Earlier this season, Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez said his team had finally joined the modern era after years of relying on defense and a bruising running game.
The Hurricanes still have that defense, not giving up more than seven points in a game since Sept. 5, but it is the passing attack that has evolved the most.
It starts with quarterback Taulia Tagovialoa, of course, but the young freshman certainly has talent around him. Tagovailoa is the only Kapolei quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards, and he has done it three times. He was over than mark by halftime on Friday against Castle and finished with an insane 534 yards in a 41-0 win. His previous record was 448.
He is carrying his receivers along with him, or maybe it is the other way around.
Ty-Noah Williams was the star of the show on Friday, breaking teammate L.J. Esperas‘ school record of 221 yards against Mililani with his first reception after halftime. He went on to compile 313 yards, just short of the 319 yards accumulated by David Kaihenui for Kailua in 2002 for the Oahu record.
Noah-Williams, who had a 123-yard game against Kaiser earlier this year, already had the fifth-best total in the school’s annals but obliterated it this time. Of the six best receiving games in school history, four of them have come this year and one happened last year.
And they are all different players: Williams, Esperas and Jaymin Sarono. Jenesus Tago-Sue and Lorenzen Panapa were threats as well against Castle, halfway to 100 yards by halftime. Seven different Hurricanes caught touchdown passes in the pre- and regular seasons and 13 different receivers caught at least one pass.
Hernandez said his staff counted “13 or 14” dropped passes against Castle, which is a little bit of an exaggeration since Tagovailoa was 19-for-31, but his point was made.
Still, that gives Tagovailoa plenty of options to work with as the Hurricanes make the trek North to Kahuku next week.
Hernandez knows a thing or two about beating Kahuku up there. He pulled off what might be the biggest upset in the state championship era when he beat the Red Raiders in their own house in the 2007 playoffs. He also beat Kahuku at Kahuku with Campbell in 1996.
Quarterback Mason Koa threw only six passes in that game, completing four of them. What did Hernandez have to say after the upset in 2002?
“I think this is one of those once-in-a-generation type of things,” Hernandez said.
Just in time for a new generation.
Sometimes I wish sports writers could be more real than neutral. But hey that’s their job. Being real is what the comments section is for. So… Great game Hurricanes. Too bad your freshman QB will be scrambling for his life next week. And his WRs are going to be blanketed by D1 talented DBs. Good season Hurricanes. How many more weeks before we play Mililani??? #GBR!!!
@gobigred let’s be humble my friend. Kapolei played a great game last night and showed Kahuku that there offense has improved alot and so did there defense. Remember they played Kahuku tough and will be more prepared for this game
@red I hear u. But All Kapolei showed was what they can do vs CASTLE…not us. Big diff. I can be humble and still be real… Because reality is about to rear its big ugly RED head next week.
Kapolei looks like a team with talented underclassmen. Like I said earlier in the season, Hernandez took a page out of Yorks recruit book. A lot of players came from last years Campbell team. Whatever, look at the depleted Campbell team. At least their in the playoffs. Should be a good game at Kahuku. Good for Kahuku because they would be playing a pass happy team. Time to test them.
Tagovailoa gonna be under pressure all night at Kahuku and will toss multiple ints. Kapolei’s defense is stout but will fold to the power of Kahuku’s run game.
Only way Kapolei stays competitive is if the officials keep it close with lopsided calls.
Congrats to Coach Hernandez and the canes. Lets not forget Taulia is a freshman putting up rediculous numbers. Instead of congradulating him you come out here to throw punches at the coach, players and even the writer wow can you show some class. I said before that Castle wasn’t a very good team but when Kahuku stop them the Red Rebels D was the best thing since slice bread. You guys are right, Kahuku will probably beat Kapolei next week but it will not be that easy. This team is clicking and they get Sean Auwae back so he will help Taulia stay on his feet.
@GoBidRed, it’s that kind of arrogance from you that gives the red raider faithful a bad reputation. It’s okay to be confident but to show arrogance like you show is uncalled for. I myself am a Kahuku grad and proudly supports the boys, we all hope for a win but c’mon, these comments from you are uncalled for. I do not seeing you being real or humble, it’s just plain arrogance.
It is always the refs making lopsided calls isn’t it, ever think about the boys playing undisciplined ball? It’s always the refs, blame the refs for everything. Yes not all calls are accurate, yes they miss calls that we can see on the TV with replay and slo-mo, it’s part of the game. All we can ask the boys to do is play up to their potential and beyond that.
If you’re referring to penalties, it is what it is, they are SELF INFLICTED and you can’t blame anyone for that. You know who to blame for penalties, don’t take it out on the refs. If you think you can do a better job them sign up to be a ref, stop whining about it.
Kapolei played a great game, they are not the same team they were when we played them earlier in the year. I will also say that Kahuku is not the same team also. It will be a great game, win or lose all these student athletes deserves respect from all communities.
Whatever took place to begin the season doesn’t matter anymore. Simple, win and move forward to another week, lose…pack it up!!
This phenom freshman QB is a WOW factor, records were meant to be broken…he’ll definitely be mentioned and recognized by the time his HS career is done. Great win Hurricanes, I hope the Red Sea will not be as accommodating as the Knights next weekend.
Go Big Red!!
@Anykine. Don’t confuse arrogance with confidence. I am 100% CONFIDENT we gonna win…and win BIG. Unless you have a guy named Milton on your team then the season speaks for itself = Pass-happy teams have fared extremely poorly vs our D… And I am CONFIDENT That trend will continue next Friday. Why? #1 reason = Hurricanes do not have the O-line needed to protect against our pass rush.
LOOK at the season. EVERYBODY’S stats looked GREAT!… Right up until kickoff against us.
As for penalties, that is our biggest weakness. If we lose…then we lose. I don’t wanna hear penalties this or penalties that blah blah blah. Don’t blame the refs when you should have the ability to control the outcome. Now THAT is just poor sport.
Everyone don’t bother with big red he’s gonna say what he wants to say. Let him be as for kapolei there future looks bright and they upset us before on our backyard and can do it again. This quarterfinals look exciting to watch and anyone can win so let kids play the game without making drama between communities!
Kapolei is on a roll and playing good ball in all 3 phases of the game. Congratulations on a nice win. I think they have a better chance to beat Kahuku than some think. That may not happen, but I think it will be a close game. Something like 28-13 Kahuku, and that’s pretty close for Kahuku this year. Or 21-18 Kapolei with the upset. Either way, good luck to both squads!
Everybody looks good until they Kahuku. Waianae was looking good until they played Kahuku. Kapoleis QB and All State Center was good until they played Kahuku. Being humble has nothing to do with it. Just like Coach TATA said ” Toughest team wins!”… To much softies and like be best friends on this forum.
I find allot of you people’s comments quite amusing and entertaining, it’s like little kids arguing during recess. But this is some straight school spirit and personal pride at its best when school talk shizz about each others school and negatively critics opponent teams individual players so funny. Best of luck to all the teams that made the playoff cut and those who will advance to states. Good luck to all the kids from our home state in the future.