Based on his ’88’ jersey number and speed, Kalani senior Seth Tina-Sobarano might look like a converted wide receiver playing quarterback.
But make no mistake, he’s exclusively a quarterback. And he proved it with his arm in the Falcons’ 57-24 win over McKinley on Saturday night at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium.
The third-year Falcons starter was 14-for-20 for 302 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Many of his deep balls were delivered with just the right combination of power and touch. He also became the fifth Kalani quarterback of all time with more than 300 yards in a single game.
“Seth has grown into a great captain and great leader for our team,” Kalani head coach Scott Melemai said. “He takes ownership of the offense.”
On a 32-yard touchdown pass to Logan Matsuoka in the second quarter, Tina-Sobarano evaded multiple sack attempts and chucked one to his receiver in the end zone. It was a pure display of his ability on his feet, and he went on to finish with 83 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The Falcons are now 1-2 overall, but both of their losses were one-possession games.
“Just everyone doing their job and wanting to win, it feels amazing,” Tina-Soborano said. “Winning is always fun. We’re just going to keep pushing from here on out.
“It was exciting. But I couldn’t do anything without my line and receivers doing their jobs.”
As for his jersey number, he’s worn it for as long as he can remember. On his first ever football team, he originally wanted ’86’ because of his Hines Ward fandom. Because it wasn’t available, ’88’ has stuck with him ever since.
In Melemai’s evaluation of his signal-caller, it should come as no surprise as to why Tina-Sobarano had such an affinity for wide receivers in the first place.
“In the offseason, he would always work with the receivers,” Melemai said. “They’ve worked really hard together. It’s great to see him come and put in all the time and see it pay off for him.”
Despite starting 0-2, Kalani is still in contention to land one of the four playoff berths in Division II.
The Falcons face a struggling Waialua team next week before traveling to Washington to play Mt. Tahoma in a rare mainland game for Kalani on Sept. 8.