While RB individual stats have been surprisingly strong (to me), receiver numbers are only now starting to show strength. Again, it has more to do with the conservative element of coaching, of strategy than any lack of spread formations.
High school coaches/coordinators have always been more innovative and flexible when it comes to offense. But they can be as cautious as NFL coaches, and playing the higher-percentage card is just sensible. That’s why only recently we’re seeing a spike in Jeremy Tabuyo’s numbers. My theory is that every defense was well aware of the speedy (4.34 in the 40-yard dash at the PIAA combine) senior, so he didn’t get a lot of targets early in the season.
As his teammates developed into productive weapons, Tabuyo got more opportunities. Maybe his knee is still getting stronger. Maybe his timing with Ryder Kuhns is improving.
Still, quarterbacks are spreading the wealth, as directed, so we have a lot of decent stats (below). Not a lot of exciting numbers, though that could change as we enter the latter half of the season.
Here are some receiver stats and summaries, no particular order.
Kanawai Noa, Punahou: Had a (for him) relatively quiet game against Damien (6-75-1), his first sub-100 yard game. No sophomore pass catcher is close. To date: 27-534-7.
Daicorri Briscoe, Pearl City: Sat out of last week’s game with Roosevelt, but had been on a roll: Kapolei 3-56-0, Radford 6-70-0, Kaiser 6-130-1, Nanakuli 9-198-2. To date: 24-454-3.
Dylan Pakau, Waipahu: Waianae was the first defense to limit the senior to less than 90 yards. He finished with five grabs for 36 yards and one touchdown. His workload includes special teams, just a fantastic breakaway threat. To date: 17-395-5.
Christian Clapp, Kaiser: The senior didn’t get a lot of looks against Anuenue, but came through when his number was called (2-46-1). To date: 20-395-3.
Kenan Gaspar, Konawaena: The rout of Ka‘u meant very limited opportunities for the Wildcats’ receivers. Gaspar had just one catch, a 23-yard touchdown. This weekend’s matchup with Kohala probably means more limited play. Kohala is struggling to field a team. To date: 14-349-5.
Domonic Morris, Konawaena: Like Gaspar, Morris had a quiet night against Ka‘u (1-10-1). To date: 15-307-6.
Fano Tuisila, Kaimuki: Had a season-high eight grabs (85 yards, one touchdown) against Kailua. To date: 24-315-3.
Chad Hanaoka, ‘Iolani: Caught seven balls for 55 yards and two touchdowns, his first visit to the end zone since the opener against Konawaena. To date: 26-280-4.
Kamakana Apelu, Aiea: Leilehua and Campbell kept him under wraps the past two weeks. Apelu’s deep-threat ability is well known, and the Mules limited him to four catches for 37 yards, no touchdowns. Similar situation to Waipahu’s Dylan Pakau, being a (practically) solo threat and target. To date: 12-260-1.
Jeremy Tabuyo, Saint Louis: five hauls for 123 yards and FOUR touchdowns against ‘Iolani last week. The Crusader offense is at juggernaut level with 187 points in four games, all against quality teams. It doesn’t take a lot for Tabuyo to turn a hitch pass into a long touchdown, we’ll see defenses dare to overplay his side of the field. His teammates are capable of big plays, too. To date: 22-346-6.
Chase Kanekuni, ‘Iolani: Since that big game (6-130-1) against Konawaena, the junior hasn’t had more than three catches or 44 yards in a game. To date: 17-258-1.
Nainoa Frank, Kalaheo: The 6-6 volleyball star had four receptions for 71 yards against Radford and continues to have a steady, if unspectacular season so far. To date: 12-267-2.
Keoni Piceno, Leilehua: Sixteen receptions for 155 yards against Aiea, no touchdowns. That might be some kind of record, the 16 grabs, but without a score? That might be one, too. The Mules are making the best with what they’ve got, but this might be the first time in years that they haven’t developed a long-ball threat.
Kainoa Abreu, Saint Louis: His breakout game (half is more like it) against Bishop Gorman got ‘Iolani’s attention. The Raiders permitted just two catches for 17 yards by the senior. To date: 15-189-4.
Erren Jean-Pierre, Mililani: Coming into the season, I figured he’d step into elite level, but it hasn’t happened. He’s more a possession receiver than deep threat, which works fine in the Trojans’ version of a ball-control, passing offense. He had one grab for three yards against Campbell. To date: 18-163-2.
Tanner Nishioka, ‘Iolani: Had his best performance since the Waipahu game, 7-105-1 against Saint Louis. To date: 22-260-6.
Ali‘i Pedrina, Kamehameha: If you’d told me Ali‘i Pedrina would have these numbers — 9-126 — I’d say he had a good game. But those are his season stats to date, four games (not sure if he played against Pac-Five). It’s nobody’s fault, per se. Kamehameha always has a lot of depth at receiver, and they rotate many of them. Problem is it’s difficult for any player to truly develop into an elite receiver when he’s on and off the field that often. It’s about the system and it’s about execution for the Warriors, which is why they won a state title a few years ago. But for Pedrina, I just wonder what if?
Tyrell Tuiasosopo, McKinley: Three catches, 55 yards against No. 1 Kahuku. Still searching for his stats against La Salle (Ore.). The Tigers scored 43 points that day in the Northwest, and I imagine Tuiasosopo had a big game. His other three games: 11-183-1.
Devan Stubblefield, Saint Louis: Similar to Pedrina’s situation, though Stubblefield is a junior. They put the swift playmaker to work on special teams; his 88-yard TD return against Farrington is a thing of beauty. But there’s no way to criticize a Saint Louis offense that is averaging 46.8 points per game, is there? He had season highs of three receptions and 37 yards against ‘Iolani. To date: 7-79-1. I suppose his time will come. Imagine next year, when he will probably be Ryder Kuhns’ primary deep target.
A.J. Cummings, Kapaa: Had a (maybe?) breakout game against rival Kauai with 146 yards on four catches. I’m told by a friend on the island that he’s more of a possession receiver than a breakaway threat, but anybody who puts up those numbers against Kauai gets my attention. We’ll see how Kapaa’s aerial attack goes from here.
Donald Lambert, Moanalua: There are flashes of potential in Lambert, but with a first-year starter at QB (Micah Kaneshiro), patience is a virtue.
Ekolu Ramos, Mililani: He makes plays. That’s it. The ball is up high, he goes and gets it. But as I mentioned before, this current trend of spread offenses means an athlete like Ramos might not get 10 targets in a game, or even five. It all depends on the read, and QB Jarin Morikawa will take the safe, quick choice each time. Good for the Trojans, not always good for the better athletes running routes. It balances out in the end, right?
Enrique Gruver, Kalani: I’ve seen his name spelled a couple of different ways, so please forgive me if this is incorrect. Gruver has come on strong lately (3-158-1 vs. Anuenue, 7-110-0 vs. Nanakuli) as QB Noah Brum has settled in. To date (not counting the missing Kapaa stats): 12-298-2.
Isaac Amorin, Pearl City: He had the game of his life against Roosevelt (7-194-5). That’s FIVE touchdowns. His yardage in the game was more than he had in four previous games combined. To date: 18-340-6.
Tanner Tokunaga, Pearl City: Like Amorin, Tokunaga produced well. Unlike Amorin, Tokunaga had already stepped up the week before while Daicorri Briscoe was still on the field. Tokunaga’s last two games: 8-148-1 against Nanakuli and 4-101-1 against Roosevelt. To date: 25-342-2.
If I’m missing any other receivers, let me know. The more eyes we have out there, the better. I’m working on getting stats of players from the BIIF and KIF.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser