NERDPOD: Running backs v2.0

The Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Prep World’s Paul Honda breaks down some of the best running backs in the state.

Why do I start again with running backs instead of receivers or quarterbacks? I suppose, well, it’s not that RB is my favorite position, or that they’re better as a group. It’s probably because even in this era of mostly single-back offenses, it is still an important, sometimes nearly impossible position to master. Between all the pass protections, routes and ball carrying responsibilities, it’s still not easy to find a solid RB, let alone a superior one.


My observations often lack the minutiae of what a great RB really does. It’s all about numbers in these Nerdpod posts. But hopefully I’ll have enough time to put together quick video clips of as many of the RBs listed here as possible. Numbers do lie, and sometimes, so does video. But it’s still a treat to see all of these players while they’re still in high school.

Here’s a look at some, not all, of Hawaii’s most intriguing running backs. No particular order. Some players have “skinny” commentaries dated Sept. 29, when I tried to get all of them complete but was unable to.

RUNNING BACKS

Kahuku's Elvis Vakapuna rushed for 177 yards in a win over Moanalua on Saturday. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku’s Elvis Vakapuna rushed for 177 yards in a win over Moanalua on Saturday. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Elvis Vakapuna, Kahuku
Measurables: 5-8, 186, Jr.
Crunch this: 6 games — Rush 74-497, 9 TD; Rec 6-72, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 6.7
Rushing yards per game: 82.8
Receiving yards per reception:12.0
Receiving yards per game: 12.0

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
@ Leilehua 8/12: DNP
vs. Aiea 8/19: Rush 3-27, TD (17); Rec 4-47, TD (10). ¥17.4
vs. #4 Waianae 8/26: Rush 13-65, 2 TD (10, 10); Rec 2-25. ¥23.0 + $5.0 = ¥$28.0
vs. Campbell 9/2: Rush 13-72, 3 TD (6, 4, 2); Rec 0-0. ¥25.2 + $5.0 = ¥$30.2
@ Radford 9/9: Rush 3-92, 2 TD (47, 30); Rec 0-0. ¥21.2
@ #1* Bishop Gorman (Nev.) 9/17: Rush 19-53; Rec 0-0. ¥5.3 + $5.0 = ¥$10.3
@ Moanalua 9/24: Rush 22-177, TD (5); Rec 0-0. ¥23.7
@ Kaiser 9/30: DNP
To date: ¥$130.8 / 21.8 pg

The skinny: (Oct 5) I didn’t see the Kaiser game and he’s not listed in the stats, so I will assume he didn’t play. (Apparently, neither did Harmon Brown.) Kahuku still rushed for 207 yards. Talk about serious depth.

(Sept 29) Wow. Wow. Wow. Seeing the former Bingham (Utah) player’s combination of vision, speed and power against then-unbeaten Waianae was impressive. Against Moanalua, he had career highs in carries and yardage while lining up as the tailback in the I and as a wildcat QB in the jumbo set.

X factor: (Sept 29) Yes, Vakapuna is just a junior, so college is a ways off. But the one thing that always wows me most is that he runs much bigger than he is. Power in a compact package. He will be ideal in someone’s college offense. He could become a zone-reading tailback with that nice, one-cut footwork and acceleration. But he looked quite solid out of the I, as well. Not that there are a lot of colleges that run the I anymore.

