CLOSING THE BOOK: 2019 Kaiser Cougars

Kaiser's Mason Yoshino (88) celebrated with teammate Kamakana Mahiko (13) after scoring against a touchdown against Nanakuli. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

2019 TEAM RECORD
>> 9-2 overall, 7-1 OIA Division II

HEAD COACH
>> Tim Seaman is 31-35-3 in six seasons overall as a head coach and 13-6-1 in his latest stint as Cougars coach.

KEY UNDERCLASSMEN IN 2019
>> QB Easton Yoshino, 5-10, 145, Fr.; WR Kamakana Mahiko, 5-10, 140, So.; RB/LB Cavin Lime, 6-1, 180, Jr.; WR Mason Yoshino, 5-8, 150, Jr.; K Kyler Halvorsen, 5-11, 160, Jr.


KAISER THROUGH THE YEARS: 1972-2019

HISTORICAL EQUIVALENT: 1997 Kamehameha

Tim Seaman is writing quite a story over at Kaiser, but the thrilling conclusion will have to wait for next year.

Seaman led the Cougars to a 9-2 record this year, but missed out on the state tournament with the help of a bad coin flip when Kaiser tied Roosevelt and Kaimuki for first place.

He took over Arnold Martinez‘s winless squad two years ago and has turned it completely around. He nearly became the only Oahu coach in history to take a winless group and win 10 games in a season within two years. Fred Salanoa did it with 2007 Radford and Al Miyamoto turned the trick with Castle in 1953, but they suffered through the shutout season.

Seaman’s offense averaged 34.1 points per game this year — the program’s most since Rich Miano came along — and George Lumpkin‘s defense allowed a scant 15.2. That performance is the program’s lowest since Rich Miano‘s state championship team allowed 10.0 in 2013.

Those numbers led to a point differential of 18.9, also a program-best since Miano’s monsters. If you go by point differential and nothing else, Seaman’s 2019 team is the fourth best in program history behind only Miano’s two teams and Ron Lee‘s state title team in 1979.

Put strength of schedule aside, and 2019 Kaiser’s historical equivalent has to be the stout Kamehameha squad in 1997 with 17.6 although Hugh Yoshida‘s 1985 Leilehua team shared the same number. Simply put, any team with a differential over 17 is an outstanding team, regardless of circumstances.

Seaman entered phase two of the rebuild by installing Easton Yoshino at quarterback. All the freshman did was throw for 1,619 yards, the most for the program since senior Makana Lyman put up 1,976 way back in 2012 when Miano took over.


Yoshino added 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and Lyman might have been in trouble had Yoshino not missed the last two games, including a crucial playoff loss to Kaimuki, with a concussion. That was quite unfortunate considering Yoshino lit up the Bulldogs for 279 yards and six touchdowns during the regular season. His absence can’t be blamed for the season ending early, though, as Brock Perriera stepped in and went 20-for-46 for 329 yards to land at No. 5 on the school’s single game yardage list. Seaman prepared Perriera, a junior, for the big game by getting action under center in the previous eight games, totaling 751 yards with eight TDs and only three picks before being picked four times by Kaimuki.

Kaiser trusted its passing game to put the ball up 55 percent of the time after a clean 50-50 split last year. Cavin Lime led a committee of four to fuel the running game, taking the ball 63 times for 320 yards and two touchdowns to lead the squad in rushing yards. That number seems scant for such a balanced offense, but it is the most for the lead back since Jensen McDaniel broke a thousand yards in 2015.

Lime never made it over 100 yards in a game this year and was held to 27 yards on 10 carries in the all-important Kaimuki game. Ethan Lynch churned out 218 yards on 51 carries and led the team with four touchdowns while not missing a game. The second and third horsemen were Kilohana Lacanilao (46-180-0) and Hunter Phelps (44-119-1). Ethan Domen scored two touchdowns in limited time. Lacanilao had the biggest game of the season with 108 yards on 13 carries against tough Waialua but got only 14 carries (for 24 yards) in the next four games. He was the first Kaiser rusher to go over the century mark since McDaniel in 2015.

One of the main holdovers from last year’s groundbreaking 4-4 squad was leading receiver Mason Yoshino, who is the first to lead the school in receiving for successive seasons since Kalua Noa in 2006-07. Yoshino made games look like backyard catch with his younger brother at times, hauling in 11 touchdowns to go with his 747 yards.

That yardage number was the program’s highest since Matt Ching went over 750 in 2004. Yoshino caught at least one pass in every game and went over the century mark three times, the first Cougar to do that since Christian Clapp in 2012.

The junior’s five games over the century mark are tied for second in program history with Wendell Miranda and Marc Esteban, just one behind Ching. Yoshino got so many opportunities because of Dre Falls on the other side. Falls trailed Yoshino with 33 catches for 520 yards and nine touchdown and went over 100 yards twice after once last year, capped by a 134-yard effort against Kaimuki on only three catches. He combined for 242 yards and three touchdowns in two games against the Bulldogs.

The best ability the receiving corps had was the ability to stay healthy, as four of them didn’t miss a game with Kamakana Mahiko (28-409-5), Jesse Stroede (26-408-3) and Ethan Lynch (14-92-0) providing a consistent threat all over the field. Twelve different Cougars caught a pass and four different receivers went over 100 yards in a game at least once this year, easily a program record.

Next year could be even better with the Yoshinos returning along with Perreira, kicker Kyler Halvorsen, Mahiko, Lynch, Lime and a host of others. It won’t be seamless, though, as Falls will be hard to replace no matter how deep the receiving corps is, while Stroede and Domen were valuable leaders.


Kaimuki running back Naomas Asuega-Fualaau (1) was dropped for a loss by the Kaiser defense. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

2019 TEAM STATS

PASSINGGC-A-IYdsTD
Easton Yoshino9125-228-111,61920
Brock Perriera948-109-775110
Xavier Kepa84-7-1390
Kolt Joseph22-6-010
RUSHINGGAttYdsTD
Cavin Lime10633202
Ethan Lynch11512184
Kilohana Lacanilao7461800
Hunter Phelps8441191
Ethan Domen105262
Hopoate Aholelei29240
Dre Falls111210
Kolt Joseph2660
Kyler Halvorsen101-30
Brock Perriera913-50
Xavier Kepa81-50
TEAM1114-900
Easton Yoshino933-1600
RECEIVINGGRecYdsTD
Mason Yoshino104974711
Dre Falls11335209
Kamakana Mahiko11284095
Jesse Stroede11264083
Ethan Lynch1114920
Xavier Kepa811771
Cavin Lime107741
Mason Sparrow23270
Kolt Joseph22230
Kilohana Lacanilao71160
Hunter Phelps8480
Ryuto Sakai1180
Kaiser quarterback Easton Yoshino (7) threw six touchdown passes against Kaimuki. Photo by Marco Garcia/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kaiser wide receiver Dre Falls (3) ran around the Kalani defense in the first half. Photo by Marco Garcia/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kaiser receiver Kamakana Mahiko (13) tried to make a tough catch while he was defended by Kalani defensive back Titan Bringas (2). Photo by Marco Garcia/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kaiser’s Dre Falls (3) reached for the ball against Nanakuli’s Kawika Keopuhiwa (10). Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kaiser’s Kyler Halvorsen attempted a field goal with Hunter Phelps holding. Photo by Marco Garcia/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Kaiser junior Cavin Lime (44) was a two-way force for the Cougars this season. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.
Kaiser quarterback Easton Yoshino (7) ran through the Kalani defense in the first half. Photo by Marco Garcia/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

COMMENTS

  1. Cougarman November 1, 2019 2:12 pm

    Good Job Coach Tim, Bryan, George and the rest of the Cougar Staff!


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