Here’s a look at the numbers I crunched Monday night, Tuesday morning/afternoon and this morning. I don’t have stats on every starter at a “skill position,” but I’ll try with each new week. Last week, it was strictly QBs. This list, again, is QBs, and I’ll also have lists for RBs and receivers soon.
No particular order, by the way.
Reece Foy, ‘Iolani: So he’s human after all. Three weeks into the season, the senior had a preposterously pleasing passer rating of more than 207. But with a 17-33-0-118 game (one touchdown pass) against a tough Pac-Five defense, his rating dropped to 169.63. It’s no knock on Foy for being human. After all, I don’t ever recall a high school passer here passing at a 72.5-percent clip for a whole season. But his numbers are still highly respectable: 67-for-102, 11 TDs, zero picks and 830 yards. There are now four passers with higher ratings than him, and yes, the Raiders hadn’t played a Top 10 team to this point.
But Konawaena reached No. 10 in the poll Tuesday, Waipahu has a solid defense (yes, you can have a good defense and still give up 39 points), and Pac-Five has a very good defensive unit. Where does Foy stack up in the weekly QB Top 10 rankings? I’ll let that question simmer in the pot for another day before I post those lists.
Jarin Morikawa, Mililani: His numbers last year were very good. This year? The numbers are not reflecting his full value in the Trojans’ scheme. Without a dominant ground attack, Morikawa continues to shoulder the load. He was 19-38-3-107 with one touchdown against Leilehua’s well-schooled defense last week, Mililani’s first loss of the year. For the season, Morikawa is 89-162-5-772. Three of those picks came against the Mules. He now has 772 passing yards and nine touchdown tosses. The passer rating (107.13) and yards per attempt (4.8) remain down, but that’s the sacrifice he’s had to make in lieu of an effective ground game. The Trojans have relied more and more on Dayton Furuta (14-96 against Leilehua), but he’s already going both ways. They’re making the best with what they’ve got and it’s been working. It’ll be interesting to see how voters digest the performance and numbers after the season when all-state votes are mailed out.
Larry Tuileta, Punahou: Tui’s numbers were strong after two games. With game 3 — a 17-26-1-358 game against Kamehameha that included three touchdown passes in a 34-14 win — he’s arguably the best performer among passers so far. That was not a weak defense he torched on Friday. Kamehameha is good. Very good. And yet, he hit swing passes, in routes, deep routes and just about every decision was the right one. He still has only one interception to go with eight touchdown passes this fall (42-74-1-787). The only reason his passer rating (179.06) is below 200 is the completion percentage (57 percent), but that will likely improve. He has a whopping 10.6 yards per attempt.
Keelan Ewaliko, Baldwin: The elusive playmaker is out for another two weeks with a broken rib, so all we have so far is two pass attempts (against Saint Louis). Baldwin will be in no rush to get him back on the field in MIL play so long as they win games. What they probably want is for Ewaliko to be at 100 percent for the state tournament.
Makoa Camanse-Stevens, Kamehameha: What had been a stellar first three games turned into a rough outing against Punahou. The Buffanblu scouted well, and Camanse-Stevens looked uncomfortable for the first time I’d seen him this season: 8-27-1-75 with one touchdown. The one positive is he didn’t throw a pick, which means he still has a perfect zero interceptions after four games (41-93-0-513 with six touchdowns. His passer rating is 111.71 with a YPA of 5.5, numbers somewhat comparable to those of Morikawa. Low turnover rate, more managing the offense than trying too hard to make big plays happen.
Cody Lui-Yuen, Radford: He struggled, but led Radford to victory at Crescent Valley (Ore.) on Friday. The numbers: 10-30-3-161. That’s three picks after throwing only one in the first three games, but his overall numbers still represent strength: 38-79-4-649 with seven touchdowns. That’s a sub-.500 completion rate, but his YPA (8.2) is a big reason why his passer rating is solid for a first-year starter — 136.22.
