State championship high school football games in many states are as much a part of Thanksgiving weekend as turkey sandwiches and leftover mashed potatoes. This week's MaxPreps Top 10 Games of the Week looks at some of the most interesting state-title tilts from around the nation along with other key postseason matchups.
In our 50th state, Kahuku will be in familiar surroundings when it plays Punahou for the Hawaii Division I title Friday night at Aloha Stadium. It is the eighth trip to the championship game in 13 seasons for the Red Raiders, who are seeking their seventh title.
A chance to finish the season with a perfect 15-0 record and the Indiana 5A state title is on the line Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium when Fort Wayne Snider plays fellow unbeaten Lawrence Central. Just across the border, Glenbard West and Lincoln-Way East – another pair of unbeatens – play for the Illinois 7A crown at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium.
The lone game of the week between two nationally ranked teams is in Texas, where No. 4 DeSoto will take on No. 17 Coppell in a titanic Class 5A/I second-round playoff showdown.
Mitch Stephens and Jamie DeMoney – co-leaders in our season-long predictions contest – each went 7-3 in their selections last week and now have matching 92-38 (.707 pct.) records through 13 weeks. Stephen Spiewak and Leland Gordon are tied for third place with 87 correct selections.
Here's a look at this week's top 10 games of the week along with predictions by MaxPreps staff writers and contributors Mitch Stephens, Steve Montoya, Stephen Spiewak, Kevin Askeland, Leland Gordon and Jamie DeMoney.
MaxPreps Top 10 football games of the week
Punahou (Honolulu) vs. Kahuku (Hawaii)
Punahou (8-2) wants to cap the election month of November by winning its first state title since 2008, which was also the same year its most famous alum – newly reelected President Barack Obama -- was first voted into the presidency.
The Buff n' Blue have lost three straight games against Kahuku, including a 30-24 defeat in last season's state championship and a 21-13 setback in a game played this season on Aug. 18. They earned their way back to the title game by rolling past Mililani (Honolulu) last week, 49-19. The offensive star was junior quarterback Larry Tuileta
, who passed for 420 yards and five touchdowns, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
See the MaxPreps Hawaii football playoff brackets
Kahuku (11-0) has reached the Division I state title game for the eighth time since 2000. A win Friday would give the Red Raiders back-to-back championships and a total of seven titles in the past 13 seasons. Senior Aofaga Wily
ran for 141 yards and four touchdowns to help lead the Red Raiders to a 47-14 rout of Farrington (Honolulu) in last week's semifinals, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Mitch Stephens:
Kahuku 31, Punahou 28Steve Montoya:
Kahuku 24, Punahou 21Stephen Spiewak:
Punahou 28, Kahuku 24Kevin Askeland:
Kahuku 35, Punahou 21Leland Gordon:
Kahuku 27, Punahou 24Jamie DeMoney:
Punahou 27, Kahuku 21