We’re roughly at the midpoint of the high school football season. Most teams have two, maybe three nonconference (preseason) games. Then seven or eight regular-season games. Maybe a few playoff games. State tourney.
For a few teams, it’s a going to be a 10-game season. Maybe 11. This isn’t halfway for them. But normally, as we saw last year with Farrington running back Tyler Taumua, the latter half of the season is when the constant pounding takes a toll on the body. Injuries hit.
Numbers tail off. Then it’s time for secondary producers to step up. There will be someone, somewhere, who rises to the challenge. We’ve seen them before. Andrew Manley as a sophomore, stepping in after Leilehua’s 3-3 regular season. T.C. Campbell, catching fire to lead Kamehameha to a state title.
For now, just numbers. Quarterbacks. No particular order, as it was last week.
Kahoali‘i Karratti, Konawaena: I saw other ace passers early in the season. But Karratti? Didn’t get the chance. Plus, his solid performance against ‘Iolani gives us an anchor statistically. If he can pass for 217 yards and two touchdowns in a narrow loss against the No. 8 team in the state, what more could happen in Konawaena’s second game, or 10th game? To date, after five games: 57-107-3 with 17 touchdowns. SEVENTEEN TOUCHDOWN PASSES. Even with limited playing time in two of the last three games. His yards-per-attempt (10.67) is second statewide (among starters). Passer rating: 190.06, second in the state. In very limited action last week against Ka‘u, he was 6-for-10, four touchdowns, one pick, 138 yards. There will be old-time Wildcat fans who will start comparing him to slingers like Aaron Sumida and Lance Kobayashi. Comparisons are usually fun, as long as they’re winning, Konawaena fans will be happy regardless of stats.
Larry “Tui” Tuileta, Punahou: He just gets better and better. A 13-for-14/262-yard/two-touchdown afternoon against Damien was one of the top five single-game passer ratings of the season. (His 8-10-0-178/4 TD game against West Anchorage is the best.) To date: 55-88-1-1,049 with 10 touchdown passes. And he sat for roughly half of the West Anchorage and Damien games. His 11.92 YPA is tops in the islands, as is his passer rating: 197.86. That rating is Marcus Mariota territory.
Kawai Mook-Garcia, Saint Louis: Still out with an ankle injury, could be out for some time since it’s supposedly a high-ankle sprain. The progress of backup Ryder Kuhns gives the Crusaders the luxury of time. Mook-Garcia has one of the top passer ratings (172.17) in basically six quarters of football (Baldwin, Bishop Gorman).
Reece Foy, ‘Iolani: The senior had a so-so performance against a stubborn Pac-Five defense (comeback win), but passed for 274 yards (22-for-34) and five touchdowns against Saint Louis. He was able to scramble against Pac-Five, not so much against Saint Louis, and that’s where all his passing numbers can’t really tell the whole story. With Foy, his ability to make plays and move the chains with his legs is a huge factor. But the passing numbers are still brilliant: 89-136-2-1,104 with 16 touchdown strikes. That’s a 65-percent completion percentage, 8.12 YPA and a passer rating of 169.51.
Viliami Livai, Kahuku: Last weekend’s one-completion performance against McKinley doesn’t win over a lot of fans, but Kahuku keeps winning, and the formula that produced a state crown last season remains intact. To date: 14-30-2-224 with two touchdowns. Passer rating: 118.05. Until the McKinley game, his rating was above 160, not entirely different from Evan Moe two years ago. That’s all the Red Raiders really want (or need) from the position — efficiency.
Syles Choy, Damien: A healthy Punahou defense put the clamps on the Monarchs last weekend. It was Choy’s first passing game with less than 131 yards. Against Punahou: 9-21-1-65, no touchdowns. To date, 35-69-2-470, four touchdowns.
Micah Kaneshiro, Moanalua: Nobody had as similar a stat line to Choy as Kaneshiro did. Against No. 2 Farrington: 9-20-3-61 with no touchdowns. To date, his numbers are, again, fairly similar to those of Choy: 47-95-7-598, 10 touchdowns. (Moanalua has played five games; Damien’s had four.)
