NERDPOD: Quarterbacks v3.0

The Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Prep World’s Paul Honda breaks down some of the best quarterbacks in the state.

This is more of a run-through than a breakdown of QB statistics for the first time since almost two months. Numbers don’t tell the whole story, of course. That’s why this is Nerdpod, not fanpod. Some amazing, eye-popping numbers this season. QBs listed below in random order for the most part.

QUARTERBACKS

Saint Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa danced his way past a diving Punahou tackler in the ILH title game on Oct. 21. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Saint Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa danced his way past a diving Punahou tackler in the ILH title game on Oct. 21. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Tua Tagovailoa, Saint Louis
Measurables: 6-1, 210, Sr.
Crunch this: 9 games — Pass 161-244-6-2,249, 23 TD; Rush 81-490, 6 TD
Passing yards per game: 249.9
Completion rate: .660
Yards per attempt: 9.2
Passer rating: 169.60
Rushing yards per carry: 6.0
Rushing yards per game: 54.4
W-L: 8-1 (5-1 ILH)
Top 10 wins: ‘Iolani (3x), Punahou (2x), Kamehameha (2x)
Top 10 losses: Punahou
Game by game / Passcode (¥ statistical values):
@ Mililani 8/6: Cancelled (power outage)
@ Hilo 8/20: Pass 10-13-0-231, 3 TD; Rush 5-34, TD. = ¥53.25
vs. #9 ‘Iolani 9/2: Pass 17-26-0-260, 2 TD (7, 58); Rush 7-77, TD (19). ¥54.7 + $5.0 = ¥$59.7
vs. #3 Punahou 9/9: Pass 31-42-0-447, 6 TD (37,63,6,10,20,14), 2-pt; Rush 15-104, 3 TD (1,1,25). ¥123.1 + $5.0 = ¥$128.1
vs. #6 Kamehameha 9/17: Pass 20-35-0-258, 2 TD (15, 6); Rush 8-12. ¥41.25 + $5.0 = ¥$46.25
@ ‘Iolani 9/23: Pass 41-47-1-493, 5 TD (9,18,6,10,23); Rush 4-44. ¥95.45 + $5.0 = ¥$105.45
vs. #3 Punahou 9/29: Pass 12-26-2-118; Rush 4-(-8). ¥4.5 + $5.0 = ¥$9.5
vs. #10 Kamehameha 10/7: Pass 10-18-1-138, TD (32); Rush 13-96, TD (9). ¥32.9 + $5.0 = ¥$37.9
vs. ‘Iolani 10/14: Pass 10-17-1-113, TD (10); Rush 3-17. ¥16.75 + $5.0 = ¥$21.75
vs. #2 Punahou 10/21: Pass 10-19-1-192, 2 TD (52, 31); Rush 16-98. ¥38.25 + $5.0 = ¥$43.25
vs. Farrington-Waianae winner# 11/11:
To date: ¥$505.15 / ¥$56.1 pg
Home games at Aloha Stadium
# Aloha Stadium (HHSAA Open Division games)

The skinny: (Oct 28) The last time I nerdpodded QBs, it was Sept. 22 and the nation’s top prospect at the position had played just four games. That was almost an eternity ago. At that point, these were Tua’s statistics.

> 4 games — Pass 78-for-117; 1,198 yards, 13 TD, 0 INT; Rush 36-234, 5 TD

He was averaging 10.2 yards per pass attempt and had a passer rating of 189.34. His completion rate was .667. Thirteen TD passes, no picks. Typical Tua, just shredding all opposition. Since then, the typical happened in the ILH, too. The pendulum swung. Momentum went to Punahou. Then back to Saint Louis. Teams evolved. Adaptation took place. The stronger became stronger through crisis and defeat. So ILH. At this point, Tua has been forced to learn how to win in more than one way, and is comfortable enough with any means necessary. That’s what great QBs do. They give their teams a chance no matter how dire things may seem.

He’s accounting for more than 304 yards per game from scrimmage. In Nerdpod language, his numbers add up to more than ¥$56 points per game, a total of more than ¥$505. I would have to nerdpod a lot of players going back to the beginning, but I seriously doubt more than 10 players have ever piled up 500-plus ever in Hawaii, and his season is not over yet. Who would be on that list? My guesses: Tim Chang (Saint Louis), McKenzie Milton (Mililani), Aaron Sumida (Konawaena), Mosi Tatupu (Punahou), John Kamana (Punahou), Boyd Yap (Kaiser), Kenan Sadanaga (Leilehua), Joe Igber (‘Iolani). I’m sure a few more will pop into my cranium later.

(Sept 22) Numbers are not required to explain anything about the nation’s No. 1 quarterback. He can rack ’em up like the smoothest of the smooth and make every scoreboard and pinball machine go TILT. Or he can manage a comfortable lead and pilot a jumbo jet into a soft landing. He didn’t try to do too much against a fierce Kamehameha front seven last week, and went home with his Crusader brothers victorious (35-3). His stats said he was 20-for-35 and rushed for a mere 39 yards, but he had purpose behind every completion and incompletion, never forced a play, and converted first downs with his legs, including a fourth-and-26 snap. Numbers never make the player. But anyone who can go an entire season without throwing a pick is probably not 100-percent human.

(Sept 7) Let’s be honest. Tua’s sophomore statistics were off the freaking charts: 33 TD passes with just 3 picks. (I may be a little fuzzy remembering all his stats, but those two still stand out.) He was unbelievable. He had experienced teammates and from the get-go, the kid I liken to Kenny Stabler with Wheels was a joy to watch. Junior year? Tua was in patient mentor mode as his talented, but young receivers gradually matured in the system. Injuries didn’t help. But the Crusaders still reached the state final. This season, his numbers are looking like the 2014 campaign.
I don’t care how many times I’ve mentioned this before, and no, I haven’t played video games regularly in almost two decades. But because of Tua and Milton and so many talented c/o 2016 players, in ’14 I dusted off the old PS3 and started typing in dozens of Hawaii high school players, giving them ratings that I felt were very conservative. Guess who ended up signing with a huge program beyond the West Coast? Yup. It was Tua Tagovailoa signing with… Oklahoma.
Why blabber on about a video game’s artificial intelligence? Well, not long after that he received a real-life offer from SEC and national powerhouse Alabama. It was never a surprise. It was simply a matter of time before even Nick Saban had to take notice of the kid from Leeward Oahu.

X factor: (Sept 22) In the past two weeks, we have learned that 1) Tua can slide, and when he did (against Punahou), it was a pop-up slide. And he still says he’s never practiced it, and 2) he can run with just one shoe on when necessary.

(Sept 7) He still doesn’t know how to slide, last I heard. Tua, if you’re out there reading this, please. For the love of God. Learn to slide.

###

2016 October 22 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Kapolei wide receiver Isaiah Ahana (11) is congratulated by quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (12) after Ahana's touchdown during the first half of an OIA semifinal game between the Farrington Governors and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.
2016 October 22 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Kapolei wide receiver Isaiah Ahana (11) is congratulated by quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (12) after Ahana’s touchdown during the first half of an OIA semifinal game between the Farrington Governors and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.

Taulia Tagovailoa, Kapolei/strong>
Measurables:
6-0, 190, So.
Crunch this: 12 games — Pass 289-473-6-3,659, 41 TD; Rush 31-(-121)
Passing yards per game: 304.9
Completion rate: .611
Yards per attempt: 7.7
Passer rating: 152.15
Rushing yards per carry: -3.9
Rushing yards per game: -10.1
W-L: 10-2 (6-1 OIA Red)
Top 10 wins: Campbell, @ Mililani, Farrington, Waianae, Punahou
Top 10 losses: Waianae, Farrington
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ Campbell 8/5: Pass 22-31-0-263, 5 TD (25,20,6,28,14); Rush 3-(-25). ¥58.05 + $5.0 = ¥$63.05
vs. #4 Waianae 8/13: Pass 22-47-0-234, 2 TD (8, 26); Rush 5-(-23). ¥32.35 + $5.0 = ¥$37.35
@ Leilehua 8/20: Pass 19-34-1-227, 3 TD (7, 7, 6); Rush 4-(-1). = ¥39.6
@ Castle 8/26: Pass 30-44-1-403, 3 TD (10, 10, 38); Rush 1-5. = ¥65.8
@ #4 Mililani 9/5: Pass 31-54-0-379, 4 TD (19,35,10,8), 2-pt; Rush 8-(-17). ¥73.2 + $5.0 = ¥$78.2
vs. Kailua 9/16: Pass 26-40-1-388, 3 TD (5, 6, 7); Rush 1-(-13). = ¥55.5
vs. #6 Farrington 9/24: Pass 18-33-1-264, 2 TD (21, 9); Rush 0-0. ¥36.15 + $5.0 = ¥$41.15
vs. Nanakuli 9/30: Pass 15-26-0-235, 4 TD (10, 9, 46, 34); Rush 0-0. = ¥49.5
vs. Moanalua 10/14: Pass 28-40-0-324, 4 TD (10, 20, 7, 5); Rush 0-0. = ¥63.4
vs. #6 Farrington* 10/22: Pass 23-37-1-321, 3 TD (63, 33, 7); Rush 2-(-10). ¥50.6 + $5.0 = ¥$55.6
vs. #6 Waianae** 10/29: Pass 27-50-1-254, 3 TD (16, 28, 11); Rush 2-(-10). ¥41.4 + $5.0 = ¥$46.4
vs. #3 Punahou# 11/5: Pass 28-37-0-367, 5 TD (22,19,7,3,5); Rush 5-(-17). ¥72.75 + $5.0 = ¥$77.75
To date: ¥$668.3 / ¥$54.1 pg
*Aloha Stadium
**John Kauinana Stadium (Mililani)
# Aloha Stadium (HHSAA D-I State Championships)

The skinny: (Nov 3) Tua’s younger brother is surpassing all sorts of milestones, including Tua’s. Taulia is now in range of a 4,000-yard season. I type his stats into the passer-rating calculator and I have to pause and almost laugh. This is not of mere mortals. IS NOT. But it is. Wowowowowoww… and on a Nerdpod note, he is now at more than ¥$668 points. I would have never imagined this to be possible. I remember when Tim Chang passed for 60-plus TDs — in his prep career. Freshmen still can’t play varsity ball in the ILH today. I wonder if Tua is just a little bit jealous. Probably not at all. Maybe just a tiny bit. One day I’m going to turn on the dust-covered PS3, pop in my old NCAA14 game and create Taulia the way I did Tua some time back.

(Nov 3) At this point, even long before this actually, fans of the run-and-shoot — especially the June Jones version of the four-wide — could not have possibly missed a single Kapolei game this season. Each game, up or down (mostly up) is a living, breathing lab experiment that would have a time-travel visitor from the 1930s aghast and astonished. Sure, Taulia is only a sophomore, and there’s a lot of football left in the next two seasons after this one. But nothing is guaranteed, so enjoy this rare treat while you can if you have not been already. As a side note, Taulia is about to break the ¥$600 point mark. Even though he has negative rushing yardage. And Kapolei doesn’t really go hurry-up mode. Long live the four-wide. I mentioned this in this week’s weekend preview story (it may get cut or not), but Taulia’s sophomore statistics compared to brother Tua’s sophomore stats have some remarkable similarities, including this: Tua had 33 TD passes with 3 INT; Taulia has 36 TD with 6 INT.

(Oct 28) After six games, Taulia’s numbers looked like this:

> 6 games — Pass 150-for-250; 1,894 yards, 20 TD, 3 INT; Rush 22-(-84), 0 TD

The fact that right now, as a sophomore, Taulia has thrown for 33 TDs and just five INTs, is intriguing. His older brother, Tua, during his sophomore season: 33 TDs, 3 INT. In his last four games, his passer rating has increased, and his passing production is surpassed only by his brother statewide. He is the first QB to reach the 3,000-yard mark this season. One of the remarkable footnotes about his season is that his performance against Top 10 teams has been superb.

(Sept 22) It’s fairly common. When QBs are utterly dependent on moving the ball through the air due to a lack of running game, QBR can be slightly below elite level. That’s normally because the offense relies on his arm to make the offense “run” via the pass. A quick pass by Taulia is just about as secure as a handoff in this offense, which makes his 7.4 YPA remarkable. With more depth at RB, plus the continued development of John Kansana, I expect his QBR to rise and Kapolei’s already potent offense to become more efficient.

