Kapolei’s Tagovailoa throws for 403 yards in win

Kapolei offensive coordinator June Jones prepared for the Hurricanes' game at Castle on Friday. Photo by Brian McInnis/Star-Advertiser.
Kapolei offensive coordinator June Jones prepared for the Hurricanes’ game at Castle on Friday. Photo by Brian McInnis/Star-Advertiser.

In an alternate universe, perhaps June Jones would have been opening his second stint as the University of Hawaii’s head coach against California in Sydney, Australia, on Friday night.

Instead, Kapolei’s first-year offensive coordinator mentored quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa to victory in Kaneohe, leading the sophomore to another quality performance.

Tagovailoa finished 30-for-44 with 403 yards, three passing touchdowns and one interception, executing Jones’ run-and-shoot offense at a high level as the Hurricanes were 40-21 victors at Castle.

Tagovailoa recorded his third career game of at least 400 passing yards and holds the top five single-game passing performances in school history.

“He did some things that he didn’t do last week and keeps getting better,” Jones said. “I think he made some good decisions and we dropped a lot of balls again, unfortunately, but it was not his fault. He was putting them there. He was rushing things a little bit early but once he settled down, he was pretty accurate with the ball.”

Through four games, Tagovailoa has passed for 1,127 yards, 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

Tagovailoa set the tone for his offense the entire game and turned a corner on Kapolei’s last drive of the first half. He engineered an 80-yard drive, going 7-for-7 and finishing it off with a 10-yard pass to Jaymin Sarono.

“In the beginning, we kind of struggled. I had a lot to do with that,” Tagovailoa said. “Once we started clicking, everything started moving. We started moving the ball. Started getting points on the board. We just started focusing in. It was a good feeling.”

Sarono caught all three of Tagovailoa’s touchdown passes and finished with 10 receptions for 135 yards.

“It’s just a blessing, we work on it in the offseason,” Tagovailoa said. “Coach Jones is really loving the connection.”

Tagovailoa had his way with the Castle defense in last year’s matchup, passing for 534 yards. Although this year’s meeting between the two teams didn’t produce the same gaudy numbers, Castle coach Nelson Maeda recognized the challenge that he brought to his defense.

“They got talent at all positions. That quarterback had some laser throws tonight,” Maeda said. “He was on his throws, for sure.”

Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez added that “he’s only a sophomore and the guy is only gonna get better.”

Currently, Tagovailoa holds scholarship offers from Alabama, Hawaii and Utah. His brother, Saint Louis’ Tua Tagovailoa, is an Alabama commit.

While Taulia doesn’t know his college destination just yet, he and Jones know how he’ll get there.

“It’s the same as it is every week. Throw and catch the ball,” Jones said. “We don’t change what we do.”


  1. Alpha August 27, 2016 6:42 am

    Taulia’s jr and sr years will be record breaking, everybody knows if he comes back with a better receiving core that offense will click. Drop passes is a momentum killer.

  2. 87 August 27, 2016 10:54 am

    No one seems to talk about bad decisions or passes thrown way off, watch the games and you will see them. They only praise the good stuff.

  3. Got17 August 27, 2016 7:14 pm

    Against Castle…… Wheeeeew!
    Bama cannot wait……

  4. Hauula93 August 27, 2016 9:23 pm

    I’m sorry to say, but this kid will wear out his arm by his Sr. Year… Timmie Chang did it when he played college.. Got records, but didn’t smell the NFL… In my opinion, change it up alittle,, Run the ball more, so the kid can save his arm for real big game… Pass happy offense will get this kid hurt…

  5. Got17 August 27, 2016 9:33 pm


    I agree. Run & Shoot or “Pass Happy”QB’s ain’t making it. And this kid has a Bama offer? For him & his brother, Bama don’t pump out great QB’s. They are too run heavy

  6. matuu pulotu August 28, 2016 9:23 am

    Taulia is a great talent, he appears to be humble, has great coaches and mentors and will only get better with time. Stop ripping on these high school kids and being so critical. Even though we have pride in our Alma maters, we should be proud and support all of the local athletes. C’mon man, lay off of them, get off your high horses, enjoy the season and cheer and encourage our local talent rather than spreading the poison of belittling young men trying their best to represent their families, schools and our beloved state the best that they can. Get a life or get a new hobby.

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