NERDPOD: Running backs v3.0

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

Wow. Wowowow. They come at Challen Faamatau in all kinds of ways, none of them friendly. Chisel, blast, avalanche. Whatever it takes, defenses will come at Farrington Governor #13, and he has paid the price. Yet, he never stays down for long. He gets back up and keeps answering the call. Today, we take a look at our RBs, in no particular order, as usual, except this one time. Faamatau leads the list just because he had one of those single-game performances that couldn’t have been written better in a movie script.


RUNNING BACKS

2016 October 22 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Farrington running back Challen Faamatau (13) jukes out Kapolei linebacker Floyd Tasaka (32) during the first half of an OIA semifinal game between the Farrington Governors and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.
2016 October 22 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Farrington running back Challen Faamatau (13) jukes out Kapolei linebacker Floyd Tasaka (32) during the first half of an OIA semifinal game between the Farrington Governors and the Kapolei Hurricanes on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.

Challen Faamatau, Farrington
Measurables: 5-10, 200, Sr.
Crunch this: 10 games — Rush 214-1,135, 15 TD; Rec 28-250, 3 TD; Pass 1-4-1-14, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 5.3
Rushing yards per game: 113.5
Receiving yards per reception: 8.9
Receiving yards per game: 25.0

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Campbell 8/13: Rush 22-44; Rec 3-49, TD (33). ¥18.3 + $5.0 = ¥$23.3
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: Rush 15-156, 2 TD (47, 8); Rec 2-(-1); Pass 0-1-0-0. = ¥31.25
@ #8 Campbell 10/14: Rush 28-119, 2 TD (6, 17); Rec 2-19; KR TD (92) ¥37.8 + $5.0 = ¥$42.8
vs. #4 Kapolei* 10/22: Rush 16-97; Rec 6-20; Pass 1-1-0-14, TD (14) ¥23.95 + $5.0 = ¥$28.95
vs. #1 Kahuku* 10/28:
Home games at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium
* Aloha Stadium
To date: ¥$322.4 total / ¥$32.2 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) If it seems like I have an affinity for updating the RB and WR Nerdpods, it’s because of remarkable, consistent production by players like Challen Faamatau. All the training he has put himself through, year-round, rarely a break, has paid off massively over the span of a three-year career. In an era when many coaches put a 200-pound stud athlete on defense, the Governors saw the full spectrum of what his guy could do and let him prosper. Last weekend’s win over Kapolei was classic, a new kind of classic, for the Farrington program. Relying on the ground game, but taking the sideline hitch route every time it was there. Ultimately deploying Faamatau not only in short-yardage power wildcat formation, but starting those two or three plays in the final 2 minutes in the Michigan “Centipede” set. Faamatau is trusted. He is smart. He is poised. He doesn’t take a direct hit very often and has great vision and reaction. He has moves that he saves only for key situations, like that 360-degree spin in the slot that looked like a dead play, and he turned it into a first-down pickup. But the icing on the cake against Kapolei — a team that he carried the ball 37 times against during the regular season — was his TD pass under duress in the final minute to win the game for the Governors. He didn’t even target a more obvious teammate. It was Kingston Moses-Sanchez, a great blocker in space who normally sees his brother and Mosi Afe get open for looks. It was more than clutch. It was perfectly executed, Faamatau rolling right, away from traffic, planting and firing a perfect strike into the end zone. Luck plays into almost every close game, but this was simply, almost impossibly un-scoutable. And it was Faamatau who did something he hadn’t done before, which is saying something for a multi-skilled player who plays RB, WR/SB and KR.

For the nerdiest of nerds, Faamatau is in rarified air here with more than 300 Nerdpod points. That level of sphere is limited to the likes of Tua Tagovailoa, Vavae Malepeai, Kanawai Noa, Kalakaua Timoteo very few others in recent seasons. Sure, playing 10 or more games helps, but on the other hand, there are some guys who don’t last for that long during the season.

(Oct 21) In nine games this season, Faamatau has proven and confirmed many things. Durability: 220 touches, not including kick returns, hasn’t missed a game. Versatility and unselfishness: RB, WR/SB, KR, wildcat QB. Let’s compare 2015 and ’16:

2015: 207 rushing attempts (11 games)
2016: 198 rushing attempts (9 games)

2015: 1,289 rushing yards, 13 rushing TDs (11 games)
2016: 1,038 rushing yards, 15 rushing TDs (9 games)

2015: 22 receptions, 230 receiving yards, 3 receiving TDs (11 games)
2016: 34 receptions, 510 receiving yards, 8 receiving TDs (9 games)

At some point, I need to dig up the kick-return statistics for both seasons. What this all tells us is nothing we don’t already know. He has always broken the mold when it comes to versatility and production. Rare breed, indeed.

(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.

###

Mililani's Jalen Olomua and Joshua Banks stopped Leilehua's Kaleo Aloha Piceno. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Mililani’s Jalen Olomua and Joshua Banks stopped Leilehua’s Kaleo Aloha Piceno. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Kaleo Aloha Piceno, Leilehua
Measurables: 5-9, 165, Sr.
Crunch this: 11 games — Rush 91-455, 5 TD; Rec 38-466, 5 TD; Pass 49-97-5-557, 8 TD
Rushing yards per carry: 5.0
Rushing yards per game: 41.4
Receiving yards per reception: 12.3
Receiving yards per game: 42.4
Passing yards per game: 50.6
Completion rate: .505
Yards per attempt: 5,7
Passer rating: 115.66

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. #2 Punahou 8/5: Rush 3-11; Rec 5-50. ¥11.1 + $5.0 = ¥$16.1
vs. #1 Kahuku 8/12: Rush 5-13; Rec 8-38; PK: Pat kick. ¥14.1 + $5.0 = ¥$19.1
vs. #10 Kapolei 8/20: Rush 7-17; Rec 5-63, TD (1). ¥19.0 + $5.0 = ¥$24.0
@ Nanakuli 8/27: Rush 4-27; Pass 16-26-1-266, 4 TD (23, 10, 59, 10). = ¥52.8
vs. #7 Farrington 9/5: Rush 10-20; Pass 9-23-3-67, TD (5). ¥4.45 + $5.0 = ¥$9.45
@ Kailua 9/10: Rush 12-114, TD (35); Rec 2-22, TD (8); Pass 4-11-1-67. = ¥31.55
vs. Castle 9/16: Rush 10-83, TD (5); Rec 2-88, TD (80); Pass 4-6-0-36, TD (11). = ¥41.2
vs. #6 Mililani 9/30: Rush 15-86, TD (50); Rec 6-85, 2 TD (9, 56); Pass 4-7-0-33. ¥44.65 + $5.0 = ¥$49.65
vs. Aiea 10/8: Rush 6-48, TD (6); Rec 2-43; Pass 5-7-0-38, TD (1). = ¥27.65
@ #1 Kahuku 10/14: Rush 5-(-5); Rec 3-35; Pass 2-6-0-1. ¥5.6 + $5.0 = ¥$10.6
@ #7 Mililani 10/21: Rush 14-41, TD (2); Rec 5-42; Pass 2-7-0-18, TD (11). ¥32.3 + $5.0 = ¥$37.3
@ Hilo* 11/4:
To date: ¥$319.4 / ¥$29.04 pg
*Keaau HS field

The skinny: (Oct 27) Putting the game-by-game numbers together on Piceno was fun. Nobody has a conglomeration of stats across the board like his. It’s interesting how he makes his contribution against elite teams — Leilehua had the toughest opening-season slate — and then against unranked teams, he completely went wild. Then he had big production against Mililani in defeat. Piceno breaks the mold, a tremendous asset to the Mules offense who is not limited to one position. The Leilehua staff embraced his versatility and puts all of his skills to use depending on game situation. He’s nimble and fairly reliable as a QB, effective on the perimeter as a RB and is at his best, my opinion, as a route runner. That’s 1,478 yards from scrimmage, a number matched by few statewide.

X factor: Very few have reached 300 stat value points (¥$) and Piceno is one of them. Sure, he has played 11 games already, but to get this far, relatively injury free, and produce game after game is a rare accomplishment. Sometimes the 300-value point club is the turf of big-play, highly-targeted pass catchers. Sometimes, it’s high-volume rushers. In Piceno’s case, usage is similar to Challen Faamatau’s. Their coaches trust them with the ball in any situation, and the season has played out just that way.

###

2016 September 30 SPT - HSA Photo by Bruce Asato  -Kaimuki’s Ieke Seei-Cleveland runs the ball in the third quarter against Waipahu at Mililani's John Kauinana Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.
2016 September 30 SPT – HSA Photo by Bruce Asato -Kaimuki’s Ieke Seei-Cleveland runs the ball in the third quarter against Waipahu at Mililani’s John Kauinana Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016.

Ieke Seei-Cleveland, Kaimuki
Measurables: Jr.
Crunch this: 9 games — Rush 108-369, 6 TD; Rec 20-258, 2 TD
Rushing yards per carry: 3.4
Rushing yards per game: 41.0
Receiving yards per reception: 12.9
Receiving yards per game: 28.7

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Waialua* 8/13: DNP
vs. Kalani 8/20: Rush 11-46, TD (1), two 2-pt runs; Rec 2-43. = ¥20.9
vs. Roosevelt 8/27: Rush 12-65; Rec 2-34, TD (24) = ¥17.9
vs. Faith Lutheran** (Nev) 9/4: Rush 6-8; Rec 3-35. = ¥7.3
@ Kalaheo*** 9/17: Rush 20-136, 2 TD (15, 20); Rec 3-90, TD (19). = ¥44.6
vs. McKinley* 9/23: Rush 9-12, TD (2); Rec 2-10. = ¥10.2
vs. Waipahu# 10/1: Rush 6-22; Rec 4-41, TD (25). = ¥16.3
@ Pearl City## 10/7: Rush 25-36, TD (1); Rec 2-44. = ¥16.0
* Home games at Kaiser Stadium
** Aloha Stadium
*** Kailua HS field
# Mililani HS field
## Aiea HS field

To date: ¥$133.2 / ¥$19.03 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) If he weren’t a full-time LB, these offensive numbers would have been monstrous. Almost 70 yards combined from scrimmage per game, rarely leaving the field. Next year, with so many key players back, it’s going to be real interesting for the Bulldogs. Can they find a RB or a crew of backs to relieve Seei-Cleveland, who then could pour all his energy into defense and get some valuable rest time? Or vice-versa? Could he become a full-time RB if Kaimuki has other LBs who can fill his spot? My guess is that as important as he is offensively, he’s even more valuable defensively. Besides, I imagine he had a lot of fun doing a lot of different things on both sides of the ball.

X factor:

###

Josh Kansana, Kapolei
Measurables: 5-10, 175, Jr.
Crunch this: 7 games — Rush 46-289, 5 TD; Rec 13-206
Rushing yards per carry: 6.3
Rushing yards per game: 41.3
Receiving yards per reception: 15.8
Receiving yards per game: 29.4

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ Campbell 8/5: DNP
vs. #4 Waianae 8/13: DNP
@ Leilehua 8/20: Rush 7-29, 2 TD (2, 7); Rec 1-12. = ¥17.1
@ Castle 8/26: Rush 7-26; Rec 1-26. = ¥6.2
@ #4 Mililani 9/5: Rush 6-23; Rec 4-25. ¥8.8 + $5.0 = ¥$13.8
vs. Kailua 9/16: Rush 7-43, TD (3); Rec 1-7. = ¥12.0
vs. #6 Farrington 9/24: Rush 6-43; Rec 1-3. = ¥5.6
vs. Nanakuli 9/30: DNP
vs. Moanalua 10/14: Rush 2-84, 2 TD (40, 44); Rec 2-79. = ¥30.3
vs. #6 Farrington* 10/22: Rush 7-41; Rec 3-54. ¥12.5 + $5.0 = ¥$17.5
vs #6 Waianae** 10/29:
To date: ¥$102.5 / ¥$14.6 pg
*Aloha Stadium
**John Kauinana Stadium (Mililani)

The skinny: (Oct 27) In his own way, Kansana has been a steady guy to call on via the ground or by air. The ground attack has improved, but Kansana suffered an injury in the OIA semifinal loss to Farrington last week. With promising RB Antoneo Brown out for that game (disciplinary action), that set the Hurricanes back significantly.

X factor:

###

Jaemi Harris, Kalani
Measurables: 5-11, 185, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — Rush 68-562, 6 TD; Rec 13-219, 2 TD; Pass 1-1-0-11
Rushing yards per carry: 8.3
Rushing yards per game: 93.7
Receiving yards per reception: 16.8
Receiving yards per game: 36.5

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Pearl City 8/12: DNP
vs. Kaimuki 8/20: Rush 6-24; Rec 5-63, TD (26). = ¥19.7
@ Waialua 8/27: Rush 4-92, TD (81); Rec 1-13. = ¥17.5
vs. Roosevelt 9/10: Rush 10-60; Rec 2-47, TD (33) = ¥18.7
vs. Kalaheo 9/30: Rush 15-132, TD (45); Rec 1-15. = ¥22.7
vs. Waipahu* 10/8: Rush 13-115; Rec 4-81. = ¥24.6
vs. McKinley 10/14: Rush 17-121, 2 TD (1, 43); Rec 0-0. = ¥25.1
To date: ¥$128.3 / ¥$21.4 pg
Home games at Kaiser Stadium
*Alex Kane Stadium (Kailua)

The skinny: (Oct 27) Harris an exceptional athlete, a transfer from Texas who also plays basketball. He can jump out of the gym, but what he does on the gridiron is appetizing. In only six games, he showed so much promise. True, it’s not Division I, but he put up 207 rushing yards and had five receptions for 95 more yards in games against the league’s two championship-game teams, Waipahu and Waialua. That’s 302 yards on just 22 touches. Seven games was just not enough; in the “old” OIA White, D-II teams played eight games. Plus, the Falcons didn’t have a preseason game, but Harris missed the opener against Pearl City anyway, so it’s uncertain if he could’ve suited up anyway. Of all the athletes listed in Nerdpod who haven’t had their share of headlines, it would probably be Harris who would surprise me most if he isn’t playing football next year somewhere.

X factor: The last guy most similar to Harris who I can remember having this kind of explosiveness was Joe Igber, who was just 5-foot-7 (or so) and could dunk a basketball while still getting loose during warmups. (Don’t do this during pre-game warmups, kids. It’s a technical foul.)

###

Punahou RB Enoch Nawahine dove for the end zone for one of his two touchdowns in a 33-20 win over Saint Louis. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser. Sept. 2, 2016.
Punahou RB Enoch Nawahine dove for the end zone for one of his two touchdowns in a 33-20 win over Saint Louis. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser. Sept. 2, 2016.

Enoch Nawahine, Punahou
Measurables: 5-10, 178, Jr.
Crunch this: 9 games — Rush 64-394, 9 TD; Rec 14-167, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 6.2
Rushing yards per game: 43.8
Receiving yards per reception: 11.9
Receiving yards per game: 18.6

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
@ Leilehua 8/5: Rush 3-94, TD (83); Rec 0-0. = ¥15.4
vs. #6 Kamehameha* 9/1: Rush 6-28; Rec 0-0. ¥2.8 + $5.0 = ¥$7.8
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/9: Rush 3-21; Rec 0-0. ¥2.1 + $5.0 = ¥$7.1
@ #10 ‘Iolani 9/17: Rush 12-70, 2 TD (1, 19); Rec 1-8. ¥20.8 + $5.0 = ¥$25.8
vs. #8 Kamehameha* 9/23: Rush 2-3, TD (1); Rec 0-0. ¥6.3 + $5.0 = ¥$11.3
vs. #2 Saint Louis* 9/29: Rush 13-36, 2 TD (2, 6); Rec 3-42. ¥22.8 + $5.0 = ¥$27.8
vs. ‘Iolani 10/7: Rush 7-29, TD (1); Rec 4-49, TD (8). ¥23.8 + $5.0 = ¥$28.8
vs. #10 Kamehameha 10/14: Rush 8-74, 2 TD (1, 25); Rec 2-14. ¥22.8 + $5.0 = ¥$27.8
vs. #3 Saint Louis 10/21: Rush 10-35, TD (8); Rec 3-9. ¥13.4 + $5.0 = ¥$18.4
TBA (HHSAA D-I state tournament)
* Aloha Stadium
To date: ¥$170.2 / ¥$18.9 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) It’s a Catch-22 for Nawahine. If he were the go-to back in a run-first offense, his numbers would be tantalizing, just my opinion. He’s got sneaky-quick acceleration from Point A (handoff) to Point B (point of attack), and has a good burst into the second level. He can catch the ball, too. But in this megamonsterultrabomboocha Punahou offense, he’s simply a secondary weapon. On one of the three best (or highest ranked) programs in the state. Most players would rather be part of a potential Open Division championship run, but it’s OK to fantasize about churning out touchdowns and 200-yard games in another universe. This is a good “problem” to have.

X factor: The Buffanblu split carries in the backfield between some talented athletes. It’s possible that 12-15 touches is the ceiling for any of their RBs, at least for now. But it’s hard to argue with team success. Fresh legs are a premium.

###

Frank Steffany, McKinley
Measurables: 6-1, 215, Jr.
Crunch this: 5 games — Rush 82-436, 2 TD; Rec 3-33
Rushing yards per carry: 5.3
Rushing yards per game: 87.2
Receiving yards per reception: 11.0
Receiving yards per game: 6.6

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Pac-Five 8/6: DNP
@ Roosevelt 8/12: DNP
@ Kalaheo* 8/19: Rush 10-121; Rec 0-0. = ¥12.1
@ Waipahu** 9/17: Rush 3-12; Rec 0-0. = ¥$1.2
@ Kaimuki*** 9/23: Rush 14-36; Rec 1-6. = ¥5.2
vs. Pearl City*** 10/1: Rush 25-126; Rec 2-37. = ¥18.3
vs. Waialua 10/8: DNP
vs. Kalani 10/14: Rush 30-141, 2 TD (2, 4); Rec 0-0. = ¥27.1
To date: ¥$63.9 / ¥$10.65 pg
Home games at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium (Roosevelt)
*Alex Kane Stadium (Kailua)
**Aiea HS field
***Kaiser Stadium

The skinny: In the two McKinley games I saw this season, Steffany didn’t carry the ball. The first was a preseason game against Pac-Five; the Tigers were sorting things out. I’m not sure if he played that night. The second was against Waialua, and the Tigers played well, but Steffany was out with an injury. It’s too bad, because one observer — not from McKinley — told me that he is similar athletically and size-wise to former Tigers standout LB/RB Matthias Tuitele-Iafeta. (Tuitele-Iafeta also played some QB late in his senior season.) Size does matter. An athletic, big playmaker like Steffany makes a difference, and imagine if you have 15 guys like this on one roster. Plus another 15 over 250 pounds. McKinley used to have its share of big, athletic players, but demographics in the district have changed over the years. But, as we have seen in other programs, nothing is impossible. Saffery has next year to really leave a big mark and help build a new legacy for the Black & Gold.

X factor:

###

Risein Campbell, Waialua
Measurables: n/a
Crunch this: 8 games — Rush 130-431, TD; Rec 8-56.
Rushing yards per carry: 3.3
Rushing yards per game: 53.9
Receiving yards per reception: 7.0
Receiving yards per game: 7.0

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. Honokaa 8/5: Cancelled
@ Kaimuki* 8/13: Rush 5-8; Rec 1-7. = ¥2.3
vs. Kalani 8/27: Rush 9-35; Rec 1-7. = ¥5.2
vs. Kalaheo 9/10: Rush 14-72, TD (1); Rec 1-14. = ¥15.6
@ Roosevelt 9/16: Rush 17-94; Rec 1-27. = ¥13.1
vs. Waipahu 9/23: Rush 8-34; Rec 1-3. = ¥4.7
@ McKinley 10/8: Rush 9-10; Rec 1-(-3). = ¥1.7
vs. Pearl City 10/14: Rush 23-153; Rec 0-0. = ¥15.3
@ Kaimuki* 10/21: Rush 15-25; Rec 2-1. = ¥4.6
vs. Waipahu# 10/28:
To date: ¥$62.5 / ¥$7.8 pg
*Kaiser Stadium
**Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium (Roosevelt)
#Aloha Stadium

The skinny: I’ve only seen Waialua twice, and Campbell was a huge factor both times. But on the whole, it’s been tough sledding for the hard-running Campbell. Waialua’s success is partly due to a commitment to running the ball. Campbell and his backfield mate, Howard Nahooikaika, have provided their best production late in the season. The numbers here for Campbell aren’t eye-popping, but he and the O-line get the job done, and with a stellar defensive unit leading the way, Waialua is in the state tourney.

X factor:

###

Darius Muasau, Mililani
Measurables: 6-0, 200, So.
Crunch this: 8 games games — Rush 58-418, 3 TD; Rec 3-47
Rushing yards per carry: 7.2
Rushing yards per game: 52.3
Receiving yards per reception: 15.7
Receiving yards per game: 5.9
Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. #2 Saint Louis 8/6: cancelled
vs. Kaiser 8/13: Rush 1-6. = ¥0.6
vs. Castle 8/20: Rush 3-17. = ¥1.7
vs. #7 Farrington 8/27: Rush 3-4. ¥0.4 + $5.0 = ¥$5.4
vs. #8 Kapolei 9/5: Rush 4-8, TD (1). ¥6.8 + $5.0 = ¥$11.8
@ Nanakuli 9/9: Rush 0-0. = ¥0.0
@ Kailua 9/23: Rush 11-102; Rec 1-13. = ¥12.5
@ Leilehua 9/30: Rush 16-121. = ¥12.1
vs. #5 Waianae 10/15: Rush 9-50; Rec 1-19. ¥7.9 + $5.0 = ¥$12.9
vs. Leilehua 10/21: Rush 11-110, 2 TD (34, 54); Rec 2-29, 2-pt = ¥28.9
@ Baldwin* 11/4:
To date: ¥$85.9 / ¥$10.74 pg
* War Memorial Stadium, Wailuku (HHSAA D-I state tournament)

The skinny: (Oct 27) Pressed into heavier action on offense when fellow LB/RB Jalen Olomua sat the first half due to disciplinary action, Muasau was at his finest north-south demolition-mode self. True, Leilehua’s defense was not the same with Charles Moku Watson sidelined (torn labrum), but Muasau logged full-time work at LB while handling duties as Mililani’s lead RB in the first half. In other words, he is talented enough and clearly in condition enough (Ironman) to have rushed for 200-plus yards if necessary that night. All in all, that’s value. Golden.

(Oct 21) Muasau’s primary position is linebacker, but he’s gotten more work at RB as the season has progressed. He shares the load with another LB, Jalen Olomua, so there’s some rest time for each. He’s looked more and more comfortable with the ball, a north-south runner with size and a good burst. The era of big RBs has not ended after all.

X factor:

###

Mililani’s Jalen Olomua is stopped by Farrington’s Tyrese Futialo and Faasisina Masalosalo  in the second quarter against Farrington at Mililani's John Kauinana Stadium, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. HSA Photo by Bruce Asato.
Mililani’s Jalen Olomua is stopped by Farrington’s Tyrese Futialo and Faasisina Masalosalo in the second quarter against Farrington at Mililani’s John Kauinana Stadium, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. HSA Photo by Bruce Asato.

Jalen Olomua, Mililani
Measurables: 6-0, 210, Jr.
Crunch this: 8 games — Rush 49-369, 6 TD; Rec 5-46, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 7.5
Rushing yards per game: 46.1
Receiving yards per reception: 9.2
Receiving yards per game: 5.8

