Kahuku’s QB competition keeps going every day

Kahuku's Robbie Sauvao, who played quarterback for the Red Raiders in 2018, left to play for a school on the mainland in 2019 but is back to play basketball for the Red Raiders in 2020. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

The Kahuku Red Raiders are playing, as always, for a championship.

Kahuku is ranked No. 2 in the Star-Advertiser Football Top 10. The Red Raiders are 4-1 overall, and just 1-0 in OIA Open play. Wins over Punahou and Kamehameha, and a loss to No. 1 Saint Louis — all ILH Open teams — do not count in OIA standings. Kahuku hosts No. 4 Mililani, which is 3-0 in OIA Open play, on Saturday. That will be followed by road games at Campbell and Farrington, and a regular-season finale at home against Kapolei.

Head coach Sterling Carvalho encourages constant competition at every position. To date, the offense has been relatively balanced between the run and pass compared to previous seasons. Kahuku has run the ball 164 times for 769 yards (4.7 per carry), mostly out of a pistol/offset I formation. They have aired the ball out 115 times, for a run-pass ratio of 59-41 percent.

Robbie Sauvao has completed 48 of 96 attempts (50 percent) for 615 yards with six TDs and two interceptions. He has also been a scrambler out of the pocket, rushing for 173 yards on 28 attempts.

Thorton Alapa, who started against Saint Louis and played into the third quarter, is 10-for-16, 132 yards, one TD and one interception in two game appearances. Alapa has minus-14 rushing yards on 15 attempts.

Big Red has scored in large doses: 61 against Konawaena, 41 against Punahou, 49 at Waianae. The Red Raiders scored 14 against Saint Louis and 24 in a win over Kamehameha. Carvalho will let the daily competition play out.

“They battle every day. Whoever comes out toward the end of the week will start,” he said. “It’s a luxury having two quarterbacks. It’s the same with our wide receivers and running backs. These are high school kids and they just want to get on the field.”

With a season-ending knee injury to standout linebacker Miki Ah You, it would appear that the Red Raiders could become more conservative offensively and get their stout defensive unit more rest time during games. They do have a stable of capable running backs: Wes Alo-Maiava (286 yards, 10 TDs), Toalei Lefau (218 yards, two TDs) and Zealand Matagi (114, one).

The big question mark could be in the middle of Kahuku’s defense.

“We can’t replace Miki, but we’ll try to carry on with the intensity he always brings,” Carvalho said, noting the versatility of safety Nalu Emerson. “We brought Nalu down in there. It depends on the style of the team we play. Elijah Latu has stepped up in the middle. Coach Sola (Soliai) has a great defensive mind. He’ll scheme it up and have the players in the right positions, and make the right calls.”


  1. ??? September 27, 2018 10:54 am

    I feel for bad Miki but the boys will do him proud & he will rehab and start @ U-Dub next season.

  2. Coach C September 27, 2018 12:39 pm

    Did they move the Kahuku/Mililani game yet? You know it’s raining. Some teams cannot play in rain/mud.

  3. Notes September 27, 2018 2:04 pm

    Only ILH cannot play in mud, Mililani is ready to go.

  4. Notes September 27, 2018 2:53 pm

    ..oh yeah almost forgot…St. Louis recruits!!!

  5. Mahatma Gandhi September 27, 2018 4:43 pm

    Notes, I have no problem with a team recruiting to make them competitive. I have problems with win-at-all-costs schools like St Louis recruiting to the point that ono other team stands a chance against them and they destroy the competitive balance of Hawaii state high school football.

  6. Good Story September 27, 2018 5:00 pm

    Well, then be at ease Mahatma because there ARE teams that stand a chance and they’re not destroying the competitive balance…the pendulum will swing back…trust me.

  7. Dafun September 27, 2018 5:18 pm

    Everyone here sore losers. Just because St Louis whooped u guys lol. 3 years in a row.

  8. ALLILH September 27, 2018 5:52 pm

    Hey IDIOT Mahatma, so when Kahuku, Mililani, Leilehua, etc…blow up the score on the likes of Waialua, Nanakuli, Radford 42-0 at half….that dont throw off the competitive balance. Or no matter though because that’s OIA schools. I think you and your friends just mad because you couldn’t cut it in any private school.