(Sept 7) Unlike older brother Tua Tagovailoa of Saint Louis, Taulia has never endeavored to be a dual-threat type of QB. He knows his lane and stays in it. What the numbers don’t reflect is that he is nimble in the pocket, good footwork and knows how to stay out of trouble when the pass rush is on. He has minus-71 yards rushing on 21 attempts, but there is rarely a pre-snap call for him to run, as was the case early in the second half against Mililani. Instead, Taulia relies on his protection, his receivers and their relationship through the air. He and WR Jaymin Sarono have incredible chemistry and they almost never miscommunicate on a key down. Their work together is somewhat reminiscent of the chemistry that former Punahou QB Cayman Shutter had with WR Robby Toma not so many years ago.

X factor: (Sept 22) This is an offense that still huddles, doesn’t rely on the hurry-up to generate progress. That could change at any moment, to be sure. Then we’d see a stat line like 49-for-72, 579 yards, fill in the TD count as you please. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. When offensive coordinator June Jones was head coach at UH, Timmy Chang had first halves of 35 to 40 pass attempts, all in the game flow, no rushing, nothing unusual. Then they’d hand out the stat sheet and, for several seconds, my mind would be blown.

(Sept 7) What the numbers don’t tell us is that the entire offense is built around his IQ and accuracy. Kapolei called passing plays more than 82 percent of the time against Mililani on Monday night. In that sense, Taulia “runs” the ball through the air.

###

Austin Ewing, Konawaena
Measurables:
Crunch this: 9 games — Pass 172-311-10-2,412, 31 TD; Rush 26-133, 4 TD
Passing yards per game: 268.0
Completion rate: .553
Yards per attempt: 7.8
Passer rating: 146.92
Rushing yards per carry: 5.1
Rushing yards per game: 14.8
W-L: 8-1 (7-1 BIIF)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: None
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. St. Francis* 8/19: Pass 30-54-4-330, 2 TD; Rush 3-(-9). = ¥15.6
@ Hilo (Wong Stadium) 8/27: Pass 17-38-2-235, 2 TD; Rush 11-12. = ¥16.2
@ Keaau 9/2: cancelled-Hurricane Lester
vs. Hawaii Prep 9/9: Pass 12-22-0-191, 5 TD; Rush 4-52, TD. = ¥48.7
vs. Waiakea 9/17: Pass 18-27-0-306, 4 TD; Rush 1-17, TD. = ¥46.0
vs. Kealakehe 9/23: Pass 17-22-0-245, 4 TD; Rush 3-28. = ¥52.78
@ Honokaa 9/30: Pass 14-24-1-196, 4 TD; Rush n/a, TD. = ¥47.6
vs. Kamehameha-Hawaii 10/8: Pass 23-45-1-443, 4 TD; Rush n/a. = ¥71.55
@ Keaau 10/14: Pass 25-36-1-261, 4 TD; Rush 4-33. = ¥54.9
vs. Kamehameha-Hawaii 10/22: Pass 16-43-1-205, 2 TD; Rush n/a, TD. = ¥32.75
vs. Lahainaluna# 11/12:
(Note: Ewing’s statistics courtesy of ScoringLive.com)
To date: ¥$386.08 / ¥$42.9 pg
*Leilehua/Yoshida Stadium
#HHSAA D-II State Championships

The skinny: (Oct 28) Two seasons as a starting QB, both under Coach Brad Uemoto, has worked out pretty well for Ewing and the Wildcats. His rushing numbers in recent games have been scant, but he has been slightly more efficient and enormously productive. There hasn’t been a pure gasher at RB in awhile; Konawaena has employed a lot of quick, scatback type runners. (It’s been awhile since the days of Roman “Rocket” Hao and Matt “Missile” Kaili.) That means the ‘Cats fully trust Ewing with the ball. Ten picks in 311 pass attempts (31.1) is very good. By comparison, Tua Tagovailoa throws a pick once every 40.7 attempts and Taulia Tagovailoa’s INT-ATT rate is 77.2. Is there anyone else with rates as good as those? Ewing is relatively close. The argument against comparison is solid, of course. The BIIF doesn’t have a Top 10 team, but it is a mix of D-I and D-II teams, and everyone plays everyone in a single round-robin before the playoffs. Ewing is probably the best sophomore QB the state has rarely seen.

(Sept 23) The Division-II Wildcats have already done something that very few BIIF programs have done: win an off-island preseason game against a state-title contender. They did it in early August, edging St. Francis on Oahu. Ewing, in his second year as starting QB, is getting more and more comfortable with pressure situations. He doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. His aunt is Bobbie Awa, seven-time girls basketball state champion at Konawaena. Cousin Jessica Hanato was a multiple all-state hoopster. His dad, Peter, was good enough as a WR for the long-defunct Kona Ikaika semi-pro team that he was invited to try out for an NFL team. He was a Wes Welker type of receiver who could’ve thrived in today’s NFL. Instead, he stayed home on the Big Island to get married and start a family.

X factor: (Sept 23) The BIIF plays a combined schedule, which means Konawaena plays all D-I programs. That should always help the D-II powerhouses like Konawaena and KS-Hawaii — and their QBs — in the long run.

###

Kurt Napoleon, Kapaa
Measurables: 6-2, 190, Sr.
Crunch this: 9 games — 46-for-84, 580 yards, 6 TD, 6 INT; Rush 45-125, 3 TD; Rec 1-11, 1 TD
Passing yards per game: 64.4
Completion rate: .548
Yards per attempt: 6.9
Passer rating: 122.05
Rushing yards per carry: 2.8
Rushing yards per game: 13.9
W-L: 7-1 (5-1 KIF)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: None
vs. Maui 8/6: Pass 7-13-1-98, 0 TD; Rush 9-12, 1 TD. = ¥7.5
@ Lahainaluna 8/13: Pass 4-8-1-50, 1 TD; Rush 8-19, 1 TD. = ¥12.9
vs. Kauai 8/26: Pass 9-16-0-184, 2 TD; Rush 9-29, 0 TD; Rec 1-11. = ¥24.5
vs. Waimea* 9/2: Pass 8-9-0-54, 2 TD; 10-24, 1 TD. = ¥24.2
vs. Kauai* 9/17: Pass 10-18-1-109, 1 TD; Rush 0-0. ¥7.5
vs. Waimea* 9/24: n/a
@ Kauai* 10/8: Pass 8-20-3-85; Rush 9-41. = ¥2.6
vs. Waimea 10/15: Pass n/a; Rush n/a, TD; Rec n/a, TD. = ¥ n/a
vs. Damien# 11/12:
*Vidinha Stadium, Lihue
#Vidinha Stadium (HHSAA D-II State Championships)
(Note: Napoleon’s statistics courtesy of ScoringLive.com)
To date: ¥$79.2 / ¥$ n/a pg

The skinny: Just a quick note. Coach Phillip Rapozo said Napoleon didn’t start at QB in their last game, but indicates that he’s a key WR. Personnel switches are factors to team success. I hope to get to see Napoleon play both positions sometime.

(Oct 28) The rest of the KIF has done some catching up on the Warriors. Napoleon’s last three games: 0 TDs, 3 INT.

(Sept 23) Current Kauai AD Kelii Morgado brought the run-and-shoot philosophy from Kauai to Kapaa when he became coach there many years ago. Then he adapted to his personnel, and the Warriors became more of a ground-and-pound team. That hasn’t changed since, though the elements of what Morgado brought over remain.

X factor: (Sept 23) The Warriors have gone to states and knocked on the door quite a few times. They’ve beaten non-KIF teams at home (Maui) and on the road (Lahainaluna). The last time I saw them in the postseason was a close loss at ‘Iolani in the D-II tourney a few years back. The Warriors had a balanced attack early on, had the lead, got conservative and never really opened up as the Raiders drew closer and closer to the line of scrimmage. Will Kapaa let Napoleon loose a bit come postseason time? Hmm…

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2016 October 14 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Campbell quarterback Kawika Ulufale (7) throws the football during the first half of an OIA football game on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 at Campbell High School.
2016 October 14 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Campbell quarterback Kawika Ulufale (7) throws the football during the first half of an OIA football game on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 at Campbell High School.

Kawika Ulufale, Campbell
Measurables: 5-11, 175, Sr.
Crunch this: 10 games — 123–233-20-1,314, 7 TD; Rush 99-97, 8 TD
Passing yards per game: 131.3
Completion rate: .528
Yards per attempt: 5.6
Passer rating: 104.93
Rushing yards per carry: 0.98
Rushing yards per game: 9.7
W-L: 7-4 (5-2 OIA Blue)
Top 10 wins: Waianae
Top 10 losses: Kapolei, Farrington (2x), Kahuku
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ #6 Kapolei 8/5: Pass 22-35-3-149; Rush 9-(-33). ¥4.85 + $5.0 = ¥$9.8
@ #8 Farrington* 8/13: Pass 7-37-3-71; Rush 11-23, 2 TD (3, 6). ¥4.9 + $5.0 = ¥$9.9
@ Kaiser 8/19: Pass 23-32-1-180, 2 TD (10, 56); Rush 13-58, TD (20), 2-pt. = ¥42.3
@ Aiea 8/26: Pass 12-26-2-171, TD (10); Rush 16-9. = ¥17.5
@ #1 Kahuku 9/2: Pass 7-15-3-42; Rush 7-(-10). ¥5.2 + $5.0 = ¥$10.2
vs. Moanalua 9/16: Pass 9-26-4-97; Rush 10-8. = ¥ -5.75
vs. #4 Waianae 9/23: Pass 14-19-1-171, TD (32); Rush 13-(-6), TD (1). ¥27.75 + $5.0 = ¥$32.75
vs. Radford 9/30: Pass 12-16-1-193, 4 TD (1,15,37,28); Rush 5-44, TD (20); Rec 1-28, TD (28). = ¥62.5
vs. #6 Farrington 10/14: Pass 11-17-1-112; Rush 11-(-41). ¥5.6 + $5.0 = ¥$10.6
vs. Moanalua 10/21: Game forfeited by MOA
vs. Waiakea# 11/4: Pass 6-10-1-128, 2-pt; Rush 4-25, 3 TD (6,21,9). = ¥32.8
vs. ‘Iolani#* 11/11:
*Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium (Roosevelt)
#HHSAA D-I State Championships
#*John Kauinana Stadium (Mililani), HHSAA D-I State Championships
To date: ¥$222.6 / ¥$20.2 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) Late in the season, it is often the QBs who can motor with their legs who get the job done. Survive and advance. Ulufale is the classic player who doesn’t have the prettiest numbers, but he has the skills and the will to do whatever it takes to lead his team to victory. That’s immeasurable.

(Oct 28) Tremendous upswing for in recent weeks, increasing his completion rate from 46% to over 52%. Much better ball control; after tossing 16 picks in the first six games, just three in the last three, and these were a huge three games. Passer rating up to 90-plus after being below 70. It’s difficult to predict when a QB will make a huge leap forward on the learning curve.

(Sept 23) The statistics of Kawika Ulufale prove one thing: resilience matters. Despite the turnovers, the low completion percentage, the below-average YPA, the Sabers keep battling and have a winning record in the OIA Blue. Grit. Mental toughness. Unity. All empirically unmeasurable. And coach Amosa Amosa’s commitment to Ulufale, who has taken just about every snap, is remarkable.

X factor: (Sept 23) The Sabers struggled in 2015, mainly because of injuries. Then came the playoffs and a resounding upset win over Kaiser on the road. This year’s Sabers are doing better on paper, and the depth that they have at WR gives them a chance to develop and improve as the regular season enters its final two weeks. Ulufale could ultimately steer the Sabers deep enough into the OIA playoffs to earn a state-tourney berth.

