Campbell football head coach Amosa Amosa is happy to see his boys enjoying their time practicing on the upgraded field on campus.
All of last season, the Sabers practiced at parks near the school and did not have any home games. They started slow, finished relatively strong and wound up a disappointing 2-8. Four of the losses were by nine points or less, and they beat Kaiser 27-21 in the first round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association playoffs.
The Sabers ran into a buzzsaw named Kapolei on the road in the season opener Friday and lost 38-0. That doesn’t mean Campbell won’t be competitive this season. Quarterback Kawika Ulufale drove deep into the then-sixth-ranked Hurricanes territory a handful of times, but four turnovers took the Sabers out of the game.
Things will not get much easier, if at all, and Amosa knows this better than anyhone. The next four games are all on the road — against No. 8 Farrington (at Roosevelt’s Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium), at Kaiser, at Aiea, and at No. 1 Kahuku.
And then, there are three home games to close out the regular season – against Moanalua, No. 4 Waianae and Radford.
“As for the field, I’m just happy that our boys get to be on their home field and prepare for the season on the field,” Amosa said. “It’s a new field with a much better surface and grass to practice on and good for our players. Although I wish it was turf, we appreciate our school getting work done on the new field and having something nice for our players and all of our student-athletes at Campbell. I think the boys are just happy they get to use the field, given all the other places we used when we didn’t have the field.”
The Sabers did not play poorly against Kapolei, which is now ranked No. 5 in the Honolulu Star-Advetiser poll. The score was 3-0 until late in the second quarter and just 10-0 at halftime. Ulufale completed 22 of 35 passes and had a host of receivers catch the ball, including Zayne Barr-Rauschenburg with eight receptions and Markus Ramos with six. Tasi Faumui, a strong bull of a runner, gained 41 yards on 12 carries.
Amosa thought his defense did a good job against sophomore standout Taulia Tagovailoa, the Kapolei quarterback who is being coached by one of the best offensive minds in the country at any level, June Jones.
“We had good coverage,” Amosa said. “He was just putting the ball, my gosh, in places that only the receiver could get.”
Amosa pointed to a third-quarter interception thrown by Ulufale as the point where things started going downhill. In addition, Amosa took the blame for not calling “something like a quarterback sneak” when the Sabers had the ball at the Kapolei 1 in the first half and did not punch it in.
“But as they say, hindsight is 20-20,” he added.