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Wednesday, October 2, 2002


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art
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Nanakuli fullback Ikaika Asinsin leads the OIA in rushing this season. The 3-1 Golden Hawks host the 4-0 Pearl City Chargers on Friday.




THE ASSASSIN

Nanakuli's Asinsin likes
to take opponents with him
on his way to TDs


By Jason Kaneshiro
jkaneshiro@starbulletin.com

IMAGINE for a moment being the unfortunate defensive back caught between Ikaika Asinsin and the goal line.

Take the wrong angle and the Nanakuli fullback can blaze to the end zone. Get caught off balance and he'll make a move to get around you.

Try to take on the 6-foot-2, 245-pounder head to head? Well, let's just say that's Asinsin's favorite way to get past a defender.

"I like taking people for a ride," said Asinsin, the Oahu Interscholastic Association's leading rusher this football season. "I like it when I go to hit them again and I see them kind of moving to the side."

Asinsin's speed and power will be on display again Friday night when Nanakuli hosts Pearl City in a key OIA White Conference battle.

Pearl City enters the game at 4-0 and alone atop the OIA White. Nanakuli is 3-1 and will again pack its hopes of tightening the conference race on Asinsin's shoulders.

"I like carrying the load for the team," Asinsin said. "It puts a lot of pressure on me, but it makes me perform better."

art
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
"I like taking people for a ride. I like it when I go to hit them again and I see them kind of moving to the side." --Ikaika Asinsin, The Nanakuli fullback, who has scored more points than 11 OIA teams, on his rushing philosophy




Asinsin has thrived as Nanakuli's primary offensive weapon this season. His individual point total is greater than that of 11 OIA teams as he has scored 11 touchdowns, converted 11 2-point conversions and kicked an extra point to account for 89 of Nanakuli's 140 points.

He has already surpassed his statistics of a year ago in leading the OIA White Conference in rushing with 603 yards. He averages 7.9 yards per rush and 150.8 per game on an offense that discards any hint of finesse.

"Nanakuli takes a lot of pride in just strapping it up and just bashing heads," Asinsin said. "We're going to tell everybody we're a running team. If you can stop us you might win and if not you're going to lose."

On those occasions when he doesn't reach the end zone, Asinsin still contributes as the team's punter. He also chips in on defense as a linebacker.

With Asinsin's name dominating the Nanakuli box score every week, the team's coaching staff has worked to defuse any potential conflicts over the uneven work load.

"I've explained to the kids that everybody has a role," Nanakuli coach Al Beaver said. "Ikaika has a role, each individual has a role and we need to accept that and exploit that. That is where we become a team, when we can exploit our strength and not be envious or jealous of someone else."

Asinsin scored the team's first 44 points of the season as the first choice in Nanakuli's option offense, but the Golden Hawks aren't entirely a one-man show. Running back Kyle Beck rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns in a 55-32 win over Moanalua, and junior Albert Distajo has supplied steady play at quarterback.

Nanakuli's efficiency on the ground allowed the Hawks to score a 41-7 win over Kalani on Sept. 20 without attempting a pass.

While Asinsin's scoring output is a big reason Nanakuli is in the hunt for the OIA White title, he credits his success to the guys blocking for him. He shows his appreciation for his offensive linemen by feeding them before and sometimes after Nanakuli's games.

"They really want me to excel, I know I can't do it without them," Asinsin said of his linemen. "They always encourage me. If I got 150 yards, they want me to go for 250 yards. If I got 250, they want me to go to 300.

"They like seeing me succeed and be in the newspaper all the time. They tease me a lot about it, but they love it, too."

Asinsin began playing Pop Warner football nine years ago and remembers watching the Golden Hawks run down Nanakuli Avenue as part of their training regimen.

Now that he is one of the varsity players the youngsters in Nanakuli look up to, Asinsin hopes to carry the Golden Hawks back to prominence in the OIA.

"We want to be playing in November," Asinsin said. "We really want to get our varsity back to where it was before."

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