Elephant in room; elephant package not as much

Kesi Ah-Hoy moved from quarterback to free safety this season and was a large force in helping Kahuku to its second straight state championship game. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Kesi Ah-Hoy moved from quarterback to free safety this season and was a large force in helping Kahuku to its second straight state championship game. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Nobody’s talking about the elephant in the room, and now is a good time to get the conversation started.

Or should we call it the elephant package that wasn’t used as much as it could have been?

The focus right now is squarely and deservedly on Saint Louis, and more specifically on star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after the Crusaders’ 30-14 victory over Kahuku for the Open Division championship Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.


But that focus up until kickoff (actually, it was up until a fourth-quarter fumble that started the night’s wheel of fate against Kahuku) was keenly on the Red Raiders. Oddly enough, it was the opposite circumstance from one year ago, when all eyes were on how unstoppable the Saint Louis offense was until Kahuku shut it down for the top-tier title.

2015 was the year when Kahuku went untraditional in the stretch run and used its elephant package almost exclusively on offense, a perfect complement to an unyielding defense that will be long remembered as one of the best — if not the best — units the state has seen.

And that’s the crux of this article. The offensive personnel used in that jumbo package did not change drastically in one year, so why go back to a traditional I-formation offense most of the time this year?

It’s a legitimate question — the elephant in the room that nobody is talking about. You could also call it second-guessing from the peanut gallery. A call to Kahuku head coach Vavae Tata Monday afternoon in an effort to ask that question was not immediately answered.

A year ago, when Kesi Ah-Hoy ran that elephant package from the quarterback position to the state-title victory, many around the state thought the move was brilliant. Tata had no problem whatsoever with all but abandoning the passing game.

The Red Raiders’ offensive plan was: “OK, we’ve got everybody bunched up tight and we’re going to push forward. Stop us, if you can. Snap the ball to Kesi over and over again and have fun tackling him.”

It worked.

This season, some of the offensive attention turned to freshman quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava, who had received an offer in the summer from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.


Before the season started, it was hard to know what Tata would do with the situation. A QB who hasn’t seen one varsity snap walking on to a team that has built its legacy on the run? There were many who thought Tata would use Maiava sparingly and break him in gradually through the years.

But it turned out that Maiava became the starting quarterback and stayed in that post all season, with the Red Raiders running mostly from the “I” formation. Maiava had his share of success in both passing and running and he was a factor in leading the Red Raiders to the title game.

It seemed quite possible, though, that Ah-Hoy — who started as the free safety all season — would be put in at quarterback when Kahuku needed that bit of magic. Maybe for the biggest game of the regular season, when Kahuku went to Bishop Gorman in September? But that didn’t happen.

The argument could be made that Ah-Hoy, who is a truly gifted athlete and can play anywhere on the field, was needed on defense. It’s a good argument, too, but we’re talking about the quarterback who rushed the ball 30 times for 103 yards and three touchdowns to beat the Crusaders last year. So that argument can go both ways.

And so there the Red Raiders were in the state final Saturday night, showing off their rugged ground game against Saint Louis. Harmon Brown and Elvis Vakapuna and others ripped off some big gains behind that massive offensive line. Some of the plays were run out of that elephant package, too, and Kahuku got temporary leads of 7-6 and 14-13.

But that elephant package was not used like it had been in 2015, and there was no sign of Ah-Hoy on offense until he was called on for six carries late in the game. In a short-yardage goal-line situation that would have given Kahuku another lead, though, Ah-Hoy fumbled it away and into the waiting hands of Saint Louis’ Isaiah Tufaga in the Crusaders’ end zone in the fourth quarter. Saint Louis drove down to score on the other end to make it 23-14 and the tides had turned for good.

As it turned out, Maiava — on the rare times he dropped back to pass — was hounded by Saint Louis’ defensive line. He went 0-for-3 and was sacked three times.


Perhaps the Red Raiders could have used Ah-Hoy a bit more on offense during the season, preparing him for the eventuality that they may need him when everything was on the line. They actually did go to him in a crucial situation on offense. But was he fully ready for it? Did he have enough live reps?

You hear coaches say, “Give the ball to your horse.” Sure, Kahuku has a ton of horses and it is hard to pick which one to ride, but one of the best Red Raiders football players ever, Kesi Ah-Hoy, proved last year that he was “THE” horse and he didn’t get a real chance to do it again this year.

COMMENTS

  1. Andrew Hopoi November 21, 2016 1:32 pm

    Teach the kids real football! Your offense must have a running, and passing game. Defensively, There are cover 3, 2, and 1. Basic football and Kahuku was lacking big time!


  2. Coach_B November 21, 2016 1:39 pm

    Kahuku is in a tough spot. Its not like Kahuku didn’t have all season to adapt to the reality that they have a POTENTIAL star qb on their team, but knowing that he would probably transfer if he didnt play they evolved to keep Maiava involved in the game plan. They even changed OC this season and went with the I formation and some spread looks. Don’t know why they didnt rely more on option plays with Maiava out of those looks. He had good games rushing against Waianae and Farrington . Kid is a good athlete, OL is better at run blocking than pass protection, and the passing game isnt quite where it needs to be yet, why not run the ball with him running the option?


