Run-heavy might be an understatement.
Roosevelt threw the ball twice in its season finale, a 28-8 victory over Kalaheo on homecoming and senior night. The rest of the Rough Riders’ plays from scrimmage? Four touchdowns on 57 rushes and 203 yards.
“The offense did a hell of a job,” coach Kui Kahooilihala said. “They executed their plays and they did it the whole week with walk-throughs.”
The Rough Riders lined up in the option offense throughout the game and used six different rushers.
Quarterback Shastyn Kekahuna and running back Charvis Paia rushed for two touchdowns each. Paia got the bulk of the team’s carries, running 19 times for 66 yards. Kekahuna rushed for 29 yards on five carries. In last season’s matchup with the Mustangs, he threw for 267 yards in a 39-29 loss.
With the season over, the Rough Riders finished with 368 rushing attempts in comparison to 84 pass attempts.
“We came into the season this year and we said we were going to try to establish the running game, so we kind of implemented the veer option,” Kahooilihala said. “We were still gonna throw the ball. We can throw it with Shastyn there. We needed to get those guys up front moving. That was our plan the whole season … We try to establish the run first.”
Kahooilihala finished his first year at the helm with a 2-5 record in the OIA and 2-6 overall. Though the Rough Riders fell out of the Division II playoff picture, he’s confident that he has the offensive blueprint to move his program in the right direction.
“We’re gonna try and do this. This is the Rough Rider way and it’s the only way we know how to play,” Kahooilihala said. “We need to establish the run before we throw the ball so that’s what we’re gonna be doing. Our lineman know too that the guys up front, they gotta move.”