pereira said.

First-place in the KIF is on the line at Hanapepe Stadium, Friday night starting at 7:30 p.m. The JV contest begins at 5 p.m.


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