HAWAII GROWN: Noa breaking out at Cal

California receiver Kanawai Noa has more than 1,200 receiving yards in his collegiate career. Photo credit: Al Sermeno - KLC fotos

For the first time ever, Hawaii’s career record holder in receiving played against the state’s all-time leading rusher in high school in a Division I college game.

Vavae Malepeai‘s USC Trojans got the best of Kanawai Noa‘s California Golden Bears, 30-20, on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif. However, it was the second consecutive strong outing for Noa, a redshirt sophomore, who is making his presence felt as a starter early in 2017.

The 2015 Punahou alumnus, who totaled 3,510 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns in his three-year career with the Buffanblu, has led the Golden Bears in receptions and yards in each of their last two games.

Noa followed up a six-catch, 81-yard performance against Ole Miss with another six receptions and 110 yards against the Trojans, marking his first 100-yard receiving game as a Bear. He also had a career-long 38-yard reception.

After posting 10 catches and 110 yards in his first two seasons (he earned a redshirt after playing in only three games last year), the 6-foot, 185-pound receiver is second on the team with 17 receptions and 247 yards in four games.

Noa was named today to the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award watch list.

“I’m very thankful and humbled,” Noa told reporters on Monday. “It’s just another motivation for me to just keep striving and trying to be a better me in all aspects of my game.”

USC’s Malepeai, a redshirt freshman, had four carries for 17 yards against the Golden Bears.

Malepeai, who broke Joe Igber‘s career rushing record in his final game with the Trojans in 2015, rushed for 4,549 yards in 37 games at Mililani and also holds the state record with 71 rushing touchdowns.

Up next for Cal is a game Saturday at Oregon, which has five players on its roster from Hawaii, including linebacker Kaulana Apelu (Kamehameha ’15), who had four tackles and one tackle for loss on Saturday against Arizona State.

Here’s Noa addressing reporters after today’s practice, courtesy of CalBears.com.


  1. Douglas Hu September 26, 2017 11:45 am

    Continued success to this humble baller….

  2. Shantelle Castillo September 26, 2017 2:23 pm

    Too bad this guy didn’t win more than one state championship. He might be the best receiver in Hawaii HS FB history.

  3. Dolts1 September 26, 2017 4:23 pm

    Bloodline of animals

  4. Hau'ulaBoy September 26, 2017 5:48 pm

    Way to rep. Watched the game. He was the most reliable reciever in the game of both teams.

  5. Scoops September 28, 2017 1:24 am

    Noa is good, but there some guys that are hard to beat like L. Lutu, G. Smith, M.Matsuzaki, from the ILH, to names few.

  6. Kamehameha#1 October 5, 2017 5:36 am

    Noa is the best ever to come out of Hawaii! look at the stats! And now look at what he’s doing in college. Don’t forget he had a broken hand in his senior year too!

  7. Kamehameha#1 October 5, 2017 5:41 am

    Shantelle Castillo September 26, 2017 2:23 pm
    Too bad this guy didn’t win more than one state championship. He might be the best receiver in Hawaii HS FB history.

    What do you mean too bad he only won one! last time I checked there are more than 50 players in a team not just one player! Stop being so negative and give the kid the credit he deserved!

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