Noa better: expectations high for Punahou receiver

Punahou WR Kanawai Noa (photo: Paul Honda)

Last year during the preseason, the Punahou football team wasn’t sure what it had at receiver. But the Buffs’ fears were put to rest when sophomore Kanawai Noa caught six passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns in the season opener against West Anchorage. He went on to become one of the best receivers in the state despite missing two games with an ankle injury.

When they reported for camp this year, coach Kale Ane had to be salivating over the Larry Tuileta-to-Noa combination coming back bigger, stronger and faster. How much better can Noa get? Miah Ostrowski, who is probably the best receiver in program history, might represent the floor.

Here are Ostrowski’s receiving yards in each game in his junior season in 2005 vs. Noa’s sophomore season last year:

2005 Ostrowski:
66, 150, 181, 126, 129, 75, 47, 26, 58, 58, 35, 100, 51, 108
2012 Noa: 176, 105, 178, 75, 198, 155, 107, DNP, DNP, 229, 82

That suggests that Noa might be a little disappointed if he finishes 2013 with Ostrowski’s line. People expect so much more, and the only thing that should hold him back is health — his as well as that of Tuileta. If they can both stay upright, Noa has a real shot of breaking the school record for games of 100 or more yards in a season, especially now that Punahou has a few more games in the ILH playoffs to look forward to.

Most games over 99 yards for a Punahou receiver in a single season:

  • 8: Miah Ostrowski, 2006
  • 7: Robby Toma, 2008
  • 7: Kanawai Noa, 2012
  • 6: Miah Ostrowski, 2005
  • 6: Tafiti Uso, 1996
  • 5: Koa Duncan, 2003

Noa is near the top of that list after just his sophomore season, a campaign that was limited by an ankle injury. Ostrowski went over the century mark four times in his sophomore year, three times in his last four games.

Although Noa is looking up at Ostrowski and is even with Robby Toma by the previous measure, he has them beat in another. Noa is already one of five Punahou receivers to go over 200 yards in a game, busting Mililani’s defense for 229 yards and a touchdown. Donny Uta’s school record of 240 yards in 1993 is definitely within reach this year with All-State first-team QB Tuileta at the helm.

Top 10 receiving games for Punahou since 1973:
10/16/1993 Damien W 46-21 Donny Utu 240
11/16/2012 Mililani W 49-19 Kanawai Noa 229
8/26/2006 at Waianae W 21-12 Miah Ostrowski 221
11/12/2008 Saint Louis W 41-28 Robby Toma 206
8/19/2000 Waimea L 13-21 Nainoa Kuna 200
9/14/2012 Saint Louis W 43-14 Kanawai Noa 198
10/18/1996 Kamehameha W 26-23 Tafiti Uso 192
10/27/2006 Pac-Five W 38-7 Miah Ostrowski 190
8/18/2006 Kahuku W 20-18 Miah Ostrowski 186
9/10/2005 Timpview W 10-0 Miah Ostrowski 181

A few highlights of the phenom’s sophomore year:

And just to show you what you might have to look forward to from Noa this year, here is Ostrowski’s junior year at Punahou. Ostrowski is No. 80 and can be found at 2:21 among other places:


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