The first Hawaii Grown section of the 2017 fall sports season will appear in Wednesday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser. It will feature Oregon linebacker Kaulana Apelu and his comeback from two knee injuries in high school to receiving an athletic scholarship earlier this month at Oregon, where he is projected to be the starting MIKE linebacker this weekend against Southern Utah.
Also included will be a list of the 82 Division I football players on the mainland from Hawaii high schools, including quarterbacks at Alabama, Ole Miss and UCF, a defensive tackle at LSU and 36 players in the Pac-12.
While most teams kick off the season this weekend, five games were played last weekend with three involving players from Hawaii. Here’s a quick recap:
>> Stanford 62, Rice 7: The Cardinal opened their season in Australia with sophomore Nate Herbig (Saint Louis ’16) getting the start at left guard. Herbig started six games there as a freshman for the Cardinal, who went 6-0 in those games. Herbig helped Stanford run for 287 yards as a team and finish with 656 total yards and 27 first downs. Also, sophomore kicker Jet Toner (Punahou ’16), who did not play as a freshman, kicked both Stanford field goals and was good from 34 and 40 yards. He also made all eight of his extra-point kicks and booted two of Stanford’s eight kickoffs.
>> Colorado State 58, Oregon State 27: The Beavers started three players on defense — DE Titus Failauga (Mid-Pacific ’13), DT Kalani Vakameilalo (Kapolei ’14) and LB Manase Hungalu (Kealakehe ’13). Hungalu had five tackles and Failauga had four tackles, with one for a loss, while Vakameilalo had four tackles, a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. True freshman Kesi Ah-Hoy (Kahuku ’17) played and had two tackles and tight end Tuli Wily-Matagi (Kahuku ’15) had one reception for 9 yards.
>> BYU 20, Portland State 6: Sophomore Johnny Tapusoa (Kahuku ’13) got the start at linebacker and made one tackle for the Cougars.
KEY GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
Florida International at Central Florida, Thursday, Noon
>> Knights quarterback McKenzie Milton (Mililani ’16) unexpectedly played as a true freshman and led UCF to a bowl game. He had to hold off two freshmen to win the starting job heading into this season and begins things against FIU.
Western Michigan at No. 4 USC, Saturday, 11:15 a.m.
>> Trojans running back Vavae Malepeai (Mililani ’16) battled an injury last year but has been praised time and time again for his work in the fall. Will he get to make his collegiate debut against a team USC is favored by 27 points against?
No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 1 Alabama, Saturday, 2 p.m.
>> Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has made it clear that Jalen Hurts is his starter at quarterback. He’s also made it clear that true freshman Tua Tagovailoa (Saint Louis ’16) needs to play this season. The opener against the Seminoles might be a little soon for that, but if Hurts struggles, does Tua get his shot right away?