###

Waialua quarterback Tevesi Toia broke away from a defender in the first half against Damien. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Waialua quarterback Tevesi Toia broke away from a defender in the first half against Damien. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Tevesi Toia, Waialua
Measurables:
Crunch this: 10 games — 125-234-18-1,456, 16 TD; Rush 101-297, 3 TD
Passing yards per game: 145.6
Completion rate: .534
Yards per attempt: 6.2
Passer rating: 117.39
Rushing yards per carry: 2.9
Rushing yards per game: 29.7
W-L: 7-3 (5-2 OIA D-II)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: None
vs. Honokaa 8/5: Cancelled
@ Kaimuki* 8/13: Pass 13-33-5-147, 3 TD (9, 16, 20); Rush 14-3. = ¥19.75
vs. Kalani 8/27: Pass 15-23-1-160, TD (5); Rush 12-44. = ¥25.4
vs. Kalaheo 9/10: Pass 10-17-2-207, 2 TD (6, 27); Rush 16-66, TD (1). = ¥47.05
@ Roosevelt 9/16: Pass 9-14-0-118, TD (20); Rush 12-76, TD (11). = ¥32.4
vs. Waipahu 9/23: Pass 15-37-2-200, TD (23); Rush 7-5. = ¥14.75
@ McKinley 10/8: Pass 16-24-3-134, 3 TD (33, 8, 1); Rush 3-36. = ¥28.0
vs. Pearl City 10/14: Pass 5-11-2-55, TD (7); Rush 9-2. = ¥5.45
@ Kaimuki* 10/21: Pass 13-22-0-138, TD (51); Rush 9-(-18). = ¥19.0
vs. Waipahu** 10/28: Pass 24-36-0-256, 4 TD (6,14,5,8), 2-pt; Rush 14-80. = ¥63.6
vs. Damien# 11/4: Pass 5-17-3-42; Rush 5-3. = ¥ -7.5
*Kaiser Stadium
**Aloha Stadium
#Aloha Stadium (HHSAA D-II State Championships)
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values): ¥$247.9 / ¥$28.4 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) That’s a wrap on Tevesi Toia’s first season as a varsity QB, a converted WR who had to learn on the job. Overall, the Bulldogs are happy. OIA championship for the first time in 61 years. Progress from their junior signal-caller. Still work to be done, of course. Damien had the kryptonite to shut down Waialua’s normally active and balanced offense. Strictly from a wide-angle viewpoint, toss out the different classifications, Ulufale and Toia has some similar numbers, improvements and regressions that all point arrow up.

(Nov 2) Wow. One of my biggest questions — How Can Waialua Win An OIA Championship? — was this: Can Tevesi Toia convert in the red zone? I’d seen the Bulldogs play just twice previously, and though they moved the ball up and down the field between the 20s, I couldn’t help but feel the pain of loyal fans at Toshi Nakasone Field when their team turned the ball over near the goal line more than a few times. So the OIA D-II title game arrives, and what happens? Toia sees secondary defenders holding position downfield, so he takes off like a blur and picks up huge, clutch yardage inside the 20. That approach changed everything for Waialua, which rolled up 36 points to stun Waipahu for the crown. That’s 24 years since Waialua finished first in the old OIA Blue Conference, and 61 years since the ‘Dogs won a league championship. I haven’t seen a team’s third-down fortunes change so quickly since the 1990s, when Davin “Taich” Alip of Honokaa switched from RB to QB and pump-faked his way to a zillion first downs as his team went from 0-3 to becoming a title contender.

(Sept 23) For now, it’s hard not to hold all Bulldog quarterbacks to the standard that Caleb Fore set, at least within the past decade or so. Toia hasn’t been quite as productive, but he gets the job done. The Bulldogs are in position to qualify for the playoffs and the ability of Toia and the Bulldogs to win close games is a major reason why. Toia has 54 rushing attempts (two TDs), a sum that is among the highest in the state.

X factor: (Sept 23) If he can get the turnover rate down, the Bulldogs may have enough to reach the division finals, which would also mean they’d qualify for the state tourney.

###

Nainoa Banks, Nanakuli
Measurables: 5-11, 175, Sr.
Crunch this: 8 games — Pass 69-150-8-937, 11 TD; Rush 67-183, TD
Passing yards per game: 117.1
Completion rate: .460
Yards per attempt: 6.2
Passer rating: 112.01
Rushing yards per carry: 2.7
Rushing yards per game: 22.9
W-L: 0-8 (0-7 OIA Red)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: Farrington, Mililani, Kapolei
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Waipahu 8/5: Pass 7-11-0-107, 2 TD (27, 14); Rush 10-46. = ¥28.05
vs. Aiea 8/12: Pass 4-15-2-27, TD (2); Rush 20-79, TD (3), 2-pt; Rec 1-15. = ¥18.35
vs. Leilehua 8/27: Pass 5-11-0-87, TD (30); Rush 16-6. = ¥15.05
vs. Kailua 9/2: Pass 6-20-2-157, 2 TD (15, 79); Rush 10-39. = ¥23.6
vs. #8 Mililani 9/9: Pass 3-11-1-8; Rush 4-(-7). ¥ -4.9 + $5.0 = ¥$0.1
@ #8 Farrington* 9/17: Pass 8-12-0-185, 2 TD (54, 76); Rush 2-5. ¥32.0 + $5.0 = ¥$37.0
@ Castle 9/23: Pass 26-48-2-325, 2 TD (26, 14); Rush 4-13. = ¥32.55
@ #4 Kapolei 9/30: Pass 11-23-1-117, 2 TD (9, 24); Rush 1-2. ¥20.65 + $5.0 = ¥$25.65
*Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium (Roosevelt)
To date: ¥$180.26 / ¥$22.53 pg
Note 11/3: Updates with correction to stats vs. Farrington 9/17.

The skinny: (Sept 23) The cupboard isn’t exactly bare, but the across-the-board talent that graduated from Nanakuli in the past two years was substantial. Banks has been Mr. Reliable in spite of inexperience on the offensive unit. A big part of his game now is tucking the ball and racing to the first-down marker. He’s made the best of the situation with the Golden Hawks mercilessly “promoted” to Division I.

X factor: (Sept 23) A win over Castle tonight would give Nanakuli a shot to make the playoffs. That would be quite a reward in what has been a tough season. Banks is the right man for the job.

###

Eight-time Division II state champion 'Iolani will compete in a Division I state tournament for the first time. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Eight-time Division II state champion ‘Iolani will compete in a Division I state tournament for the first time. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Tai-John Mizutani, ‘Iolani
Measurables:
6-2, 180, Jr.
Crunch this: 10 games — 161-318-7-2,083, 12 TD; Rush 56-107
Passing yards per game: 208.3
Completion rate: .506
Yards per attempt: 6.55
Passer rating: 113.7
Rushing yards per carry: 1.9
Rushing yards per game: 10.7
W-L: 4-7 (0-6 ILH)
Top 10 wins: La Jolla Country Day (Calif.)*
Top 10 losses: Saint Louis (3x), Kamehameha (2x), Punahou (2x)
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Radford (Aiea HS field) 8/6: Pass 17-23-0-240, 3 TD (12, 24, 12); Rush 2-(-4). = ¥45.35
vs. Waimea 8/20: Pass 13-24-1-236, 2 TD (55, 25); Rush 1-(-3). = ¥32.8
vs. La Jolla Country Day (CA) 8/27: Pass 16-33-0-217, 2 TD (24, 8); Rush 3-(-1). ¥33.35 + $5.0 = ¥$38.35
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/2: Pass 19-43-1-141; Rush 1-(-1). ¥9.75 + $5.0 = ¥$14.75
@ #5 Kamehameha 9/10: Pass 18-38-1-192, 2 TD (2, 3); Rush 7-33. ¥31.0 + $5.0 = ¥$36.0
vs. #3 Punahou 9/17: Pass 16-37-1-239, TD (73); Rush 1-3. ¥25.95 + $5.0 = ¥$30.95
vs. #2 Saint Louis 9/23: Pass 25-45-1-266; Rush 6-9. ¥26.75 + $5.0 = ¥$31.75
vs. #10 Kamehameha* 9/30: Pass 19-34-1-240, 2 TD (8, 25); Rush 20-39. ¥37.9 + $5.0 = ¥$42.9
@ #3 Punahou 10/7: Pass 5-13-1-57; Rush 1-(-3). ¥1.65 + $5.0 = ¥$6.65
vs. #3 Saint Louis 10/14: DNP
vs. Moanalua# 11/4: Pass 12-27-0-234, TD (62); Rush 11-34. = ¥33.05
vs. #8 Campbell#* 11:11:
*Aloha Stadium
#Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium (Roosevelt), HHSAA D-I State Championships
#*John Kauinana Stadium (Mililani), HHSAA D-I State Championships
To date: ¥$312.55 / ¥$31.26 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) With Kapolei’s win over Punahou in Open Division and ‘Iolani’s narrow victory over an unranked Moanalua team — one of the two lowest qualifiers out of the OIA — it’s safe to say that the ILH wasn’t quite as powerful as voters thought, and conversely the OIA was better than expected. But Mizutani was healthy enough to make a big difference, putting up Jim Plunkett-type numbers once again: middling completion rate, big-play TD pass, no picks and some smart plays with his feet. That’s what it takes to have an edge — the crucial, underappreciated advantage — in close games. Playoff games. State-tournament games. It’s the difference between a Super Bowl champion like Plunkett and a stat-friendly, less successful QB like, say, Blake Bortles.

(Nov 3) I wasn’t there when he played his most recent game against Punahou. Checking to see what his status is. He’s had a month to heal up from whatever potential injury it is/was, and the time off is a blessing, really. He really developed last season, and looked very sharp early on. Then he suddenly struggled to hit half his targets, so it was definitely possible something wasn’t working properly. If he’s back to his old sharp self, Mizutani and this Raiders offense might be the best and most balanced in the D-I tourney.

(Sept 23) Mizutani has come a long way since the start of his sophomore year. Now a junior, I’ve seen him look very sharp, though it was Week 1. One of our reporters, Jeremy Nitta, saw ‘Iolani play Punahou last week. He noted that Mizutani missed open receivers at times, the ball sailing high. The Raiders have some supreme minds on their coaching staff. If anyone can nail down any passing-mechanics issues, it would be QBs coach Joel Lane.

(Sept 7) If you haven’t seen the Raiders lately, they’re as functional, practical and efficient as they’ve been over the past two-plus seasons. Truly, for a long stretch, the program churned out one elite QB after another. But again, over time, it’s become much more about the system, analyzing efficiencies and the skill set of the 16-year-old operating heavy equipment, that sets everything in place. Mizutani has matured in this sense immensely during the past 18 months. Having solid go-to playmakers in RB K.J. Pascua and WR Justin Genovia is a gift, but the reliability of the receiving corps as a whole is a Raider Nation staple. From 2013-15, even an uber-talent like Keoni-Kordell Makekau was merely a cog in the machine. A darn good one, but whatever a defense committed to Makekau’s side of the field opened windows for his teammates. And the beat goes on…

X factor: (Sept 23) Every QB has a best friend in the route tree, and Mizutani’s favorite receiver, Justin Genovia, was a DNP last weekend. Will he return this weekend?

(Sept 7) The 53-percent completion rate is startling at first, but ‘Iolani is not the kind of program that sheds a tear when it sends the punt team onto the field. They’d rather see Mizutani test the mine field, stay safe and live to see another day than take a single unnecessary risk. So he’s thrown just two picks in 124 attempts. Come on, one pick every 62 attempts is a rate most high school coaches dream of. Especially with Pascua grinding out more than 4 yards per carry in the wicked ILH.
QBs like Taulia Tagovailoa and Mizutani aren’t necessarily programmed for the big, explosive play. They are generally conservative, low-risk, medium-reward operators, hence the modest passer rating. We may think of Marcus Mariota as a big-play monster during his senior year at Saint Louis, and though he was, his passer rating was a shade below 200. Much of that was almost by design; the Crusaders rarely put him in position to take unnecessary risk, so his resume wasn’t loaded with 400-yard passing games. But he was extremely accurate and efficient, with the ability to launch the ball deeper than anyone I can recall at the prep level. He was also a threat to break off a big run at any time, just as he is now with the Tennessee Titans — something that is not typically scripted for pocket passers like Taulia and Mizutani.