Waipahu's Alfred Failauga took over the OIA D-II lead in rushing. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Waipahu’s Alfred Failauga took over the OIA D-II lead in rushing. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Alfred Failauga, Waipahu
Measurables: 5-8, 160, Fr.
Crunch this: 7 games — 128-672, 8 TD; Rec 18-251, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 5.3
Rushing yards per game: 96.0
Receiving yards per reception: 13.9
Receiving yards per game: 35.9

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
@ Nanakuli 8/5: Rush 9-42, TD (4), 2-pt run; Rec 5-95. ¥26.7
vs. Kalaheo 8/13: Rush 12-93, TD (1), 2-pt run; Rec 2-52. ¥24.5
vs. Roosevelt (Aloha) 9/5: Rush 16-87, TD (1); Rec 4-78, TD (34). ¥32.5
vs. Pearl City 9/10: Rush 17-63; Rec 1-1. ¥7.4
vs. McKinley 9/17: Rush 15-86, TD (15); Rec 3-31. ¥20.7
@ Waialua 9/23: Rush 33-158, 2 TD (12, 5); Rec 1-(-5). ¥30.3
vs. Kaimuki (Mililani) 10/1: Rush 26-143, 2 TD (5, 1); Rec 2-(-1). ¥29.2
vs. Kalani 10/8:
(Home games at Aiea HS)
To date: ¥$171.3 / ¥$24.5 pg

The skinny: (Oct 6) Failauga runs much stronger and bigger than his size, and certainly doesn’t run like a typical freshman. Good vision, good decisions and excellent durability. His load has picked up in the past two games, but he hasn’t shown any sign — yet — of fatigue. I don’t know what the career record for rushing is at Waipahu, but Failauga is off to a fast start.

Coach speaks: (Oct 6) “Al is way ahead of anyone his age. He makes sure he’s the hardest working guy on the field. Although he’s a starter, you’ll always see him taking reps in scout to make our defense better. He has a great attitude and is very humble. I’d say his strengths besides his attitude and work ethic are his vision, speed and his moves. He makes these subtle moves at the right time. Alfred can do it all for us. He runs well and catches the ball out of the backfield. You very rarely see him getting taken down after the first hit. Just a remarkable kid.”

X factor: His touches have been huge in the past two games, almost exclusively on the ground. The last two teams have kept a lid on him in the passing game (negative yardage), but if he can do some work in open space, that would have multiple rewards for him and the offense.

Damon Martin, Kamehameha-Maui
Measurables: 5-10, 175, Jr.
Crunch this: Rush 58-517, 4 TD; Rec 4-14
Rushing yards per carry: 8.9
Rushing yards per game: 129.3
Receiving yards per reception: 3.5
Receiving yards per game: 3.5

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
vs. Pac-Five 8/12: N/A
@ King Kekaulike 8/18: Rush 16-244, 2 TD; Rec 0-0. ¥39.4
vs. Baldwin 8/27: Rush 8-63, TD; Rec 2-19. ¥16.2 + $5.0 = ¥$21.2
vs. Maui (War Memorial) 9/10: DNP
vs. Lahainaluna 9/17: Rush 20-182, TD; Rec 0-0. ¥24.2
vs. King Kekaulike 9/23: DNP
@ Baldwin (War Mem) 9/30: Rush 14-28; Rec 2-(-5). ¥4.3 + $5.0 = ¥$9.3
@ Lahainaluna 10/8:
vs. Maui 10/14:
To date: ¥$94.1 / ¥$23.5 pg

The skinny: (Oct 6) Huge, huge performance against D-II King Kekaulike, and a monster game against D-II Lahainaluna.

X factor: The Warriors depend on their ground game to stay in games, and the game plans of first-year head coach Ulima Afoa have leaned toward that strength. How they fare in second-round rematches the next two weekends will be very interesting.

St. Francis' Tyson Shimabukuro is coming off a 170-yard rushing performance last week against Pac-Five. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
St. Francis’ Tyson Shimabukuro is coming off a 170-yard rushing performance last week against Pac-Five. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Tyson Shimabukuro, St. Francis
Measurables: 5-8, 200, Jr.
Crunch this: 5 games — Rush 85-416, 2 TD; Rec 3-82, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 4.9
Rushing yards per game: 83.0
Receiving yards per reception: 27.3
Receiving yards per game: 16.4

