Nerdpod: Receivers v2.0

The trend over the past couple seasons seems to be, still, opening up the field and becoming less dependent on superstar playmakers. True enough at ‘Iolani, Mililani, Saint Louis, Punahou, Kapolei, and on and on. But there are still some intriguing pass catchers who have made their mark on the gridiron this season. Here’s a look at some of them. No particular order, though the first several players are new to Nerdpod, followed with updates on receivers who debuted last week.

Nerdpod: Receivers

Farrington's Kingston Moses-Sanchez leads the OIA in receiving. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.
Farrington’s Kingston Moses-Sanchez leads the OIA in receiving. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

Kingston Moses-Sanchez, Farrington
Measurables: 6-0, 185, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — 30-484, 5 TD
Yards per catch: 16.1
Yards per game: 80.7


The skinny: (Sept 22) He may be the best deep threat in the program’s history, highly reliable and equally solid on intermediate routes and screens. Defenses have gambled against him, opting for single coverage, and gotten burned. Whether it’s Justin Uahinui or Bishop Rapoza at QB, Moses-Sanchez has made plays happen for the Govs offense.

X factor: (Sept 22) With Challen Faamatau drawing defenders into the box and first-year starter Mosi Alaivanu-Afe coming along as a key playmaker, Moses-Sanchez’s finest games may be ahead of him.

Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
vs. Campbell 8/13: Rec 8-146, 2 TD (60, 14). ¥34.6
vs. Kailua 8/20: Rec 1-15. ¥2.5
@ #6 Mililani 8/27: Rec 9-87. ¥17.7 + $5.0 = ¥$22.7
vs. Leilehua 9/5: Rec 1-1; Rush 1-0. ¥1.1
@ Castle 9/10: Rec 3-15. ¥4.5
vs. Nanakuli 9/17: 4-160, 2 TD (86, 5). ¥32.0
@ #5 Kapolei 9/24:
* home games at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium
To date: ¥$97.3 total / ¥$16.2 pg

Waianae's Isaiah Freeney is one of many talented offensive skill players returning for the Seariders.
Waianae’s Isaiah Freeney is one of many talented offensive skill players returning for the Seariders.

Isaiah Freeney, Waianae
Measurables: 5-11, 180, Sr.
Crunch this: 7 games — 19-350, 4 TD
Yards per catch: 18.4
Yards per game: 50.0

The skinny: (Sept 22) In a more pass-friendly offense, Freeney’s numbers would double and possibly triple. Freeney has simply overwhelmed some defensive backs this season, but the Seariders use him as much as a threat and decoy as they do a clutch playmaker. Any young pass catcher coming into Waianae High School knows that the base of Searider success lies in defense and ground-and-pound football. Freeney is in an offense that scores huge points while airing it out at a moderate rate: 15 pass attempts per game.

X factor: (Sept 22) His most productive game was in in Week 1, when he had six catches for 85 yards and a TD against Kamehameha. Since then, the numbers have been modest as Waianae’s ground game exploded. The Seariders have held large leads in every game but one since the Kamehameha game, a game flow that significantly affects receiver stats. Freeney is happy either way.

Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
@ #4 Kamehameha 8/5: Rec 6-85, TD (54). ¥20.5 + $5.0 = ¥$25.5
@ #5 Kapolei 8/13: Rec 1-10. ¥1.1 + $5.0 = ¥$6.1
vs. Moanalua 8/19: Rec 3-35. ¥6.5
@ #1 Kahuku 8/26: Rec 1-9. ¥1.9 + $5.0 = ¥$6.9
vs. Kaiser 9/2: Rec 2-90, TD (76). ¥17.0
@ Aiea 9/9: Rec 4-86. ¥12.6
vs. Radford 9/16: Rec 2-35, 2 TD (22, 13). ¥17.5
@ Campbell 9/23:
To date: ¥$91.6 total / ¥$13.1 pg

Markus Ramos is a key part of an improving Campbell squad that knocked off Moanalua last week. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser
Markus Ramos is a key part of an improving Campbell squad that knocked off Moanalua last week. Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser

Markus Ramos, Campbell
Measurables: 6-3, 190, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — Rec 25-308, 2 TD
Yards per catch: 12.3
Yards per game: 51.3

The skinny: (Sept 22) He passes the eye test. I remember seeing Campbell last season — their upset playoff win over Kaiser — and I think it was then when I saw Ramos. Tall, speedy, totally looks the part off a potentially great pass catcher. This season, he has modest numbers, including three-catch, 41-yard production in each of his last two games.

X factor: Next up are two athletic secondary units in Waianae and Radford. Waianae will bring a pass rush that is matched by only a handful or so OIA defenses. It’s quite interesting that QB Kawika Ulufale has aired the ball out so often — Campbell operates out of the four-wide — and a number of Sabers have made contributions. But Ulufale also has a high number of interceptions, whether it’s from lack of protection or miscommunication with his receivers, or forcing the ball or trusting them too much. It’s hard to say, but the ball keeps spiraling out of the pocket to Campbell pass catchers, so the opportunities are clearly there. As was the case in 2015, all they need to do is peak late and play great.

Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
@ #6 Kapolei 8/5: Rec 6-41. ¥10,1 + $5.0 = ¥$15.1
vs. #8 Farrington (Ticky) 8/13: Rec 2-26. ¥4.6 + $5.0 = ¥$9.6
@ Kaiser 8/19: Rec 6-51, TD (10). ¥17.6
@ Aiea 8/27: Rec 5-108. ¥15.8
@ #1 Kahuku 9/2: Rec 3-41. ¥7.1 + $5.0 = ¥$12.1
vs. Moanalua 9/16: 3-41. ¥7.1
vs. #4 Waianae 9/23:
vs. Radford 9/30:
To date: ¥$77.1 total / ¥$12.9 pg

Jaykob Cabunoc, Kamehameha
Measurables: 5-7, 160, Sr.
Crunch this: 3 games, Rec 16-274, 2 TD; Rush 4-21
Yards per catch: 17.1
Yards per game: 91.3

The skinny: (Sept 22) Since returning from injury, Cabunoc has been an impact contributor. He is precise and reliable as a route runner, and is also a deep threat. Punahou contained him on the night he returned, but he has posted big numbers against ‘Iolani and Saint Louis. The good news is that he and another key contributor who returned from injury, RB Kanoa Shannon, should be in a groove by now after missing preseason.

X factor: (Sept 22) Cabunoc could produce similar numbers in the final three regular-season games, but defenses will factor him into their game plans. That alone should open up the rest of the field for Kamehameha’s other receivers, as well as Shannon.

Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
vs. #4 Waianae 8/5: DNP-injury
@ Baldwin (War Memorial) 8/13: DNP-injury
vs. #2 Punahou (Aloha) 9/1: Rec 3-6; Rush 2-21. ¥5.7 + $5.0 = ¥$10.7
vs. #10 ‘Iolani 9/10: Rec 7-153, 2 TD (14, 38); Rush 0-0. ¥34.3 + $5.0 = ¥$39.3
vs. #2 Saint Louis (Aloha) 9/17: Rec 6-115; Rush 0-0. ¥17.5 + $5.0 = ¥$22.5
vs. #3 Punahou (Aloha) 9/23:
vs. ‘Iolani (Aloha) 9/30:
vs. Saint Louis (Aloha) 10/7:
To date: ¥$72.5 total / ¥$24.2 pg

Wyatt Perez, Kapolei
Measurables: 5-9, 170, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — Rec 26-439, 8 TD; Rush 1-1
Yards per catch: 16.9
Yards per game: 73.2

The skinny: (Sept 22) He’s as elusive as any pass catcher in the Hurricane’s four-wide offense, and even more dangerous when defenses opt to pay more attention to WR Jaymin Sarono. Perez had three TDs in the opener against Campbell, then scored just one TD over a three-game stretch before crossing the goal line three times in a big win at Mililani.


X factor: (Sept 22) With the return of two receivers from injury, the four-wide corps just got a smidge more crowded. That should work out well, though, as the group competes every day for more snaps.

Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
@ Campbell 8/5: Rec 6-88, 3 TD (26, 20, 28). ¥32.8
vs. #4 Waianae 8/13: Rec 2-69. ¥8.9 + $5.0 = ¥$13.9
@ Leilehua 8/20: Rec 4-64, TD. ¥10.4
@ Castle 8/26: Rec 3-25; Rush 1-1. ¥5.6
@ #4 Mililani 9/5: Rec 4-75, 3 TD (19, 35, 10). ¥29.5 + $5.0 = ¥$34.5
vs. Kailua 9/16: Rec 7-118, TD (5). ¥25.8
vs. Farrington 9/23:
vs. Nanakuli 9/30:
To date: ¥$123.0 / ¥$20.5 pg

The GPA Football College Showcase was an omen of things to come for co-Most Valuable Players Ethan Takeyama of Punahou and Ryan Ramones of Moanalua.
The GPA Football College Showcase was an omen of things to come for co-Most Valuable Players Ethan Takeyama of Punahou and Ryan Ramones of Moanalua.

Ryan Ramones, Moanalua
Measurables: 5-11, 152, Sr. 40: 4.52 Hudl
Crunch this: 6 games — Rec 47-836, 15 TD; Rush 1-(-7)
Yards per catch: 17.8
Yards per game: 139.3

The skinny: (Sept 22) Even with a lighter performance against a stellar Campbell defense (seven catches, 55 yards, one TD), Ramones’ overall numbers are still eye-popping. Leave it to a run-and-shoot veteran like Campbell coach Amosa Amosa and his staff to figure out ways to limit the effectiveness of Moanalua’s offense.
(Sept 16) Is there anyone with more fun time on the gridiron at the position of wide receiver? That list is extremely short, perhaps one (Jaymin Sarono) or two. It doesn’t hurt that Ramones is a fairly tall receiver who has the complete trust of his partner in aerial arms. Against Waianae, Ramones was targeted 22 times. I’d be willing to wager a side of Taiyo Ramen gyoza that there are entire teams that haven’t passed the ball 22 times in a game this year. Ramones isn’t just a gifted athlete catching bombs against average or sub-par competition. The OIA Blue is rugged, and even Moanalua’s nonconference game was against one of the state’s top Division-II teams, Damien, which currently is unbeaten in the ILH.

X factor: (Sept 22) The final two regular-season matchups won’t be any easier. Kahuku has long taken pride on taking the air out of normally prolific passing attacks. Even Aiea will be tough; Coach Wendell Say gets the most out of his personnel, and he and his coaches know the run-and-shoot and how to defend it. Are there any more ways Moanalua can deploy Ramones? Possibly. But the four-wide offense was never meant to be overly dependent on one receiver. Creative juice time at the Lake.
(Sept 16) Yes, nine TDs were against just two teams, Damien and Kaiser. But Ramones has still scored at least one TD against every team Moanalua has faced. How does Ramones manage to score FOURTEEN TOUCHDOWNS when every defense knows he is Alaka‘i Yuen’s go-to man? I’ve only seen one Moanalua game. The tape will tell to an extent, but is it remotely possible that defenses still underestimate Ramones?

Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
vs. Damien 8/5: Rec 10-268, 5 TD (88, 27, 41, 16, 19). ¥72.8
@ Kailua 8/13: Rec 6-76, TD (16). ¥19.6
@ #4 Waianae 8/19: Rec 9-91, 2 TD (3, 25). ¥30.1 + $5.0 = ¥$35.1
@ Radford 9/2: Rec 5-118, 2 TD (10, 71), PAT. ¥31.8
vs. Kaiser 9/9: Rec 10-228, 4 TD (15, 74, 44, 13). ¥62.8
@ Campbell 9/16: Rec 7-55, TD (12); Rush 1-(-7). ¥17.7
vs. Kahuku 9/24:
vs. Aiea 9/30:
To date: ¥$239.8 total / ¥$40.0 pg

Kapolei's Jaymin Sarono has caught 11 touchdown passes this season. Jay Metzger / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Kapolei’s Jaymin Sarono has caught 11 touchdown passes this season. Jay Metzger / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Jaymin Sarono, Kapolei
Measurables: 5-10, 185, Sr. Hudl
Crunch this: 6 games — Rec 59-639, 11 TD
Yards per catch: 10.8
Yards per game: 106.5

The skinny: (Sept 22) From a Nerdpod receiving value perspective, Sarono’s season has been so strong — I have yet to include a value for consistency — that even last week’s nine-catch, 143-yard, one-TD performance was actually slightly below his usual output. Stellar, but there’s a good reason why he didn’t do even more: the rest of the fun bunch are stepping up. Way up. Wyatt Perez was superb. So was Isaiah Ahana. The two WRs back from injury made their debuts. It’s just a major surplus of receiving talent.
(Sept 16) Yes, the math is correct. Sarono has clutched an average of 10 passes per game. Stupendous, yet not shocking for the hard-working senior. He is most clutch on third and fourth downs, and he is far from a one-man show with QB Taulia Tagovailoa scanning from sideline to sideline. Five Hurricanes in all have double-digit reception totals so far. Sarono earns his keep, willing to run inside routes.

X factor: (Sept 22) So, with all the receiving depth, it makes sense that Sarono’s numbers won’t be quite as robust entering the last few weeks of the regular season, and then the postseason, right? Well, maybe not. Marquis Montgomery, a smooth 6-3 deep threat, gives Taulia Tagovailoa another vertical target, which means defensive coverages will be extremely stretched. More real estate to play with. So, quite possibly, the numbers of Sarono and his pass-catching pals could grow. Remember, the Hurricanes rarely, if ever, go into hurry-up mode. If they ever decide to do this they’ve got the legs and stamina to do so now. YIKES.
(Sept 16) Sarono’s yards-after-catch is a big part of his production value. He takes big hits, holds on to the ball and accelerates forward. YAC is the marrow of what makes the four-wide a moderate-risk, high-reward system — when placed in the hands of the poised and skilled.

Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
@ Campbell 8/5: Rec 10-85, 2 TD (6, 14). ¥30.5
vs. #4 Waianae 8/13: Rec 11-87, 2 TD (8, 26). ¥26.7 + $5.0 = ¥$31.7
@ Leilehua 8/20: Rec 7-50, 2 TD (7, 7). ¥24.0
@ Castle 8/26: Rec 10-135, 3 TD (10, 10, 38). ¥40.5
@ #4 Mililani 9/5: Rec 12-139, TD (8). ¥32.9 + $5.0 = ¥$37.9
vs. Kailua 9/16: Rec 9-143, TD (6). ¥30.3
vs. Farrington 9/23:
vs. Nanakuli 9/30:
To date: ¥$194.9 total / ¥$32.5 pg

2016 September 9 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Punahou wide receiver Ethan Takeyama (21) finds the end zone for a touchdown ahead of Saint Louis defensive back Kama Moore (1) during the first half of an ILH football game between the Punahou Buffanblu and the Saint Louis Crusaders on Friday, September 9, 2016 at Aloha Stadium in Halawa.
2016 September 9 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Punahou wide receiver Ethan Takeyama (21) finds the end zone for a touchdown ahead of Saint Louis defensive back Kama Moore (1) during the first half of an ILH football game between the Punahou Buffanblu and the Saint Louis Crusaders on Friday, September 9, 2016 at Aloha Stadium in Halawa.

Ethan Takeyama, Punahou
Measurables: 5-10, 168, Sr. Hudl
Crunch this: 4 games — 25-476, 6 TD
Yards per catch: 19.0
Yards per game: 119.0

The skinny: (Sept 22) Takeyama had a relatively quiet game against ‘Iolani, which is not a big surprise. The Raiders understand the nuances of four-wide offense quite well, so they seemed to prefer taking Takeyama out of big-play opportunities. It was pick-your-poison time. And the result was fruitful for Takeyama’s teammates. Three of them had more receiving yardage than he did: Judd Cockett (5-106, 60-yard TD), Andre Iosivas (6-78, 42-yard TD and a 2-point conversion), Eamon Brady 4-69, 12-yard TD). Cover Takeyama too closely on the solo side, and his buddies in trips formation find open space. QBs Nick Kapule and Stephen Barber combined for 382 passing yards. In all, nine Buffanblu caught at least one pass.
(Sept 16) Takeyama, like Sarono and Ramones, is part of a very good corps of receivers. Not as tall or explosive as his predecessor, Kanawai Noa, but extremely effective on all routes. Punahou lines Takeyama up usually as the single receiver on trips formations and he often delivers on go routes or inside routes. His chemistry with QBs Nick Kapule and Stephen Barber seems equally excellent. Great hands, body control and acceleration.
Ramones has put up two huge performances against Damien and Kaiser. What Takeyama did against Saint Louis was even more monumental: 10 catches, 189 yards, four TDs and a PAT reception.

X factor: (Sept 22) The day may come when Takeyama has even fewer catches in a game. That would be a rough day for most defensive units. Against ‘Iolani, Punahou RBs carried the ball 32 times, and as a team, they accounted for 47 rushes. Kapule, Barber and Nui Adolpho combined for “only” 40 pass attempts. These are the kinds of balanced numbers coach Kale Ane likes. A lot. And when defenses start to forget about Takeyama, it’s fairly certain that his slingers will launch away near and far to No. 21.
(Sept 16) He is a key cog in the system, whether he’s getting targets or drawing double coverage. Thus, his value isn’t necessarily in the numbers, especially with a head coach (Kale Ane) who would really like to see the offense generate more production on the ground.

Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
@ Leilehua 8/5: Rec 5-82, TD (12). ¥19.2
vs. #6 Kamehameha* 9/1: Rec 7-146, TD (7). ¥28.6 + $5.0 = ¥$33.6
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/9: Rec 10-189, 4 TD (19, 59, 10, 19), PAT. ¥57.9 + $5.0 = ¥$62.9
@ #10 ‘Iolani 9/17: Rec 3-59. ¥8.9 + $5.0 = ¥$13.9
vs. Kamehameha* 9/23:
vs. Saint Louis* 9/29:
vs. ‘Iolani 10/7:
* Aloha Stadium
To date: ¥$129.6 total / ¥$32.4 pg

2016 September 10 SPT  - HSA Photo by Bruce Asato  - ‘Iolani’s Justin Genovia runs after a pass completion in the second quarter against Kamehameha at Kunuiakea Stadium, Saturday, September 10, 2016.
2016 September 10 SPT – HSA Photo by Bruce Asato – ‘Iolani’s Justin Genovia runs after a pass completion in the second quarter against Kamehameha at Kunuiakea Stadium, Saturday, September 10, 2016.

Justin Genovia, ‘Iolani
Measurables: 5-8, 150, Jr.
Crunch this: 5 games — Rec 32-461, 4 TD; Rec 2-(-1)
Yards per catch: 14.4
Yards per game: 92.2

The skinny: (Sept 22) I wasn’t at the ‘Iolani-Punahou game last weekend, so I’m waiting on word about Genovia, who apparently did not play for the first time this season.
(Sept 16) Genovia has flourished against evenly-matched programs, as well as some of the better programs around. But Saint Louis limited him to on receiving yardage two weeks ago. He fared better against Kamehameha last week.

X factor: (Sept 22) It’s interesting that ‘Iolani managed to score 24 points, including a few late in the game of a blowout, of course, against Punahou without its most productive pass catcher.
(Sept 16) He simply makes plays, at least when I’ve seen him play. He sticks out because he will take advantage of regular pass coverages — most of the time.


Game by game / Passcode (¥ receiving statistical values):
vs. Radford* 8/6: 7-140, TD (12). ¥28.0
vs. Waimea 8/20: 6-102. ¥17.2
vs. La Jolla Country Day (Calif.) 8/27: 11-145, 2 TD (24, 8). ¥38.5
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/2: 2-0. ¥2.0 + $5.0 = ¥$7.0
@ #6 Kamehameha 9/10: 6-77, TD (3). Rush 1-(-1). ¥19.6 + $5.0 = ¥$24.6
vs. Punahou 9/17: DNP
vs. Saint Louis 9/23:
vs. Kamehameha* 9/30:
@ Punahou 10/7:
*Aloha Stadium
To date: ¥$115.3 total / ¥$23.1 pg
(Note: The ¥$ numbers now reflect strength-of-schedule points for Saint Louis.)

¥ point values
1 reception +1 pt
1 receiving yard +.1 pt
100 receiving yards +1 pt
150 reeciving yards +2 pts
200 receiving yards +3 pts
100 rushing yards +1 pt
150 rushing yards +2 pts
200 rushing yards +3 pts

$ strength of schedule (5 pts per Top 10 opponent)
¥$ Total / ¥$ Avg. per game

COMMENTS

  1. 808 RR4L September 23, 2016 7:02 am

    AND WHAT’S THE ONE THING IN COMMON FOR ALL THESE RECEIVERS? WHEN THEY PLAY BIG RED, THEY GETTING SMACKED!!!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHA

    RR4L! HATE US CUZ YOU AINT US BRUH! ENENINES OF THE STATE!!!


  2. Chloropicrin September 23, 2016 7:35 am

    If you play wideout for Waianae, Kahuku and Farrington, you best be watching tape on Hines Ward because you gonna be blocking. I wonder how Freeney would do in a pass first offense?


  3. 808Savage September 23, 2016 7:38 am

    808 RR4L September 23, 2016 at 7:02 am
    AND WHAT’S THE ONE THING IN COMMON FOR ALL THESE RECEIVERS? WHEN THEY PLAY BIG RED, THEY GETTING SMACKED!!!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHA

    RR4L! HATE US CUZ YOU AINT US BRUH! ENENINES OF THE STATE!!!

    No worry my friend. You won’t be reading about RR in the “Passing/Receiving” article. RR got a “Michigan Recruit” that doesn’t throw the ball. And then again, all they see is the headline & react because they can’t read or write. Right?! “ENENINES”Of The State. LMAO! SAD!


  4. 808Savage September 23, 2016 7:46 am

    Chloropicrin September 23, 2016 at 7:35 am
    If you play wideout for Waianae, Kahuku and Farrington, you best be watching tape on Hines Ward because you gonna be blocking. I wonder how Freeney would do in a pass first offense?

    A skilled receiver for the teams you listed are better off playing DB. All these skilled WRs are just decoys in these “Pop Warner” Offenses.


  5. al September 23, 2016 10:34 am

    808Savage “A skilled receiver for the teams you listed are better off playing DB. ”

    A lot of them probably are. With the amount of talented defensive backs that Kahuku has, if they actually took the time to install a functional passing game and had some of their best athletes on offense in skill positions, they would go from being extremely good/elite to monstrous.


  6. 808Savage September 23, 2016 12:28 pm

    al September 23, 2016 at 10:34 am
    808Savage “A skilled receiver for the teams you listed are better off playing DB. ”

    A lot of them probably are. With the amount of talented defensive backs that Kahuku has, if they actually took the time to install a functional passing game and had some of their best athletes on offense in skill positions, they would go from being extremely good/elite to monstrous.

    Yeah but then you would have to take into consideration that QBs, RBs & WRs would have to make reads, adjust routes & call audibles at the line. I think its a little too much on the plate if they actually went into a passing scheme.


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