  3. Coach_B November 21, 2016 1:45 pm

    @Andrew

    I think Kahuku is trying to boil everything down to bare minimum fundamentals football but I get what you’re saying and I agree. I just don’t think they can go from formations with basically 10 linemen to a legit passing game in 1 season, but the fact that they put Maiava in shotgun and let him pass a few times over the post-season is a good sign. At minimum they gotta leave him on the field the whole game instead of just 3rd and long. They could even copy what STL did on their 4th down conversion and put him in 5WR spread sets and let him run the ball against a spread out defense.


  4. Oia#1 November 21, 2016 1:46 pm

    ??? Elephant package was eating big yards!


  5. Coach_B November 21, 2016 1:54 pm

    Tata isnt stupid. He knows how good Kahuku could be with a real passing game and he has to change now before Maiava decides he wants to throw 50 times a game like Taulia @ Kapolei and transfers to the ILH


  6. Big Red! November 21, 2016 1:57 pm

    Really it doesn’t matter and stir up trouble Nick? It was st.Louis night. Isiah Tufaga said it all. “It was divine intervention “, so leave alone and let the Saints enjoy. It was Tua Man night and I’m happy for him. Good luck to all the boys moving onto the next level. Alofa Atu! RRFL


  7. Nick Abramo November 21, 2016 2:10 pm

    TO COACH B: But here’s my point: the Red Raiders are a running team and probably always will be. If a passing quarterback transfers, let him transfer. I could be wrong about that.


  8. Nick Abramo November 21, 2016 2:12 pm

    TO OIA #1 — you are correct; but they ran the elephant package about 95 percent of the time in the 2015 state title game with the best horse they have: Kesi Ah-Hoy. This year, the elephant package wasn’t used nearly as much, and they didn’t put Kesi in until it was just about too late.


  9. Nick Abramo November 21, 2016 2:13 pm

    TO BIG RED! — as it says early in the article, the focus now is on Saint Louis and star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and deservedly so


  10. Kahuku90 November 21, 2016 2:26 pm

    Andrew Hopoi November 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm
    Teach the kids real football! Your offense must have a running, and passing game. Defensively, There are cover 3, 2, and 1. Basic football and Kahuku was lacking big time!

    Really? Don’t you think Kahuku knows football? Sure Kahuku should and I’m sure will implement more pass into their game plan. We are a run first offense. Stop us if you can. And Saturday night St. Louis slowed Kahuku considerably. The game was much closer than the score shows. Its all about execution. And Kahuku did not execute their offense nor their defense. (Yes St. Louis had a lot to do with that.) Where as St.Louis was firing on all cylinders, they could do no wrong.
    The 2015 was the exact opposite, Kahuku executed it’s typical stop us if you can run offense and shut down defense to perfection to upset the unstoppable juggernaut of an offense in St. Louis.
    Execution and assignments. St. Louis won that battle and the game.


  11. anywaaaays!! November 21, 2016 2:30 pm

    Good Afternoon all! its been a minute. First and foremost congrats STL, no im not poor sport you win some and lose some and it wasn’t our night. Congrats Crusaders!

    True when they went wildcat that 3rd series they scored easily in that 2nd Quarter. Not sure if Kahuku noticed that Slade and Purcell were injured which should mean that the STL defense got weaker giving Kahuku more of a reason to run the elephant. After the 1st half it was obvious that STL figured out how to beat the pass block and disrupt the I-formation. 2nd half should have been all elephant, but like others are saying they have a QB with a Michigan offer so the pressure to let him shine was what did us in. The OC is a Kahuku alumni.

    You guys forget that Kahuku has more scholarship offers this year then any other high school in Hawaii and its usually like that every year for the past 20 years and we never had a passing game. There are 22 positions on the field not just the QB position.


  12. anywaaaays!! November 21, 2016 2:35 pm

    True Nick, if Soljay wants to transfer I think its best for him so he can develop his pass. Last years backup Jordan Maretagi went to Utah and started for one of their top schools, he did really well and threw the ball a lot if he stayed at Kahuku he would have warmed the bench.


  13. Coach_B November 21, 2016 2:38 pm

    @anyways

    Very true that there are 21 other positions other than QB, but would you pass up on the potential of developing a great QB? As other people have said on other comment sections, Tua took over the game. Great QB play can carry a team.

    BTW what does a passing game have anything to do with scholarship offers for other players? Offers are just a sign that your team has individual talent, and of course Kahuku has talent. You guys also have great team success, but how many times in the last 20 years has a KAHUKU QB gotten a scholarship offer?

    Wouldn’t you want to incorporate him into the game plan if you could? Seems beneficial to the team


  14. Coach_B November 21, 2016 2:43 pm

    @Nick

    Couldn’t it be argued that Mililani w/ Malepeai, Milton, Timoteo and a solid line 2 yrs ago could’ve had great success just running? Malepeai was dominant, but he couldn’t carry them to a championship without a passing game last year when Milton went down.

    The passing game makes a difference and coaches know that. Why would you let a potential difference making QB transfer even when you have a good run game? Doesnt make coaching sense


  15. Nick Abramo November 21, 2016 3:01 pm

    TO ANYWAAAAYS!! — I think your phrase is worth noting. I don’t know if it’s 100 percent accurate, but still worth resubmitting into this forum. You wrote: “they have a QB with a Michigan offer so the pressure to let him shine was what did us in.”


  16. Oia#1 November 21, 2016 3:06 pm

    When you have a running game like kahuku you dont need a qb.


  17. Nick Abramo November 21, 2016 3:07 pm

    TO COACH B: Sure, developing a quarterback is good, but if you have a proven state-title winning formula in Kesi Ah-Hoy up the middle, Ah-Hoy up the middle and Ah-Hoy up the middle, why tinker? And why go to him at the end of the last game for the first time all year? … Plus, if I was a coach and somebody even hinted that they wanted to transfer, I wouldn’t even want him on my team. Not that Sol-Jay has hinted that he is transferring. I would also not put him at starting quarterback over my senior horse. Nothing wrong for a freshman to have to wait, in my opinion. And to ANYONE out there who believes Kahuku needs to develop a passing game, history has proven otherwise. … Oh wait … I say all this as a second-guesser. I am not a football coach, so it is quite possible I am wrong about all of this.


  18. Oia#1 November 21, 2016 3:07 pm

    Maiava needs to transfer to stlouis to work with vinny passas.


  19. Oia#1 November 21, 2016 3:10 pm

    You are 100% correct nick, i totally agree.


  20. anywaaaays!! November 21, 2016 4:11 pm

    Its a tough situation for our coaches to be in. SolJay is a die hard RR, a son of the whole community and he wants to be here.


  21. Joe November 21, 2016 5:00 pm

    Now I hear people sayn , even kahuku fans saying kinda hard when u one dimensional, thank you, they hit that right on the dot ONE DIMENSIONAL, why? Because they too used to running over the small schools , and they dont just get by, they demolish, and when u used to doin that kinda things u stick with it, now when u play better competition it’s not that easy. Lucky St. Louis never go up 14-0 cause the game would’ve got outta hand , cause being from behind clock grinding running the ball doesn’t work , and when you try to pass which they don’t know how , it would’ve got ugly. Kahukus like an SEC team playing in the mountain west. Walk in every year to the tourney. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll admit this kahuku is the only OIA team that can actually play with the top ILH, my point is week in week out against top schools won’t be easy and that’s y I say kahuku would never go undefeated neither will some of the ILH if it was like that. And I hate hearing 23 wins in a row against Hawaii schools lol 22 of em was OIA. System gotta change


  22. chodhi November 21, 2016 5:14 pm

    @anywaaaays!! November 21, 2016 at 2:30 pm
    RE: your comment that ….”You guys forget that Kahuku has more scholarship offers this year then any other high school in Hawaii and its usually like that every year for the past 20 years and we never had a passing game. There are 22 positions on the field not just the QB position.”

    Here is Hawaii Prep World’s list of recruits for the 2017 class as of Nov. 15, 2016. Kahuku has 3, St. Louis has 4, Punahou has 4, Kamehameha has 3. Please note that St. Louis graduates less than 150 students a year….they are a very small school compared to Punahou and Kamehameha.

    http://www.hawaiiprepworld.com/football/recruiting/

    I was a little surprised that with the number of Seniors on the Kahuku team that there were not more scholarship offers, especially since there is a lot of athletic talent out there. I would hope that the coaching staff will spend more time developing the talent for the next level and the school staff will ensure that these students are prepared for the rigors of college. These student athletes deserve more…


  23. N. Sosa November 21, 2016 5:16 pm

    Tata probably realized that the “Elephant” offense (not much of an offense really, more like a rugby scrum w/pads) wouldn’t be viable for much longer if the Red Raiders didn’t change it up. Everyone can agree that Kahuku could run any offense that they wanted…..wishbone, wing-T, play w/leather helmets, whatever and defeat 95% of the teams in Hawaii. They’re just vastly superior physically to almost every team they face. But the elite teams with comparable physical/talented players will adjust and to think that the Cal Lee/Darren Hernandez/Kale Ane/Rod York of the worlds wouldn’t figure out a way to stop a stone age offense that NO ELITE HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE OR PRO would ever think of implementing is naive. Way too one dimensional and you saw what happened when Kahuku fell behind by more than one score….they looked hapless trying to pass. Imagine if they ran the glorified rugby offense exclusively and tried to come from behind. This article detracts from the one indisputable fact from Saturday night….the better team won. StL made a ton of mistakes and missed wide open receivers all night. However, they managed to dominate both lines of scrimmage, had over 400 yards of total offense and came up on top by 2 TDs. To blame the loss on the offense Kahuku ran sounds like an excuse and/or sour grapes.


