CLOSING THE BOOK: Punahou Buffanblu

Punahou defensive back Trent Shiraki (38) celebrated his touchdown after an interception with teammates against Kamehameha. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

The new Open Division was supposed to bring teams like the Punahou Buffanblu back to the pack in the standings, but it didn’t quite work out that way.

The Buffanblu finished 7-3 with two of their losses coming to ILH rival Saint Louis and the numbers suggest that the program was worlds better than the previous year despite what was supposed to be a tougher schedule.

Punahou averaged 35.4 points per game in 2018, a jump of eight points over the previous year and the biggest jump since 2013-14.


The defense was better as well, limiting opponents to 20.5 points a game, its lowest since a 14.8 mark in 2014. That’s not bad considering they gave up 80 of their 200 points in two games to the Crusaders.

Head coach Kale Ane ran his streak of non-losing seasons to 17 in a row, sitting in ILH history behind only Cal Lee‘s current 24 straight and Cal Chai‘s 19 in a row. Among ILH coaches with at least 100 victories, Ane trails only Lee (.860) and Chai (.750) with his .690 winning percentage. He is eight wins away from tying Don Botelho for fifth on the ILH’s all-time list.

2018 TOP PERFORMANCES

Passing

Hugh Brady was much improved from his performance as a backup to Stephen Barber last year, throwing for 2,309 yards and 26 touchdowns to nine interceptions. He almost doubled Barber’s 1,213 yards and upped his completion percentage from 38 percent to 56 percent while getting a full yard more on each attempt. Kobe Muasau got some run as the backup, throwing for 773 yards and seven touchdowns to only three picks. Brady threw at least two touchdowns in every game before being knocked out without an attempt in the ILH championship game against Saint Louis. His best game came against OIA king Mililani, traveling to John Kauinana Stadium and throwing for 378 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. It was the second of three 300-yard games for Brady, one short of the four that Nick Kapule put up two years ago. He didn’t make it onto the school’s single-game top 10 for yardage, but only legends Larry Tuileta and Cayman Shutter put up more yards for the Buffanblu against an OIA foe. Brady’s two 300-yard games (He also had one in the season opener against Kahuku) matched Tuileta and Shutter for most against a public school.

Rushing

Vincent Terrell and Sitiveni Kaufusi had the same number of carries (70) and the same number of touchdowns (3) this season, but Terrell edged his teammate by more than a hundred yards with 379, although he was nowhere near Wayne Taulapapa‘s 1,142 in Punahou’s last 1,000 yard season in 2015. Terrell had the program’s lone 100-yard rushing game this season with 103 on 17 carries against Farrington, the second time in three years Punahou only put one rusher above the mark. Terrell’s next-best game was only 83 yards, leaving the Buffanblu with only two efforts all season above 75 yards. Terrell led the way in six of the first seven games but didn’t get a carry in the title game while Muasau led the way with eight after getting only nine carries in the previous nine games combined.


Receiving

Polynesian Bowl invitee Tamatoa Falatea upheld the tradition of elite receivers produced by Punahou, catching 74 passes for 1,057 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead the team in receiving for the second straight season. He put together the program’s first 1,000-yard season since all-time great Kanawai Noa in 2014. Falatea was far from alone, with Koa Eldredge scoring 10 touchdowns and Moku Dancil-Evans adding five. Brady and Terrell were not options in the final game against Saint Louis, but Faletea nearly made up for their absence by himself. Falatea exploded for 13 catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns against the state’s best defense after going 3-80-1 against them the first time. His best game didn’t come in the losses, of course, it came against Mililani when he caught nine balls for 196 yards and two touchdowns, his third game with more than one score. That effort put Falatea ninth on the school’s single-game list, behind only Noa, Donny Utu, Miah Ostrowski, Robby Toma and Nainoa Kuna. It was the best receiving performance for the school since Noa went nuts for 242 yards against Saint Louis in 2014.