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
vs. Kauai 8/13: Rush 8-30; Rec 1-73, TD. ¥17.3
vs. Konawaena* 8/20: Rush 11-62; Rec 0-0. ¥6.2
vs. Damien (Aloha) 9/2: Rush 9-20; Rec 2-9. ¥4.9
vs. Pac-Five (Aloha) 9/16: Rush 28-170, TD (14); Rec 0-0. ¥23.0
vs. Damien (Aloha) 9/23: Rush 27-132; Rec 0-0. ¥13.2
vs. Pac-Five (Aloha) 10/7:
* Leilehua High School
To date: ¥$64.6 / ¥$12.9 pg

The skinny: He had a breakout game against Pac-Five, but it was the turnaround in the rematch with Damien that pops out. Shimabukuro didn’t score that afternoon, but his ability to wiggle and burst pas tacklers and pick up first downs is always huge for a team that rarely passes the ball.

X factor: He will always be a dangerous weapon in the passing game — on those rare occasions when the Saints do throw the ball.

Challen Faamatau's college prospects hinge on his upcoming SAT test. Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser
Challen Faamatau’s college prospects hinge on his upcoming SAT test. Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser

Challen Faamatau, Farrington
Measurables: 5-10, 200, Sr.
Crunch this: 7 games — Rush 155-763, 11 TD; Rec 18-212, 3 TD
Rushing yards per carry: 4.9
Rushing yards per game: 109.0
Receiving yards per reception: 11.8
Receiving yards per game: 30.3

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
vs. Campbell 8/13: Rush 22-44; Rec 3-49, TD (33). ¥18.3
vs. Kailua 8/20: Rush 22-111, 3 TD (4, 2, 4); Rec 0-0. ¥30.1
@ #4 Mililani 8/27: Rush 21-58, 2-pt run; Rec 3-(-6). ¥10.2 + $5.0 = ¥$15.2
vs. Leilehua 9/5: Rush 30-172, TD (1); Rec 4-35. ¥32.7
@ Castle 9/10: Rush 14-128, 4 TD (3, 4, 3, 3); Rec 4-64, TD (46). ¥53.2
vs. Nanakuli 9/17: Rush 9-132, 3 TD (9, 19, 60); Rec 2-53, TD (47). ¥44.5
@ #5 Kapolei 9/24: Rush 37-118; Rec 2-16; Pass 0-2-1-0. ¥15.4 + $5.0 = ¥$20.4
vs. Kaiser 10/7:
* home games at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium
To date: 214.4 total / ¥$30.6 pg

The skinny: (Sept 29) A career-high 37 carries wasn’t enough against a sturdy Kapolei defense. With the receiving corps down a starter, there wasn’t much beyond standout WR Kingston Moses-Sanchez to occupy the Hurricanes.

(Sept 21) The numbers tell a magnificent story, even during his sophomore season as a backup to Ranan Mamiya. But what Faamatau also brings is maturity and work ethic. Defenses are being much more stingy this season. Faamatau’s rushing yards per carry last year was 6.2, and his receiving numbers were more robust. How much does it help the the offense when he draws more coverage? Two teams have held him below 100 rushing yards this season: Campbell and Mililani. The Govs scored 34 and 28 points, respectively, in those games.

X factor: The Governors have worked Faamatau into a wildcat package since the offseason, which was interesting because they already had two game-ready quarterbacks. Now, it makes sense. He’s a physical, punishing runner between the tackles, can take the ball outside, and neither of Farrington’s QBs have that combination of power and speed as ballcarriers. And it gives defenses more to prepare for.

Waianae's Rico Rosario leads the OIA Blue in rushing. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Advertiser.
Waianae’s Rico Rosario leads the OIA Blue in rushing. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Advertiser.