  24. 101 November 21, 2016 5:51 pm

    Honestly when looking at the game it wouldn’t have mattered if Kahuku put Ahoy in the backfield. Yes it worked last year but St Louis came with a different mindset and mentality and their defense this year although smaller than Kahukus O- Line, they were faster tougher. Almost similar to when De La Salle played St louis a few years back. St Louis had the bigger O Line and overall team….but De La Salle was quicker off the blocks and more athletic. With the addition of Tuitele, Filisi and Auld, that helped toughen the D line this year. Also this year The secondary for St louis made some big plays as well with Sandry, Tufaga, Saole, and Moore. I think the two biggest mistakes Kahuku made was not blitzing and using stunts more on D and not utilizing the read option more with Maiava. They should’ve also chose someone a little more quicker and athletic than Naupoto to spy Tua. Not saying Naupoto isn’t a good player. As for the secondary, Kekaula should’ve stayed at the corner position. He was basically non existent in the middle.


  25. Jeezy33 November 21, 2016 6:13 pm

    Sure, Kahuku doesn’t need to throw the ball to win, because they’re so physically dominant. They don’t need to develop a quarterback at all. They could just run “elephant” package all day until the cows come home because they’re so much bigger and physically dominant than almost every other team in the state. But Sol Jay Maiava can kiss his verbal offer to michigan goodbye (or any division I school that runs a modern passing attack looking for a qb) if his only stat line for all four years in high school is 6 passes a game and less than 100 yards.

    Running the elephant package exclusively is a stupid idea. As a change of pace, great. Running out of the I formation is much better from a technical standpoint because of the options you have based on the very nature of the formation, including blocking schemes with the full back or with tight ends sealing the outside, from counters to draws to isolations to sweeps. And that’s excluding the options for the passing game (which doesn’t exist in kahuku).

    There’s a reason why I formation is one of the most dominant power running formations in football among those teams that don’t play exclusively a spread running or spread passing offense.

    Kahuku was just outplayed and outcoached that night, bottom line.


  26. Manley November 21, 2016 6:41 pm

    Nick, my opinion is that Tata wants to implement more passing. When Kahuku beat Waianae in the first game, they went to the elephant when things weren’t going with Sol Jay. It was a brutal game against a physical Waianae team. Renaud was injured for over a month. Others were banged up. Maybe Hao felt they had to go to bread butter. Anyway, Hao was let go, and BG was up. Maiava is still a star in the making. Ah Hoy is a stud, but to put him in after 3 plus quarters of chasing receivers on D, oh well. Brown and Vakapuna was doing good. Plus those two are more like a wildcat. They hit the hole faster. Yes, that was the fumble that broke some spirits but it is what it is. Great chess match game. Great win for the Crusaders. I’m a RR fan but I love competition and good football. Who knows maybe next year it will be Punahou and Kapolei but it’s all good. Maybe the anon.chatter would cease. We celebrate all the young men and women who pursue high school atheletics.


  27. Pun Alum 95 November 21, 2016 7:21 pm

    @ Nick, it depends on what the goal is? Is it to win Hawaii State titles? Or is the goal to develop all the players so when and if they make it to college they will have a well rounded game that is and easier transition to the college game. I guess you have to ask Coach Tata. Personally I think developing the players to understand more diverse game plans and playbooks can even be more important than winning the title. It’s about development. Yes winning is important but if the end result is playing in college then I believe teaching the kids to understand a more high level playbook might be more important. Who knows. I think you need to ask the head coach….


  28. red x November 21, 2016 7:23 pm

    You guys make like kahuku got dominated by st.louis. Tua is the best quarterback and he’s the reason why st.louis won. He had to make plays happen with arm and keep drives alive with his legs. As for sol Jay he has three more years to develop his passing game. You guys really think that sol Jay is only going to be passing 6 times a game. I’m already impressed with what sol jay did this year. But it seems like you guys are scared of what kahuku can be when sol Jay gets his passing game going. That’s why alot of you guys dissing him and wanting him to transfer to st.louis. I don’t blame you guys because there will be no tua to save the day.


  29. Ohhreally November 21, 2016 8:05 pm

    This will only give Sol Jay more fire to bring the title back home and I truly believe he will by the end of his career. This kid is something special and everyone will witness this for years to come..


  30. TheHeartlessPrick November 21, 2016 8:16 pm

    red x November 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm
    You guys make like kahuku got dominated by st.louis. Tua is the best quarterback and he’s the reason why st.louis won. He had to make plays happen with arm and keep drives alive with his legs. As for sol Jay he has three more years to develop his passing game. You guys really think that sol Jay is only going to be passing 6 times a game. I’m already impressed with what sol jay did this year. But it seems like you guys are scared of what kahuku can be when sol Jay gets his passing game going. That’s why alot of you guys dissing him and wanting him to transfer to st.louis. I don’t blame you guys because there will be no tua to save the day.

    Why are you even bringing up you overrated freshman QB. If he WASN’T IN THE GAME & they ran the Elephant with #26 they would’ve won. All the factors was in RR favor including the weather. But instead they proved to the state that they were in a weak league & could run any offense to gain national & statewide respect. The freshman QB was a nonfactor. What amazes me is the lack of physicality on the RR Defense. Secondary getting torched all game & when Tua gets to the 2nd level everyone is hesitate to hit him. RR played scared, this game was close because St Louis made it close. A dropped TD in the end zone, muffed punt that was capitalized to a TD, missed FG. That’s just to name a few not to mention there was not defensive speed by RR all game long


  31. Jeezy33 November 21, 2016 8:25 pm

    “red x November 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm
    You guys make like kahuku got dominated by st.louis.”

    i wouldn’t say “dominated.” but they lost the game pretty convincingly.

    “Tua is the best quarterback and he’s the reason why st.louis won.”

    Well, that and the defense held kahuku to 14 points and shut them out in the second half and also forced turnovers despite injuries to significant players. The o-line did a great job blocking kahuku pass rushers. the receivers got open on possibly the best secondary in the state. The running backs hit holes that the linemen opened up. the coaching staff made great adjustments.

    but by all means, diss the rest of the team and say that it was strictly Tua that played offense, defense, and special teams, if it makes you take the loss better. You’re no different than 88. Talk crap to everyone for months then cry cry cry when the team finally loses.

    “As for sol Jay he has three more years to develop his passing game.”

    The last quarterback that kahuku actually developed as a passer was inoke funaki. If kahuku was interested in developing sol jay as a passer, he would’ve thrown the ball much more.

    “You guys really think that sol Jay is only going to be passing 6 times a game.”

    Yes.

    “But it seems like you guys are scared of what kahuku can be when sol Jay gets his passing game going.”

    nope. do you not know how to read?? everyone here is saying they WANT sol jay maiava to develop his passing game becuase that would make kahuku extremely scary good. the criticism here is that he WASN’T developed.

    “That’s why alot of you guys dissing him and wanting him to transfer to st.louis. I don’t blame you guys because there will be no tua to save the day.”

    cry cry cry, along with your bf 88.


  32. Alpha November 21, 2016 8:35 pm

    Let’s not overreact on Soljay losing his offer now. There’s a reason why we’re not getting paid to Head Coach or recruit/scout high school football players. This whole Michigan offer has put so much expectation on the kid that every snap, every game is under the microscope until he graduates. He does good he gets overhyped, has a bad game or a non factor role on the team then the hammer drops. J. Harbaugh might have been thinking of the Soljay 3yrs from now instead of a gifted freshman who should automatically win state titles for his high school. It took Tua 3yrs starting to finally win one, nobody was calling him overrated after last year’s loss, or calling for his scholarship after losing to Punahou this yr. Let the boy grow, it’s Varsity football experience he lacks. Some kids like Taulia and Gabriel are thrown into the fire, nd some like Soljay are eased in to it.


  33. Jeezy33 November 21, 2016 8:37 pm

    “Manley November 21, 2016 at 6:41 pm
    Nick, my opinion is that Tata wants to implement more passing. ”

    Does he really, though? There’s a lot of pressure to win at Kahuku and implementing even a functional passing game means that Kahuku will take some losses while the recievers and quarterback develop. It’ll definitely require sol jay to throw for more than 8 passes a game or whatever. He’s gonna make mistakes. Receivers will drop the ball or run wrong routes. Timing will get messed up on occasion. They can’t just abandon a passing game and start running “elephant” if sol jay or whoever is the qb starts playing poorly.

    Would the community and fan base be okay with that or would they interfere and call for Tata’s head unless he goes back to the safe bet, which is keep plowing through people with the run game until someone can stop them? The north shore community loves their coaches, but they can also be pretty brutal to them too.


  34. Jeezy33 November 21, 2016 9:01 pm

    Ah, yes. Alpha. The Kahuku nuthugger. Alpha says “J. Harbaugh might have been thinking of the Soljay 3yrs from now instead of a gifted freshman who should automatically win state titles for his high school. It took Tua 3yrs starting to finally win one, nobody was calling him overrated after last year’s loss, or calling for his scholarship after losing to Punahou this yr.”

    Apparently you need to read what other people write more closely. People aren’t saying that sol jay maiava isn’t developing as a passer because he didnt’ win states this year. that’s idiotic. people are saying that he’s not developing as a passer because he flat out is not allowed to throw the ball. all he does is the following: he hands off the ball. he will take off running on pre-planned qb runs. he doesn’t even do zone read. it’s all very simplified.

    and that’s okay! that’s winning football for kahuku and kahuku usually wins much much more than they lose. but if you want to develop a quarterback who is supposedly good enough to get a verbal offer from michigan (and this is assuming harbaugh, like other coaches who offer 8th graders, wasn’t doing this as a publicity stunt), then he needs to throw the ball.

    In the second part of your post, you compare him to Tua. So apparently you want to compare sol-jay maiava with tua tagovailoa. Okay. let’s play that game.

    So this is sol-jay as a starter: http://www.hawaiiprepworld.com/kahuku-football/kahuku-2016/

    He has a 45% completion rate with about 8 pass attempts a game (most of these in garbage time). he has 8 tds to 3 interceptions and threw for only 839 yards in 13 games, which averages to 65 yards a game (although many games, he didnt’ even hit that much).

    this is Tua as a starter: http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/tuaniga-tagovailoa/Ap8S0iQ9EeS00gAmVebEWg/gendersport/football-stats.htm

    the relevant info here is his sophomore year, which is apparently the first year he started. He threw over three times the yardage than sol-jay and 25 more tds and in 3 less games with a 68% completion rate in a much tougher league. This is how you get scholarship offers to play D-I quarterback. He developed as a qb because he was in an offense that required him to make complex reads and to actually throw the ball.

    some kahuku fans are like “don’t worry. sol-jay will develop into an amazing quarterback!” but all indications are that he won’t. and it’s not becuase he’s not talented or athletically gifted. it’s because the kahuku offense doesn’t let him throw the ball or make any kind of reads. So when he does have to throw the ball, he looks clueless and the receivers look clueless with him (even though the receivers are probably very gifted athletes themselves).


  35. TheHeartlessPrick November 21, 2016 9:07 pm

    Why are we even mentioning the Michigan recruit??? He played two legitimate games this year & thought his “coming out game” was against Waianae. He hasn’t done anything against legitimate competition. He can’t throw on the run, his mobility & hip rotation is mediocre & he’s not a leader. You gotta be real about his situation. Why is he playing Qb when he won’t play Qb at the next level? If he is recruited as an “athlete” than why not use him as an “athlete”? I can tell you now before next year even happens. He won’t even be close to matching Mariota’s sophomore year & Mariota wasn’t even a starter as a sophomore or junior. So what does that tell you? HE IS NOT A QB, HE IS BARELY A D1 PROSPECT.


  36. Jeezy33 November 21, 2016 9:12 pm

    He’s not a michigan recruit until harbaugh offers him again when he’s a junior and gives it to him in writing. 8th grade recruiting is just a publicity stunt. Other schools do them too, like lane kiffin when he was in USC. verbal offers aren’t binding and mean nothing. It’s highly likely that harbaugh forgot who he is.

    And with statistics like 8 passing attempts a game for 60 yards a game, I don’t think he’ll remember.


  37. Moorea November 21, 2016 9:24 pm

    Didn’t need to use Ah Hoy on the goal line. Vakapuna and Brown were doing just fine all night long. Kahuku’s bread and butter ground and pound is what wears defenses down. And you could see and feel that was happening to St. Louis. So why change if that was working ? That way you run the clock down and keep St. Louis’s offense off the field. Once you pretty much know you got their defense broke down by getting a pretty safe lead,then you can mix in the pass “at the right time”. By Kahuku trying to play the passing game they played right into St. Louis. This year their defensive line was in shape and fast on the pass rush. But Kahuku had them on the power run and should’ve stuck to it until the right time to pass. One thing St. Louis learned from last year’s game was they were too slow offensively on the line. Their offensive line was to big and slow to stop Kahuku’s pass rush. This year they were slimmer and in shape. And as soon as their receiver’s took Kahuku’s defensive back field long and out of the play Tua took off. That right there wears a defense out if you cannot contain him. Especially if you don’t have the depth to rotate your defense out to keep them fresh. Also if you want Kahuku to adapt to a passing game you have to start coaching it from the Junior Varsity level. That way “the whole offense” (especially the line) is primed in to pass block when they reach the Varsity level. To me the coaching game plan wasn’t at it’s best for this game. Next time stick to your bread and butter until the time is right. That’s ok we be back “for sure”


  38. TheHeartlessPrick November 21, 2016 9:27 pm

    You’re right. He’s a scrub, wouldn’t even smell a down under center in the ILH. Why even waste time.talking about him? The other qb last year that wasn’t supposed to play qb or safety this year was more efficient & he didn’t even pass the ball. Where do you guys find these staged type Qb’s? You can’t possibly think that a successful “Big Boy League” Qb can fit the part of a above average varsity team. John Hao must be laughing his brains out right now. RR actually fired him than changed the offense only to try & go back to the ground & pound in the 4th qtr of the championship. Talk about no game plan.


  39. Ohhreally November 21, 2016 9:27 pm

    Prick- you sound more and more like ILH on this forum. Legitimate competition? You mean Waianae who beat kam and Kapolei who beat punahou? Or how about farrington? I guess nobody except St. Louis is considered competition in the state.. Also a freshmen being compared to mariota?? Wow I guess every Qb in the state should consider themselves failures.. Save this post cause you gonna eat crow by the time his career is over!!


  40. TheHeartlessPrick November 21, 2016 9:57 pm

    Ohhreally November 21, 2016 at 9:27 pm
    Prick- you sound more and more like ILH on this forum. Legitimate competition? You mean Waianae who beat kam and Kapolei who beat punahou? Or how about farrington? I guess nobody except St. Louis is considered competition in the state.. Also a freshmen being compared to mariota?? Wow I guess every Qb in the state should consider themselves failures.. Save this post cause you gonna eat crow by the time his career is over!!

    Legitimate Competition:

    Leilehua
    Aiea
    Waianae
    Campbell
    Radford
    Bishop Gorman *
    Moanalua
    Kaiser
    Leilehua
    Waianae
    Harrington
    Kapolei

    Please point out some legitimate completion because half or more of these teams didn’t make playoffs or they were beat by Iolani. Take note: Iolani went winless in the ILH & made it to the D1 Championship. What does that say about your schedule? The only people that’s gonna be “crowing” about this “Michigan Recruit” is the guys like me telling people like you “I TOLD YOU SO”. Seen one seen them all.


  41. Alpha November 21, 2016 10:17 pm

    @Jeezy. . . If I’m a nuthugger it’s for public schools since I’m a product of one, and Kahuku being the subject of course I’m going to give my opinions. And who cares what people say about Soljay, it’s J. Harbaugh that you have to convince with all your links, he gave the offer not me. Like I said, there’s a reason why we’re not getting paid to Head Coach, scout/recruit H.S players. Your assumptions that I was comparing Tua and Soljay was way off. Experience, Tua lost to a more experienced Punahou team ’14, lost to a more experienced Kahuku “D” in “15, now as a senior and the lessons he’s learned and the experience he’s gone through showed Saturday night. His entire H.S career and what he went thru was showcased by winning the state title. You live and learn, the only thing set in stone is death. And you can save your stats, STL offense proved that stats is nothing but numbers on a piece of paper by how they handled Kahuku’s D, that’s why the game is played on the field. I’m a public school fan, but I do support all kids who have a chance to leave this rock and support those who give our polynisian kids a chance. Thus is the reason I am a Cal Lee supporter also because he did it first in Hawaii. . .


  42. Alpha November 21, 2016 10:26 pm

    Speaking for myself, I’m going to support the ” Michigan Recruit”, for any of you guys who down play his offer its easy, go straight to the source. Give your 2 sense to the “Michigan Recruiter” that gave him the offer. I for one am not qualified to say what the future holds for Soljay, but to degrade his status because of an offer and the position he holds on the football team is a bit much coming from the avg bystander like myself.


  43. Ohhreally November 22, 2016 7:37 am

    Prick – you mean the Iolani team that couldnt beat the OIA #5 TEAM?? funny you mention them but not ILH #2 Punahou or #3 Kam who both lost to OIA teams you dont believe to be legitimate compition. Obviously your a biased Prick with a one sided view!!


  44. Jeezy33 November 22, 2016 7:59 am

    “Alpha November 21, 2016 at 10:17 pm
    @Jeezy. . . If I’m a nuthugger it’s for public schools since I’m a product of one, and Kahuku being the subject of course I’m going to give my opinions. And who cares what people say about Soljay, it’s J. Harbaugh that you have to convince with all your links, he gave the offer not me. ”

    stop squirming out of the argument. You are comparing tua to sol jay and saying that sol jay, in this current kahuku offense, will progress and grow as a qb comparable to tua because tua didn’t win states his first year.

    That is NOT what people are saying and idk why you are arguing that point. they are saying that sol jay is not going to develop as a qb in the kahuku offense because he doesn’t get to throw the ball. at all. except in garbage time. It’s not a part of their base offensive set and they dont’ practice it because, tbh, they dont’ need to.

    the reason why i brought up the stats is to blow up your comparison to tua and sol jay. tua progressed as a qb because he plays in an offense that requires him to throw the ball at a high level. Sol Jay does not. the stats don’t lie. tua was required to do much more at the qb position and even run zone read looks (which colleges run). sol jay hands off the ball and makes pre-determined qb runs in the elephant package.

    so when people go “sol jay has three years to develop,” other people are like “he won’t,” because kahuku doesn’t throw the ball, isn’t interested in throwing the ball, and the last passing qb they developed that ever went on to play college at the D-I level was inoke funaki.

    If you knew the history of how college coaches recruit, you would know that 8th grade offers are publicity stunts. all the analysts and even coaches say that. if the kid pans out in 11th grade, then great. if he doesn’t, nobody on the coaching staff cares. it’s the same with harbaugh. a verbal offer, especially at the 8th grade level, means basically nothing. sol-jay isn’t even on any national recruiting ranking lists for c/o 2020 that i’m aware of.

    so good for the kid. he’s on a great football team and having a great experience with his boys. but let’s be real, here.