Kekoa Kaluhiokalani, Waianae: 11-27-2-121 in a 17-2 loss at Kapolei. The Seariders still have a steady defense and some talented running backs, so turning things around and making a strong postseason run are still possibilities. But with nearly 100 pass attempts (48-95-6-506) and a passer rating of 93.06 by Kaluhiokalani so far, and with playmaking running back Jaylen Mitchell long gone (moved to the mainland), the Seariders may or may not be reconsidering a return to a more run-heavy attack. We’ll see.
Kawai Mook-Garcia, Saint Louis: Just when the senior seemed to find his groove, injury hit. He left the Bishop Gorman game and never returned, but was spotted after the contest on crutches. In less than a game-and-a-half of action: 15-24-1-180 with four touchdown strikes. That’s a lot of efficiency (7.5 YPA), which results in a passer rating of 172.17, one of the best in the state.
Montana Liana, Farrington: The sophomore I liken to a baby Kenny Stabler is prepared and poised, but the Govs haven’t needed him to carry a big load, not with elite running backs Abraham Silva and Tyler Taumua healthy. He had a modest performance against Kaimuki: 6-14-0-76 with a touchdown toss. For the year, his 137.13 passer rating is respectable, as is the YPA of 6.9. With five touchdown passes and two picks for the season, plus a 58-percent completion percentage, he’s doing his job quite well.
Kahoali‘i Karratti, Konawaena: The junior became the first 1,000-yard passer of the season after lighting up Honokaa for 381 yards and four touchdowns (17-for-28, one pick). He now ha 13 touchdown passes with just two picks to go with 1,008 passing yards and a whopping YPA of 10.4. His passer rating of 179.97 leads the state. Arguments against a Division II quarterback can be sketchy or good. But the bar was set in week 1 when he lost elite running back John Kamoku (elbow) early and still passed for 217 yards and two touchdowns in a 43-40 loss to ‘Iolani. Karratti may leave games early, as he did in a lopsided win over Hilo (9-17-0-140, three touchdowns) or get more than 25 passes off (Maui, Honokaa). Nobody up “mauka” has been this prolific since Lance Kobayashi and Aaron Sumida (3,000-plus yards as a senior) were the QBs.
Justin Jenks, Leilehua: Efficient is the word for the senior: 34-56-1-282. The Mules are 3-0 with close, defense-first wins over quality teams, so Jenks’ value is tied to his ability to protect the ball and take what the defense gives. We may not see the kind of numbers Kenan Sadanaga produced (last year) for some time, but Jenks has a line that’s as clean as it gets: 34-56-1-282, three touchdowns. That’s a passer rating of 117.12; a 5.03 average on yards per attempt hurts, but the .607 completion percentage and only one INT are major pluses in coach Nolan Tokuda’s scheme.
Kiko Kohler-Fonohema, Lahainaluna: Gathering stats on this athletic Luna is tough, but even if they were available, how impressive could they be? The hitch in running a modified single-wing offense is that ball control and misdirection are the key elements. They do not correlate to massive quarterback numbers. So Lahainaluna is 3-0, Kohler-Fonohema is starting at QB and DB, and that’s all I’ve got. For now.
Makana Lyman, Kaiser: Another solid outing for the two-sport standout is pushing him into nice territory. He had his lowest pass-attempt number of the season in a rout of Roosevelt (9-18-0-186, two touchdowns), which tells me that if coach Rich Miano had ordered it, Lyman would’ve had 36 attempts (as he did against Kalaheo) or even 42 (Pearl City). He could’ve doubled his yardage against Roosevelt. But it’s not about numbers; this stuff is a trail of evidence more than a reason to do anything particular. Every game, with various factors like wind and surface quality and injuries, is brand new life form. There may come a time when Miano has Lyman pass just 10 times while handing the ball to Kai Gonda 35 times because that’s what the Cougars need. For now, however, Lyman is among the state’s leaders in passing yardage: 60-121-2-780, five touchdown passes. His YPA is improving (6.4) though his completion percentage (.496) brings down his passer rating (114.06). But the nicest number, probably, is just two picks in 121 pass attempts.
Kahaku Iaea, Kailua: In terms of potential, Iaea’s best football is ahead of him. The 6-2, 218-pound senior has a strong, live arm and is in his third year in the run-and-shoot offense. I think he’ll prosper in college, and he’ll get a shot provided he has the academics. Some years back, Bryson Beirne of Pac-Five got an opportunity to play for Arizona; similar size, similar athleticism. Iaea’s numbers against Kahuku were decent considering it is, possibly, the best defense in the state: 13-29-1-96, no touchdown passes. To date, Iaea’s line: 33-79-5-412 with one touchdown pass. Passer rating 77.1. Maybe he catches fire and doubles that last number by season’s end. Maybe not. But I still like his upside.
Viliami “Lasi” Livai, Kahuku: Go back a couple of years and recall Evan Moe, who had a superb senior season. Moe had a passer rating of 185.45 — 71-117-4-1,283 with 14 touchdown passes. Come on, if you could get a QB to complete more than 60 percent of his passes with only four picks, you’d probably take it. In fact, his rating was second only to Marcus Mariota, who pulled a 189.98 that season. Two things worked against Moe, though, in the all-state voting that season, and this is just my theory. One, everything Kahuku did was predicated (as it is this year with Livai at the controls) on the running game. It sets up the play action, and until someone can stop Big Red from running off tackle right and left, there’s no reason to change a championship formula. Two, Moe and his teammates were derailed by the OIA administration’s ban of the team (possibly ineligible player). Once the 2010 Kahuku season ended — after 10 wins in 10 games — coaches and media tended to vote on what they saw, and Kahuku never had an opportunity to play in the state tourney. I bring this up only because Moe realistically should’ve had a chance for more than an honorable-mention listing. Not saying he should’ve been second or third team. But he was overlooked by voters.
Back to Livai. Kahuku has played just two games. Word is that they were scheduled to play Bishop Gorman, but that game, obviously, didn’t happen, leaving Kahuku with byes in week 1 and week 3. Livai had a solid game against Kailua (6-11-0-116, two touchdowns), but it’s clear he will have roughly 10 pass attempts per game. His passer rating is 162.61, buoyed by a high completion percentage (.619), YPA (9.4) and just one pick. At Kahuku, all that matters is building a championship run, but don’t be surprised if Livai remains consistently effective, has a couple of huge games in the postseason, and becomes a formidable competitor in all-state voting. May happen. May not.
Justin Tago-Su‘e, Campbell: So, will the real Campbell slinger please step up? Tago-Su‘e ha a career night against Waipahu: 17-27-1-249 with four touchdowns. That far exceeds what he did in his first three games, though to be fair, Aiea’s defense is at elite level. But Waipahu has a strong unit, too, shutting down Campbell’s ground game (Paul-Andrew Rhoden had just four carries). Tago-Su‘e will be remembered, I think, more for playing big in big games (like last week) than so-so numbers against the rest. Season stats: 50-104-4-515 with six touchdowns. Passer rating 101.02 because of low completion percentage (.481) and yards per attempt (4.95). But it’s always better to finish strong after a soft start than finish soft after a strong start. Can he keep this level of production going? He has every opportunity in coach Amosa Amosa’s scheme.
Kaimi Paredes, Waipahu: In just a few weeks, the Pearl City transfer (via Leilehua) has given Waipahu’s offense a jolt. His arm has allowed Dylan Pakau to prosper on deep routes. His speed has given the Marauders’ double-slot option attack massive potential. Paredes has typical option-offense numbers: 21-50-1-442, four touchdowns. That’s a low completion percentage (.420), but high YPA (8.8) and low turnovers (one pick), amounting to a solid passer rating of 138.66, which I expect to get better as he gets more acclimated. When I saw them against Kapolei, he was still a ways from mastering the option pitch, and that will come with time. He’s also the leading rusher among quarterbacks with 195 yards on 50 carries (three touchdowns).
