The cat is out of the bag for Jashawn Wakefield.
The Leilehua defensive lineman had himself quite a game on Saturday night in the Mules’ 14-0 victory over Kailua at Hugh Yoshida Stadium.
Wakefield, who is a 6 feet 3 and 230 pounds, had a fumble recovery, two sacks and three other tackles for loss. A week earlier, he had a fumble recovery in the team’s 35-0 season-opening win over Farrington.
But it’s not just the opposing Govs and Surfriders who are taking notice.
According to Leilehua coach Mark Kurisu, Southern California and Arizona have shown lots of interest.
“We’ve got Arizona and SC out here and they’re watching film on him like crazy,” Kurisu said about Wakefield moments after the victory. “They really like what he’s capable of doing, so our goal is to support him as a student-athlete and help him see the future and what he’s capable of.
“He’s somebody who is working hard. He wants to do something special for his family. He’s knows his gifts as a football player and he’s waiting for his moment.”
Wakefield’s fumble recovery Saturday night came early in the second quarter in Mules territory. He pounced on it after teammate Cy Acohido put a hit on Surfriders quarterback Cameron Friel, causing him to cough it up.
“It was a good win,” Wakefield said. “We came out there super hard and did our job. Every day we get yelled at when we’re not working hard enough. But when we do work hard, this is what happens. We win.”
Kiaka Pio also delivered two of Leilehua’s eight sacks. Gabriel Araki, Brandon Acidera, Vitale Afoa and Savion Brown also joined the sack party that helped ensure that no opponent has reached the end zone in the eight quarters of the season so far.
The road ahead won’t be easy. Up next is defending Division I state champion Waipahu (1-1, 1-0 OIA Division I) on Friday at Hugh Yoshida Stadium. Last season, Leilehua (2-0, 1-0) won the regular-season matchup 50-20 before losing 29-6 to the Maruaders in the first round of the OIA D-I playoffs.
Kailua (0-2, 0-1), whose defense buckled down in a big way Saturday after giving up two first-quarter touchdowns, returns to action at home against Moanalua (1-0, 0-0) on Friday.
The Surfriders did not appear that far off on offense Saturday. Running back Lahaina Kane showed toughness in grinding out 46 yards on 16 carries to help keep the ball out of the hands of Leilehua’s normally potent offense. And Friel, who was constantly flushed from the pocket, had many near misses, including a smooth 80-yard pass to Kamryn Kahoonei that went for a touchdown on Kailua’s first play from scrimmage but was called back due to a holding penalty.
The visitors only gained 94 yards of total offense while keeping the Mules to 172.