  45. OGRRFL November 22, 2016 8:06 am

    This is the honest truth! For all of those who knows Kahuku football, the OC was the weakness and is the weakness on the staff. He doesn’t have any experience at all, except for 1 or 2 yrs as a big boys OC in Division 2! His inexperienced showed in the playoffs and I’m gonna say it. If we ran the elephant package. ..game over! But it was stupidity and personal pride that kept him from going to that. I’ve seen it many times before with these OC’S at Kahuku! They outsmart themselves, instead of sticking with what took them there, they tend to get fancy and this OC doesn’t know the passing game or knows how to read defense. He truly doesn’t have the knowledge to be an OC at that level. If Kahuku wants to be a national power, they need a good OC, and our DNA is the Run . Coach Tata should of made Makoa Freitas the OC! This is the best offensive line Staff Kahuku “EVER” had. That’s the difference we’ve had these past 2 seasons, the Oline coaches blocking scheme is awesome. With addition of Faa Mailo, he brings out the beast in the boys. Therefore we should run and Run! Mix in some passes and play action and Nobody will defeat us. It took Reggie Torres a couple of seasons to stick with the run down in the Red zone instead of trying to outsmart youself. There is no Reason at all that we shouldn’t have the leading rusher in the STATE or Rushers. With that being said, coach TATA go get Darren Johnson or Make Makoa your OC.Tua you’re the Man! Good luck at Alabama!


  46. Jeezy33 November 22, 2016 8:10 am

    So to summarize, alpha:

    1. I’m not saying that sol jay doesn’t “deserve” his offer. I’m saying that his offer was a verbal offer to an 8th grader and coaches will do that for publicity because there’s no downside to them. if the kid pans out as a junior, then great. if he doesn’t, then it doesn’t matter because verbal offers are non binding. It’s only serious once they become juniors and they’re actually looking at players.

    2. Sol Jay will have a hard time developing as a passer because he plays on a team that doesn’t throw the ball and doesn’t require him to do so. Another kahuku poster here said that you don’t just turn a kid into a passer, you have to implement those offensive principles from the JV level, possibly earlier, because it’s more than just sol jay throwing the ball and the receiver running the route. it’s about the technique and nuances of pass blocking and reading blitzes and so on by both linemen and qb.

    3. in terms of qb growth and progression, it doesn’t matter when a qb wins a state title, so idk why you’re bringing that up. tua didn’t get scholarship offers because of any state titles. he got it because he could throw the ball and play the qb position in a modern passing offense.

    4. will kahuku actually spend time in the offseason installing principles of a modern passing offense and have sol jay air it out ocassionally (or at least throw more than 8 passes a game)? It’s possible, but highly unlikely. to do so would mean that kahuku would lose football games as the offense syncs (which is why i suspect hao was let go. he wasn’t able to implement his offensive principles), and the north shore community loves their coaches… but they’re also very brutal to them as well if they start losing, even though ultimately, OIA coaches are really just volunteers working with the kids.


  47. Education First November 22, 2016 8:21 am

    Ohhreally November 22, 2016 at 7:37 am
    Prick – you mean the Iolani team that couldnt beat the OIA #5 TEAM?? funny you mention them but not ILH #2 Punahou or #3 Kam who both lost to OIA teams you dont believe to be legitimate compition. Obviously your a biased Prick with a one sided view!!
    —————————-
    You are comparing a small school (Iolani) that has a few hundred students in grades 9-12 who minimally recruits for football if they even do at all to one of the largest schools in Hawaii (Mililani) who has over 2000 students. That is your comparison?

    And regarding Kamehameha, you are referring to a game about 3 or more months ago when they played and OIA team with a entire new coaching staff that had about 1-2 weeks or less to practice? That is your examples?

    And I think the ILH #1 beating the OIA #1 is far more impressive than the OIA #3 beating the ILH #2 when I said all along that Punahou was a little over-rated.

    So much subjectivity on here.


  48. Education First November 22, 2016 8:59 am

    Jeezy says, “If you knew the history of how college coaches recruit, you would know that 8th grade offers are publicity stunts. all the analysts and even coaches say that. if the kid pans out in 11th grade, then great. if he doesn’t, nobody on the coaching staff cares. it’s the same with harbaugh. a verbal offer, especially at the 8th grade level, means basically nothing. sol-jay isn’t even on any national recruiting ranking lists for c/o 2020 that i’m aware of.”
    ———————-
    I agree with you Jeezy. There have been college coaches offer kids in football and basketball as early as grade 5. It puts them in the news and creates buzz around their program. I have rarely if ever seen an 8th grader who was given a verbal offer (but nothing in writing) sign with that school.

    Here is more info about recruiting. http://insider.espn.com/college-sports/football/recruiting/?topId=17832407


  49. Alpha November 22, 2016 9:19 am

    @jeezy. . . Listen, I’m not here to get into it with you. You called me out on my comment, I just went on to breakdown what I posted. You take it how ever you want, it’s my opinion (which I been giving all year). Yes you obviously know your stuff, makes me wonder why so much knowledge being wasted on me rather then putting it to actual good use. If you can take the time breakdown my comments and so much others on here you can actually help the oia out, or even Soljay. . . But of course you have too much pride to not respond to this post, so let’s hear it…


  50. Alpha November 22, 2016 9:31 am

    @jeezy. . . I have a question. Is it possible for Soljay to play ball at the next level? Whats your take. And if so, will it be at qb? The boy has shown speed and promise after this freshmen season to play more then just qb.


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