###

St. Francis defensive lineman Tevita Otuvaka pressured Damien quarterback Marcus Faufata-Pedrina on Friday night. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
St. Francis defensive lineman Tevita Otuvaka pressured Damien quarterback Marcus Faufata-Pedrina on Friday night. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Marcus Faufata-Pedrina, Damien
Measurables:
5-8, 185, Jr.
Crunch this: 9 games — Pass 96-187-7-1,384, 23 TD; Rush 118-497, 7 TD
Passing yards per game: 153.8
Completion rate: .513
Yards per attempt: 7.4
Passer rating: 146.61
Rushing yards per carry: 4.2
Rushing yards per game: 55.2
W-L: 7-2 (3-1 ILH D-II)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: None
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ Moanalua 8/5: Pass 11-24-3-135, TD; Rush 14-93, TD. = ¥25.3
@ Maui* 8/12: Pass 20-29-0-220, 3 TD; Rush 13-132. = ¥57.95
vs. Kealakehe** 8/20: Pass 13-20-0-232, 3 TD (4, 5, 13); Rush 10-114, TD (60). = ¥62.1
vs. St. Francis 9/2: Pass 6-14-0-73, TD (17); Rush 15-22, TD (1). = ¥21.0
vs. Pac-Five 9/9: Pass 11-19-1-121, 5 TD (10,5,7,36,7); Rush 13-51. = ¥44.95
vs. St. Francis 9/23: Pass 14-29-2-189; Rush 13-5. = ¥13.15
vs. Pac-Five 9/30: Pass 14-34-0-244, 3 TD (18,15,20); Rush 17-124, 2 TD (1,6), 2-pt. = ¥67.3
vs. St. Francis 10/21: Pass 3-7-1-58, 3 TD (27, 18, 13); Rush 13-13. = ¥21.85
vs. Waialua# 11/4: Pass 8-9-0-125, 2 TD (22, 32); Rush 8-(-10), TD (1). = ¥31.25
@ Kapaa#* 11/12:
*War Memorial Stadium
**Aiea HS field
#Campbell HS field, HHSAA D-II State Championships
#*Vidinha Stadium, Lihue, HHSAA D-II State Championships
ILH games at Aloha Stadium
To date: ¥$344.85 / ¥$38.3 pg

The skinny: Simple correlation between Faufata-Pedrina’s pass attempts and his team’s success. Coach Eddie Klaneski trusts his offensive line immensely, so the Monarchs are bulldozing their way through the biggest games of their year. That doesn’t mean his QB isn’t contributing. The threat of his running skills, plus the O-line and RBs (Justice White had a huge game against Waialua) make things much simpler. Not a lot of defenses can defend against a tall, talented tight end, which is what Damien has in Shaun Apiki. It’s difficult to prepare for something that your own team doesn’t use. Most run-and-shoot teams at any level struggle against tight end offenses. The recipe for Damien is a winning one right now. Of course, there’s the pendulum. Successful teams sometimes get complacent. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So, unless new layers are added to the functional, effective base, at some point a risk-taking defense will find a scheme to counter that success. Superior talent will steamroll opposition most nights. It’s a balancing act, for sure.

(Nov 3) Regardless of classification, there are very, very few players who have posted at least two games that were so productive, they hit the single-game ¥$60 point level. It doesn’t mean these guys are borderline gods, but it does tell us that they have both talent and a definite role within their systems. There have been many athletes who just couldn’t find a productive role for any of a thousand reasons, wherever they were. All a player really, really wants, in the end, is to be utilized and appreciated. I’m quite sure Faufata-Pedrina is both at Damien. Coach Eddie Klaneski has reeled in some of the complexities of the passing-game package so that everything hits quick in the veer offense, not entirely different from what De La Salle (Calif.) operated with Maurice Jones-Drew years ago. Quick-hitting plays with basic layers to the passing game, putting a tall, athletic tight end to use. (Apiki has nine TD catches.)

(Sept 7) Year 2 of MFP at QB is turning into quite a spectacle. It’s also becoming a number-cruncher eye popper of rare quality. And it’s not like Damien has played a string of Division II contemporaries. After four games against three D-I foes (Moanalua, Maui, Kealakehe) and a strong D-II foe (St. Francis), MFP has developed into a force on ground and in air. In addition to the sterling numbers as a passer, he has rushed for 314 yards and four TDs, averaging 6 yards per carry. That’s 961 total yards from scrimmage: 240.3 per game. His 52 rushing attempts leads all QBs statewide. The results that matter most to all QBs: Damien is 3-1, including three wins in a row.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) The Monarchs systematically rely on MFP, not a surprise for a smaller school and program. At some point, the weekly pounding could take a toll. At some point, defenses in ILH D-II will go all-in against MFP and test the clutchability* of his teammates. Until then, MFP has the benefit of a short schedule — only three regular-season games remain — to heal up from all the hits he takes. Otherwise, a 240-yards-per-game effort over a 13-game season — the norm for an OIA D-I team that reaches the state final — would produce incredible totals.

###

2016 September 30 SPT - HSA Photo by Bruce Asato  - Waipahu’s Jeminae Solomua sacks Kaimuki’s Jordan Solomon for a loss in the second quarter of the Kaimuki vs Waipahu football game at Mililani's John Kauinana Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.
2016 September 30 SPT – HSA Photo by Bruce Asato – Waipahu’s Jeminae Solomua sacks Kaimuki’s Jordan Solomon for a loss in the second quarter of the Kaimuki vs Waipahu football game at Mililani’s John Kauinana Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.

Jordan Solomon, Kaimuki
Measurables:
So.
Crunch this: 9 games — Pass 147-285-14-1,879, 21 TD; Rush 54-68, TD
Passing yards per game: 208.8
Completion rate: .516
Yards per attempt: 6.6
Passer rating: 121.45
Rushing yards per carry: 1.3
Rushing yards per game: 7.6
W-L: 5-4 (5-2 OIA D-II)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: Faith Lutheran (Nev.)*
Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
vs. Waialua* 8/13: Pass 27-55-4-331, 3 TD (9,14,15), 2-pt; Rush 9-(-22). = ¥41.65
vs. Kalani 8/20: Pass 11-30-2-172, TD (50); Rush 10-(-5). = ¥14.7
vs. Roosevelt 8/27: Pass 9-19-0-106, 2 TD (15, 24); Rush 5-16. = ¥24.45
vs. Faith Lutheran** (Nev) 9/4: Pass 15-34-2-241, 3 TD (12,23,5); Rush 7-18. = ¥36.9
@ Kalaheo*** 9/17 : Pass 21-36-2-258, 4 TD (4,19,20,21), 2-pt; Rush 3-19. = ¥50.2
vs. McKinley* 9/23: Pass 15-15-0-138, 4 TD (5,44,14,9); Rush 3-17. = ¥43.25
vs. Waipahu# 10/1: Pass 21-35-1-311, 3 TD (67,25,21); Rush 6-(-21), TD. = ¥60.25
@ Pearl City## 10/7: Pass 11-20-0-155; Rush 7-19, TD (1). = ¥23.9
vs. Waialua* 10/21: Pass 17-40-3-175, TD (54); Rush 5-29. = ¥23.65
* Home games at Kaiser Stadium
** Aloha Stadium
*** Kailua HS field
# Mililani HS field
## Aiea HS field
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values): ¥$318.95 / ¥$35.4 pg

The skinny: (Nov 3) Forget that Maiava is a talented young passer who arrived from Las Vegas with some fanfare and a certain level of expectations. Just look at the numbers, particularly since around the halfway point of the season, and you can’t deny that this sophomore is maturing on the field. His passer rating went substantially higher. Every category, all improvements, most notably completion rate and passer rating UNTIL the playoff game against a rugged Waialua defense that led that team to the league championship. Not exactly an outlier, but that string of three games with just one interception: very efficient, and two of those games were against Waipahu (league runner-up) and Pearl City (semifinalist). This is a fairly young Bulldog team, and though filling in the loss of some hugely valuable seniors — a lot of two-way Ironmen on this team — the future is very bright.

(Sept 7) Only a 10th grader, in a new environment, learning a new system. Most of all, he is fully trusted, which means the Bulldogs will ride the ups and downs as he learns on the job. Plenty of potential here and he’s just getting started.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) The absence of man-child, two-way standout Johnny Masina has forced everyone on the roster to upgrade in every way. At this point, Kaimuki is averaging 53.3 rushing yards per game, and Solomon at times has looked like a traffic cop facing 90 mph pass rushers. When he’s got time, it’s a different world. His top four receivers are all averaging at least 11 yards per catch.

###

Kamehameha quarterback Thomas Yam threw a swing pass to Kanoa Shannon during the Warriors' 50-20 win over ‘Iolani at Kunuiakea Stadium, Sept. 10, 2016. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Kamehameha quarterback Thomas Yam threw a swing pass to Kanoa Shannon during the Warriors’ 50-20 win over ‘Iolani at Kunuiakea Stadium, Sept. 10, 2016. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Thomas Yam, Kamehameha
Measurables:
6-1, 185, Jr.
Crunch this: 9 games — Pass 97-191-5-1,229, 7 TD; Rush 38-145, 6 TD
Passing yards per game: 136.6
Completion rate: .508
Yards per attempt: 6.4
Passer rating: 111.69
Rushing yards per carry: 3.8
Rushing yards per game: 16.11
W-L: 3-6 (2-4 ILH)
Top 10 wins: Baldwin, ‘Iolani (2x)
Top 10 losses: Waianae, Punahou (3x), Saint Louis (2x)
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. #4 Waianae 8/5: Pass 10-20-1-143; Rush 7-17. ¥13.0 + $5.0 = ¥$18.0
@ Baldwin (War Memorial) 8/13: Pass n/a
vs. #2 Punahou (Aloha) 9/1: Pass 8-16-0-79; Rush 4-10, TD (5). ¥14.6 + $5.0 = ¥$19.6
vs. #10 ‘Iolani 9/10: Pass 12-19-0-227, 2 TD (14, 38); Rush 3-30, 2 TD (13, 13). ¥55.95 + $5.0 = ¥$60.95
vs. #2 Saint Louis (Aloha) 9/17: Pass 14-29-2-171; Rush 4-(-15). ¥9.35 + $5.0 = ¥$14.35
vs. #3 Punahou (Aloha) 9/23: Pass 5-12-0-57; Rush 2-6. ¥5.8 + $5.0 = ¥$10.8
vs. ‘Iolani (Aloha) 9/30: Pass 17-23-0-234, 2 TD (27, 20); Rush 3-10. ¥40.15 + $5.0 = ¥$45.15
vs. #2 Saint Louis (Aloha) 10/7: Pass 17-30-2-167, TD (8); Rush 6-12. ¥18.9 + $5.0 = ¥$23.9
vs. #2 Punahou (Aloha) 10/14: Pass 12-37-0-93; Rush 7-75, 3 TD (33,15,5). ¥31.55 $5.0 = ¥$36.55
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values): ¥$229.3 / ¥$28.7 pg

The skinny: (Nov 3) At some point, after the season when there’s a little, teeny bit more time (probably not with boys and girls basketball, etc.), I’d like to take a look back at Yam’s 2015 game-by-game stats. Different system, different philosophy. But just the sheer numbers comparison would probably be mind-blowing. Yam had his share of big production this fall, but I’m fairly certain he didn’t accumulate more than half of last year’s numbers. Even with last year’s midseason injury. And, of course, he split time for approximately half the season with another talented QB, Justice Young. I wouldn’t doubt that a lot of Boogie’s supporters are disappointed with the change in the offensive machinery, but the last time Kamehameha won a postseason championship was under David Stant in 2009, and that team employed a run-first philosophy with a lot of accurate short and intermediate passing by T.C. Campbell. Before that, it was roughly four decades ago when Coach Cal Chai’s team was run-first en route to an Oahu Prep Bowl title. Does it have to be a choice between a proven blueprint for success or highly entertaining, but volatile offensive schemes? No simple answer to this.

(Sept 7) This is almost too early to gauge with a brand-new system, new terminology and, it seems, a completely different world of angles and windows for Yam and his competitor at QB, Justice Young. For all the record-setting performances by the two in 2015, they weren’t enough to win the ILH. Historically, Kamehameha’s best teams relied on the ground attack and elite defense, and that’s precisely what new coach Abu Ma‘afala is committed to. .

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) Three games into the season, the Warriors have run the ball 114 times and thrown it 60 times.

