Explosive Ho keeps Kamehameha on winning track


POSTED: Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kamehameha running back Ryan Ho has the ability to change styles from one snap to another.

On one play, he's a wrecking ball, bowling over linebackers much heavier than he, and snapping back the heads of would-be tacklers as he sheds them with ease.

On the next, he's a shifty blur of blue and white, leaving befuddled defenders in his wake.

The senior tailback tallied 19 carries for 94 yards and a score to kick-start the No. 5 Warriors' offense in Friday's 34-2 domination of Kailua . The 5-foot, 6-inch runner also assisted on another of his team's touchdowns as, after taking a handoff toward the sideline, Ho instinctively found teammate Blaise Cuban with a lateral. With all 11 defenders collapsing on Ho—he regularly demands that kind of respect—Cuban simply reversed field, ran untouched into the end zone, and took advantage of Ho's unselfish decision, which turned a 5-yard loss into points on the board.

“;Ryan's got that great vision, and he's got a couple of gears,”; said Kamehameha running backs coach Boyd Yap. “;He's just one of those guys who knows how to find the open areas running through the line. Any little gap, he'll hit it.”;




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Ho has anchored a Warriors offense that, through two preseason victories against Hilo and Kailua, is still trying to find a rhythm in the passing game as seniors Michael Kukahiwa-Haruno Jr. and T.C. Campbell share time with sophomore gunslinger Christian Akana. Against the Surfriders, the three combined for 73 yards and two interceptions while completing seven of 17 pass attempts.

“;Our quarterbacks are inexperienced, so Ryan helps keep the defenses honest,”; Yap said. “;Whenever Ryan's in the game, guys have got to respect him. He'll get you one way or another.”;

While the quarterback situation is still a work in progress, Kamehameha's offensive line continues the tradition of employing aggressive run-blocking schemes while balancing strength and conditioning. The linemen are typically aligned with large gaps between one another, making it possible to employ more comprehensive blocking schemes, which give backs like Ho multiple options at the point of attack.

“;It's a team effort. Our O-line did great, they blocked well,”; Ho said. “;The wide splits are good for (creating) the holes, and we come out every game trying to play our style of football. All of us are impact players, and we're all going to have up and down games, so hopefully if I pick it up, everybody else can be with me. If I go down, hopefully we can still sail.”;

While he has a daunting Interscholastic League of Honolulu schedule ahead of him and plenty of time to further bolster his reputation, Ho is already drawing comparisons to some of the finest all-around football players in recent memory.

“;He reminds me of a Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State's explosive sophomore running back), and maybe a little of (former Hawaii and NFL slot back/kick returner) Chad Owens,”; Yap said. “;He would like to return balls, but right now, he's too busy running from scrimmage. We'd like to cut him loose, but we need to save him. He's one of the best Kamehameha has had in a while.”;