Defense

Punahou’s defense pitched two shutouts this season, doing it back-to-back against Waianae and Kamehameha for their first successive blankings since zeroing in on Kamehameha and Damien in 2013. The Buffanblu completely dismantled the struggling Seariders, holding them to 18 yards on 18 rushing attempts before halftime, and did not allow Waianae to complete any of its eight pass attempts. The defense outscored Waianae 12-0 by itself, earning touchdowns on a fumble return and interception by Alaka’i Gilman all in a span of 18 seconds. It was the largest margin of victory in a shutout against an OIA school in program history, and first shutout of a public school since blanking Roosevelt in 2011.

HEAD COACH
>> Kale Ane is 144-65 in 20 seasons and 10th all-time in career wins for a coach.

STAT RANKINGS
>> QB Hugh Brady finished second in the Open Division in passing yards.
>> RB Vincent Terrell finished third in the Open Division in rushing yards.
>> WR Tamatoa Falatea finished second, WR Koa Eldredge finished third and SB Moku Dancil-Evans finished ninth in the Open Division in receiving yards.


KEY UNDERCLASSMEN IN 2018
>> SB/RB Moku Dancil-Evans (5-8, 150), S Alaka’i Gilman (5-11, 185), QB Hugh Brady (6-3, 200), RB Vincent Terrell (5-7, 160), QB Kobe Muasau (6-0, 170), WR Koa Eldredge (6-0, 180), LB Dillon Lundberg (5-11, 190), OL Solatoa Moea’i (6-5, 310).

FINAL TEAM STATS

PASSINGGC-A-IYdsTD
Hugh Brady10161-288-92,30926
Kobe Muasau765-124-37737
Koa Eldredge100-1-000
RUSHINGGAttYdsTD
Vincent Terrell9703793
Sitiveni Kaufusi10702703
Kobe Muasau717530
Theo Chun26241
Blake Furuta22100
Malcolm Liufau1160
Gunnar Locke3460
Maninoa Tufono9211
TEAM104-180
Hugh Brady1044-1232
RECEIVINGGRecYdsTD
Tamatoa Falatea10741,05711
Koa Eldredge104173410
Moku Dancil-Evans10464945
Kanoa Kalahiki8182604
Vincent Terrell9191630
Matagi Thompson44620
Alex Thompson35541
Sitiveni Kaufusi105521
Rayden Kiaaina-Caires25520
Christopher Paige61511
Treyden Buden-Nakasone22400
Noa Takeyama11380
Zachary Johnson22140
Noah Kameehonua22130
Yoshi Kobayashi11-20
Punahou coach Kale Ane had some encouraging words for receiver Tamatoa Falatea during a game against Kamehameha. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Punahou receiver Koa Eldredge (22) caught two touchdown passes against Kamehameha. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Punahou running back Sitiveni Kaufusi (4) scored three rushing touchdowns this season. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Punahou Hiram Defries-Saronitman (92) celebrated a fumble recovery during the Buffanblu’s win over Mililani. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Punahou wide receiver Tamatoa Falatea (10) finished second in the Open Division in receiving yards this season. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.
Punahou’s Vincent Terrell is part of a dangerous backfield for the Buffanblu. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Punahou quarterback Hugh Brady threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting against Saint Louis. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Punahou’s Marist Liufau scored Punahou’s first two points with a safety against Campbell. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Punahou’s Trent Shiraki (38) caused a fumble in the second quarter against Waianae. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

COMMENTS

  1. KalihiFB November 1, 2018 8:33 pm

    Before the ILH title game, Punahou was ranked #2. With just that lost they are out of the state open tournament. No make sense! The top 4 teams should be in the tournament no matter what league. Or better yet top 6 where the top 2 get a bye on the 1st round. Give Punahou or any 2nd place ILH team a chance in the open state tournament. People in Hawaii wants to see the bests teams play each other. How this, all 3 ILH teams play the top 3 OIA teams for the 6 team tournament with their league champion having the 1st round bye! It will prove everything in the end who is the best in the state in the end.


