Senior Javen Towne has been lugging the football out of the Waianae varsity football team’s triple option for three years now.
He’s a tough customer. He can plow up the middle. The 5-foot-8, 190-pounder can also use his speed and moves.
Then there’s senior Jorell Pontes-Borje (5-9, 175), another person in the fourth-ranked Seariders’ backfield who we in the media have written and talked about for the past three years. Speedy, elusive, can catch.
It gets deeper, with plenty of other capable carriers, including a junior who is off to a blazing start. His name is Rico Rosario (5-9, 200) and he looks like a real difference-maker so far.
Rosario rushed for 117 yards in a huge 35-14 victory at then-No. 5 Kapolei last Saturday. In two games, he has 173 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
“Rico, he’s our upcoming kid,” head coach Walter Young said. “He’s up from the JV; he’s strong and he’s got some speed to him.”
Rosario scored the Seariders’ only touchdown in a loss to Kahuku in the 2015 OIA JV championship game.
“Javen is smaller, but he’s also got speed,” Young said.
Senior Kade Ambrocio (5-10, 160) is getting his share of carries, too.
“Kade and Jorell are our open-space guys and they can catch passes out of the backfield, too,” Young added.
Solofua Grey (5-11, 205), a fullback who had also been seeing playing time, has an ankle injury and his estimated return date is unknown, according to Young.
More often than not, Rosario or Towne will line up at fullback, with Grey injured.
“We ride the fullback,” Young said. “That’s the first thing we try to do.”
In the Waianae triple-option offense, the two main sets are a fullback and two wings, and one wing along with the other two runners in the I formation.
Without the following guys up front, Waianae’s smashmouth thrust wouldn’t be quite the same: junior left tackle Onesimus Clarke (6-6, 310), senior left guard John McFall (6-0, 250), senior center Mililani Misipati (6-1, 325), senior right guard Jonah Maga (5-10, 280) and senior right tackle Micah Atuatasi (6-3, 325).
The Seariders (2-0, 1-0 Oahu Interscholastic Association Blue) play their home opener Friday night against Moanalua (1-1, 0-1).