###

Kamehameha senior quarterback Justice Young.. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Kamehameha senior quarterback Justice Young.. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Justice Young, Kamehameha
Measurables:
5-9, 160, Sr.
Crunch this: 7 games — Pass 18-45-2-278, 2 TD; Rush 11-(-12), TD
Passing yards per game: 39.7
Completion rate: .400
Yards per attempt: 6.2
Passer rating: 97.67
Rushing yards per carry: -1.1
Rushing yards per game: -1.7
vs. #4 Waianae 8/5: Pass 2-3-0-12; Rush 2-2. ¥1.65 + $5.0 = ¥$6.65
@ Baldwin (War Memorial) 8/13: n/a
vs. #2 Punahou (Aloha) 9/1: Pass 1-6-0-(-7); Rush 0-0. ¥ -0.3 + $5.0 = ¥$4.7
vs. #10 ‘Iolani 9/10: Pass 3-5-1-57; Rush 2-(-11); Rec 1-29. ¥5.75 + $5.0 = ¥$10.75
vs. #2 Saint Louis (Aloha) 9/17: DNP
vs. #3 Punahou (Aloha) 9/23: Pass 8-13-1-94, TD (4); Rush 3-(-2). ¥12.95 + $5.0 = ¥$17.95
vs. ‘Iolani (Aloha) 9/30: Pass 0-3-0-0; Rush 0-0. ¥ -.75 + $5.0 = ¥$4.25
vs. #2 Saint Louis (Aloha) 10/7: DNP
vs. #2 Punahou (Aloha) 10/14: Pass 0-6-0-0; Rush 1-(-13). ¥ -2.8 + $5.0 = ¥$2.2
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values): ¥$46.5 / ¥$6.6 pg

The skinny: (Nov 3) Maybe it’s not entirely 100 percent the best example, but I tend to believe Kamehameha is the place in the ILH that most demonstrates how ridiculously competitive athletic life can be in the ILH. Every year, just about every sport, there is so much talent, a massive surplus of individual talent on campus from middle school on up. Every now and then, a player departs and winds up at a public high school, and we see what happens when an opportunity is available. There can only be one varsity quarterback, for the most part, even though there are two, maybe three or four capable starting QBs. But almost nobody voluntarily leaves Kamehameha Schools during high school. There’s much more to the life experience, to attending and graduating from one of the pinnacles of island education and life. Still, I wonder what Young would’ve done at another program. Maybe he wonders, too. But what’s done is done. It’s a gauntlet, trying earn playing time, let alone a starting position, in virtually any sport at Kapalama Heights. And when a new coach arrives with an entirely different system, well, it’s a tough gig for an outgoing senior. Should he have played more, started more? I don’t know. What I do know is that, hopefully, Young hunkers down and keeps working, because he’s good enough to play at the next level. If anything, for the love of the game. There might be a college team out there somewhere that needs someone who can toss 500 passes next season, and Young would be the right fit.

(Sept 7) Kahuku’s 2015 team showed that championships can still be won without a semblance of a passing game. In a high-volume passing offense, Young and Yam would probably average 200-250 yards per game. The Warriors have time to figure this out; all four ILH D-I teams will have a shot in the playoffs regardless of regular-season results. The pieces are there to establish what they’re after.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) The one benefit the OIA has over the ILH, at least in Division I, is that there are weekends when your team won’t face a Top 10 foe. You might be able to work on some things thanks to a two- or three-touchdown lead or deficit. That same approach could be taken in the brutal ILH, but the glut and gauntlet of playing Top 10 teams every week creates a pressure that is unknown to all other leagues. If something isn’t working, ILH D-I teams find out immediately. There is no better evidence than hard evidence.

###

Moanalua's Alakai Yuen was the only quarterback in the OIA Blue division to throw for more than 1,000 yards in the regular season. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Advertiser.
Moanalua’s Alakai Yuen was the only quarterback in the OIA Blue division to throw for more than 1,000 yards in the regular season. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Advertiser.

Alaka‘i Yuen, Moanalua
Measurables:
Sr.
Crunch this: 11 games — Pass 208-371-16-2,391, 27 TD; Rush 81-150, 4 TD
Passing yards per game: 217.4
Completion rate: .561
Yards per attempt: 6.4
Passer rating: 125.59
Rushing yards per carry: 1.9
Rushing yards per game: 13.6
W-L: 5-7 (3-4 OIA Blue)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: Waianae, Campbell, Kahuku, Kapolei
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Damien 8/5: Pass 17-27-3-364, 6 TD (88,27,9,41,16,19); Rush 8-38; XP 4. = ¥75.95
@ Kailua 8/13: Pass 8-14-0-110, 2 TD (16, 1); Rush 5-(-9). = ¥22.6
@ #4 Waianae 8/19: Pass 26-51-2-218, 3 TD (3,4,25); Rush 10-23, TD (3); XP 2. ¥44.35 + $5.0 = ¥$49.35
@ Radford 9/2: Pass 18-27-1-299, 2 TD (21, 71), 2-pt; Rush 10-82. = ¥51.35
vs. Kaiser 9/9: Pass 19-29-1-284, 4 TD (15,74,44,13); Rush 6-1; XP 3. = ¥55.75
@ Campbell 9/16: Pass 18-33-4-139, TD (12); Rush 9-(-29). ¥5.75 + $5.0 = ¥$10.75
vs. #1 Kahuku 9/24: Pass 11-35-1-81; Rush 5-8. ¥2.65 + $5.0 = ¥$8.65
vs. Aiea 9/30: Pass 23-40-1-257, 2 TD (21, 11); Rush 4-11, 2 TD (5, 6); XP 1. = ¥51.3
vs. Castle 10/7: Pass 20-31-1-201, TD (24); Rush 9-5; XP 7. = ¥33.85
@ #4 Kapolei 10/14: Pass 23-50-1-226, TD (26); Rush 6-(-33). ¥22.3 + $5.0 = ¥$27.3
vs. #8 Campbell 10/22: Game forfeited by MOA
vs. ‘Iolani# 11/4: Pass 25-34-1-212, 2 TD (20, 6); Rush 9-53. ¥40.5 + $5.0 = ¥$45.5
#At Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium (HHSAA D-I State Championships)
To date: ¥$386.85 / ¥$38.69 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) I’ve written this before, but this is the capper at the end of a gritty season for all of Moanalua’s Na Menehune. Not the biggest team. Or the deepest. Or the most balanced, of course. But they made the best with what they had in a very tough OIA Division I and competed. Yuen didn’t have a lot of monster-production games, but he was smart and efficient even without a go-to big target — no tight end in this offense — and without an enormous ballcarier/protector at running back. So, for better or worse, Yuen was his own Plan B and handled it with as much efficiency as he could. His worst game was against one of the top defenses in the state, Campbell, but many of his best games were against other solid defenses (Waianae, Kapolei, ‘Iolani and Damien). Dak Prescott was a 56-percent completion-rate guy at Mississippi State. Normally, a college QB at that level doesn’t prosper in the pros. I’m not saying Yuen is Dak. But I am saying that given more protection and a big safety valve, Prescott has flourished at the next level. Yuen has an interesting future, as well. The elusiveness and speed — scrambling for yardage would become a low-priority choice. Just the threat would make his overall package more valuable. We shall see.

(Nov 3) Through all the ups and downs, Yuen and his teammates have persevered. The senior punts, kicks PATs, and is at the wheel of this often rollicking offense. That system has remained a four-wide, bombs-away machine even with the arrival of first-year head coach Savaii Eselu. In that sense, Yuen was very fortunate. Changing systems in his senior year would’ve taken more time and energy to absorb for Yuen and his crew of talented receivers. And it might not have produced yardage and scores as well.

(Sept 7) The dependency factor is large in Moanalua’s system. Much like Mizutani at ‘Iolani and Taulia Tagovailoa at Kapolei, the keys this machine are with Yuen. Unlike Mizutani, Yuen doesn’t have a RB with a lot of touches, though Kea Rodrigues is averaging 4 yards per carry. Yuen produces, period. When he is on the field, Na Menehune average 37 points per game. He has made some adjustments with the graduation of outstanding playmakers. In other words, these first four games were a lab environment. The next four should bring some refinement, though the Sept. 24 matchup with Kahuku looms.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) As long as Yuen is the team’s leading rusher (134 yards, 33 carries, one TD), Na Menehune’s hopes are on yellow alert.

###

Farrington’s Justin Uahinui eludes Mililani defenders for a gain in the second quarter of the Farrington vs Mililani football game at Mililani's John Kauinana field, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. HSA Photo by Bruce Asato.
Farrington’s Justin Uahinui eludes Mililani defenders for a gain in the second quarter of the Farrington vs Mililani football game at Mililani’s John Kauinana field, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. HSA Photo by Bruce Asato.

Justin Uahinui, Farrington
Measurables: 6-3, 179, Sr.
Crunch this: 12 games — Pass 69-132-5-770, 6 TD; Rush 40-59
Passing yards per game: 5.8
Completion rate: .523
Yards per attempt: 5.8
Passer rating: 108.7
Rushing yards per carry: 1.5
Rushing yards per game: 4.9
W-L:
Top 10 wins:
Top 10 losses:
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
To date: To date: ¥$ / ¥$ pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) A season of ups and downs for Uahinui, who split time with Bishop Rapoza. Uahinui didn’t play much as a junior, so this was, essentially, his first season of starting. Farrington has invested a lot of energy and time year-round to upgrade its passing game and the overall results are very positive. Uahinui is just scratching the surface. He has the raw talent, increasing skill level. Physically, lots of room to fill out. But he will be a better college QB than he was in high school. Just needs the continued opportunity to grow under a patient staff.

(Sept 7) The Governors are 3-1. They’re running the ball. They’re passing the ball. They’re playing pretty good defense. So why does it feel like the Govs aren’t in full-throttle mode yet? It’s early September, a time when football season was barely kicking off not so many years ago. Time is on their side, and it’s on Uahinui’s side. He was outstanding at the GPA Showcase last May and though he’s had some inconsistency, he has still thrown three touchdowns with just one pick in 48 attempts. Last week, in a game that his counterpart, Bishop Rapoza didn’t play in, Uahinui had some trouble holding on to the snap. It’s easy to forget that this is Uahinui’s first sustained stretch as a starter. The Govs are likely through just one third of the season so far.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) If Uahinui remains as the sole starting QB, Farrington is in good shape as long as he holds on to the ball. As he gets more comfortable, he has the physical tools to lift this offense to another level.

###

2016 October 28 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Farrington quarterback Bishop Rapoza (8) throws the football during the first half of the 2016 OIA Division I football championship game against Kahuku on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.
2016 October 28 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Farrington quarterback Bishop Rapoza (8) throws the football during the first half of the 2016 OIA Division I football championship game against Kahuku on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.

Bishop Rapoza, Farrington
Measurables: 5-11, 161, Sr.
Crunch this: 10 games — Pass 80-146-4-935, 11 TD; Rush 25-(-22), TD
Passing yards per game: 93.5
Completion rate: .548
Yards per attempt: 6.4
Passer rating: 127.97
Rushing yards per carry: -0.9
Rushing yards per game: -2.2
W-L:
Top 10 wins:
Top 10 losses:
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
To date: To date: ¥$ / ¥$ pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) There were as many questions (for me) about Rapoza as any other QB in the state. The Govs keep things in-house, wisely so, and Rapoza was back on the field after a gap in the middle. It was clear enough that he was sharp much of the time and had a pretty good grasp of the passing game that the Govs implemented. It wasn’t just a one-year thing for the coaching staff and program. The Govs’ work on the aerial side of offense bore its fruit in the OIA semifinals with a remarkable performance and win over Kapolei. Rapoza was a big part of that, and though it’s easy to say he should’ve gotten more snaps than Uahinui, most coaches will freely admit that inter-position competition makes everyone better. Farrington’s season is done now, one week into the Open Division state tourney. Both QBs struggled against Waianae, more than I expected. It was very much a different game plan than it was against Kapolei for all kinds of reasons, I imagine, in the eyes of their play callers. But we got to see what a balanced Farrington offense — having superlative senior RB/WR Challen Faamatau didn’t hurt — is capable of. It takes good leadership and talent at QB to make the balance happen. That’s what will give any team a chance to truly challenge the OIA’s only nationally-ranked team, Kahuku. For Rapoza, this is the end of high school football. He’s got the chops to succeed at the next level, just a matter of finding the fit and the opportunity.

(Sept 7) There’s no word about what happened last week when Rapoza didn’t play against Leilehua. No speculation here. Just this: he performed so well against Mililani the week before that he played the entire second half, throwing two TD passes. The numbers show that he’s been close to elite, if not efficient. His passer rating is among the highest in the OIA.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) If Rapoza is injured, the Govs have the luxury of easing him back while Uahinui runs the offense.

###

Punahou senior quarterback Nick Kapule. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Punahou senior quarterback Nick Kapule. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Nick Kapule, Punahou
Measurables: 6-2, 190, Sr.
Crunch this: 22-36-0, 485 yards, 8 TD
Passing yards per game: 10 games — 177-295-9-2,798, 31 TD; Rush 64-222
Completion rate: .600
Yards per attempt: 9.5
Passer rating: 168.2
W-L: 7-3 (5-1 ILH)
Top 10 wins: Kamehameha (3x), ‘Iolani (2x), Saint Louis
Top 10 losses: Saint Louis (2x), Kapolei
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ Leilehua 8/5: Pass 5-5-0-137, 3 TD (12, 21, 13); Rush 1-8. = ¥33.75
vs. #6 Kamehameha* 9/1: Pass 17-31-0-348, 5 TD (30,4,8,44,7); Rush 1-(-11). ¥67.45 + $5.0 = ¥$72.45
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/9: Pass 30-59-1-495, 5 TD (19,59,10,19,39), 2-pt; Rush 5-3. ¥79.05 + $5.0 = ¥$84.05
@ #10 ‘Iolani 9/17: Pass 19-25-1-287, 4 TD (42,18,15,60), 2-pt; Rush 7-42. ¥59.15 + $5.0 = ¥$64.15
vs. #8 Kamehameha* 9/23: Pass 14-25-0-298, 4 TD (14,42,30,25); Rush 4-54. ¥60.95 + $5.0 = ¥$65.95
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/29: Pass 29-46-1-308, 2 TD (24, 12); Rush 8-21. ¥47.9 + $5.0 = ¥$52.9
vs. ‘Iolani 10/7: Pass 9-16-0-134, TD (35); Rush 3-20. ¥21.9 + $5.0 = ¥$26.9
vs. #10 Kamehameha* 10/14: Pass 21-33-1-452, 5 TD (58,62,25,76,7); Rush 7-57. ¥86.15 + $5.0 = ¥$91.15
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 10/21: Pass 24-41-5-219, TD (6); Rush 15-24. ¥18.05 + $5.0 = ¥$23.05
vs. #5 Kapolei# 11/5: Pass 9-15-1-120, TD (27); Rush 0-0. ¥15.75 + $5.0 = ¥$20.75
* Aloha Stadium
#Aloha Stadium, HHSAA Open Division State Championships
To date: ¥$535.1 / ¥$53.5 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) Two games into the season, Nick Kapule was insanely productive. Just two games, sure, but he had eight TDs, no picks, a passer rating of 224. Unsustainable, right? Wrong. Five TDs a week later against Saint Louis. Then four against ‘Iolani and four more against Kamehameha. He sustained a level that was at the upper crust of elite. Until the end. Saint Louis picked him off left and right in the ILH title game. He was 9-for-15 with one pick during the state tourney against Kapolei before suffering a head injury and leaving. And just like that, one of the most incredible passing seasons on record was over. I never tired of watching Kapule and the Buffanblu play, and really, it wasn’t enough for the fan in me. The offer from UH is on the table, and it would surprise me if he didn’t get more between now and signing day.

(Sept 7) Kamehameha, Farrington, Punahou. All with a surplus of quality QBs. It’s just not fair for other programs that could use a serviceable slinger. But here are. Punahou has Kapule and Barber, two outstanding passers. Kapule has been superb, and the Buffanblu haven’t spent a lot of time platooning the two. Kapule starts and Barber steps in when the lead is sizable, which was the case against Kamehameha. Sometime, we’ll start wondering who the best backup QB in the state is. What a nice problem for any coaching staff to have.
Kapule has command at the line of scrimmage and has been in sync with his talented, experienced group of receivers. He was very accurate from the beginning, his sophomore season two years ago.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) Intra-squad competition for starting spots and playing time work well in the right environment. Kapule and Barber battling every afternoon at practice — remember, there have only been two games so far — must be amazing to witness.

###

Punahou quarterback Stephen Barber proved to be a load for Kapolei to bring down on Saturday. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser
Punahou quarterback Stephen Barber proved to be a load for Kapolei to bring down on Saturday. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

Stephen Barber, Punahou
Measurables: 6-3, 215, Jr.
Crunch this: 8 games — 46-87-4-707, 10 TD; Rush 34-71, TD
Passing yards per game: 88.4
Completion rate: .529
Yards per attempt: 8.1
Passer rating: 149.87
Rushing yards per carry: 2.1
Rushing yards per game: 8.9
W-L:
Top 10 wins:
Top 10 losses:
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ Leilehua 8/5: Pass 11-1?8-0-229, 3 TD (4,36,32); Rush 4-8. = ¥43.7
vs. #6 Kamehameha* 9/1: Pass 3-6-0-59, TD (10); Rush 3-12, TD (3). ¥19.1 + $5.0 = ¥$24.1
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/9: DNP
@ #10 ‘Iolani 9/17: Pass 7-13-1-95, TD (34); Rush 5-16. ¥14.35 + $5.0 = ¥$19.35
vs. #8 Kamehameha* 9/23: Pass 1-8-0-24, TD (24); Rush 5-36. ¥10.5 + $5.0 = ¥$15.5
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/29: Pass 0-0-0-0; Rush 2-3. ¥0.3 + $5.0 = ¥$5.3
vs. ‘Iolani 10/7: Pass 10-18-2-125, TD (8); Rush 7-31. ¥16.1 + $5.0 = ¥21.1
vs. #10 Kamehameha* 10/14: Pass 1-2-0-6, TD (6); Rush 3-2. ¥6.8 + $5.0 = ¥$11.8
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 10/21: DNP
vs. #5 Kapolei# 11/5: Pass 13-21-0-169, 2 TD (28,17); Rush 5-(-37); = ¥$30.15
* Aloha Stadium
#Aloha Stadium, HHSAA Open Division State Championships
To date: ¥$171.0 / ¥$21.4 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) Barber was in the mix at QB early on before Kapule became the full-time starter. That made Barber, arguably, the best backup QB in the state. It’s the surplus luxury of Punahou, where there is talent, depth, size, speed. A 6-3, 215-pound athlete like Barber might have ended up playing line at a smaller program. Defensive end. Linebacker. Plus QB or RB. He is a load to bring down; even in defeat, Barber wouldn’t let Kapolei’s tenacious defensive line bring him down. He looked like Big Ben out there, Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez said. Barber will be a senior next season. The offer from UH came during his sophomore year. How much more will he improve? It will be a reload more than a rebuild for the Buffanblu offense, which had a young and very talented offensive line. Saint Louis will be in similar mode. He already showed he is capable many times, including the state-tourney game against Kapolei. He filled in for Kapule (concussion) and threw a TD pass on his first snap of the night.

(Sept 7) Only at Punahou, and perhaps a very few other programs, can a QB have a YPA of 12 and a QBR of 214 and still be second string. As magnificent as Barber’s numbers are, Kapule’s are preposterously undeniable. It’s quite the problem to have for OC Teetai Ane. All that combined production and not a single interception.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) Punahou does have a young O-line, and regardless of whether it’s Barber or Kapule in the pocket, a stellar defensive unit like Saint Louis will provide a unique test.

###

Mililani sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel.  Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Mililani sophomore quarterback Dillon Gabriel. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Dillon Gabriel, Mililani
Measurables: 5-11, 180, So.
Crunch this: 10 games — Pass 156-282-11-2,239, 24 TD; Rush 54-203, 6 TD
Passing yards per game: 223.9
Completion rate: .553
Yards per attempt: 7.9
Passer rating: 142.30
Rushing yards per carry: 3.8
Rushing yards per game: 20.3
W-L: 7-3 (5-2 OIA Red)
Top 10 wins: Farrington, Baldwin
Top 10 losses: Kapolei, Waianae
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. #2 Saint Louis 8/6: cancelled
vs. Kaiser 8/13: Pass 10-12-0-127, 3 TD (32, 11, 3); Rush 3-(-10), TD (5). = ¥37.7
vs. Castle 8/20: Pass 14-20-0-209, 2 TD (87, 11); Rush 4-6. = ¥36.5
vs. #7 Farrington 8/27: Pass 17-32-3-237, TD (11); Rush 5-40, 2 TD (3, 27). ¥38.2 + $5.0 = ¥$43.2
vs. #8 Kapolei 9/5: Pass 12-25-3-110; Rush 2-(-7). ¥1.05 + $5.0 = ¥$6.05
@ Nanakuli 9/9: Pass 19-43-0-209, 3 TD (24,45,15); Rush 7-15. = ¥40.15
@ Kailua 9/23: Pass 13-27-2-168, TD (22); Rush 2-(-7). = ¥15.85
@ Leilehua 9/30: Pass 13-26-0-161, TD (19); Rush 11-81, 3 TD (1,3,1). = ¥48.2
vs. #5 Waianae 10/15: Pass 19-29-2-319, 4 TD (9,75,18,54); Rush 6-11. ¥53.25 + $5.0 = ¥$58.25
vs. Leilehua 10/21: Pass 17-32-0-302, 5 TD (29,13,53,48,10), 2-pt; Rush 6-17. = ¥67.4
@ #9 Baldwin* 11/4: Pass 22-35-1-397, 4 TD (65,57,17,28); Rush 8-57. ¥47.65 + $5.0 = ¥$52.65
To date: ¥$405.95 / ¥$40.6 pg
* War Memorial Stadium, Wailuku (HHSAA D-I state tournament)

The skinny: (Nov 10) There’s nothing like reps and game action for a talented, young player. Coach Rod York and his staff have put full trust into Gabriel and his young receivers, and behind a solid O-line and improving ground attack — maybe the best pair of power backs in the OIA — Gabriel has found room to breathe and grow. And flourish. Coming from behind against Baldwin on the road — on Maui — is a signature win for the young southpaw.

(Sept 7) The sophomore class of quarterbacks has the potential to be astounding. Gabriel and his teammates are in transition mode, developing an identity of their own since the graduation of tremendous playmakers. Vavae Malepeai, McKenzie Milton, Kalakaua Timoteo. Even WR Bryson Ventura was outstanding, and now we see the emergence of new contributors. The bar is set extremely high for Mililani, but any other sophomore with Gabriel’s numbers — not named Taulia Tagovailoa — would have to be largely optimistic. Huge upside here.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) Gabriel is sneaky quick with the ball and Coach Rod York knows it. After seeing the talented southpaw suffer a season-ending injury last season, York is understandably cautious about the number of carries for Gabriel: 14 attempts, 29 yards and three TDs. Two of those running scores were huge in a recent win over Farrington.

###

Pac-Five senior quarterback Ryan Johnson faced a tough pass rush by St. Francis in the first quarter at Aloha Stadium,  Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. HSA Photo by Bruce Asato.
Pac-Five senior quarterback Ryan Johnson faced a tough pass rush by St. Francis in the first quarter at Aloha Stadium, Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. HSA Photo by Bruce Asato.

Ryan Johnson, Pac-Five
Measurables: 6-2, 155, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — Pass 109-218-9-1,568, 21 TD; Rush 15-(-57), TD
Passing yards per game: 261.3
Completion rate: .500
Yards per attempt: 7.2
Passer rating: 133.95
W-L: 2-5 (0-4 ILH D-II)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: None
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. McKinley* 8/6: Pass 19-30-0-341, 6 TD (16,6,55,15,36,26); Rush 1-(-1). = ¥74.1
@ Kamehameha-Maui 8/12: n/a
vs. Damien** 9/9: Pass 23-41-0-352, 3 TD (13, 49, 58); Rush 5-(-15), TD (1). = ¥61.95
vs. St. Francis** 9/16: Pass 16-32-2-183, 4 TD (21, 22, 45, 7); Rush 1-(-9). = ¥35.4
vs. Damien** 9/30: Pass 21-47-3-366, 7 TD (34,6,64,15,13,11,15); Rush 5-(-17). = ¥69.65
vs. St. Francis** 10/7: Pass 15-32-1-176, TD (24); Rush 3-(-15). = ¥18.6
vs. St. Francis** 10/13: Pass 15-36-3-159; Rush 0-0. = ¥5.4
*Aiea HS field
**Aloha Stadium
To date: ¥$265.1 / ¥$44.2 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) Like quite a large number of run-and-shoot QBs, Johnson started strong. Through two games, he had a passer rating of more than 224. To put it in perspective, Marcus Mariota finished just under 200 during his one year as a starter at Saint Louis. ILH defenses are savvy, top to bottom, and if they can find a way to change schemes and find ways to slow an offense down, they do. Quickly. St. Francis never claimed to own the patent, but in three matchups with Johnson — all after deep threat (and former starting QB) Kainoa Ferreira suffered an injury during practice — the Saints limited him to below 50-percent accuracy. Johnson is an intriguing prospect at the next level, but as with many other island slingers, it’s going to take the right fit. He is a classic four-wide pocket passer, not a big scrambler. Given enough time, he will find and hit his targets.

