Kailua’s offense was about as balanced as you can get in a 37-24 win at Moanalua on Friday night.
And that sentence was written before looking at the actual ratio of rush vs. pass. OK, back from the math and it’s it’s 38 passes and 39 rushes.
With quarterback Noah Auld at the controls, the seventh-ranked Surfriders’ offensive machinery was a thing of beauty.
Unlike some teams that pass 38 times in a game, this offense has no hesitation to just hand the ball off and watch two 5 feet 8 running backs hit the designed holes and churn away. And because Auld — a talented and accurate passer — is tough to catch in and out of the pocket and tough to bring down when he is caught, there are multiple ways Kailua can hurt you.
Add in elusive, quick and hard-nosed wide receiver Martin Tigilau along with speedy counterpart Lawson Faria, and this offense is not just balanced and able to hurt you — it’s downright dangerous.
There are three big, VERY BIG, reasons, behind it all. One is left offensive tackle Nilsson Gaisoa, who is 6-5 and 270 pounds. Another is right tackle Sione Veikoso, who is 6-5, 265 pounds. Yet another, a former offensive tackle himself, is head coach Joe Wong, who during his playing days at BYU and the University of Hawaii, was 6-6 and more than 3 bills.
Wong is one of the designers behind the techniques and tactics and eventual execution used by the Kailua line that, simply put, gives Auld time and space and opens up holes for runners Gabriel LeLesch and Mark Lagazo.
Wong gives high praise to his two offensive tackles.
“Those two tackles and the way they play, that’s something you don’t usually see until the D-I college level,” Wong said.
Now, this offensive system has worked so far this year and is why the Surfriders are 6-1 overall and 5-1 in the Oahu Interscholastic Assocation Blue. They have a chance at the division title, as does front-runner Mililani (5-1, 5-0) and Farrington (5-1, 4-1), the only team to have beaten Kailua (19-13) so far.
Next up for the Surfriders: the third-ranked and defending Division I state champion Trojans at home next Saturday. Can the offense do the same kind of things it did against Moanalua when it faces Mililani? And, even more importantly, is there a way for Kailua (or any team, for that matter) to slow down the Trojans offense?
“The Blue is the toughest division in the state, with (four) ranked teams in the Top 10,” Wong said. “Every game in this division is a dogfight. Just like (against Moanalua). (Na Menehune head coach) Jason Cauley got them motivated to come back on us (cutting a 30-6 deficit to 37-24) and fighting until there was no time left on the clock.”
Auld knows Mililani is a big obstacle, but is savoring the challenge.
“We’re not going to look back at the records and what happened last year,” he said. “We have to look forward to playing them and coming up with a good game-plan for them this week.”