Rico Rosario, Waianae
Measurables: 5-9, 200, Jr.
Crunch this: 8 games — Rush 86-657, 8 TD; Rec 7-166, 2 TD
Rushing yards per carry: 7.6
Rushing yards per game: 82.1
Receiving yards per reception: 23.7
Receiving yards per game: 20.8

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
@ #4 Kamehameha 8/5: Rush 10-56, TD (4); Rec 2-26. ¥16.2 + $5.0 = ¥$21.2
@ #5 Kapolei 8/13: Rush 16-117, TD (8); Rec 1-23, TD (23). ¥26.0 + $5.0 = ¥$31.0
vs. Moanalua 8/19: Rush 8-124, TD (32); Rec 3-97, TD (77). ¥38.1
@ #1 Kahuku 8/26: Rush 9-42; Rec 0-0. ¥4.2 + $5.0 = ¥$9.2
vs. Kaiser 9/2: Rush 14-190, TD (3); Rec 0-0. ¥25.0
@ Aiea 9/9: Rush 10-38, TD (12); Rec 1-20. ¥12.8
vs. Radford 9/16: Rush 1-4; Rec 0-0. ¥0.4
@ Campbell 9/23: Rush 18-86; Rec 0-0. ¥20.6
vs. Kailua 10/7:
To date: ¥$158.3 total / ¥$19.8 pg

The skinny: (Sept 29) Rosario had a season-high 18 rushing attempts against Campbell, and Javen Towne nearly matched him. In one fell swoop over a 24-hour period, two teams that rely heavily on the ground game — Waianae and Farrington — found themselves on the losing end despite having elite RBs. The fact that Rosario (and Faamatau) are good pass catchers isn’t forgotten by defensive coordinators. At some point, the Seariders will put Rosario (and their other RBs) to work as easy targets for QB Jaren Ulu. Or not.

(Sept 21) His ability to run between the tackles, hit the hole with authority and extend when he is not gang-tackled is matched by very few RBs in the OIA and ILH. His vision is excellent; he rarely takes a square hit, but he is not a finesse-only runner by any means.

X factor: (Sept 21) Does he have the strength and stamina to carry the ball 20-plus times every week? Definitely. That’s not what Waianae does, however, and that depth at the RB position will help keep each of them, including Rosario, fairly fresh all season. He’s averaging just 9.7 rushing attempts per game. In other words, double his carries and he’d be well over 1,000 yards already.


Mililani running back Kailiohu Kila sprained his ankle in the second quarter against Nanakuli and did not return. Here's he's shown carrying the ball against Castle. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Mililani running back Kailiohu Kila sprained his ankle in the second quarter against Nanakuli and did not return. Here’s he’s shown carrying the ball against Castle. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kailiohu Kila, Mililani
Measurables: 5-10, 190, Jr.
Crunch this: 5 games — Rush 37-377, 5 TD; Rec 2-15
Rushing yards per carry: 10.2
Rushing yards per game: 75.4
Receiving yards per reception: 7.5
Receiving yards per game: 3.0

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
vs. Saint Louis 8/6, cancelled
vs. Kaiser 8/13: Rush 5-27, TD (3); Rec 0-0. ¥8.7
vs. Castle 8/20: Rush 6-117; Rec 0-0. ¥11.7
vs. #7 Farrington 8/27: Rush 9-98, TD (60); Rec 1-12. ¥18.0 + $5.0 = ¥$23.0
vs. #8 Kapolei 9/5: Rush 11-112, TD (5); Rec 1-3. ¥19.5 + $5.0 = ¥$24.5
@ Nanakuli 9/9: Rush 6-23; Rec 0-0. ¥2.3
@ Kailua 9/23: DNP
@ Leilehua 9/30: DNP
To date: ¥$70.2 total / ¥$14.0 pg

The skinny: (Oct 6) Did not play in a 52-35 win over Leilehua. RBs Darius Muasau (16-121) and Jalen Olomua (15-95, three TDs) were wrecking balls, and QB Dillon Gabriel rushed for another 81 yards. Haven’t found out why he’s not playing, but at this time of year, probably healing up some nagging injuries. Hope it’s nothing more serious than that.