Ryder Kuhns, Saint Louis: Looking at the sophomore’s numbers can be baffling. He’s had three prominent roles in three games because of Mook-Garcia’s situations, looked very sharp at times against some top competition (Farrrington, Bishop Gorman, ‘Iolani). And yet, his passer rating is “only” 145.88. It doesn’t make sense, at first glance. His completion percentage is nice: 62 percent. The YPA is decent: 7.61. But what hurts the passer rating, it seems, is the total touchdowns. He’s got eight in a little more than three games of work, which is a respectable total. But I believe his TD numbers would be higher if Saint Louis didn’t have such a good ground game. That’s right: Adam Noga is stealing Kuhns’ opportunities for 6-point aerials.
So, really, Kuhns is the kind of passer who has improved and progressed from game to game, quarter to quarter, even series to series — and it is a wonderful thing to see. And yet, the passer rating (145.88) does not say as much as his offense’s point totals do. It’s sanely impressive: 33 points against Farrington, 46 on Baldwin, 40 (all in the second half with Kuhns on the field) against national power Bishop Gorman and, of course, last weekend’s 68-point bonanza against ‘Iolani. His stats to date: 64-103-3-784.
Kaimi Paredes, Waipahu: There are a couple of obvious points about a new quarterback in a double-slot option offense for the first time. One, completion percentages aren’t usually very high. They weren’t when Paul Johnson was the offensive coordinator at UH. And Paredes, at 41 percent, is actually fairly good in this aspect; he’s only got three interceptions in 66 attempts.
One of the requirements of an effective spread option is being able to move the chains even against an eight-man front. But the counter side of that is being able to go downfield enough to keep that defense honest, and Paredes has done this. He has a YPA of 8.27, one of the best in the state, and he puts burner Dylan Pakau to excellent use this way.
He had it rough against Waianae (6-16-2-104 with two touchdown passes), but his legs keep things going. With 241 rushing yards and three touchdowns this season, he’s arguably the best running quarterback in the state. Waipahu is 1-4, but highly competitive thanks to Paredes. If he had one more year in the system, he’d master it, but he’s a senior. To date: 27-66-3-546, six touchdowns. Passer rating: 131.31.
Montana Liana, Farrington: Like Kahuku’s Livai, Liana had a rough night (against Moanalua) but did enough to help his offense. His passing numbers have pulled back, but the Govs (5-0) keep winning. To date: 46-99-5-822, 10 touchdown passes. Passer rating: 139.44.
Cody Lui-Yuen, Radford: Another three-touchdown game for the junior in a win over Kalaheo. The numbers are still stellar to date: 46-99-5-822, 10 touchdown passes. YPA 8.3, completion percentage .465. Passer rating is now at 139.44.
Alzon Kahana, Kapolei: The junior had a bye last week. To date: 30-59-3-488, three touchdowns, passer rating 126.94.
Isaiah Hernandez-Fonoti, Aiea: Had a season-low 10 pass attempts in last weekend’s upset win over Leilehua. To date: 39-73-5-534 with five touchdowns. Passer rating: 123.78.
Justin Jenks, Leilehua: It’s been about ball control and high-percentage passing for the junior (61 percent completion percentage). In the loss to Aiea, he was 17-for-27, 146 yards, no touchdowns, one pick. To date: 51-83-2-428, three touchdowns. YPA of 5.2 is a reason his passer rating isn’t higher (111.87).
Denzel Kalahiki-Gasper, McKinley: Kahuku put a lid on the junior, as they do against all passers. He was 8-for-22, 68 yards, two picks. To date: 40-78-6 with three touchdowns. I’m still missing stats from the McKinley-La Salle (Ore.) game. Passer rating: 94.9.
Makana Lyman, Kaiser: He played part time in a win over Anuenue as coach Rich Miano had versatile Kai Gonda taking snaps out of the wildcat formation. Lyman is having a productive season after sitting out last year. To date: 67-131-3-878, six touchdowns. Passer rating: 117.98.
Makoa Camanse-Stevens, Kamehameha: Take out the night of struggle against Punahou, and the senior has been solid in four games. He was 11-for-16 , 202 yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing TDs against Pac-Five. He still hasn’t thrown a pick (in 109 attempts). Only a low YPA (4.7) keeps his passer rating down (105.41). To date: 52-109-0-715, eight touchdowns.
Jarin Morikawa, Mililani: The senior had his biggest output of the season, 268 yards and three touchdowns (23-for-43 with one pick) in a win at Campbell. Nobody has tossed as many passes (205 attempts), and I don’t know if anyone makes use of as many receivers as he does. To date: 112-205-6-1,040, 12 TDs). Passer rating: 110.71. His YPA is 5.1, but it’s just about as safe as a running play in the Trojans’ system. He has three rushing touchdowns, by the way.
