Manley's Mules have work to do


POSTED: Sunday, August 16, 2009

Andrew Manley isn't a teacher, but was quick to grade his performance in Leilehua's season opener Friday night.

“;Probably a D,”; Manley said. “;We have to work on everything we do out there.”;

The second-ranked Mules escaped with a 23-20 victory over Radford in the Spirit of Freedom Bowl at Hugh Yoshida Stadium thanks in large part to their defense.

Offensively, things were a different story. Manley finished with 262 passing yards, but completed less than 50 percent of his throws (18-for-37), threw two interceptions, and only had four completions in the second half.

“;We got it all out now and know what we need to work on,”; Manley said. “;We'll be all right.”;

Senior receiver Carlos Marshall was one of 13 players that didn't suit up for the Mules, leaving junior Fred Padrones to start opposite Kamana Akagi, the lone returning receiver with decent experience.

After the Rams scored to cut into the Mules' lead, Manley seemed to find a rhythm with Akagi. Akagi had all five of his catches in the second quarter, including a 20-yard touchdown that put the Mules up 20-13 at halftime.

“;We know our chemistry and we know where each other is going to be,”; Manley said. “;But it's the same with all of my receivers. If they're open I'm going to throw it to them.”;







Dropped passes stalled Leilehua's first two drives, but coach Nolan Tokuda chalked it up to a mixture of nerves and the weather.

“;Because of the first-game atmosphere I think the kids were a little nervous,”; Tokuda said. “;The weather didn't help either. It played some tricks on us because our quarterback couldn't get a good feel and the ball slipped between our receivers hand.”;

It's a problem the Mules will have to fix quickly. After a trip to Mililani next week, the Mules will host No. 1-ranked Saint Louis on Aug. 29.

“;We're going to go back to practice and start practicing catching wet balls because we've got a lot of games left here,”; Tokuda said.

Tokuda will also look for a better performance from his running game. After Tyler Boone's 31-yard field goal put Leilehua up 10 in the third quarter, the Mules only had one first down the rest of the game and managed just 9 rushing yards on eight carries.








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