Here’s a look at some, not all, of Hawaii’s most intriguing running backs. No particular order.

RUNNING BACKS

Farrington's Challen Faamatau leads Oahu in rushing this season. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Farrington’s Challen Faamatau leads Oahu in rushing this season. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Challen Faamatau, Farrington
Measurables: 5-10, 200, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — Rush 118-645, 11 TD; Rec 16-196, 3 TD
Rushing yards per carry: 5.5
Rushing yards per game: 107.5
Receiving yards per reception: 12.3
Receiving yards per game: 32.7
The skinny: (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.
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:
* home games at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium
To date: 194.0 total / ¥$32.3 pg


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: 7 games — Rush 68-571, 6 TD; Rec 7-166, 2 TD
Rushing yards per carry: 8.4
Rushing yards per game: 81.6
Receiving yards per reception: 23.7
Receiving yards per game: 23.7
The skinny: 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: 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.
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:
To date: ¥$137.7 total / ¥$19.7 pg

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
The skinny: 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: 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.
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:
@ Leilehua 9/30:
To date: ¥$70.2 total / ¥$14.0 pg

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.
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.

Harmon Brown, Kahuku
Measurables: 5-11, 180, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — Rush 81-441, 6 TD; Rec 0-0
Rushing yards per carry: 5.4
Rushing yards per game: 73.5
Receiving yards per reception: 0.0
Receiving yards per game: 0.0
The skinny: 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: 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.
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:
@ Kaiser 9/30:
To date: ¥$91.1 / ¥$15.2 pg

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

Kanoa Shannon, Kamehameha
Measurables: 5-7, 155, Jr.
Crunch this: 3 games — Rush 64-320, 2 TD; Rec 5-35
Rushing yards per carry: 5.0
Rushing yards per game: 106.7
Receiving yards per reception: 7.0
Receiving yards per game: 11.7
The skinny: 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.
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 = ¥$16.1
vs. #3 Punahou (Aloha) 9/23:
vs. ‘Iolani (Aloha) 9/30:
vs. Saint Louis (Aloha) 10/7:
¥$ 67.1 / 22.4 pg


'Iolani running back KJ Pascua has rushed for 1,464 yards and 24 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
‘Iolani running back KJ Pascua has rushed for 1,464 yards and 24 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

K.J. Pascua, ‘Iolani
Measurables: 5-6, 170, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — Rush 101-392, 9 TD; Rec 13-137
Rushing yards per carry: 3.9
Rushing yards per game: 65.3
Receiving yards per reception: 10.5
Receiving yards per game: 22.8
The skinny: 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.
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:
vs. Kamehameha (Aloha) 9/30:
@ Punahou 10/7:
To date: ¥$67.1 total / ¥$22.4 pg

Kamaki Gouveia, Baldwin
Measurables: 5-9, 175, Sr.
Crunch this: 3 games — Rush 50-422, 2 TD; Rec 2-18
Rushing yards per carry: 8.4
Rushing yards per game: 140.7
Receiving yards per reception: 9.0
Receiving yards per game: 6.0
The skinny: 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.”
Game by game / Passcode (rushing statistical values):
vs. Edison (Calif.) 8/20: Rush 15-99; Rec 1-6. ¥11.5 + $5.0 = ¥$16.5
vs. Kamehameha-Maui 8/27: 21-185, TD; Rec 1-12. ¥26.7
vs. King Kekaulike 9/16: 14-138, TD; Rec 0-0. ¥14.8
(Gouveia’s statistics courtesy of ScoringLive.com)
To date: ¥$58.0 total / ¥$19.3 pg

Roosevelt's Chavis Paia was congratulated by teammates after scoring a TD against McKinley. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Roosevelt’s Chavis Paia was congratulated by teammates after scoring a TD against McKinley. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Charvis Paia, Roosevelt
Measurables: 5-9, 165, Sr.
Crunch this: 6 games — 95-431, 2 TD; Rec 6-102, TD
Rushing yards per carry: 4.5
Rushing yards per game: 71.8
Receiving yards per reception: 17.0
Receiving yards per game: 17.0
The skinny: 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.
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:
To date: ¥$87.3 / ¥$14.6 pg


¥ 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

  1. RidgeRunnerE-5 September 22, 2016 7:50 pm

    It’s a shame that Rosario didn’t get a single carry against Radford, not one. Rosario needs to be the primary ball carrier for Waianae, with Towne as the full-back in their triple option attack. Pontes and Ambrocio can be utilized in the slot, or even out wide, to speed out opposing LBs and draw in some coverage away from Freeney. Waianae could have one of highest-scoring offenses in the state, as well as a 1,000yd rusher in the backfield.


  2. Chloropicrin September 22, 2016 9:39 pm

    Rosario got hurt against Aiea, maybe that is why he didn’t play last week. It’s smart of the coaches for sitting him out and giving time to others.


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.

*