(Sept 7) Granted, doing any close-up look at numbers based on one measly game isn’t quite ideal. But Johnson was so sharp in that early nonconference game against McKinley, I can’t forget. Now if we can just get those stats from the Wolfpack’s road game at Kamehameha-Maui…

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) The move, THE MOVE, in my book is how Coach Kip Botelho managed to move Kainoa Ferreira — record-breaking Kainoa Ferreira — from QB to wide receiver. He is fluid, fast, long and physical enough for a 6-foot target. And he’s a potential game breaker as a returner. This automatically gives Johnson a huge asset to throw to, and not just a speedster, but a potentially great route runner.

###

Kahuku QB Sol-Jay Maiava scrambled for yards against Leilehua back on Aug. 12. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku QB Sol-Jay Maiava scrambled for yards against Leilehua back on Aug. 12. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Sol-Jay Maiava, Kahuku
Measurables: 6-1, 160, Fr.
Crunch this: 11 games — Pass 47-103-3-761, 7 TD; Rush 39-297, 5 TD
Passing yards per game: 69.2
Completion rate: .456
Yards per attempt: 7.4
Passer rating: 129.30
Rushing yards per carry: 7.6
Rushing yards per game: 27.0
W-L: 10-1 (7-0 OIA Blue)
Top 10 wins: Waianae (2x), Campbell, Farrington
Top 10 losses: Bishop Gorman (Nev)
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ Leilehua 8/12: Pass 8-20-0-108, TD (23); Rush 4-19. = ¥17.7
vs. Aiea 8/19: Pass 7-11-0-84, TD (10); Rush 1-3. = ¥15.45
vs. #4 Waianae 8/26: Pass 4-10-0-39; Rush 1-10. = ¥4.4
vs. Campbell 9/2: Pass 2-8-1-32; Rush 2-(-1). ¥ -0.9 + $5.0 = ¥$4.1
@ Radford 9/9: Pass 2-3-0-31, TD (26); Rush 1-0. = ¥9.35
@ #1* Bishop Gorman (Nev.) 9/17: Pass 3-9-0-33; Rush 6-23, TD (45). ¥10.85 + $5.0 = ¥$15.85
@ Moanalua 9/24: Pass 2-3-0-15; Rush 3-28. = ¥4.55
@ Kaiser 9/30: Pass 5-9-0-134, TD (47); Rush 2-25. = ¥22.15
vs. Leilehua 10/14: Pass 5-13-1-96, TD (18); Rush 3-54, TD (25). = ¥23.25
vs. #4 Waianae* 10/22: Pass 3-7-1-64; Rush 10-57, TD (16). ¥14.85 + $5.0 = ¥$19.85
vs. #4 Farrington* 10/28: Pass 6-10-0-128, 2 TD (8, 52); Rush 6-79, 2 TD (11, 65). ¥45.2 + $5.0 = ¥$49.2
vs. #3 Kapolei# 11/11:
To date: ¥$185.85 / ¥$16.9 pg
*Aloha Stadium
#Aloha Stadium, HHSAA D-I state tournament

The skinny: (Nov 10) He is a key cog in a tightly welded offensive package that is at its best in triple-tight end, full-house backfield mode. Nobody in Hawaii stops that stampede. Nobody in his right mind. But out of the four-wide set and I-formation, this is still a work in progress for one of the only freshman QBs in the state playing varsity football. Detach yourself from the fact that Maiava has a scholarship offer from Michigan — which, like Kahuku, can employ tight-end passing schemes with effectiveness — and remember how young he is. There has been only one ninth-grader who had carte blanche to air the ball out 30 or more times per game, at least in recent memory: Taulia Tagovailoa of Kapolei. Most of this era’s aerial playmakers came out of the ILH, where freshmen are prohibited from playing varsity football, and the rest didn’t start as freshmen, like McKenzie Milton. Maiava in a pass-first offense would be a thrill-a-minute, no question. But he’s a dangerous dual threat for Hawaii’s only nationally-ranked team. Can’t ask for much more than that.
Here’s one difference between a previous Kahuku state-championship coach (Siuaki Livai) and a current Kahuku state-championship coach (Vavae Tata): Livai sought counsel on what to do with the development of Inoke Funaki (see below), and used wide margins to give the talented (future UH QB) a lot of passing reps during those games. Tata is almost solely concerned with great defense, controlling the trenches, running the ball and putting the game away physically and mentally. If Maiava throws the ball just three times — it has happened twice this season — so be it. That’s how championship coaches often think. That’s the price to be paid and I believe every player on a championship roster understands this. But it’s OK to wonder what Maiava would do in a consistently balanced, spread formation. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe by next season, he’s doing a reasonable impersonation of Milton, who also made his earliest mark as a sophomore.

(Sept 7) It’s much too early to get a real idea of what this talented young QB can do as a passer. After all, Kahuku is, has been — with the exception of the Inoke Funaki years — and likely will always be a run-first offense. Even if this were a balanced offense, Maiava’s youth would lead most coaches to protect him by running the ball more. Maybe in a month or so we’ll have a better notion of what he can do. Unless Kahuku turns more and more to the ground-and-pound that helped it win the state title last year.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) No indication whatsoever, but my gut feeling is that the more John Hao works with Maiava, the better. Hao played in the four-wide at Saint Louis, but also acquired a taste for a variety of formations over the years. If Kahuku isn’t willing to test the waters — or the air — then Hao’s role is significantly reduced, as it probably already has been with his demotion from offensive coordinator. Years ago, Siuaki Livai had Funaki in his program and decided to pick the brain of then-UH quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison. This was during the June Jones years. Livai’s thinking was that his team needed to expand and diversify for the state tournament down the road, so there was Kahuku, leading comfortably in games, and Funaki would start throwing the ball around the field. Some fans questioned why Livai wouldn’t just keep playing smashmouth football and win by a ton of points, but he made it a priority to get Funaki a lot of passing reps in games.
Yes, it worked.

###

2016 November 5 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Waianae quarterback Jaren Ulu (14) throws the football during the first half of an HHSAA Open Division playoff football game on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.
2016 November 5 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Waianae quarterback Jaren Ulu (14) throws the football during the first half of an HHSAA Open Division playoff football game on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.

Jaren Ulu, Waianae
Measurables: 6-0, 180, Sr.
Crunch this: 10 games — Pass 73-136-6-1,094, 12 TD; 39-56, 3 TD
Passing yards per game: 109.4
Completion rate: .537
Yards per attempt: 8.04
Passer rating: 141.54
Rushing yards per carry: 1.4
Rushing yards per game: 5.6
W-L: 8-2 (5-2 OIA Blue). Note: missed three games to injury. Waianae was 1-2.
Top 10 wins: Kamehameha, Kapolei, Mililani, Farrington
Top 10 losses: Kahuku, Campbell
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ #4 Kamehameha 8/5: Pass 13-21-0-115, TD (54); Rush 4-19. ¥20.65 + $5.0 = ¥$25.65
@ #5 Kapolei 8/13: Pass 8-16-2-105, TD (23); Rush 7-15, TD (2). ¥18.0 + $5.0 = ¥$23.0
vs. Moanalua 8/19: Pass 7-13-0-132, 2 TD (77, 13); Rush 5-9. = ¥26.35
@ #1 Kahuku 8/26: Pass 1-7-1-9; Rush 4-(-36). ¥ -6.95 + $5.0 = ¥$ -1.95
vs. Kaiser 9/2: Pass 5-8-1-128, 3 TD (19,76,12); Rush 4-16. = ¥29.9
@ Aiea 9/9: Pass 14-23-0-223, TD (21); Rush 4-27, TD (5). = ¥39.25
vs. Radford 9/16: Pass 8-10-0-130, 3 TD (22,13,19); Rush 1-26, TD (1). = ¥41.1
@ Campbell 9/23: Pass 5-13-0-60; Rush 6-(-9). ¥4.35 + $5.0 = ¥9.35
vs. Kailua 10/7: Pass 4-11-1-50; Rush 1-3. = ¥5.9
@ #7 Mililani 10/15: DNP-injury
vs. #1 Kahuku* 10/22: DNP-injury
vs. #6 Kapolei** 10/29: DNP-injury
vs. #6 Farrington# 11/5: Pass 7-13-1-120, TD (28); Rush 3-(-14). ¥7.85 + $5.0 = ¥$12.85
vs. #2 Saint Louis# 11/11:
To date: ¥$211.4 / ¥$ pg
*Aloha Stadium
**John Kauinana Stadium (Mililani)
#Aloha Stadium, HHSAA Open Division State Championships

The skinny: (Nov 10) Ulu has shown so many times that he’s capable of being the ringleader of a wide-open offense, at least in spurts, just my opinion. But this is Waianae, land of bulldozing linemen, the Wing-T attack and the luxury of multiple, high-level running backs. That’s a good thing, in the long run anyway, because Ulu’s stellar, efficient season came to a halt with a collarbone injury in October. He’s back, maybe a tad bit rusty, but easily good enough to guide the Seariders. They’ve already knocked out a hot Farrington team. If Ulu is close to doing what he did early in the season, with a number of plus-plus performances (efficiency and delivering the goods in the red zone), Waianae should be right there with ILH champion Saint Louis on Friday afternoon.

(Sept 7) At just 13.2 pass attempts for game, we can safely say that Ulu’s role is more of a game manager than playmaker, and that’s the right fit in the larger scheme for Waianae. They have playmakers surrounding Ulu, and a sturdy run-blocking offensive line. My take is that if Ulu were in a pass-first offense, his completion rate might increase with shorter routes. Not a given, though, and his 53-percent rate right now gives me pause. They’re not asking Ulu to do too much, but they take their shots downfield just enough to keep defense honest. My guess is that in a four-wide offense he’d almost double his passing yardage and TD count, but the INTs would double as well. That’s pretty good, but pass attempts and victories don’t always mesh.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) The Seariders haven’t consistently established a tight-end target for Ulu, and haven’t really needed to. It sure wouldn’t hurt to have a big target over the middle when defenses stack nine in the box on fourth-and-3.

###

Kalani quarterback Seth Tina-Sobarano is in the top three in passing and top 10 in rushing in OIA D-II play, but will not get a chance to play in the playoffs. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Advertiser.
Kalani quarterback Seth Tina-Sobarano is in the top three in passing and top 10 in rushing in OIA D-II play, but will not get a chance to play in the playoffs. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Advertiser.

Seth Tina-Sobarano, Kalani
Measurables: 5-10, 150, Jr.
Crunch this: 7 games — Pass 78-158-2-1,342, 11 TD; Rush 77-260, 7 TD
Passing yards per game: 191.7
Completion rate: .494
Yards per attempt: 8.5
Passer rating: 141.16
Rushing yards per carry: 3.4
Rushing yards per game: 37.1
W-L: 4-3 (4-3 OIA D-II)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: None
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Pearl City 8/12: Pass 9-23-0-224, TD (55); Rush 9-27, 2 TD (3, 1). = ¥41.75
vs. Kaimuki 8/20: Pass 14-25-1-217, 2 TD (30, 26); Rush 11-3. = ¥31.75
@ Waialua 8/27: Pass 16-32-1-203; Rush 12-33, TD (11). = ¥26.6
vs. Roosevelt 9/10: Pass 8-14-0-209, 2 TD (68, 33); Rush 11-0, 2 TD (5, 12). = ¥46.4
vs. Kalaheo 9/30: Pass 8-22-0-100, TD (2); Rush 7-35. = ¥70.4
vs. Waipahu* 10/8: Pass 14-25-0-226, 2 TD (37, 11); Rush 20-133, TD (3); Rec 1-11. = ¥57.75
vs. McKinley 10/14: Pass 9-19-0-163, 3 TD (15,77,10); Rush 7-29, TD (42). = ¥42.95
To date: ¥$317.6 / ¥$45.4 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) Quite a season for Tina-Sobarano, mostly in quiet fashion. He passed for at least 200 yards five times in seven games while throwing only two picks. He’s another QB who doesn’t have a scintillating completion rate, but took care of the ball. The rushing yardage is a bonus for a Kalani team that was, once again, solid enough to contend for a playoff berth. At more than ¥$45 points per game, Tina-Sobarano was both a game manager and solid producer. At least from what the numbers display.