(Sept 29) Did not play in a 34-28 loss to Kailua. Darius Muasau picked up much of the slack (102 yards on 11 carries), but the Trojans needed a little more.

(Sept 21) Much of Kila’s success has come with tremendous burst and good execution by his line. We haven’t seen his full capabilities yet, I believe. Once he hits that second level, he’s usually at full speed and able to change direction if necessary. What’s not necessary is to compare him to that dude who preceded him, the RB who went on to play at USC. Kila is a weapon in his own right. He suffered a sprained ankle during the Nanakuli game. No word yet on when he will return.

X factor: (Sept 21) He is clearly one of the Trojans’ best playmakers, but he hasn’t had more than 12 touches in a game. That’s a function of their system, and it can easily be argued that he is being used to maximum or near maximum efficiency. But I can’t help but wonder about ways to get him the ball more often. He’s averaging more than 10 yards a carry.

Kahuku's Harmon Brown fought for yardage against Moanalua in a game last month. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Kahuku’s Harmon Brown fought for yardage against Moanalua in a game last month. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Harmon Brown, Kahuku
Measurables: 5-11, 180, Sr.
Crunch this: 7 games — Rush 99-591, 6 TD; Rec 0-0
Rushing yards per carry: 6.0
Rushing yards per game: 84.4
Receiving yards per reception: 0.0
Receiving yards per game: 0.0

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
@ Leilehua 8/12: Rush 18-123, 2 TD (11, 1); Rec 0-0. ¥25.3
vs. Aiea 8/19: Rush 6-12; Rec 0-0. ¥1.2
vs. #4 Waianae 8/26: Rush 19-90, TD (11); Rec 0-0. ¥15.0 +$5.0 = ¥$20.0
vs. Campbell 9/2: Rush 17-98, TD (14); Rec 0-0, ¥15.8
@ Radford 9/9: Rush 12-76, 2 TD (1, 19); Rec 0-0. ¥19.6
@ #1* Bishop Gorman (Nev.) 9/17: Rush 9-42; Rec 0-0. ¥4.2 + $5.0 = ¥$9.2
@ Moanalua 9/24: Rush 18-150; Rec 0-0. ¥15.0
@ Kaiser 9/30: DNP
To date: ¥$106.1 / ¥$15.2 pg

The skinny: (Oct 6) Like Vakapuna, Brown was a DNP against Kaiser. No seeming injuries during the previous (Moanalua) game, so I’m thinking healthy scratch, a good chance to rest and heal up from any nagging injuries and fatigue.

(Sept 29) Effortless would be the wrong word on multiple levels. Efficient would be more like it. The way Brown and his fellow RBs read their blockers in a 42-0 win over Moanalua was often a remarkable thing to see. He did a little damage as a jet sweep ballcarrier and much more as a wildcat QB.

(Sept 22) Now and then, there is a program that is difficult to define through numbers alone. Kahuku breaks all the norms when it comes to offensive norms, largely because we don’t have a way to measure the effect of 50, 60, 70, 80 offensive plays and the collective force of a hulking offensive line against a standard defensive front. Kahuku is by no means the only team with a massive crew of blockers, but because they have been so effective at running the ball, and because they have a surplus of elite-level athletes carrying the ball, we just don’t know for sure what Brown can do. We can guess, of course. My guess is that in a relatively balanced offense where he gets 25 touches per game — he hasn’t caught a pass yet this season — Brown would average 150-175 yards per game in total offense. In other words, he would be among the leading rushers in the state.

X factor: (Sept 22) There’s a simple reason why he hasn’t caught a pass this year: the Kahuku offense doesn’t need him to. Just about everything in Kahuku football the past two seasons under Coach Vavae Tata has been about stripping everything down to the core and unceasingly attempting to perfect the most basic, rudimentary elements of winning. Can Brown catch passes out of the backfield? Can he pass protect? Can he line up wide and run routes? I’d be shocked if he couldn’t do all these things, yet we don’t have much to go on because in Kahuku’s offense, he carries the ball and he does it quite well. An 18-game winning streak against Hawaii teams is well worth it.

