The Cedar High football team has seen plenty of highs and lows throughout the 2015 campaign but as of now, none of it matters.
With the regular season in the books the Redmen now turn their attention to the post-season which starts today with a home game against Judge Memorial.
Quarterback Mason Fakahua leads an offense that has shown flashes of brilliance and could fare well if its squad of playmakers continues to perform.
“The offense is our key area where we execute the best,” Fakahua said. “When our offense is executing well, we can win games.”
Even with Judge entering the contest with an overall record of 3-7, predicting the game’s outcome is difficult given Cedar’s record over the last month.
The Reds fought hard but dropped two of their last three regular-season games despite Fakahua posting phenomenal stats.
He threw for almost 300 yards in a loss to Hurricane on Oct.2 and notched a 265-yard effort in a season-ending defeat at Desert Hills last Friday while rushing for 115 yards.
Still, Cedar looked strong at practice this week and the players feel ready.
“We’re ready. We’ve been practicing hard and preparing for Judge all week,” Fakahua said. “We’re really just focusing on one game at a time.”
Backing Fakahua up in the ground game is Drake Lewis, who has tallied 584 rushing yards on the year and averages a healthy 10 yards per carry.
Add to that a solid corps of receivers including Bodrey Allred, Derek Ball, Berick Englestead and Bracken Yardley, and the Reds’ have every reason to be confident.
“We’re more focused now that it’s the playoffs,” Lewis said. “We’re not worrying about region, we all know our spot. It’s all about hard work, preparing and getting our minds straight.”
Offensively the Bulldogs are similar to Cedar in that like Fakahua, quarterback Jack Boomer is quite mobile and leads his team in total rushing yards.
The numbers aren’t as impressive – Boomer ran for only 323 yards while Fakahua compiled 900 – but Judge is a decent option team and if Boomer can’t beat them with his arm, don’t be surprised to see him take off on foot.
The teams are pretty similar statistically as well with the Reds scoring an average of 27 points per game to Judge’s 24.
The Bulldogs’ defense has the upper hand in points allowed, giving up 26 points per game while Cedar allows over 28.
Judge also boasts pair of big receivers in Xavier Price and Bapa Falamaka who could pose a threat downfield if the defense gives them any slack.
Both Price and Falamaka are listed at 6-foot-3 but will have to get past the likes of Jaden Tullis and Ian Keyes who have a combined 13 interceptions.
But with Fakahua at the helm and a team pumped for a playoff run, first year head coach Josh Bennett has plenty of faith in his guys.
“They understand that Judge is a good football team and they need to be ready to go,” Bennett said. “You can feel the intensity knowing that it’s do or die. Our kids are focusing on taking it one day at a time, one play at a time. Hopefully it will pay off.”
Kickoff for Friday’s contest is slated for 5 p.m.