  9. CynHyn September 27, 2018 6:39 pm

    Hey ALLIDIOT, 69-6 in the first game STlulu, vs.waianae. huhhh???

  10. ILH September 27, 2018 6:50 pm

    Kahuku at Mililani Saturday, Kahuku’s field unplayable.

  11. Real Talk on HawaiiPrepWorld September 27, 2018 7:03 pm

    Still having a QB competition this late in the season?

    Kahuku should’ve been sold on Sauvao after the St Louis game and said “He’s our guy for the rest of the season”. Point, blank, period.

  12. 88 September 27, 2018 7:15 pm

    Recruiting is great. If you have something great to offer then people will come. Cannot recruit if you no offer anything. Only people who cry about recruiting are the losers and crybabies. Who cares.


  13. to good times September 28, 2018 1:26 am

    11 Real Talk on HawaiiPrep World

    Maybe they don’t want the other guy to transfer out. Or, take up a recruiting offer. Sorry, I’m just being silly like some of the other posts.

  14. to good times September 28, 2018 1:35 am

    2 Coach C
    3 Notes

    And guess who the guest referee is? And St. Louis isn’t even playing in the game. Sorry, I’m just being silly like some of the other posts.

  15. TooMeke September 28, 2018 5:49 am

    da field is only “unplayable” for princess ILH teams dat only like play on turf. Still wondering why StL has had 2 games at stadium vs OIA teams, while Puns will have zero…favoritism is obvious.

    Would’ve been interesting to see StL WRs trying to run routes in mud…go ask Mariota (and that game was played in great conditions).

  16. Notes September 28, 2018 8:12 am

    Next year the locations flip toomeke get a clue, no wonder toko wanted to fukislam you.

  17. Jimmy H September 28, 2018 8:19 am

    Kahuku’s field is a travesty. Yes, it shows toughness, grind, and “we don’t need fancy things,” characteristics, but artificial surfaces are way better. At least figure out the flooding issue.

    Do people walk to work or drive? Do people use cell phones or land lines? You send mail or use email? Point is, times have changed and technology has improved playing conditions for safety and performance. Kahuku is the most deserving of a new field and they need to figure it out for the sake of future Red Raiders.

    P.S….Kahuku is different come tournament time so don’t think for a second that STL got this locked up.

  18. Knation September 28, 2018 9:37 am

    Kahuku is really banged up with injuries right now! Easy w for mililani. Kahuku still finding there offense as well with the defense. As for the QBs they need to learn how to read defense, look at different receivers not just one guy, do not bomb every time and especially don’t panic when the play just started.

  19. Notes September 28, 2018 10:28 am

    Playing QB and reading defenses start in the 7th grade, not mid way thru the season your Sr year.

  20. TooMeke September 28, 2018 10:31 am

    Notes – here’s the clue: Within ILH, ALL the schools agreed to play at the OIA fields THIS year…prior to them agreeing to the merger (as in, BEFORE the schedule was made – in case you missed that point)…

    …THEN…only AFTER the schedule comes out do they find out that is not the case for StL and Kam…only for Puns.

    So the whole “flip sites next year” is completely I.R.R.E.L.E.V.A.N.T. to my assessment of this year’s schedule and StL bias based on the pre-merger agreement among ILH schools. ‘Usiless comment (much like your others).

    Go fukislam yo neighbah. HA!

    There’s your clue. Duuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhh…

  21. to good times September 28, 2018 1:05 pm

    17 Jimmy H

    One of the few constructive and better posts to date. Compliments!

  22. TooMeke September 28, 2018 1:36 pm

    @Jimmy H – same old story…everyone else getting new fields/facilities, while Big Red has to ‘make do’ with current conditions.

    Always goes back to some decades-old assessment made back in the day of just how expensive it will be to upgrade/renovate. Can we do a new assessment, please? With new tech and materials advancements, I’m sure something can be done sooner than later.

    Until then, we’ll keep building new champs, while the rest keep building new fields.


  23. Notes September 28, 2018 4:24 pm

    treemeke you dont know because you never read the papers. St. Louis home field is the stadium next year they go to Kahuku why You cryin? The Kam game was moved to the stadium because Kahukus field was flooded. Lets wait and see how next year plays out if there remain any bias.

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