(Sept 7) It’s been a few seasons since Noah Brum and his fleet of receivers wowed OIA Division II with the aerial prowess of Ron Lee’s four-wide blueprint. Brum and Lee are gone, and head coach Greg Taguchi retired in the offseason, but the Falcons continue to explore the jet stream. Tina-Sobarano has kept turnovers down, which makes the notion of throwing the ball feasible. Their ability to connect for the occasional big play helps a lot; an 8-yard YPA is a measurement of justification in an era when more and more teams are apt to roll back the calendar and play ground-and-pound football.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) Aside from Jaemi Harris (10 carries, 116 yards), the Falcons haven’t run the ball consistently well, so Tina-Sobarano stays in the pocket. His top four receivers are averaging at least 13 yards per grab.

###

Leilehua quarterback Kona Andres. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Leilehua quarterback Kona Andres. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Kona Andres, Leilehua
Measurables:: 5-11, 180, Jr.
Crunch this:: 12 games — Pass 171-301-17-2,123, 19 TD; Rush 49-73, 4 TD
Passing yards per game: 176.9
Completion rate:: .568
Yards per attempt:: 7.05
Passer rating:: 125.59
W-L:: 5-7 (3-4 OIA Red)
Top 10 wins:: Hilo
Top 10 losses:: Punahou, Kahuku, Kapolei, Farrington, Mililani (2x)
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. #2 Punahou 8/5: Pass 25-43-3-203; Rush 3-12. ¥15.25 + $5.0 = ¥$20.25
vs. #1 Kahuku 8/12: Pass 26-38-1-208, TD (19), 2-pt; Rush 7-2, TD (5). ¥36.5 + $5.0 = ¥$41.5
vs. #10 Kapolei 8/20: Pass 13-34-4-133, 2 TD (51, 1); Rush 5-10. ¥12.3 + $5.0 = ¥$17.3
@ Nanakuli 8/27: Pass 6-8-0-74, 2 TD (24, 15); Rush 2-4. = ¥20.8
vs. #7 Farrington 9/5: Pass 6-12-2-73; Rush 0-0. ¥1.3 + $5.0 = ¥$6.3
@ Kailua 9/10: Pass 6-12-0-148, 3 TD (41,80,8); Rush 2-4. = ¥33.2
vs. Castle 9/16: Pass 13-21-1-228, TD (80); Rush 3-(-6), TD (1). = ¥33.45
vs. #6 Mililani 9/30: Pass 22-42-2-301, 3 TD (67,9,56); Rush 3-(-14); Rec 1-9. ¥46.1 + $5.0 = ¥$51.1
vs. Aiea 10/8: Pass 10-17-1-252, 2 TD (43, 41); Rush 2-(-4); Rec 1-7. = ¥37.25
@ #1 Kahuku 10/14: Pass 8-17-3-66; Rush 6-(-3). ¥ -2.95 + $5.0 = ¥$ -2.05
@ #7 Mililani 10/21: Pass 21-33-0-270, 3 TD (34,20,45); Rush 7-9, TD (1). ¥55.15 + $5.0 = ¥$60.15
@ #10 Hilo* 11/4: Pass 15-24-0-167, 2 TD (10, 39); Rush 9-59, TD (7). ¥42.1 + $5.0 = ¥$47.1
@ #7 Mililani# 11/11:
To date: ¥$ total / ¥$ pg
*Keaau HS field, HHSAA D-I State Championships
#HHSAA D-I State Championships

The skinny: (Nov 10) Andres is a classic example of the growth a player, especially a quarterback, can make over the course of a 10- or 12-game schedule. If he had a short schedule of six or seven games, he may never have seen the kind of development that happened in the past month. Even with the struggle that everyone has against Kahuku, Andres has settled down significantly to become a viable and successful field general. His go-ahead fourth-quarter TD run against Hilo last week was a clutch play under duress (bruised shin two plays earlier), perhaps the signature act of his season.

(Sept 7) It’s a dilemma, to be sure, when an athletic QB is both dangerous as a playmaker and a turnover machine. Andres can make plays with his legs, but he has thrown a pick every 13.5 pass attempts. That probably factored in a move to Kaleo Aloha Piceno (28-for-53, 364 yards, five TDs, five INT) to QB, but it’s basically playing the guy who can make the Next: play without making a costly error. It hasn’t been easy to roll out the full Mules playbook; they have yet to establish a RB who has rushed for at least 100 yards total.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) Andres could turn out to be a solid QB if he turns his TD-INT ratio around in the second half of the season. There’s a lot to like with this roster, especially at WR. It’s not impossible; all four of Leilehua’s losses were to Top 10 teams, all with formidable defenses.

###

Kailua quarterback Mark Lagazo follows his blockers in an OIA Division I playoff game against Waianae. Cindy Ellen Russell / crussell@staradvertiser.com
Kailua quarterback Mark Lagazo follows his blockers in an OIA Division I playoff game against Waianae. Cindy Ellen Russell / crussell@staradvertiser.com

Mark Lagazo, Kailua
Measurables:: 5-8, 160, Sr.
Crunch this:: 8 games — Pass 53-116-6-696, 9 TD; Rush 129-507, 9 TD
Passing yards per game: 87.0
Completion rate:: .457
Yards per attempt:: 6.0
Passer rating:: 111.35
Rushing yards per carry: 3.9
Rushing yards per game: 63.4
W-L: 2-4 (2-3 OIA Red). Note: Replaced injured QB Keoni Serikawa.
Top 10 wins: Mililani
Top 10 losses: Kapolei, Waianae
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Moanalua 8/13: Pass 0-0-0-0; Rush 24-100, TD (2); Rec 3-82. = ¥28.2
vs. #7 Farrington* 8/20: Pass 3-12-1-18, TD (12); Rush 21-43. ¥6.85 + $5.0 = ¥$11.85
@ Nanakuli 9/2: Pass 5-7-0-114, 2 TD (25,16); Rush 18-95, 2 TD (35,9). = ¥45.65
vs. Leilehua 9/10: Pass 10-19-0-89; Rush 13-81, 2 TD (7, 1). = ¥29.25
@ #5 Kapolei 9/16: Pass 7-13-0-108; Rush 13-13, 2 TD (2, 6). ¥24.35 + $5.0 = ¥$29.35
vs. #7 Mililani 9/23: Pass 15-27-0-224, 3 TD (21,67,24); Rush 0-0. ¥42.15 + $5.0 = ¥$47.15
vs. Castle 10/1: Pass 7-18-3-92, TD (15); Rush 17-112, 2 TD (4, 5). = ¥28.4
@ #5 Waianae 10/7: Pass 6-20-1-51, TD (18); Rush 23-63. ¥12.4 + $5.0 = ¥$17.4
To date: ¥$ / ¥$ pg
*Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium (Roosevelt)

The skinny: (Nov 10) For me, this was one of the most impressive individual efforts of the year. It’s not that Lagazo was a miracle worker, but that comeback win over Mililani certainly seemed like it. No, for me, it was the fact that he was about to have a breakout season at RB — look at what he did in game one against Moanalua (182 yards and two TDs from scrimmage) — when QB Keoni Serikawa Jr. went down with injury in their second game. From that point, I saw him in that game (Farrington) and once more in the playoffs at Waianae. It was never easy, but Lagazo never let on. He was a true soldier, never a tell in his body language that he was even just a tad frustrated or upset. My guess is that if he’d been able to play RB full-time, over the course of 10 games he would’ve finished with close to 1,000 rushing yards and more than 500 receiving yards. He was a workhorse, playing from beginning to end, no QB platoon or subbing. I’m also going to venture that the next level, he could play RB or DB. The guy never gets tired and his football IQ is superb.

(Sept 7) OK, it’s not like he’s never played QB before. He was the backup and when Keoni Serikawa Jr. went down against Farrington, Lagazo did then what he does now. He takes care of the ball and by sheer force of his will, keeps his team in games. His stats are basically irrelevant because all Kailua wants to do is move the chains, eat the clock and let its defense take over. Lagazo was already a solid RB before moving into this wildcat role. The two stats that are reason for optimism: YPA and X factor:

(Sept 7) At nearly 7 yards per attempt, that’s very good for a guy who was not a starter at QB. The respectable QBR (136) is a direct correlation to having only one pick in 19 attempts. Lagazo is an example of why statistics are meaningless sometimes. There are pure passers who rack up statistics at the pro or college level, but just don’t have the gumption to do what it takes to keep his team in every game.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) Until another QB surfaces, either a current reserve or a JV player, Lagazo will carry the weight on his shoulders. Serikawa wasn’t being asked to produce huge numbers, but his injury could have sacked the Surfriders’ season. To their credit, they’re plugging along as expected.

###

Braden Amorozo, Waipahu
Measurables:: 5-10, 175, Jr.
Crunch this:: 11 games — 175-286-13-2,440, 20 TD; Rush 55-31, 3 TD
Passing yards per game: 221.8
Completion rate:: .612
Yards per attempt:: 8.5
Passer rating:: 146.84
Rushing yards per carry: 0.6
Rushing yards per game: 2.7
W-L: 8-3 (6-1 OIA D-II)
Top 10 wins: None
Top 10 losses: None
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ Nanakuli 8/5: Pass 22-33-0-316, TD (11); Rush 4-15, TD (3). = ¥50.85
vs. Kalaheo 8/13: Pass 19-28-0-353, 2 TD (18, 29); Rush 11-1, TD (2). = ¥58.9
vs. Roosevelt (Aloha) 9/5: Pass 15-27-2-228, 3 TD (82,19,34); Rush 5-15. = ¥38.05
vs. Pearl City 9/10: Pass 7-22-1-133, TD (25); Rush 6-1. = ¥12.65
vs. McKinley 9/17: Pass 17-25-1-221, 2 TD (7, 11); Rush 4-12, TD (4). = ¥41.55
@ Waialua 9/23: Pass 24-38-0-242, 2 TD (10, 61); Rush 2-0; XP: 3. = ¥41.7
vs. Kaimuki (Mililani) 10/1: Pass 22-31-2-183, 2 TD (39,17), 2-pt; Rush 7-(-7). = ¥29.1
vs. Kalani 10/8: Pass 13-20-1-172, TD (23); Rush 2-11. = ¥22.8
vs. Pearl City 10/21: Pass 6-17-1-65; Rush 6-18. = ¥4.05
vs. Waialua* 10/28: Pass 20-27-2-327, 4 TD (71,25,30,55); Rush 5-(-25). = ¥54.45
vs. Lahainaluna# 11/4: Pass 10-18-3-200, 2 TD (22, 18); Rush 3-(-10). = ¥23.5
(Home games at Aiea HS)
*Aloha Stadium
#War Memorial Stadium, Wailuku, HHSAA D-II State Championships
To date: ¥$377.6 / ¥$34.3 pg

The skinny: (Nov 10) All in all, a solid junior season for Amorozo. Yes, there were some growing pains, but he came through more often than not and brought Waialua within a whisper of an OIA title. Most of the top teams in OIA D-II, as well as statewide, will be returning their starting QBs next season. The arms race is building up.

(Sept 7) Coach Bryson Carvalho is breathing some new life into the aerial game. Amorozo benefits from a healthy ground attack and a nice group of receivers, but that Completion rate: (nearly 64 percent) is a number that is rarely seen anywhere.

X factor: (Sept 23)

(Sept 7) Amorozo is second on the team in rushing attempts and backup Alika Ahsing has thrown just three passes in game action. The Marauders have a shot at reaching the playoffs in OIA D-II, and an outside chance of running the table until then. If Amorozo stays healthy.

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