Toniu Fonoti is going back in time, playing "Martyball."
[ NFL ISLANDERS ]
Fonoti, S.D. line bulldoze
holes for Tomlinson
Staff and wire reports
The big guard is one of the pieces of the San Diego Chargers' offensive puzzle that is coming together faster than expected.
The offense harkens back to the days when running ruled the NFL.
"I'm going to send the NFL back to the Neanderthal age," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said after yesterday's victory over defending Super Bowl champion New England.
"With the way L.T. (LaDainian Tomlinson) runs and we block, why do we need to throw it much?" quarterback Drew Brees added.
Fonoti and his offensive linemates blew open holes for Tomlinson, who rushed for 217 yards, tying a team record.
Fonoti, a 6-foot-4, 349-pound former Kahuku standout, was San Diego's second-round draft pick in April.
Adrian Klemm, the Patriots' 6-3, 312-pound tackle, started his first game in two years.
In his rookie season in 2000, he started four games, but he didn't play last year due to a leg injury.
Klemm, the former Hawaii lineman, was playing for injured Joe Andruzzi.
Pittsburgh backup running back Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala (St. Louis School) rushed for 20 yards on five carries in the Steelers' first win of the year. He came in after coach Bill Cowher benched Jerome Bettis in the second half.
Teammate Kimo von Oelhoffen (Molokai), a starting defensive end, combined with Clark Haggens for a sack of Cleveland's Tim Couch to stall a Browns drive with the score tied 6-6 early in the third quarter.
Von Oelhoffen also used his head, literally, to prevent the Browns from winning in overtime. Phil Dawson's 45-yard field-goal attempt glanced off von Oelhoffen's helmet and was short and wide.
New Orleans' James Fenderson (Hawaii), a backup running back, played on special teams as the Saints were upset by the Lions.
Five other players with Hawaii ties started yesterday - tight end Itula Mili (Kahuku)of Seattle, centers Kevin Mawae (dad grew up in Hawaii) of the New York Jets, Olin Kreutz (St. Louis) of Chicago and Dominic Raiola (St. Louis) of Detroit, and guard Chris Naeole (Kahuku) of Jacksonville.
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