The Kalaheo Mustangs turned in their pads early, but in many ways 2018 marked another season of improvement.
The Mustangs earned three wins for the first time since Darrell Poole‘s inaugural season in 2012 and have upped their win total for three years in a row, the first time that has happened since 2006-2008 under Chris Mellor, capped by Kalaheo’s last really good team that started 6-0 and finished 7-3 following back-to-back losses to Campbell.
Poole’s 2018 bunch scored only 14.1 points per game and has seen that number decline for three years in a row. Whenever Kalaheo has been good in the past, it has been on the strength of its defense and signs point to them getting back to those days. Kalaheo allowed 24.2 points per game and has improved in each of the last three years on the strength of posting back-to-back shutouts this season for the first time since 2013.
2018 BEST PERFORMANCES
Noa Lapera called the signals for the 2018 Mustangs, but the offense asked him to take care of the ball more than air it out. He threw for 633 yards and four touchdowns to six picks and Kekoa Alana had similar numbers in his limited opportunities. Lapera’s best performance came against Waialua when he went 11-for-15 for 210 yards and three of his four touchdowns. It was the first 200-yard game for the school since Mark Lehrner in 2016.
Kalaheo split carries evenly between Carl Addy and Jaden Amasiu, with both of them scoring two touchdowns and Addy having the edge in yardage 386-306. Amasiu enjoyed a decided edge until Addy broke out with a Jesse Carney-esque performance in the season finale against Kalani. Addy took 22 handoffs in that game, his first time with more than 15, and covered 111 yards and a touchdown for the only game over 100 yards the team put together.
Jordan Neufeldt finished last year as the team’s top receiver and was the top target this time with 26 catches for 249 yards and a touchdown, but Jedaiah Borge was the school’s biggest deep threat with only seven catches but more than 200 yards and a team-leading two receiving TDs. Neufeldt caught at least one pass in each of Kalaheo’s games but the biggest performance belonged to Borge against Waialua. He only caught two passes against the Bulldogs but both went for scores totaling 106 yards. He followed that up with three catches against Pearl City but never hauled in another pass.
After giving up 40 points to Kauai and 28 to Kaiser, it was hard to see Kalaheo’s shutout of McKinley in the third game of the season coming. The Mustangs hounded McKinley into two interceptions and allowed the Tigers only 14 passing yards to make up for the 123 yards they allowed Migguel Camacho to gain on the ground. Kalaheo clamped down on the run against Waialua the next week for its second straight shutout.
>> Darrell Poole is now 17-45 in seven seasons.
>> QB Noa Lapera finished eighth in Division II in passing yards.
>> RB Carl Addy finished seventh and RB Jaden Amasiu finished ninth in Division II in rushing yards.
KEY UNDERCLASSMEN IN 2018
>> RB Carl Addy (5-10, 190), DB/SB Bryson Johnson (5-5, 130), TE/LB Jordan Neufeldt (6-2, 200), QB/SB Isaiah Akiu (5-6, 135), DE Alan Aber (6-0, 135), OL/DL Kepa Kaeka (6-2, 230).
FINAL TEAM STATS