The Kamehameha Warriors again came up just short of finishing .500 for the first time under third-year head coach Abu Ma’afala, and the numbers make it pretty clear where they need to get better in order to contend.
On defense, Ma’afala has made a huge difference since replacing Doug Cosbie prior to the start of the 2016 season. Kamehameha allowed 30.2 points per game against ILH competition in Cosbie’s final year and 31.2 points per game in Ma’afala’s first year. That number dropped by more than a touchdown to 23.7 in 2017 and and then to just 22.2 points per game this year despite playing a full season in the new OIA-ILH format.
Before a disappointing 35-0 loss to Punahou to end the season, the Warriors were in contention in every game they played. They trailed just 14-7 at the half to No. 1 Saint Louis and were tied 14-14 with Punahou in their first meeting. Kamehameha also squandered an eight-point lead at halftime against Campbell in a 26-22 loss.
Offensively, the Warriors desperately need to find a quarterback to carry the passing game. Kamehameha had a QB throw for more than 100 yards only twice in a game all season and it averaged just 17.1 points per game. It was a similar season to 2010 when Kamehameha averaged 17.5 points per game, but that included a 35-8 win against Anuenue.
2018 BEST PERFORMANCES
It was the first loss of the season for Kamehameha, a 31-24 defeat at the hands of Mililani, but it seemed the game the Warriors might have some success throwing the ball this season. Junior quarterback Christmas Togiai, who was one of three QBs to attempt a pass in a season-opening 21-7 win over Kapolei, took all of the snaps against the Trojans and threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns. His 40-yard TD pass tied the game with 8:46 remaining and he hit a receiver through the hands in the end zone to tie the game in the final two minutes, but it was dropped. The 217 passing yards in a game by Togiai were the fewest by Kamehameha’s top passer in a season since 2011.
This has been the strength of the offense under Ma’afala and seniors Alec Serrao and Reino Bush provided a strong 1-2 punch, combining for 1,020 rushing yards. They put up the two best rushing totals in the same game as Serrao tallied 136 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and Bush added 102 yards on 15 carries in a homecoming win over Farrington. It was the first time since 2014 that Kamehameha had two players top 100 yards rushing in the same game.
Junior Skyler Ramos kept alive the streak of a 100-yard receiver in at least one game in every season since 2001 when he finished with 141 yards on seven receptions and a touchdown in a seven-point loss to Mililani. It was the most yards receiving in a game since Jaykob Cabunoc had 153 yards against ‘Iolani in 2016. That was the only time Kamehameha had a receiver pick up more than 75 yards on catches in a game.
The defense was tremendous all year and held opponents to a touchdown or less in three of the 10 games played. The one shutout was a 27-0 win over Waianae in October when Kamehameha forced Waianae into negative yardage on 18 offensive plays from scrimmage. Seniors Kupono Blake and Hoku Arias both had two sacks and Kamehameha held Waianae to minus-25 yards rushing and 124 total yards for the game.
>> Abu Ma’afala is 11-17 in three seasons.
>> QB Christmas Togiai finished eighth in the Open Division in passing yards.
>> RB Alec Serrao led the Open Division in rushing yards.
>> RB Reino Bush finished fifth in the Open Division in rushing yards.
>> WR Skyler Ramos finished 11th in the Open Division in receiving yards.
KEY UNDERCLASSMEN IN 2018
>> WR Skyler Ramos, QB Christmas Togiai, QB Kiai Keone, DB Tanner Moku, DL Ezra Evaimalo, LB Kamana’o Gilliland.
FINAL TEAM STATS
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