Nerdpod: Waipahu RB Alfred Failauga’s numbers on tilt

Waipahu's Alfred Failauga rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown against Leilehua to set the state's career rushing record earlier this season. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

NERDPOD: Running backs v1.0
The Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Prep World’s Paul Honda begins a Nerdpod breakdown of the best running backs in the state.

Alfred Failauga, Waipahu
Measurables: 5-11, 190, Sr.
Crunch this: 7 games — Rush 214-1,630, 17 TD; Rec 6-102, 1 TD
Rushing yards per carry: 7.6
Rushing yards per game: 232.9
Receiving yards per reception: 17.0
Receiving yards per game: 14.6
Game by game ($ = Top 10 opponent, ¥ statistical values):
@ $Waianae (Aug. 2) — rush 24-234, 2 TD; rec 1-20 = ¥44.4 + $5.0 = ¥$49.4
@ Castle (Aug. 9) — rush 31-342, 5 TD; rec 1-(-1) = ¥71.1
@ $Leilehua (Aug. 16) — rush 39-186, TD; rec 0-0 = ¥27.6 + $5.0 = ¥$32.6
$Damien (Aug. 23) — rush 20-87; rec 2-62, TD; pass 1-1-0-80, TD = ¥32.15 + $5.0 = ¥$37.15
Radford (Sept. 6) — DNP
$‘Iolani (Sept. 13)* — rush 41-298, 2 TD; rec 0-0 = ¥47.8 + $5.0 = ¥$52.8
$Moanalua (Sept. 21) — rush 28-202, 2 TD; rec 2-21 = ¥39.3 + $5.0 = ¥$44.3
Aiea (Sept. 27) — rush 31-281, 5 TD; rec 0-0 = ¥64.1
Kailua (Oct. 12) —
*Aloha Stadium

Statistics to date: Rush 214-1,630, 8 TD; Rec 6-102, TD; Pass 1-1-0-82, TD
Points to date: ¥$351.45 / ¥$50.21 pg

The skinny: (Oct. 3) Wowowowoww. For the record, there has never been a resume like this in terms of sheer numbers. Volume.

Here’s a look at Failauga’s year-by-year totals. He missed five games last year, but recovered from injuries and finished strong as Waipahu ran the table to win the D-I state title.

2016, 11 gm (D-II)
> WAIP lost to WAIL in OIA D-II final. Lost to LAH D-II state tourney
Rush 225 att 1,259 yd 12 TD
Rec 22 rec 346 yd 2 TD

2017, 10 gm (D-II)
> WAIP lost at Konawaena in D-II semifinal
Rush 216 att 1,495 yd 21 TD
Rec 6 rec 76 yd 0 TD

2018, 9 gm (D-I), missed 5 games.
> WAIP wins D-I state title.
Rush 219 att 1,165 yd 10 TD
Rec 6 rec 73 yd 0 TD

2019, 7 gm (D-I), missed 1 game
Rush 214 att 1,630 yd 17 TD
Rec 6 rec 102 yd 1 TD

TOTAL, 37 gm
Rush 874 att 5,549 yd 60 TD
YPG: 146.3
YPC: 6.2

The gap between Division II, D-I and Open is undeniable. But don’t forget that Waipahu has already played five Top 10 teams this season. Failauga has Kailua next week, and possibly a playoff game after that. If this group matches the form of last year’s D-I state champion, that could add up to two OIA D-I playoff games and two to three state-tournament games. Waipahu has leaned heavily on Failauga, who is averaging more than 30 carries per game this season. He sat out against Radford.

The question for some spectators is whether Failauga or any running back deserves the same level of respect or aplomb as the previous all-time rushing yards leader, Vavae Malepeai. I don’t think anyone would think lesser of Malepeai, who was incredible — and now starts at USC. Failauga is Waipahu roots through and through, from elementary through high school. He took his opportunity and went with it. All that remains is the stretch run of this season, and whether he can up his SAT score enough to qualify by NCAA Clearinghouse standards.

Former UH running back David Toloumu had shared his insights on the Star-Advertiser’s YouTube channel after seeing footage of Failauga. Toloumu was an explosive, shifty playmaker who excelled in multiple roles under then-coach, the late, great Dick Tomey. Overall, Toloumu is high on Failauga, as is just about every coach or fan who has seen him play. He noted that Failauga might be better suited for slotback in college, that he has good speed, but would probably need to get some track work in to develop a “second gear.” He will take his second SAT later this month.

X factor: His pass-catching skills haven’t been on display often, not since freshman season when he had 22 receptions for 346 yards and two TDs. He had one screen play this year against Waianae that was 100-percent WOW. In open space, his ability to read defenders and shred through tacklers makes him a potent weapon if deployed in open space.

Legend: Rushing/Receiving
¥ point values per game
1 rushing yard = .1 point
Minus-1 rushing yard = -.1 point
100 rushing yards +1 pt
150 rushing yards +2 pts
200 rushing yards +3 pts
100 receiving yards +1 pt
150 receiving yards +2 pts
200 receiving yards +3 pts
1 reception +1 pt
1 receiving yard +.1 pt
TD = 6 pts

$ Top 10 opponent


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