Kamehameha's Kanoa Shannon gained 139 yards in a 56-14 loss to Punahou on Thursday night. In photo, he is about to be tackled by the Buffanblu's Miki Suguturaga in a game in October 2015. Jamm Aquino /
Kamehameha’s Kanoa Shannon gained 139 yards in a 56-14 loss to Punahou on Thursday night. In photo, he is about to be tackled by the Buffanblu’s Miki Suguturaga in a game in October 2015. Jamm Aquino /

Kanoa Shannon, Kamehameha
Measurables: 5-7, 155, Jr.
Crunch this: 5 games — Rush 97-452, 4 TD; Rec 7-40
Rushing yards per carry: 4.7
Rushing yards per game: 90.4
Receiving yards per reception: 5.7
Receiving yards per game: 8.0

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
vs. #4 Waianae 8/5: DNP-injury
@ Baldwin (War Memorial) 8/13: DNP-injury
vs. #2 Punahou (Aloha) 9/1: Rush 25-139, TD (1); Rec 1-4.¥20.9 + $5.0 = ¥$25.9
vs. #10 ‘Iolani 9/10: Rush 19-88, TD (4); Rec 2-33. ¥20.1 + $5.0 = ¥$25.1
vs. #2 Saint Louis (Aloha) 9/17: Rush 20-93; Rec 2-(-2). ¥11.1 + $5.0 = ¥$16.1
vs. #3 Punahou (Aloha) 9/23: Rush 16-38, TD (1); Rec 0-0. ¥9.8 + $5.0 = ¥$14.8
vs. ‘Iolani (Aloha) 9/30: Rush 17-94, TD (35); Rec 2-5. ¥17.9 + $5.0 = ¥$22.9
vs. Saint Louis (Aloha) 10/7:
¥$ ¥$104.8 / 21.0 pg

The skinny: (Oct 6) There’s an argument to be made that the Warriors could treat Friday’s game with Saint Louis like a scrimmage, play a lot of younger guys. Win or lose, has no bearing on the final regular-season standings, no affect on Kamehameha’s status in the upcoming ILH playoffs. That way workhorses like Shannon could get some valuable down time and heal up any nagging injuries. Of course, Kamehameha is not going to do this. Not with a first-place finish at stake for Saint Louis (and Punahou). The Warriors would love to be the spoilers. I don’t see Shannon sitting this out, but if he does, that would be understandable.

(Sept 23) He was a factor as a sophomore and has stepped up as a junior. Shannon missed the first two games, a close loss to Waianae and a rout at Baldwin. No question he would have been a key contributor in the Waianae game. He came back healthy against Punahou in the ILH opener had had a solid performance in defeat. In three games, he has been stellar.
X factor: Saint Louis kept his pass-catching effectiveness under control last weekend, but he can be a weapon in the open field.

2016 September 23 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Iolani running back KJ Pascua (27) rushes the ball against the Saint Louis Crusaders during the first half of an ILH football game between the Iolani Raiders and the Saint Louis Crusaders on Friday, September 23, 2016 at Iolani School in Moiliili.
2016 September 23 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Iolani running back KJ Pascua (27) rushes the ball against the Saint Louis Crusaders during the first half of an ILH football game between the Iolani Raiders and the Saint Louis Crusaders on Friday, September 23, 2016 at Iolani School in Moiliili.

