Take a look at the state’s top seven rushers of all-time and you’ll notice that not a single one of them carried the ball for the varsity team during their freshman seasons.
That’s why Waipahu sophomore Alfred Failauga has a huge advantage over those listed greats.
As a freshman last fall, he racked up 1,259 yards on the ground for the Marauders and he’s on pace to shatter the record of Mililani’s Vavae Malepeai, who rushed for 4,549 yards over three seasons.
Failauga finished with 45 yards on 10 carries in Friday night’s 35-8 win over Roosevelt at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium, which stopped his streak of seven consecutive 100-yard games. His seven games over the century mark trail only the 10 by Keo Palimo’o and Victor Moananu for most in school history.
He was pulled in the third quarter with an ankle injury, and Waipahu head coach Bryson Carvalho acknowledged that he “just wasn’t running the same.” With the team up 27-0 at the time, Carvalho decided Failauga’s night was done.
Because the Waipahu win over Kalaheo on Aug. 12 was a forfeit, Failauga has only had two games to plug away toward Malepeai. For the season, he’s now at 194 yards on 26 carries with three touchdowns.
With a bye week coming up for the 3-0 Marauders, Carvalho is optimistic that Failauga will be back for the Sept. 8 matchup with Waialua.
Failauga was unavailable for comment after the game as he dealt with his injury. Upon hearing the news that the record is within reach, Carvalho was startled but excited for his star running back.
“There’s not gonna be any person that’s more deserving than him I think.” Carvalho said. “He’s a good person and more than a football player. He’s a spiritual leader on our team, works hard and is the first person to come in every day.
“If it does happen, it couldn’t happen to a better person.”