Justin Tago-Su‘e, Campbell: A week after running for 81 yards (against Waipahu), he was back in pocket passer mode (14-28-0-202, one TD) against Mililani. To date: 64-132-4-717, 7 TDs. His total stats are somewhat similar to Morikawa and Camanse-Stevens. Middling completion percentage, low INT rate, low YPA. Passer rating: 105.55.
Kekoa Kaluhiokalani, Waianae: Sure enough and right on time, the Seariders went into smashmouth mode for a much-needed win at Waipahu. That took a load of pressure off Kaluhiokalani, who needed only 13 pass attempts (a season low) to amass 11 completions for 187 yards and two touchdowns without a pick. To date: 59-108-6, five TDs. Passer rating: 112.7.
Jordan Cristobal, Kealakehe: He missed the opener at Kailua due to injury, and coach Sam Papalii’s offense went back to the past with a 1970s power ground attack. With Cristobal back, the Waveriders have an element of danger while he cradles the pigskin. He passed for 161 yards and a season-high three touchdowns against Waiakea, plus 88 rushing yards and another TD. The week before, he had a 216/99/3 total TDs game against El Capitan (Calif.). That’s 564 total yards and seven touchdowns in the past two games. Without an interception.
Now, I really want to see a matchup between Kealakehe and Konawaena. Too bad it ain’t gonna happen. To date: 33-56-0-483, four TDs. Also: 42 rushes, 198 yards, three TDs. Passer rating: 154.95.
Kahaku Iaea, Kailua: Like Waianae, Kailua went to the ground more and could be making a turnaround. Iaea only threw 16 passes in the win over Kaimuki. Three touchdowns, no picks, 117 yards. To date: 42-95-5-529, four TDs. Passer rating: 94.35.
Kiko Kohler-Fonohema, Lahainaluna: He may be the best quarterback/defensive back we have yet to see this year. The Lunas wiped out Baldwin 32-0, a shocking margin of victory, but Kohler-Fonohema did it with his legs. He rushed for 144 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown, on just 15 carries. His passing wasn’t special (4-for-18, 27 yards, one pick), but the Lunas are the kind of team that can completely startle an opponent with its modified Wing T offense. Stats can’t always reflect that element. I’m still missing Lahainaluna-Keaau stats, but here’s what I have for Kohler-Fonohema’s other three games: 13-37-1-139, 1 TD pass; 223 rushing yards, five TDs, 39 carries. Passer rating: 70.22. More importantly, four wins, no losses.
Levi Castanares, Leilehua: Had a season-high 30 pass attempts (21 completions) for 205 yards, one touchdown, one pick in the loss to Aiea. Leilehua continues to alternate between Castanares and Justin Jenks. Castanares has been steady: 57 percent accuracy, 6.63 YPA, passer rating 122.24.
Chazz Troutman, Nanakuli: It’s been a long time since a quarterback racked up these kinds of rushing totals — 119 yards, one touchdown against Anuenue; 62 yards against Kalaheo; and then 247 yards, three touchdowns against Kalani. I’m missing the Nanakuli-Kalaheo stats, but his totals are still crazy good: 428 rushing yards, 10.97 yards per carry, four touchdowns. His passing stats (23-45-5-178, four TDs) pale in comparison, but what Troutman brings is gamebreaking ability. The Golden Hawks are 3-1 for the first time in nearly a decade. Amazing.
Noah Brum, Kalani: He’s put up some large numbers, but the best is yet to come. Brum had 50 pass attempts in the loss to Nanakuli (315 yards), including a touchdown and three picks. Looks like good upside down the road. Missing the Kalani-Kapaa stats. To date: 41-77-4-635, four TDs. Passer rating: 129.27.
Brock Teixeira, Pearl City: Had a breakout game of sorts against Nanakuli (278 yards, two touchdowns) and followed that with 310 yards and six touchdowns against Roosevelt. Missing the Kapolei and Radford stats, but here’s what I’ve got: 43-100-4-743, nine touchdowns. Passer rating: 127.11.
Impressive, but missing more stats: Keha Wong, Keaau; Fresno Masaniai, Kapaa.
Injured: Keelan Ewaliko, Baldwin.
Next up for Adding Machine: RBs.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser