TRENCH WARFARE: Uluave vs. Evaimalo

Punahou OL Semisi Uluave is still undecided on college. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser
Punahou OL Semisi Uluave is still undecided on college. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser

Punahou senior Semisi Uluave has been a big-time recruiting prospect since way back to his sophomore season. The 6-foot-5, 320-pounder is considered a guard at the next level and says UCLA is his top school right now, but is still looking at both Texas Tech and Oregon.

Punahou needs a win over Saint Louis tonight to claim its fourth consecutive ILH Division I championship. In this episode of Trench Warfare, Uluave will match up against Crusaders defensive lineman Tanielu Evaimalo.

As always this is purely for fun. Each series is scored like a boxing round with a 10-point must system.


Evaimalo blows past Uluave’s left on the first play but Punahou runs inside for a big gain. Uluave, who is at right guard, with the big block pushing Evaimalo to the ground on the next one. Evaimalo gets him on the third play and gets a hand in the passing lane. Crusaders recover fumble as Evaimalo gives Uluave some trouble. Evaimalo 10-9.


Uluave with the initial block on the first play but Evaimalo does a good job on the second try. Evaimalo blows past Uluave on the next play and nearly gets to the QB, Ephraim Tuliloa who tries to dump it to Wayne Taulapapa but it’s incomplete. OH MAN. Third down and Evaimalo tries to go inside and Uluave absolutely pancakes him on that one. Second great job blocking in a row by Uluave who gets his hands on Evaimalo and locks him up. Evaimalo tries to go left but Uluave stays balanced and holds him at bay on another Punahou completion. Evaimalo has success going to Uluave’s right as the running back comes in to help out on the QB scramble. Evaimalo goes inside on the next play against the center, leaving Uluave with nobody to block. Uluave takes a shot at Evaimalo anyway. Thrid-and-8, Evaimalo tries to go inside and Uluave rides him all the way out past the left tackle. Uluave pulls and gets matched up on a linebacker and just blows him a good 7-8 yards down field to help Taulapapa go for 6 yards. Touchdown Punahou. Great back-and-forth action. This is like Hagler-Hearns. 10-9 Uluave.


Evaimalo continues to get penetration going to Uluave’s right but again the running back is there to keep him out of harms way of Tuliloa. Make that pancake number 2 for Uluave who then pats him on the back. Two Crusaders rush into 3 Punahou OL and it’s a 63-yard TD pass but I think Uluave may have been caught with a block in the back way downfield as Kanawai Noa broke away. Not sure who that was. Uluave with another pancake block and it springs Taulapapa for a 37-yard TD. Uluave has settled in. 10-9 Uluave.


Uluave opens the fourth drive with a solid block on Tytus Timoteo. Uluave doesn’t have anyone matched up on him the next two plays but helps out on Timoteo, who delivers a shot to Uluave’s face mask. He shrugs it off. Quarter over. Uluave just kind of sagging back waiting to help either the center or the right tackle. Running play and Uluave pancakes Tane Tuifua who still nearly had the tackle, Tuifua hits the ground twice in disgust. Entire right side of Punahou’s OL blows the Crusaders DL down field but it’s a pass left. Uluave blows up the field again and is blocking 8-10 yards down field on a pass outside. Uluave is part of a double team on Luke Kava who has no chance. Uluave now just helping out to double up on blocks as Saint Louis doesn’t rush a lineman his way. Taulapapa runs behind Uluave and cuts inside for a 6-yard gain as Uluave clears room. Again nothing for Uluave as Punahou scores a touchdown. Surprised not to see Evaimalo matched up on Uluave once on that drive. 10-9 Uluave.


Uluave just flat out misses the block on Evaimalo to start the drive to force a quick throw by Tuliloa. May have saved six. The two go at it again as Uluave gets him on the next play but a false start is called. I could watch 58 vs. 58 all night. Uluave gets Evaimalo on the first move but Evaimalo comes back with a second one and gets past but not quickly enough. That play is called back because of a hold on the other side of the line. Uluave pushes Evaimalo way outside allowing his QB to step up and a drop kills what would have been a huge play. Third-and-35 on the 9 and Evaimalo tries to go inside but is double teamed. He throws an arm away and comes back on the second try and just drills Tuliloa after the throw. Close to a penalty but it’s enough to steal the round as the Buffanblu punt deep in own territory. 10-9 Evaimalo.


Punahou runs opposite Uluave’s side and is stopped for a loss. Evaimalo gets off the ball quick but Uluave is there to meet him and hold him from going anywhere. Evaimalo tries to go to Uluave’s left but it’s a quick pass outside. Evaimalo stops and runs out and cleans up the tackle on the receiver. Another nice play. Nobody goes against Uluave on that quick throw. Uluave with a nice block pushing the defender down the field as Punahou is starting to roll. Uluave pulls and blocks a linebacker to create a nice hole for Taulapapa. Another quick throw. Nobody on Uluave the next play as Evaimalo goes up the middle. Fourth-and-1 coming up. Uluave blows up the D-line but Tuliloa runs straight right for the first down. Uluave 1-on-1 on Evaimalo and then gets help on the block as Taulapapa tries to run through but can’t hit the goal line. On the 2 and Uluave holds up Evaimalo as Taulapapa smashes into his butt. Taulapapa follows Uluave’s drive into the end zone for the score as Uluave takes it home 10-9.


Second half starts with Evaimalo getting a couple yards upfield on Uluave but not threatening the QB. Uluave with a great block to the middle to give Taulapapa a big hole to run through. Evaimalo goes inside and is doubled and can’t go anywhere. Uluave again gets help on a double team of Evaimalo as he goes nowhere but does take up two blockers. Thrid-and-5. Uluave does a great job of picking up the lineman stunting inside but it’s an interception. Uluave runs down field and makes a tackle, bringing down the defender by his shoulders. 10-9 Uluave.


Punahou backed up to its own 1 runs behind Uluave who almost gets rolled up on as Evaimalo makes the tackle. Double team puts Evaimalo on the ground on the next play. High snap on the next play and it gets nuts. End result is a safety. That’s a 10-10. Hard to score that mess.


Evaimalo makes a move inside and Uluave is able to get him to the ground. Close to a hold as Uluave pulls his hands away and bodyboards Evaimalo on the ground for a second. Uluave with another nice block on the screen pass and holds his hands up as if to say that wasn’t a hold. Third down and Uluave helps out with a couple of 1-on-1s on a short pass. It’s fourth and short. Evaimalo blows past Uluave and forces a quick throw. It’s incomplete. Evaimalo’s pressure hurried the pass and forced the turnover on downs. Great play by the junior, who is listed at 5-11. 10-9 Evaimalo.


Uluave pushes the defender to his right to open a nice hole. Third-and-1 and Evaimalo crashes inside but is called for jumping early. Evaimalo jumps again. Two penalties in two plays. Another great run block by Uluave who turns Evaimalo around. Evaimalo goes to shove Uluave even though Taulapapa is still trying to be tackled by the Crusaders. Junior has gotten a little frustrated here. Uluave again gets him good as Taulapapa runs right behind Uluave. We go to the fourth quarter. Third-and-2 and Evaimalo goes inside as Uluave rides him to the ground and Taulapapa bounces outside. After a long talk the refs call something on Punahou. It’s third-and-7. Oh man. Nobody is on Uluave on the line and Uluave is allowed to run down field and blast a linebacker who had no chance springing Taulapapa for a big gain. Evaimalo explodes off the ball and gets inside of Uluave and gets the sack of Tuliloa. Looked like he went early but it goes down as a sack. Now Evaimalo goes the other way and Taulapapa has to help as he squirts past Uluave. Two good plays by Evaimalo there. Ewaimalo with another solid rush to force an incompletion. Uluave had that series dominated until the last three plays makes it a 10-10 round.


Evaimalo got the step on the first play but Uluave rode him out to keep him away from the QB. Uluave with the right block on the next play as Evaimalo goes in allowing a hole to open for Taulapapa. Uluave helps out on Timoteo since nobody lines up against him. Third down and Uluave pulls to the left to open up a hole behind the left guard and center but not a bunch of players to block as it’s muddled in the middle. Punahou looks like it will punt. Uluave 10-9.

Crusaders whistled for 12 men on the field on the punt and Punahou is handed a first down. 52-yard TD pass to Kanawai Noa on the next play as Uluave pass blocked well.


Punahou can run out the clock up 35-28 with 2:33 left and ball on own 30. Ewaimalo busts past Uluave but the run is to the left. Little shove from Evaimalo to the back of Uluave. Uluave holds off Evaimalo and Punahou goes deep to Noa to likely end it. Uluave blocks nearly 10 yards down field on the Taulapapa run. Uluave with one last block to get the clinching first down and it’s over. 10-9 Uluave.

Summary: I have to admit. I was excited the last two days to see guys like Mililani’s Jordan Agasiva and Punahou’s Semisi Uluave and Saint Louis’ Fred Ulu-Perry. But man impressive performance by Tanielu Evaimalo of Saint Louis tonight stepping up and giving Uluave a test. If he didn’t know going in, Uluave was well aware after the first drive who Evaimalo was.

Uluave takes it seven rounds to three with two draws and shows why he’s going to find himself at a nice college next year. Evaimalo has a future though and is one of the big reasons for Saint Louis’ big improvement on defense throughout this season.


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