Isaiah Hernandez-Fonoti, Aiea: If anyone has similar numbers to Paredes, it’s Fonoti: 33-63-4-461 with four touchdowns. The difference is the picks, though he’s improved in recent weeks with only one against a tough Campbell defense. But somewhere between the Castle game (249 passing yards) and Campbell game (39), that’s what the 6-foot, 190-pound senior is capable of. Having a big-play receiver in Kamakana Apelu has helped Hernandez-Fonoti’s YPA (7.2) and passer rating (122.1).
Micah Kaneshiro, Moanalua: After a fair start (146 combined passing yards against Mililani and Waianae), the junior is finding his groove (391 yards against Kailua and Castle). He’s got an elite running back (Ishmil Scott) and a talented wideout (Donald Lambert) to help keep defenses honest. Kaneshiro’s numbers: 38-74-4-537, 10 touchdown passes. The completion percentage (.514) is middling, but his YPA (7.3) is solid, boosting his passer rating (146.09).
Denzel Kalahiki-Gapser, McKinley: This bugs me — I can’t find any stats on McKinley’s win over La Salle (Ore.). Kalahiki-Gasper’s numbers in his first two games: 32-56-4-362, three touchdown passes, passer rating 114.84.
Alzon Kahana, Kapolei: He’s got quite an arm, even when he’s on the move, but as a junior and first-year starter, Kahana is still going to get better. The inexperience showed against Waipahu (eight sacks), but he had some tremendous plays when he escaped, finishing with 162 yards and two touchdowns (8-14 with two picks). Coach Darren Hernandez considers Kahana more of a game manager, probably because of Kapolei’s stellar defense and ground attack (Jacob Kukahiko). That proved true last week in a 17-2 win over Waianae. Kahana threw the ball just 10 times and was fairly effective (9.7 yards per attempt). To date: 30-59-3-488 with three touchdowns. Passer rating: 126.94.
Syles Choy, Damien: The Monarchs had a bye last week. Choy’s number’s to date: 26-48-1-405 with four touchdowns. Choy’s low turnover rate (one pick), decent completion percentage (.542), high YPA (8.4) are why his passer rating is good — 148.38. Punahou’s defense will offer the toughest test yet.
Jordan Cristobal, Kealakehe: After not playing in the opener at Kailua, Cristobal has emerged. He was fair against Kamehameha (9-18-0-106) and better against El Capitan (14-21-0-216, one touchdown pass). His legs are a difference maker; he had 99 rushing yards for two touchdowns against El Capitan. So that puts his passer rating (90.64) in perspective. Like Paredes (of Pearl City), he can hurt you by air and land.
Ryder Kuhns, Saint Louis: Filling in for injured Kawai Mook-Garcia, Kuhns got untracked against national powerhouse Bishop Gorman (Nev.) once he stopped forcing passes into narrow windows. It was something to see, the progression and the evolution of a sophomore slinger. He finished the game with 246 passing yards and three touchdowns (23-for-36) without a pick. Granted, BG was willing to give up the short stuff with a 28-0 halftime lead, but that didn’t stop them from applying the same pass rush they started the game with. There’s a reason why BG didn’t bring all-out blitzes as Saint Louis pulled within two touchdowns in the second half. I think it was because the Gaels respected Saint Louis’ depth at WR and SB, and they were willing to give up the middle to an extent — Adam Noga had a career-high 201 rushing yards. Which makes Kuhns’ totals a little more impressive. They knew what was coming, and they still didn’t pick him, and the soph marched the Crusaders to the house for 40 second-half points. I doubt that happens to Bishop Gorman again this season. Kuhns’ stats to date: 42-69-1-510, five touchdowns. Completion percentage (.609), YPA (7.4). Passer rating: 143.97.
Next: Running backs.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser