HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Funakoshi’s speed a problem for ’Canes
STORY SUMMARY »
The top three teams remained unchanged in the Star-Bulletin's high school football poll this week, with No. 2 Punahou and No. 3 Kahuku still looking up at No. 1 Saint Louis.
But that could change on Friday, when Punahou and Saint Louis tangle at Aloha Stadium.
Mililani moved into the top four after a romp of Kapolei on Saturday, dropping the Hurricanes from No. 8 to the land of also receiving votes.
Lahainaluna entered the poll in Kapolei's place, coming in at No. 10.
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One of the most surprising aspects of Mililani's 23-7 win at Kapolei on Saturday was the Trojans' ability to run off tackle.
Biggest movers on the Star-Bulletin's high school poll
The 'Canes' 3-4 defense, led by linebacker Tim Brown, seemed well suited to stop Mililani's shotgun, two-back sets. However, the skills of Trojans quarterback Rustin Funakoshi and his offensive line gave Mililani 175 rushing yards against one of the top defensive units in the Oahu Interscholastic Association.
Two new starters lined up on the O-line for Mililani, which moved up to No. 4 in today's Star-Bulletin poll. Kapolei responded by taking away the inside gaps, and the Trojans took advantage, according to Mililani coach Darnell Arceneaux. Funakoshi ran several quarterback draw plays out of empty-backfield sets.
"This package was in, but we didn't use it until tonight," Arceneaux said after the game. "With our quads and empty (backfield), we just tried to use (Funakoshi's) speed."
The playing field is evening out in the Red West, where there is a four-way tie at the top. Waianae, Aiea, Mililani and Leilehua are 2-1 in the league, and Kapolei, which dropped out of the top 10, is 1-1.
Without Manti Te'o, Punahou's defense is a clock without a battery. With the highly recruited junior linebacker, the Buffanblu are poetry in motion. Magical, violent poetry.
Te'o's presence and activity created distractions for Kamehameha on Friday. He had two sacks and recovered a fumble, and his speed set the entire defense in motion. Dane Okamura and Siu Tafuna led a secondary that stifled the Warriors offense for more than three quarters as No. 2 Punahou won 28-7.
A showdown with No. 1 Saint Louis, which rested over the weekend, is slated for Friday night at Aloha Stadium.
Iolani's Ronnie Hirokawa had an enjoyable night against Damien, hauling in eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. Hirokawa, however, isn't just a good receiver. He is, in some ways, the go-to target when the Raiders need a big play.
Up 13-6 in the second quarter with the ball at Damien's 25-yard line, Kela Marciel looked up Hirokawa's number. On second and 11, Hirokawa ran a perfect hitch pattern for a 16-yard play. He scored three plays later on a quick slant pass.
Late in the second quarter, after Kama Bailey's second touchdown run tied the game at 19 for the Monarchs, Iolani turned to Hirokawa again. On third and 7 at the Damien 34, Marciel delivered another hitch pass to Hirokawa, who gained 13 yards to move the chains again. That led to another Iolani score, the first of four consecutive touchdowns by the speedy Raiders.
Star-Bulletin / KITV4 Football Poll
| 1. Saint Louis, 3-0 (14)
||did not play
| 2. Punahou, 3-0 (1)
||vs. Saint Louis
| 3. Kahuku, 2-2
| 4. Mililani, 4-1
| 5. Baldwin, 2-1
||at King Kekaulike
| 6. Leilehua, 3-2
||does not play
| 7. Waianae, 4-1
||lost to Leilehua
| 8. Kamehameha, 1-1-1
||lost to Punahou
||does not play
| 9. Kalaheo, 4-1
|10. Lahainaluna, 3-0
||vs. St. Anthony
» Voted on by coaches and media from around the state
» First-place votes in parentheses
» 10 points for first-place vote, 9 for second, 8 for third; etc.
» Also received votes: Kapolei 10, Iolani 5, Kealakehe 4, Kaimuki 2, Aiea 1
» No longer in top 10 (previous rank): Kapolei (No. 8)