The fine line: Twilight Zone, cyberspace

by Paul Honda on October 30, 2012

Some thoughts and responses from last weekend’s games, including the tsunami warning Saturday.

On the Big Island, a suspended BIIF championship game between Kealakehe and Hilo has everyone involved in a Twilight Zone of sorts.

“It was weird. I think the sirens distracted both teams to an extent,” Kealakehe coach Sam Papalii said, noting that the game continued for awhile longer.

Hilo coach David Baldwin’s team rallied from a 20-0 deficit to 20-14 after the Civil Defense sirens began wailing.

“It was definitely a truly unique experience. Part 2 of the ‘Tsunami Game’ will also be a unique experience as i have never played one game one half at a time over two weeks. Amazing,” he said.

That game will resume on Saturday night at Kealakehe.

Kamehameha’s Alii Pedrina scored on a 58-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter in a 42-27 win over Punahou. (Star-Advertiser file photo)

Here’s what unpaid, one of my favorite message-board scribes, thought about Punahou’s decision to bench 17 starters in a loss to Kamehameha.

Punahou is in a lame situation,through no fault of their own where they are in a three-team league and they don’t have to beat Kamehameha to win a states berth. They took the easy path and rested their frontline players and took the loss.

What that says to me is that Punahou will take the easy way . Their starters are going to be out for three weeks instead of two and are going to have more of a disadvantage in terms of game conditions than their next opponent will have because they didn’t play their starters as recently as they could have.

It is not easy to win a state championship.I don’t think Punahou helped themselves by resting those starters. SHoulda kept them game- tested by playing them for a least a quarter this weekend. We will see how they do at states in the end.

sportshawaii.com

It’s a legitimate question, and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one for the Punahou staff. But it was the right one.

1. As a fan, I was hoping Punahou would treat it like a regular game. But as a realist, I knew it would be tempting for the staff to rest their starters, especially WR Kanawai Noa (high ankle sprain).

2. Running the simplest plays in their book for most of the game showed that Punahou didn’t want to give anybody out there any added scouting opportunities.

3. I don’t really think Punahou can get any sharper. Larry Tuileta’s passer rating (above 204) is incredible. Marcus Mariota was below 195 in his senior year. (Though Mariota was a dual threat with his running ability.) The timing in Punahou’s offense is at a peak, I believe. They’ve used plays of all kinds from swing passes to RB Ryan Tuiasoa to bringing their deep threat (Noa) across the field and on out patterns. Now they know they can throw the ball to a promising TE.

4. Many teams have won a state championship after taking an extended break. MANY. A long break can mess up teams in a lot of other sports, but football is unforgiving to the injured. This rest time is a HUGE factor. That’s why OIA and ILH keep voting to limit the Division I state tournament to six teams. They love having that first-round bye. The ILH loves it more than having an at-large bid for their second place team.

Next.

On the same forum, a couple of Pac-Five critics vented their frustration.

HawaiiBoy808:

4 years in a row Pac-5 had the players to go all the way or atleast beat Iolani. Last year and the year before they were pretty big for a d2 team. In the 2010-2011 season pac 5 held punahou to 10 points and lost to kamehameha (the defending state champs), in the last seconds. Yet still lost to Iolani. Pac 5 physically should stomp Iolani yet always find a way to lose. They have alot of talent and size but never finish. They need a new coaching staff. A totally new coaching staff from intermediate up. Its sickening to see such talented players work hard and not pay off because of the coaching staff. Like last year they chose to run the Wing T, which even WOLA couldnt win a game with a college size Oline, but the Pac5 coaching staff really thought it would work with a much smaller line. The coaching staff definetly needs to go.

sportshawaii.com

This is off-center (pun intended) on the Double Wing. (It was not a Wing T.) Word of Life had so little (varsity level) depth, there was no way they were going to air it out and hang with Saint Louis, Kamehameha, Punahou. Pac-Five had, at the time, one of its best passing attacks ever with P.J. Minaya at quarterback. They scored 66 points in a preseason game against McKinley (66-40).

‘Iolani had Jarrett Arakawa at QB.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Do you want a tiny school (WOLA) with no depth and no superior talent at skill positions — but plenty of raw talent at line — to copy other schools?

I think they took the right path with the Double Wing. It shortened games and kept them close sometimes against other Division II schools. During this span, Anuenue junked its Run & Shoot offense and opted to go Double Wing, as well for very similar reasons. WOLA has been gone now for three seasons, but Anuenue continues to compete with a roster of about 25, no junior varsity. They don’t win a lot, but they’re competitive in OIA White and tough as nails. They had the state’s top rusher and two other RBs who had significant totals.

Coaches don’t have many options when there’s a shortage of elite passing talent.

2008
WOLA 26, @ Nanakuli 8 (8/16)
@ Moanalua 25, WOLA 6 (8/22)
WOLA 19, @ Kamehameha-Maui 10 (8/30)
Pac-Five 48, WOLA 28, Aloha Stadium (9/5)
@ ‘Iolani 35, WOLA 0 (9/12)
Damien 20, WOLA 7, Kunuiakea Stadium (9/20)
Pac-Five 28, WOLA 6, Aloha Stadium (9/26)
@ Punahou 44, WOLA 6 (10/3)
Saint Louis 49, WOLA 0, Aloha Stadium (10/18)
Kamehameha 6, WOLA 0 (10/24)
@ ‘Iolani 28, WOLA 6 (10/31)
Damien 19, WOLA 14, Aloha Stadium (11/8)

2009
WOLA cancels preseason game with Farrington (8/22)
@ Waipahu 42, WOLA 0 (8/28)
‘Iolani 42, WOLA 0, Aloha Stadium (9/12)
Damien 37, WOLA 18 (9/18)
@ Saint Louis 39, WOLA 18 (9/26)
Pac-Five 33, WOLA 14, Aloha Stadium (10/3)
@ Punahou 44, WOLA 14 (10/9)
WOLA 50, Damien 42, 3 OT (10/16)
@ Kamehameha 50, WOLA 7 (10/24)
@ ‘Iolani 39, WOLA 7 (10/30)
Pac-Five 33, WOLA 14 (11/4)

2010
School disbands, players transfer out. OL Paulay Asiata, DE Juda Parker to Saint Louis, which won the D-I state championship that year.

If we had Division III, a program like Word of Life would have thrived. But to say they failed because of the Double Wing would be inaccurate. We could debate on which comes first, the chicken or the egg? If you set up a Run & Shoot offense, will players and coaches excel no matter what? Will talent suddenly show up at the door, perfectly fitting into shotgun and four-wide sets?

Or do you teach what you know best?

This led to further discussion. One of the more passionate fans, McKinley Tigers devotee politclyincrekt, wouldn’t acknowledge fully that Pac-Five had a terrific offense in 2009.

I remember that 66-40 game against McKinley. It wasn’t that Pac-5′s offense was that good, McKinley’s defensive play calling was just that bad. Bobby Grey was an utter failure when it came to calling plays and coordinating the team on the field. Grey could out-scout anyone in the state and build a strategy to take down any team, but when it came time to put up or shut up on the field, he didn’t know what to call.

sportshawaii.com

Brutal to say the least. McKinley was competitive and aggressive offensively under Coach Grey. Then, as now, they weren’t very deep or big, though they had some great size on the staring offensive line. But tuning out how good Pac-Five’s offense was in ’09, at least by Division II standards? Let’s give credit where and when it’s due. Minaya, Darren Kamealoha, Amorin … they had a formidable, potent offense.

2009
Pac-Five 48, Kaimuki 19, Aloha Stadium (8/15)
Pac-Five 66, McKinley 40, Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium (8/22)
Pac-Five 41, @ Nanakuli 6 (8/29)
#1 Saint Louis 62, Pac-Five 24, Aloha Stadium (9/5)
Pac-Five 37, Damien 12 (9/12)
‘Iolani 31, Pac-Five 3, Kunuiakea Stadium (9/19)
Pac-Five 33, Word of Life 14, Aloha Stadium (10/3)
#2 Kamehameha 44, Pac-Five 20, Aloha Stadium (10/9)
#7 ‘Iolani 42, Pac-Five 17 (10/17)
#7 Punahou 35, Pac-Five 12, Aloha Stadium (10/23)
Pac-Five 45, Damien 27, Aloha Stadium (10/31)
Pac-Five 33, Word of Life 14 (11/4)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lissen2me October 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

Punahou, never fails to show their arrogance, sitting those players is not that bad, not suiting them for the game is the slap in Kamehameha’s and the rest of the leagues face.  Suit up your players as a team, have them play maybe a quarter or a series, or a couple of downs. But to outright not dress them is simply a showing of no respect.  Coach Ane should know better then that…………..was it a way to cut on the budget?  they didn’t want to spend the money to wash those uniforms…………

Lissen2me October 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

WOLA, Pac5, McKinley—- The splitting of WOLA from Pac5, could go down as one of the biggest bloopers in the ILH history.  Joe Onosai’s decision to split from Pac5 could not have come at a worse time.  He took a big and talented line on both sides of the ball, away from Pac5, who had arguably a top rated trio on offense and a talented defensive backfield on defense.  Basiccally it was the old saying of “divide and conquer”.  
With the points Pac5 put up with PJ Minaya, Kamealoha, and Amorin, if they had a defense to compliment the offense who knows what could have happened. 

mcKinley that year had some great talent that Bobby Grey didn’t know how to use.  this was again an example of a coach with great visions of being a varsity coach without knowledge and background. 

These are examples of a lot of our high school coaches of today.  Taking the job with little or no experience, mixing their high strung egos with an egotistical staff, who are looking for their own personal glory, not for the purpose of the kids.  

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