K.J. Pascua, ‘Iolani
Measurables: 5-6, 170, Sr.
Crunch this: 8 games — Rush 144-562, 12 TD; Rec 15-147
Rushing yards per carry: 3.9
Rushing yards per game: 70.3
Receiving yards per reception: 9.8
Receiving yards per game: 18.4

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
vs. Radford (Aiea HS field) 8/6: Rush 14-70, 2 TD (1, 2); Rec 2-26. ¥23.6
vs. Waimea 8/20: Rush 14-43, 3 TD (1, 11, 6); Rec 1-3. ¥23.6
vs. La Jolla Country Day (Calif.) 8/27: Rush 31-159, TD (1); Rec 0-0. ¥23.9
vs. #2 Saint Louis (Aloha) 9/2: Rush 11-29, TD (3); Rec 3-20. ¥13.9 + $5.0 = ¥$18.9
@ #5 Kamehameha 9/10: Rush 9-20, TD (14); Rec 5-73. ¥20.3 + $5.0 = ¥$25.3
vs. #3 Punahou 9/17: Rush 23-68, TD (5); Rec 2-15. ¥16.3 + $5.0 = ¥$21.3
vs. #2 Saint Louis 9/23: Rush 31-122, 3 TD (1, 1, 2); Rec 1-3. ¥31.5 + $5.0 = ¥$36.5
vs. Kamehameha (Aloha) 9/30: Rush 12-48; Rec 1-7. ¥6.5 + $5.0 = ¥$11.5
@ Punahou 10/7:
To date: ¥$184.6 total / ¥$23.1 pg

The skinny: (Oct 6) I would have to do an extensive comparison, but it appears that Pascua is not only one of the most productive offensive players in the state, but also one of the most consistent. Until the past two games, he hit the 21-25 point range (in statistical value and strength of schedule combined) every week. Then he boomed to a season-high in a huge game against Saint Louis and slipped to a season-low against Kamehameha. Slippage due to defensive adjustment. Or fatigue. Or both. But the interesting thing is, add up his stat value in those two recent games and the average comes out to almost exactly what he’s done all season: 24. Consistency matters because no coach likes a player who plays huge one week and drops to almost zero the next. Coaches like a guy who brings it every time, someone with a predictable floor, and Pascua’s is very high.

(Sept 23) There was a time, of course, when the Raiders were pooh-poohed for not facing Division I teams regularly. Not that the round-robin schedule years ago, or even the staggered schedule (one game against each D-I team, two versus each D-II team) was easy. Now that the Raiders play in D-I, Pascua and his teammates — who chose to enter and stay in D-I — are competing at a solid level. Pascua is a grinder, a compact north-south bowling ball who will run over defenders who aren’t ready. In ILH D-I, though, most defenders are well prepared, and Pascua hasn’t had a lot of long runs. He has reached the end zone in every game, however, and is a key pass catcher out of the backfield. Every team could use a K.J. Pascua.

X factor: The final three regular-season games, plus the playoffs, will test the mettle of this team and Pascua. Though the game count isn’t high for ILH programs, ‘Iolani is out there with six games already, including the three nonconference matchups. How the coaching staff manages personnel, whether Pascua keeps getting nearly 20 touches per game, or whether they get some rest with the Division I state tournament looming — that’s the likely landing spot for this year’s team — will be interesting to observe.

Kamaki Gouveia, Baldwin
Measurables: 5-9, 175, Sr.
Crunch this: 4 games — Rush 65-589, 2 TD; Rec 4-57
Rushing yards per carry: 9.1
Rushing yards per game: 147.4
Receiving yards per reception: 14.3
Receiving yards per game: 14.3

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
vs. Kamehameha 8/13: DNP
vs. Edison (Calif.) 8/20: Rush 15-99; Rec 1-6. ¥11.5 + $5.0 = ¥$16.5
@ Kamehameha-Maui 8/27: Rush 21-185, TD; Rec 1-12. ¥26.7
vs. Maui 9/5: N/A
vs. King Kekaulike 9/16: Rush 14-138, TD; Rec 0-0. ¥14.8
vs. Kamehameha-Maui 9/30: Rush 15-167; Rec 2-39. ¥22.6
@ King Kekaulike 10/7:
vs. Lahainaluna 10/15:
vs. Maui 10/22:
(Gouveia’s statistics courtesy of ScoringLive.com)
To date: ¥$80.6 total / ¥$20.2 pg

The skinny: (Oct 6) Speaking of consistent, that’s what Gouveia has been.