  2. notes November 1, 2018 11:19 pm

    ILH recruites and have no district boundaries. STL goes so far as to hold kids back and graduate them as 19yr seniors like Tua a couple years ago.

    Based on these advantages and as an OIA guy myself we can all agree that the ILH is the better “resourced” and overall league. The ILH championship game can be considered the state title game if it makes you happy and Puns are #2 in the state if that makes you happy even though Kahuku spanked them earlier in the season.

    go back to OIA1 VS ILH1, that is the best format!


  3. Martin DuPont November 2, 2018 7:33 am

    TOP ILH vs TOP OIA …SOUNDS LIKE THE RIGHT STATE PLAYOFF PLAN.


  4. ??? November 2, 2018 10:16 am

    ILH and OIA should have their own championship games and that’s it!
    Once the OIA can legally recruit than they can be on a level playing field; than we can have an
    ILH-OIA title game with NO complaints.


  5. Unreal November 2, 2018 11:06 am

    shame on hawaii. If farrington beats campbell, a 2-8 record team will be playing in the state semi finals lol. How emabarrassing is that. Shame Shame Shame on Hawaii for not getting things right. Making hawaii high school football look stupid.


  6. KalihiFB November 2, 2018 1:55 pm

    To all those haters on recruiting, in the past decade, Leilehua, Kahuku, Mililani won the state championships over ILH teams when recruiting was still a topic. Kamehameha won it also with the enrollment they got. The OIA can be great with the right coaches and staff, and dedicated players. Example, coach York (Mililani) took a good program when he took over to made it a great program without recruiting. And it is not all about ILH ways, Hilo beat Damien (3X – ILH Div 1 champion) in the states finals last year without recruiting. And for the comment that if Farrington beats Campbell to be in the state semis, what’s up with that? Punahou must feel great about that knowing they were rank #2 just about 2 weeks ago. Wonder how the mainland leagues are looking at the HHSAA system right now.


  7. ??? November 2, 2018 2:37 pm

    @kailihiFB
    Example, coach York (Mililani) took a good program when he took over to made it a great program without recruiting.

    You don’t have a clue if you think Mililani doesn’t recruit !! “District Exception”


  8. KalihiFB November 2, 2018 3:07 pm

    ???
    District Exemption has been going on for years in public schools not just for football reasons. Alot of parents don’t want their kids to attend their district schools due to various reasons (safety, reputation, bullying, awful school programs, etc.) and they find ways to bring their kids to another school. If York is recruiting, then I stand corrected. But maybe parents just want their kids to be coached under York anyway and be on a winning team.


  9. notes November 2, 2018 4:11 pm

    ILH can recruit evry year to prep for the future, thats all 22 starters on the field. That is why they dominate every year in all sports. MiLLs got 2 or 3 players that transfer every year making an accumulation of 5 or 6 recruits on their roster every year. Kahuku get 1 or 2 on their roster every year, this year zero.

    Farrington in the state playoffs is a smoke screen to make a case for #2 ILH to get in cause we all know farrington not winning nothing.

    Two Juniors kids this year, girl and boy on my street here in Wahiawa apply for district exemption to Mill last year. Girl gets denied, boy is starting DB for trojans tonight. Go figure!


  10. Dafun November 2, 2018 6:12 pm

    Show proof of recruiting or shut up. I played for st Louis. No recruiting here. Just a dad who dropped a lot of money for me to go there.


  11. Nowheardis November 5, 2018 5:20 am

    Ok the playing fields are not level, ILH is recruiting Dafun your ignorant to say they don’t! My son was recruited my nephew was recruited an headed to UH from St. Louis. ILH gets one an if they dont like it get out! Go play with yourselves! In your little circle. Take it or leave it, it is what it is or open recruiting for all schools an level this.


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