Leilehua is so overstocked on weapons that it’s hard to tell who’s the biggest engine that makes it move.
There are plenty of candidates for that honor, but it doesn’t really matter. The biggest takeaway is that they can hurt you if you’re not paying attention.
Check the stats from Friday’s 63-12 victory over Nanakuli:
>> Quarterback Max Nichols, 302 passing yards and five touchdowns.
>> Wide receiver Jeremy Evans, six catches, 113 receiving yards, three touchdowns.
>> Wide receiver Dorian Furtado, five catches, 132 yards, touchdown.
>> Running back James McGary, 123 rushing yards on 17 carries and a TD.
“Every receiver (we have) is a weapon, everybody is great,” said Evans afterward. “The whole team contributed and we came out with the ‘W.’ ”
But who comes first, the chicken or the egg? Err … who is more responsible for the dynamic passing game, Nichols or the many, many receivers that the Mules throw at you, or McGary? Is Nichols that amazingly accurate or are the pass-catchers just good at getting open and coming down with the ball? The answer, most likely, is both.
And it never hurts to have Andrew Manley as your offensive coordinator — the man who quarterbacked the Mules to the 2007 top-tier state championship and went on to star in college.
Masen Reis, Jayzon Ramos, Rayden Rulloda-Kim, Kalei Akagi and McGary also caught passes in the contest.
McGary, who rushed for 329 yards in a game against Kailua last year, was playing in his first game of the season. He had 53 yards in the first half and got to the 100-yard mark on the first play of the third quarter with a 47-yard run that set up his 8-yard TD.
“He’s a big impact to our offense and he helps a lot,” Evans said about McGary.
The Leilehua offense was by no means perfect, despite putting up 524 scrimmage yards. A big first-half lull kept the score close at 7-6 until the latter stages of the second period, when the fireworks started. Nichols also threw three interceptions, prompting coach Mark Kurisu to say that his ball management wasn’t as good as it could have been.
Defensively, led by Xavier Tauasosi, Vitale Afoa, Jashawn Wakefield and Kiaka Pio, the Mules (3-1, 3-0 OIA Division I) put the hammer down, holding Nanakuli to minus-3 total scrimmage yards. That included four sacks and five other tackles for loss.
There will be little rest and celebrating this week for the Mules. They host ‘Iolani (3-1, 2-0 ILH D-I) next Saturday. The Raiders are coming off a spirited 7-0 loss to Clackamas (Clackamas, Ore.) earlier Friday. The visiting Cavaliers are the defending Oregon 6-A state champions.
The Golden Hawks (0-4, 0-2) host Castle (0-4, 0-3) next Saturday.