Kahuku gets a new 43

Kahuku's Sione Mahe ran for 99 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns in his first game with the Red Raiders. / Brian McInnis, Star-Advertiser

For a few minutes just before kickoff, confusion reigned in the Kahuku press box.

It seemed that Kahuku’s touted 6-foot-2 junior defensive end/linebacker Tausili Fiatoa was not playing against Moanalua. Not only that, word filtered up that he was no longer enrolled in school. It took the Spectrum XCast crew off guard, as they had planned to do a spotlight on Fiatoa.

Fiatoa had some key defensive plays in the Red Raiders’ blowout of Waianae the week before.

It’s worth noting that Fiatoa, previously with Orem (Utah) High, appears on Orem’s 2017 varsity football roster on Maxpreps.

But there was still a No. 43 down on the field with the Red Raiders on Friday night. Forty-three, Fiatoa’s number. Scribes and broadcasters in the press box scribbled down the name “Sione Mahe” with 43 just in case this unknown newcomer cracked the box score.

Well, crack the box score he did.

Mahe, the nephew of former NFL player Reno Mahe, had the golden touch in his debut for the otherwise slow-starting Red Raiders in an eventual 40-6 rout of Na Menehune. The running back had both both of Kahuku’s touchdowns before halftime and finished with three scores on the ground among his 99 yards on 11 carries.

Mahe transferred in from Herriman (Utah) High in the offseason, where he was a JV/reserve varsity defensive player. He said he had to rally has grades from last year in order to play, thus his delayed start this season.

“I had to try to do everything I could to pick up my grades so I could finally start,” Mahe said. “I wanted to prove to myself I could be on this team. This first game today is my first one. … My first actual high school game under the lights on Friday night, with it being an actual game I played in.”

He showed no jitters and found holes with ease for scoring runs of 6, 10 and 15 yards. He took off for 27 yards on his first touch.

Unlike traditional Kahuku power backs, Mahe is on the smaller side; he’s probably around 5-9 or 5-10 and 170 pounds.

“A lot of (my teammates) came up to me and said, ‘Man, we were not expecting that. We weren’t expecting that,’ ” Mahe said, laughing. “It’s like, man, don’t judge a book by its cover, you know? That’s what you always hear at school. I may be small, but I’m running hard.”

He said if he started at Herriman this year, he probably would have been a safety. He was offered the chance to play offense upon his arrival at Kahuku.

“I have a lot to improve,” Mahe said. “Really special shout-out to our (running backs) coach, Coach Nate (Ilaoa), he’s been helping me a lot and giving me a chance.”

Against Na Menehune, Mahe filled a void, as top rusher Enoch Nawahine missed the game with a concussion.

“It was good timing,” Kahuku coach Makoa Freitas acknowledged.

“We seen practice. He’s a great athlete and I’m glad he had a chance to show everybody what he can do.”

As for the former occupant of No. 43, Freitas didn’t have much to say. He was also mum on a starting quarterback switch from Sol-Jay Maiava to Thorton Alapa, other than saying his team needs to get off to better starts. Maiava entered the game in the second quarter and helped Kahuku rattle off 28 unanswered points after Moanalua drew to within 12-6 in the third quarter.

Kahuku (3-0, 3-0 OIA Blue) plays at Aiea next week then hosts Bingham (Utah).


  1. Knation August 26, 2017 7:41 am

    Fiatoa gone! Big loss for the kahuku.

  2. Leeboy August 26, 2017 8:53 am

    It was about time we see a Senior RB from Samoa on the Raidaz squad. Talk about recruiting CheeeHuuu!!!

  3. Rrforlifebaby August 26, 2017 9:05 am

    If true, Fiatoa is a loss, but next man up. No worries, this year’s front 7 is rolling deep.

  4. Knation August 26, 2017 9:24 am

    No worries leeboy st.louis is always going to be the top recruiting school…cheeehuuu!!!

  5. Grabum.by.da.puppy August 26, 2017 9:44 am

    kapoli is get many tranfer to

  6. Hau'ulaBoy August 26, 2017 10:34 am

    His uncle Reno was badass at BYU and went on to play with the Eagles. Reno was a scat back too.

  7. Hau'ulaBoy August 26, 2017 10:40 am

    No Fiatoa. No worry. Laga Thompson #11 looked good. As long as Taki’s son stays healthy, shouldnt be much drop off.

  8. 88 August 26, 2017 10:41 am

    Mahe is Tongan. How faken long you live Hawaii and you still don’t know the difference. Kid didn’t just transfer in. He has been on the State Champion Kahuku rugby team the past 2 years.

  9. Hau'ulaBoy August 26, 2017 10:43 am

    Next man up. Reload._.

  10. Hau'ulaBoy August 26, 2017 10:52 am

    Too many drops by WR’s. Alapa kid was good, but too many drops by wideouts. One reciever had three by himself. Need to work on catching with hands.

  11. 88 August 26, 2017 12:08 pm

    Kahuku needs to incorporate their big TightEnd more. They keep throwing the ball to these little 5″4 receivers who drop more than they catch and use the big 6’3 TightEnd to block and punt. This team has so much talent yet none of theses kids are placed in positions to be successful. What the hell is going on BigRed?

  12. Hau'ulaBoy August 26, 2017 1:59 pm

    Coaching? HC for NaMene was out coaching Big Red coaching staff. Yellow flags all over da place.

  13. rrforlifebaby August 26, 2017 5:32 pm

    For one thing, it doesn’t matter who the HC is, penalties has always been an issue.
    Dropped passes are frustrating, but the passing game is coming along, no worries. Yes, we do have some pretty good TE’s, but like I said, the passing game is coming along….be patient.
    Yes, Big Red coaching staff were out coached for a little while, but eventually they figured it out. Moanalua had to go to trickery to even stay close in this game, but eventually, not enough fire power to match up in the long run.

    Three big positves for Big Red 1) Because they have a loaded D and a strong running game, they can “practice” the passing portion in actual games 2) Even if Fiatoa is actually gone, this front 7 is deeeep. 3) Lots of Sophomores contributing.


  14. RecruitOrDie August 27, 2017 9:56 am

    Anywaayyyss knows that Mahe and Vakapuna are RB’s from Utah schools both are from great programs yet they found themselves draped in the super cape of the Big Red uniform running the rock as a starter, keep up the great recruiting Kahuku its paying off!

  15. We love haters August 27, 2017 10:06 pm

    Recruitordie Vakapuna has family here. His two older sisters came over and liked it here and graduated here. Vakapuna came to spend the school year with his sister and loved it and stayed. We don’t recruit we just have that affect on most kids.

    Sione mahe also has family here and was playing rugby for us already.
    Soooooo thanks for the compliment but u can keep it

  16. Education First August 28, 2017 12:34 pm

    Recruit – “to seek to enroll (an athlete) at a school or college, often with an offer of an athletic scholarship.”

    This has nothing to do with having family. You guys just use that excuse to try and justify that you are doing the same thing at St, Louis, Punahou, Mililani, and Kapolei. It’s no different.

    My buddy’s kid got recruited by USC by Johnny Nansen. Coincidentally he has an aunty who lives near the campus. So he has family there and therefore it’s not recruiting?

    That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.

    Just be straight up and say, “Hey the kid is coming to play football.” But I guess you got to hedge your bets or mask it when you call others out and do not have the integrity to look in the mirror.

    Talk about hypocrisy. But I guess when your scores are the lowest or near the lowest in the state, you gotta make feeble attempts to justify that you do the same and it’s okay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.