Campbell coach Amosa Amosa admitted that the running game “has to be the strength” of his Sabers football team.
Through two games, the Sabers had rushed for a total of 104 yards, one of the big reasons Campbell had started 0-2.
Friday night at Kaiser Stadium, the Sabers returned to the site of their 2015 playoff win over the Cougars and got the running game going, using the debut of senior Darius Cambe to bolster a rushing attack that finished with 219 yards in a 28-7 win over the Cougars.
Tasi Faumui, the starter in each of Campbell’s three games, rushed for a team-high 83 carries on 16 attempts. Cambe, who injured his ankle in a scrimmage against Saint Louis before the season, came off the bench to start the second drive and sparked Campbell in the second quarter on the way to finishing with 73 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
“We knew (Cambe) was going to be good for us but he got hurt against Saint Louis,” Amosa said. “He was having a good preseason for us. Tasi is really good and Darius is going to help us a lot.”
The Campbell running game also has quarterback Kawika Ulufale to play with as well. Ulufale got the Sabers on the board first scrambling for a 20-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-10 early in the second quarter.
Ulufale was big on third downs, weaving his way through the Kaiser defense on multiple occasions to move the chains. He finished with 58 rushing yards on 13 carries after running the ball for only 10 yards through the Sabers’ first two games.
Ulufale has thrown all but one pass for Campbell this season and Amosa understands how valuable he is behind center, which is why he has tried to protect his quarterback from running the ball. He admitted after the win over Kaiser though that it might be time to go all out with his QB and play to his strengths.
“This is Kawika’s second year running this offense and for me I think I need to do a better job of tapping into his strength,” Amosa said. “As much as I want to protect him, he’s a real threat running it so we’ve got to look at that and we also have a lot of options now with Darius back and Tasi running as hard as he has.”
Ulufale was efficient throwing the ball, finishing 23-for-32 for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Fangaima Mailei (six receptions, 102 yards, TD), Markus Ramos (six catches, 51 yards, TD) and Vernon Etrata-Daite (eight catches, 28 yards) did the bulk of the receiving for the Sabers.
As effective as the passing game was against Kaiser, it was clear as Campbell headed for the bus the real excitement was in getting Cambe healthy to bolster the rushing attack.
“It takes a lot of pressure off of me in the passing game,” Ulufale said. “I definitely feel a lot of pressure but I also feel like I can handle it.”