(Via Star Advertiser)
In the OIA Blue Division, football game plans are all about blueprints.
Farrington (5-0, 5-0 OIA Blue), for example, has aired the ball out a bit more this season. Senior Montana Liana has the arm strength, pocket poise and size — 6 feet 1, 210 pounds — to stand and deliver without flinching. But the strength of the Governors’ offense remains its bullish offensive line and a nicely balanced group of running backs.
When the Govs want to spread the field, handing the ball to speedsters Ranan Mamiya (10.2 yards per carry) and Challen Faamatau (6.8) is no problem. If they simply want to move the chains and chew chunks of time off the clock, coach Randall Okimoto can send in pulverizing fullbacks Freedom Alualu (5-8, 252) and Bugsy Tui (5-7, 248) to spring the tailbacks out of an I-formation.
Okimoto loves his ground and pound. He even lines up Alualu as a slot from time to time to send him in motion and drill down on the 1-technique (nose tackle) for a decided advantage in the trenches.
So, as No. 2 Mililani (6-0, 5-0) prepares for its new, Blue rival on Saturday, coach Rod York can’t be blamed for drawing up the most basic of defensive strategies: take away the edges, jam the point of attack up the gut and hope Liana doesn’t connect with his receivers.
Only recently have the pass-catching corps begun to spread their wings. Kingston Moses-Sanchez (10 receptions, 174 yards, one TD) is a prototypical tall, long playmaker. C.J. Liana has stepped up recently and now ranks second on the squad in receiving yardage.
In reality, Liana hasn’t been forced to go to the air extensively, not with Mamiya and Faamatau accounting for 14 rushing TDs. He has thrown more than 13 passes in a game just twice: 11-for-21, 117 yards, one TD, one INT in a wild 47-27 win at Moanalua, and 16-for-23, 216 yards, two TDs, no picks in a 38-7 win at Kailua last week.
Liana will face the toughest defensive line on the Govs’ schedule. Mililani defensive tackle Rex Manu has been beastly. Defensive end Kaimana Padello had his best game in last week’s 57-28 win over Campbell with four sacks, all in the first half. Tielu Mamea also emerged as a playmaker, coming up with three interceptions against the Sabers, including a pick-6.
Then there’s Mililani’s offense, a hybrid of smashmouth I-formation, four-wide run-and-shoot and a little Oregon-esque quick-trigger read-option action that fits quarterback McKenzie Milton perfectly.
|GAME OF THE WEEK
Farrington vs. Mililani
Milton, the 5-10, 155-pound junior, has already passed for 1,370 yards and 15 TDs with just three interceptions in five games. But what separates him is the decisiveness with which he decides to tuck and run. Milton has rushed for 505 yards on just 35 carries, scoring eight touchdowns by foot. His 101-yard average per game on the ground leads all quarterbacks.
The problem for defensive coordinators is that there are so many Trojan weapons, it’s easy to forget that Milton may be the most dangerous of all. Accounting for a fast QB is one thing; Milton has game speed that belies any 4.6, 40-yard dash recording. More recent accounts of 4.4 speed are more accurate.
Averaging 53 points per game, the Trojans are a machine unlike any seen in recent prep football.
So, the Governors’ defense has a major exam this weekend. Defensive tackle Breiden Fehoko is one of the most heralded prospects in the state. Seufagafaga Luafatasaga (6-2, 213) has become one of the top defensive ends in the league, a hoopster who has returned fumbles for touchdowns twice.
The Govs not only face the most dangerous QB in the league, they’ll take on Vavae Malepeai, who has rushed for 558 yards and 11 TDs. Malepeai is relatively fresh; his 29-carry load against Campbell (for 145 yards, two TDs) was by far his heaviest workday since Week 1 against Saint Louis. He did get dinged up, though, midway through the game, before returning.
The one aspect no defense has been able to contain is Milton’s ability to spread the wealth. Milton, following York’s mantra, takes what the defense gives him. From Kalakaua Timoteo (28 receptions, 602 yards, four TDs) to Bronson Ramos (14, 201, three) to Bryson Ventura (10, 71, two), the Trojans never hesitate to target an open receiver and deliver the ball.
It’s sometimes a string of quick passes to slots in four-wides until defensive backs and safeties get lured to the bait. Then deep-threat playmakers like Timoteo go to work. The question this week, however, is whether Timoteo will be 100 percent. He took a shot to the right shoulder as he pulled in a TD pass from Milton last week and had a sling on it.
That might complicate things for Mililani, which already had elite receiver Kainoa Wilson out (collarbone). Yet, with Ramos, Ventura, Luani Matagiese and Roman Tovi getting more and more targets, Milton hasn’t missed a beat.
The last time they met (Nov. 1), Mililani won handily, 37-6, in the OIA final. The Trojans limited Farrington to 65 rushing yards.
Since then, the Govs have welcomed major additions in Mamiya, who has already returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns since transferring from St. Francis, and former Mililani defensive tackle Tamatoa Silva.
‘Iolani (3-1, 2-1 ILH) at No. 1 Punahou (3-0, 3-0)
It’s been four wins in a row for the Buffanblu over the Raiders, and the past three games have been one-sided. Punahou has won 56-0 (2013), 56-14 (’12), 38-18 (’11) and 24-19 (’10). The Raiders last beat the Buffanblu in ’09, 35-12.
No. 4 Leilehua (5-0, 5-0 OIA Red) at No. 7 Kahuku (4-1, 4-1)
The Mules are coming off a bye week and have one of the hottest passers in the state, Kalanimoku Pauole. The senior has already thrown for 1,345 yards and 20 TDs at a 69-percent completion rate. His QB rating of 218.73 is surpassed only by Punahou’s Ephraim Tuliloa (225.74). The Red Raiders are coming off a 20-19 upset loss at Kaiser. They committed seven turnovers in the loss.
No. 10 Kaiser (3-2, 3-2 OIA Red) at Castle (1-4, 1-4)
The Knights show improvement each week while Kaiser might be in for a slight letdown after a superlative win over Kahuku. After a so-so start, Castle quarterback Willie Ewaliko has been more consistent with 32-for-68 passing, 274 yards, two TDs and only one pick in his last two games. Castle’s defense hasn’t permitted a 100-yard rusher since Week 1 (Terell Johnson of Campbell). Kaiser’s Jensen McDaniel has not cracked the century mark in his past two games but still has 669 yards (6.7 per carry) and 12 TDs so far. His versatility is a big asset; he had three catches for 99 yards against Kahuku, including an 87-yard TD.
Waianae (3-2, 3-2 OIA Red) at Waipahu (1-5, 1-5)
The Seariders have won two in a row since a 1-2 start. They’ve won three in a row over the Marauders, who last beat Waianae in ’08. Wide receiver Jordan Taylor had a breakout game in a win over McKinley last week with 10 catches for 146 yards and four TDs.
Pearl City (5-0, 5-0 OIA D-II) at Nanakuli (5-0, 5-0)
Showdown time on the Leeward Coast means first place in the division is at stake. The Chargers have won six of the past eight meetings, including a 35-12 rout at the Golden Hawks’ field last year. Jordan Taamu, who passed for 122 yards that day, threw for 241 yards and three TDs in a win over Radford last week. He has thrown just one pick in 82 pass attempts with a completion rate of 65 percent this season. Makaila Haina-Horswill continues to bulldoze defenses. The compact (5-6, 166) senior is averaging 10.9 yards per carry and has 567 yards and five TDs.
Anuenue (0-6, 0-6 OIA D-II) at Roosevelt (1-5, 1-5)
The Rough Riders broke into the win column with a 19-9 victory over Kalaheo last week. Keanu Furtado began the season as their starting QB but has since become a key wide receiver. The 6-1, 145-pound senior had six grabs for 86 yards and a TD last week.
Radford (4-2, 4-1 OIA D-II) vs. Kalaheo (2-3, 2-3) at Kailua
The Mustangs are still in contention for a playoff berth, but they’d need to upset Radford and then run the table against Kaimuki and Pearl City to have their best opportunity.
Kaimuki (1-4, 1-4 OIA D-II) at Waialua (2-3, 2-3)
Kaimuki’s Nixon Siona was spectacular with two TD catches in a 21-20 loss to Kalani, including a diving grab for a 24-yard score. Waialua has pulled out two close wins (10-7 over Kalaheo, 21-20 over Roosevelt) and is still in the playoff hunt.
St. Francis (2-4, 0-4 ILH) vs. No. 5 St. Louis (3-3, 3-1) at Aloha Stadium
The Crusaders are on a three-game win streak, including last week’s 46-38 win over Kamehameha. Sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been on fire during the run, throwing for 1,191 yards and 13 TDs with just one pick. Coach Cal Lee probably would prefer that the 6-foot, 190-pound lefty run less often — he had 172 yards and two TDs on 24 carries against Kamehameha.
Pac-Five (2-2, 1-2 ILH) vs. No. 6 Kamehameha (3-1, 2-1) at Aloha Stadium
The Warriors had a career-high 264 passing yards from Fatu Sua-Godinet in the loss to Saint Louis. He also put his fleet feet to use, rushing for 121 yards and two TDs.
The Warrior defense, which was tested severely by Saint Louis last week, will see another wide-open passing attack. Pac-Five’s Kainoa Ferreira has passed for 1,390 yards and 14 TDs in four games. ‘Iolani limited prolific wide receiver Tsubasa Brennan to 73 yards on eight receptions, both season-low totals.
No. 8 Campbell (4-1, 4-1 OIA Blue) at Aiea (2-3, 2-3)
The Sabers are coming off a homecoming loss to Mililani, but they ran well with the duo of Terell Johnson (143 yards, two TDs) and Austin May.
Moanalua (2-3, 2-3 OIA Blue) at Kailua (0-6, 0-6)
Na Menehune are angling toward a playoff berth. Kawika Keama-Jacobe got back on track with a 335-yard, two-TD passing performance in last week’s win over Aiea. Jason Sharsh was superb with 11 grabs for 232 yards and two TDs.
Compiled by Billy Hull, Star-Advertiser; statistics are for conference games only; see full statistical leaders at hawaiiprepworld.com
|Tua Tagovailoa, Saint Louis||4||74-106||0.70||1323||14||2|
|Kainoa Ferreira, Pac-Five||3||57-137||0.42||875||8||4|
|Ephraim Tuliloa, Punahou||2||31-47||0.66||619||7||0|
|KJ Pascua, ‘Iolani||3||61||403||6||6.6||134.3|
|Wayne Taulapapa, Punahou||3||32||371||5||11.6||123.7|
|Jordan Bayudan, Kamehameha||3||32||288||5||9.0||96.0|
Receiving, by catches
|Tsubasa Brennan, Pac-Five||3||33||336||3||10.2||112.0|
|Jarrod Infante, Pac-Five||3||21||232||1||11.0||77.3|
|Ricardo Sallas III, Saint Louis||4||18||268||2||14.9||67.0|
|Kalanimoku Pauole, Lei.||5||79-112||0.71||1345||20||6|
|Kalawai’a Judd, Kaiser||5||53-107||0.50||963||8||7|
|Tuli Wily-Matagi, Kahuku||5||32-57||0.56||584||4||3|
|Jensen McDaniel, Kaiser||5||100||669||12||6.7||133.8|
|Kesi Ah-Hoy, Kahuku||5||47||346||7||7.4||69.2|
|John Barbieto, Waianae||5||60||344||4||5.7||68.8|
Receiving, by catches
|Toma Savea, Leilehua||5||19||313||4||16.5||62.6|
|Chad Figueroa, Castle||5||19||270||2||14.2||54.0|
|Tyreek Keough, Leilehua||5||17||300||4||17.6||60.0|
|Kawika Keama-Jacobe, Moa.||5||89-154||0.58||1,372||8||6|
|McKenzie Milton, Mililani||4||73-108||0.68||1,001||11||3|
|Ezra Savea, Campbell||4||62-106||0.58||974||11||8|
|Ranan Mamiya, Farrington||5||45||464||10||10.3||92.8|
|Terrell Johnson, Campbell||5||67||462||5||6.9||92.4|
|Paepaeiva Silifaiva-Kaeha, Kail.||5||88||455||1||5.2||91.0|
Receiving, by catches
|Jayce Bantolina, Campbell||5||27||465||6||17.2||93.0|
|Naliko Kea, Kapolei||6||23||288||3||12.5||48.0|
|Jason Sharsh, Moanalua||4||21||415||4||19.8||103.8|
OIA DIVISION II
|Kale Kanehailua, Nanakuli||4||41-71||0.58||674||10||3|
|Tyler Ching, Kalani||6||54-129||0.42||639||4||3|
|Jordan Taamu, Pearl City||4||53-82||0.65||615||8||1|
|Makaila Haina-Horswill, Nana.||5||52||557||7||10.7||111.4|
|Ace Faumui, Kalani||4||53||447||6||8.4||111.8|
|Sean Noda, Kaimuki||4||57||377||4||6.6||94.3|
Receiving, by catches
|Justin Lugo, Radford||4||25||235||1||9.4||58.8|
|Shayne Teruya, Roosevelt||5||21||306||2||14.6||61.2|
|Blaise Manabe, Kalani||6||18||291||3||16.2||48.5|