(Sept 23) Coming into the season, Coach Pohai Lee was pleased with his senior RB, the work ethic and improvements that Gouveia had made in the offseason. The production has reflected all those hours of hard work
X factor: Lee is a direct descendant (nephew) of one of the original run-and-shoot minds in island football, Ron Lee. Though Pohai Lee is one of the branches on that tree, he is not a purist and it shows in Gouveia’s numbers. As long as the Bears are effective, Gouveia will keep getting the ball.

Coach speaks: “Kamaki plays bigger than his 5-9, 175-pound frame. He is more known for running with the ball with power. We’re trying to get him to make that extra cut where 20 yard runs can be 40-50 yards. He’s an all around back where he’ll block when asked as well having good enough hands out of the backfield and in the slot.”

Roosevelt's Chavis Paia rushed for four touchdowns this season. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Roosevelt’s Chavis Paia rushed for four touchdowns this season. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Charvis Paia, Roosevelt
Measurables: 5-9, 165, Sr.
Crunch this: 8 games — 114-497, 4 TD; Rec 6-102, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 4.4
Rushing yards per game: 62.1
Receiving yards per reception: 17.0
Receiving yards per game: 12.8

Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
@ Kaiser 8/5: Rush 11-71; Rec 0-0. ¥7.1
vs. McKinley 8/12: Rush 12-66, 2 TD (1, 8); Rec 2-41, TD (32). ¥30.7
vs. Pearl City 8/19: Rush 13-93; Rec 0-0. ¥9.3
vs. Kaimuki (Kaiser Stadium) 8/27: Rush 11-40; Rec 0-0. ¥4.0
vs. Waipahu (Aloha) 9/5: Rush 20-76; Rec 3-60. ¥16.6
vs. Kalani (Kaiser Stadium) 9/10: Rush 16-62; Rec 1-1. ¥17.3
vs. Waialua 9/16: Rush 12-23; Rec 0-0. ¥2.3
vs. Kalaheo 9/23: Rush 19-66, 2 TD (1, 1); Rec 0-0. ¥18.6
To date: ¥$105.9 / ¥$13.2 pg

The skinny: (Oct 6) It has taken a lot for the Rough Riders to become competitive again, and a big part of it has been the ground game. Paia’s numbers are modest in comparison to some of the state’s top rushers, but considering what Roosevelt has in terms of numbers and physical size, 114 carries without a formidable passing game is a big ask. Paia was up for it every time.

(Sept 23) Why list a RB from a D-II program that is near the cellar of its division? Well, this is about running backs, and Paia has proven to be durable — the Rough Riders have had their share of heartbreaking early-season injuries in the past — and productive. Not only that, because they don’t have a balanced offense, it’s borderline astounding that Paia leads OIA D-II in rushing, and he also leads his own team in receiving yardage. Everyone on the field and in the bleachers knows jersey No. 1 is getting the ball, and for the most part, Paia has produced, even against front sevens with lockdown intentions.

X factor: There is a vast mindset among high schoolers in today’s generation about sports, and one of the tenets of this mindset is this: I’d play football, but the team doesn’t win much so I’m not going out. it exists at practically every school that has is struggling in a sport. Yet, there is Roosevelt, working hard under an old-school first-year head coach, and Paia — and his offensive line — can take pride in what it accomplished in the running game.


¥ point values
1 yard = .1 pt
100 rushing yards +1 pt
150 rushing yards +2 pts
200 rushing yards +3 pts
TD 6 pts
$ strength of schedule (5 pts per Top 10 opponent)

¥ 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)

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