CALIFORNIA VS. HAWAII

With several high-profile games on tap for this season between schools from Hawaii and California, here's a history lesson that begins with the first matchup way back in 1925 before Hawaii was even a state.

The ship was known as the S.S. Matsonia. It sailed from San Francisco to Honolulu in the fall of 1925 and on board were members of the San Mateo High football team. The San Mateo team had been saluted by local fans as it rode in an auto caravan from their town to the Port of San Francisco, where the Matsonia was berthed.

Some members of that San Mateo team were part of the school's squad that in 1926 was good enough to win the California Interscholastic Federation state championship, the next-to-last state football championships the state has ever seen. But the Bearcats weren't very good in 1925 when they faced a school in Honolulu that's still synonymous with success. Yes, even in 1925, St. Louis of Honolulu was a dominant football power and that showed when the Crusaders rolled over San Mateo, 40-0. The only reason St. Louis wasn't one of the top teams in the nation at the time is that Hawaii wasn't yet a part of the nation.

After that first game in 1925, it was more than 40 years until the next Cali-Hawaii matchup occurred. Once again, the Californians were routed as Kaimuki downed St. Francis of Mountain View, 39-14, in 1966.

It wasn't until 1970 when a California school finally won a game against a Hawaii school as St. Francis of Mountain View topped Kaimuki, 6-0. That win broke a four-game losing streak for the Californians.

Games involving schools from California vs. Hawaii started becoming more common as the 1970s rolled on. Then in 1978, the Hawaiians started having trouble against the Californians. That year, Winters of California ventured to Hilo and blanked the Vikings, 29-0.

California teams won the next six games over Hawaii opponents and made it 11-of-12 until a 9-9 tie in 1985 between St. Louis and Marina of Huntington Beach. California teams continued to have the better of it until 1994 when Hawaii won four of the seven games played.

Heading into the 2002 season, California's record in reported games vs. Hawaii teams stood at 69-41-3 despite the fact that almost all of the games have been played on Hawaiian soil.

St. Louis has been by far the most successful of the Hawaii teams vs. California. The Crusaders have only lost twice in 14 matchups vs. California going into this year's highly-publicized game against De La Salle of Concord on Sept 21 at Aloha Stadium. Their 11-2-1 mark includes a 30-13 victory in 1991 over Bakersfield when Bakersfield came into the game with a 39-game winning streak. That was the longest winning streak at the time among all California high schools, although the Drillers went on to finish barely above .500 for the season.

St. Louis also has posted wins over Los Gatos (19-17 in 1968 plus 49-19 in 1969); Morse of San Diego (24-17 in 1989); Lincoln of San Diego (47-14 in 1990); Clovis (24-8 in 1992); Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo (13-7 in 1993); Skyline of Oakland (41-19 in 1994); Hart of Newhall (38-33 in 1995); and San Clemente (40-7 last year).

A California school's biggest win over St. Louis came in 1990 when Canyon of Canyon Country blanked the Crusaders, 40-0, and snapped their 55-game winning streak. St. Louis' other loss to a California team was in 1977 when St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs pulled out a 14-6 triumph.

Kahuku will carry a 4-3-1 record vs. California teams into its matchup against Long Beach Poly, which also will be Sept 21 at Aloha Stadium. The Red Raiders lost their first two games, 21-14 to Crespi of Encino in 1990 and 14-6 to Banning of Wilmington in 1991, before downing Lincoln of San Diego 34-24 in 1992. Kahuku's other loss was to Clovis, 27-0, in 1995. Its other wins were 29-8 over Morse in 1993, 41-14 over Banning in 1998 and 22-13 over Morse, also in 1998.

Neither De La Salle or Long Beach Poly has ever played a Hawaii school before. This year's game vs. St. Louis, in fact, will be De La Salle's first-ever against any non-California foe. Poly has a bit more history. The Jackrabbits played their first out-of-state game in January of 1920 against Phoenix, Ariz., in a game that was billed as being for the Southwest Championship. Phoenix was supposedly the best team in Arizona, but Long Beach Poly completely dominated and won by the hard-to-believe score of 102-0.

The most lopsided win by a California school over a Hawaii school took place in 1988 when Morse of San Diego, which under head coach John Shacklett visited the islands every year from 1985-1996, ran all over St. Anthony of Wailuku, 63-8. The most lopsided win by a Hawaii school over California occurred just last season when Iolani of Honolulu blanked Kearny of San Diego, 56-0.


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