Game by game / Passcode (statistical values):
vs. #2 Saint Louis 8/6: cancelled
vs. Kaiser 8/13: Rush 0-0. = ¥0.0
vs. Castle 8/20: Rush 6-126, TD (85); Rec 0-0. = ¥18.6
vs. #7 Farrington 8/27: Rush 17-65; Rec 2-15, TD (11). ¥16.0 + $5.0 = ¥$21.0
vs. #8 Kapolei 9/5: Rush 2-2. ¥0.2 + $5.0 = ¥$5.2
@ Nanakuli 9/9: Rush 0-0. = ¥0.0
@ Kailua 9/23: Rush 1-(-3); Rec 1-13. = ¥0.0
@ Leilehua 9/30: Rush 15-95, 3 TD (3, 4, 5); Rec 2-18 = ¥31.3
vs. #5 Waianae 10/15: Rush 4-17, TD (3); Rec 0-0 ¥7.7 + $5.0 = ¥$12.7
vs. Leilehua 10/21: Rush 4-61, TD (10); Rec 0-0 = ¥12.1
@ Baldwin* 11/4:
To date: ¥$88.8 / ¥$11.1 pg
* War Memorial Stadium, Wailuku (HHSAA D-I state tournament)

The skinny: (Oct 27) Sat out the first half of the Leilehua game due to disciplinary action. In all, 11 Trojans sat. Coach Rod York was not pleased. What’s done is done. Everyone moves on. Fortunately for Mililani, LB/RB Darius Muasau picked up the slack, and Kaine Park also had a solid game. Young players often forget that there’s such a fine line between talent and depth at a position versus losing a lot of those components. An injury or illness to Muasau and Park would suddenly change the world of Mililani’s offense, which is dependent in many ways on the read option. Lots of misdirection and deception. QB Dillon Gabriel is executing reads so well at this point, but it wouldn’t be so crisp and balanced without the 200-pound blasters Olomua and Muasau together, in the queue, ready to roll.

(Oct 21) Full-time linebacker and part-time RB. Like Darius Muasau, when he gets carries, it’s a tanker with speed, north-south. When he arrived before the 2015 season after transferring from Kahuku, I thought they’d run him at RB as a smashmouth owner of the middle of the field. But, as is the case with many 200-pound plus athletes, they’re more useful at linebacker. Until the time is right to get them carries. I don’t know if Coach Rod York has considered moving Olomua or Muasau full-time to RB, but the way he has handled resources at the position and at LB has been very savvy. When they need a speed back, Kila can step in. It’s the best of both worlds.

X factor:

###

2016 August 19 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Kahuku running back Elvis Vakapuna (42) barrels into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half against Aiea Na Alii on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016 at Kahuku High School.  Kahuku won 50-7.
2016 August 19 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Kahuku running back Elvis Vakapuna (42) barrels into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half against Aiea Na Alii on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016 at Kahuku High School. Kahuku won 50-7.

Elvis Vakapuna, Kahuku
Measurables: 5-8, 186, Jr.
Crunch this: 8 games — Rush 90-593, 12 TD; Rec 6-72, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 6.6
Rushing yards per game: 74.1
Receiving yards per reception: 12.0
Receiving yards per game: 9.0

Game by game / Passcode (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
vs. Leilehua 10/14: Rush 3-25, TD (5); Rec 0-0. = ¥8.5
vs. #4 Waianae* 10/22: Rush 13-79, 2 TD (1, 7); Rec 0-0. ¥19.9 + $5.0 = ¥$24.9
vs. #4 Farrington* 10/28:
TBA (HHSAA D-I state tournament)
To date: ¥$164.2 / 20.5 pg
*Aloha Stadium

The skinny: (Oct 27) Harmon Brown starts. Elvis Vakapuna finishes. It’s not entirely by design, or maybe it is. All these blowout games means the backups get action, and Vakapuna is arguably the best backup RB in the islands. The first time I saw him play, when the Red Raiders blanked Waianae during the regular season, he ran with power and finesse. I expected to interview a 6-foot, 220-pound back. He’s 5-8, a compact, powerful back with intricate cutback skill and great vision. At this point, the combination of Brown (5-11, 195) and Vakapuna (5-8, 186) is the high school version of Denver’s C.J. Anderson (5-8, 225) and Devontae Booker (5-11, 218).

(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.


###

Kahuku's Harmon Brown rushed for some of his 90 yards on this play in which he was tackled by Waianae's Elijah Brame. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Aug. 26, 2016
Kahuku’s Harmon Brown rushed for some of his 90 yards on this play in which he was tackled by Waianae’s Elijah Brame. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Aug. 26, 2016

Harmon Brown, Kahuku
Measurables: 5-11, 180, Sr.
Crunch this: 8 games — Rush 112-668, 7 TD; Rec 0-0
Rushing yards per carry: 6.0
Rushing yards per game: 83.5
Receiving yards per reception: 0.0
Receiving yards per game: 0.0

Game by game / Passcode (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
vs. Leilehua 10/14: Rush 5-68, TD (15); Rec 0-0. = ¥12.8
vs. #4 Waianae 10/22: Rush 8-9; Rec 0-0. ¥0.9 + $5.0 = ¥$5.9
vs. #4 Farrington 10/28:
TBA (HHSAA D-I state tournament)
To date: ¥$124.8 / ¥$15.6 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) Brown and Vakapuna have combined for more than 1,200 yards on the ground. It’s an ideal situation for the team. Shared joy is twice the job, right? And both are fresher as the season heads into the stretch. Brown has been an able pass catcher in the past. That’s something the Red Raiders can utilize if necessary. That might never be necessary, however.

(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.

###

Waipahu freshman Alfred Failauga runs for good yardage in an Oct. 8 game against Kalani. George F. Lee / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Waipahu freshman Alfred Failauga runs for good yardage in an Oct. 8 game against Kalani. George F. Lee / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Alfred Failauga, Waipahu
Measurables: 5-8, 160, Fr.
Crunch this: 9 games — Rush 187-1,022, 12 TD; Rec 21-307, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 5.5
Rushing yards per game: 113.6
Receiving yards per reception: 13.9
Receiving yards per game: 34.1

Game by game / Passcode (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
@ Kaimuki* 10/1: Rush 26-143, 2 TD (5, 1); Rec 2-(-1). = ¥29.2
vs. Kalani 10/8: Rush 37-194, 3 TD (2, 2, 22); Rec 2-29. = ¥44.3
vs. Pearl City 10/21: Rush 22-156, TD (11); Rec 1-27. = ¥27.3
vs. Waialua 10/28: Rush
TBA (HHSAA D-II state tournament)
To date: ¥$242.9 / ¥$26.99 pg
Home games at Aiea HS
*Kaiser Stadium
#Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium

The skinny: (Oct 27) Pearl City limited Failauga, the fabulous freshman, to 63 rushing yards during the regular season. In a win-or-go-home rematch last week, he galloped to 156 yards and a TD. He may, MAY, be the closest semblance to a ninth-grader who has the breakaway speed and in-between-the-tackles toughness that we’ve seen since Vavae Malepeai. This isn’t a forecast that Failauga is the second coming of Vae. In fact, Vae didn’t even play his freshman year because ninth graders can’t play varsity football in the ILH. But Failauga is somewhere close to that realm as a freshman. Will he work has hard as Malepeai did (and still does)?

(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: 6 games — Rush 81-559, 4 TD; Rec 7-39
Rushing yards per carry: 6.9
Rushing yards per game: 93.2
Yards per reception: 5.6
Receiving yards per game: 6.5

Game by game / Passcode (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: Rush 14-30; Rec 0-0. = ¥3.0
vs. Maui 10/14: Rush 9-12; Rec 3-25. = ¥6.7
To date: ¥$103.8 / ¥$17.3 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) Absolutely mystery, no question. MIL fans who saw Martin can form a basic profile of him from sight and memory. The rest of us look at these numbers and wonder, what happened? This is what looks like happened: once defenses boxed him in, the Warriors didn’t have enough in the passing game to get the ball downfield. In other words, they got Job 1 — establish the ground game — done. Job 2, it’s going to need work in the offseason if the Warriors are going to contend for an MIL D-II title. The glass is half full; at least they have a RB who can produce in the right situation.

(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 running back Tyson Shimabukuro escaped a tackler to pick up yardage against Pac-Five. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser. Oct. 13, 2016
St. Francis running back Tyson Shimabukuro escaped a tackler to pick up yardage against Pac-Five. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser. Oct. 13, 2016

Tyson Shimabukuro, St. Francis
Measurables: 5-8, 200, Jr.
Crunch this: 8 games — Rush 119-692, 3 TD; Rec 3-82, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 5.8
Rushing yards per game: 86.5
Receiving yards per reception: 27.3
Receiving yards per game: 10.3

Game by game / Passcode (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: Rush 15-134, TD (39); Rec 0-0. = ¥20.4
vs. Pac-Five (Aloha) 10/13: Rush 15-123, TD (4); Rec 0-0. = ¥19.3
vs. Damien (Aloha) 10/21: Rush 4-19; Rec 0-0. = ¥1.9
* Leilehua High School
To date: ¥$64.6 / ¥$12.9 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) Shimabukuro and QB Bubba Akana both suffered injuries in the first quarter of the league title game against Damien on the same play. The season ends with a 20-12 loss, but not before Shimabukuro rushed for 100-plus yards in four consecutive games.

(Oct 21) 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.

###

2016 OCTOBER 7 SPT - HSA photo by Cindy Ellen Russell crussell@staradvertiser.com Waianae running back Rico Rosario gestured after his second touchdown during the first round of the OIA Division I playoff game against Kailua on Friday night. Oct. 7, 2016
2016 OCTOBER 7 SPT – HSA photo by Cindy Ellen Russell crussell@staradvertiser.com
Waianae running back Rico Rosario gestured after his second touchdown during the first round of the OIA Division I playoff game against Kailua on Friday night. Oct. 7, 2016

Rico Rosario, Waianae
Measurables: 5-9, 200, Jr.
Crunch this: 11 games — Rush 138-1,020, 12 TD; Rec 7-166, 2 TD
Rushing yards per carry: 7.4
Rushing yards per game: 92.7
Receiving yards per reception: 23.7
Receiving yards per game: 15.1

Game by game / Passcode (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: Rush 11-130, 2 TD (10, 37); Rec 0-0. = ¥26.0
@ #7 Mililani 10/15: Rush 27-197, 2 TD (9, 10); Rec 0-0. ¥33.7 + $5.0 = ¥$38.7
vs. #1 Kahuku* 10/22 Rush 14-36 Rec 0-0 ¥3.6 + $5.0 = ¥$8.6
vs. #6 Kapolei** 10/29
To date: ¥$231.6 / ¥$21.1 pg
*Aloha Stadium
**John Kauinana Stadium (Mililani)

The skinny: (Oct 27) The hard-nosed, old-school football fans might wonder what Rosario would do with 20 to 25 carries per game, but the efficiency of Waianae’s offense depends to an extent in what Rosario can do as a lure or decoy sometimes as much as what he does with the ball. Sure, it would be amazing to see him get looks from the slot in open space, but by then, the box wouldn’t have eight defenders. Or maybe it would; defenses would still have to account for Javen Towne or Kade Ambrocio. Whatever the case, a heavy, season-long workload isn’t always good for the player, especially at the high school level. There are exceptions, but on the whole, junior and senior RBs getting more than 200 carries in a season take more hits, exert more force and pressure on their legs, and the toll of repeated contact is generally unhealthy. There’s no scientific basis that points to the number 200 as a tipping point for a high-school ballcarrier. But 20 carries per game over a 10-game season is a substantial workload at any level, so the gift of depth that Waianae has at the position works well for all involved. At this point, Rosario has run the ball just 138 times. He’s fresh, springy, explosive and as fun to tackle as a 200-pound bowling ball rolling downhill.

(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: 6 games — Rush 41-396, 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 (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
vs. #5 Waianae 10/15: DNP
vs. Leilehua 10/21: DNP
@ Baldwin* 11/4:
To date: ¥$70.2 total / ¥$14.0 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) The ankle injury suffered against Leilehua was not good at all. Bad. It has kept one of the best breakaway runners in the OIA sidelined. The Trojans do quite fine with LB/RBs Darius Muasau and Jalen Olomua in the offensive backfield, but do they miss a full-time RB like Kila? Most certainly.

(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.

###

Kamehameha's Kanoa Shannon is hit by Saint Louis defensive back Isaiah Tufaga, left, and cornerback Cody Hee at Aloha Stadium. Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser. Sept. 17, 2016
Kamehameha’s Kanoa Shannon is hit by Saint Louis defensive back Isaiah Tufaga, left, and cornerback Cody Hee at Aloha Stadium. Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser. Sept. 17, 2016

Kanoa Shannon, Kamehameha
Measurables: 5-7, 155, Jr.
Crunch this: 7 games — Rush 125-552, 4 TD; Rec 9-36
Rushing yards per carry: 4.4
Rushing yards per game: 78.9
Receiving yards per reception: 4.0
Receiving yards per game: 5.1

Game by game / Passcode (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. #2 Saint Louis (Aloha) 10/7: Rush 15-52; Rec 1-2. ¥6.4 + $5.0 = ¥$11.4
vs. #2 Punahou (Aloha) 10/14: Rush 13-48; Rec 1-(-6). ¥5.2 + $5.0 = ¥$10.2
¥$ ¥$126.4 / 18.1 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) Shannon returned from injury, got off to a strong start in ILH play, and then defenses began to corral him.

(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 30 SPT - HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino. Iolani running back KJ Pascua (27) is brought down by Kamehameha linebacker Akalea Kapono (53) and defensive back Nathan Utu (9) during the first half on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.
2016 September 30 SPT – HSA Photo by Jamm Aquino.
Iolani running back KJ Pascua (27) is brought down by Kamehameha linebacker Akalea Kapono (53) and defensive back Nathan Utu (9) during the first half on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 at Aloha Stadium.

K.J. Pascua, ‘Iolani
Measurables: 5-6, 170, Sr.
Crunch this: 10 games — Rush 193-734, 13 TD; Rec 17-148
Rushing yards per carry: 3.8
Rushing yards per game: 73.4
Receiving yards per reception: 8.7
Receiving yards per game: 14.8

Game by game / Passcode (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. #10 Kamehameha (Aloha) 9/30: Rush 12-48; Rec 1-7. ¥6.5 + $5.0 = ¥$11.5
@ #3 Punahou 10/7: Rush 27-108, TD (1); Rec 1-4. ¥19.2 + $5.0 = ¥$24.2
vs. #3 Saint Louis 10/14: Rush 22-64; Rec 1-(-3). ¥7.1 + $5.0 = ¥$12.1
vs. Moanalua 11/4:
To date: ¥$220.9 / ¥$20.1 pg

The skinny: (Oct 27) The down time is crucial for workhorses like Pascua. After nearly 200 carries, the pass pro assignments, the receptions, the pounding, this three-week break leading into the D-I state tourney helps.

(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 (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: N/A
vs. Lahainaluna 10/15: N/A
vs. Maui 10/22: N/A
(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 (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)

COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.

*