[ HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS ]
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Keoki Lapina of Kapolei tripped up Punahou's Colin Viloria during a game at Aloha Stadium last month.
Mules hope to get
help from above
Injured quarterback Moniz
will be in the press box when
Leilehua plays Kapolei tomorrow
When Bryant Moniz suits up tomorrow, it'll be his beautiful mind that will be tested more than ever before.
The Leilehua junior quarterback is out as long as eight weeks with a fractured collarbone, which is enough reason for the beleaguered Mules to worry as they arrive in Kapolei for an Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West showdown. Coach Nolan Tokuda intends to put Moniz's high football IQ to work in the press box at Kapolei's recently completed football stadium.
Modern technology will connect Moniz with his coaches to give Joe Iosefa, their third-string quarterback, all the opportunity in the world to succeed. The Leilehua-Kapolei pairing is a matchup of teams unbeaten in Oahu Interscholastic Association play. Ranked No. 8 in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, the Mules (3-1 overall, 2-0 league) will have to face perhaps Kapolei's best team since the school began varsity play.
Tomorrow's kickoff is scheduled 25 minutes after completion of the 5 p.m. junior varsity game, roughly 7 p.m.
Iosefa played at Kapolei last year before transferring to Leilehua.
"Iosefa is a good player. He led them down the field for that touchdown, and he almost did it again," Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez said of Leilehua's 20-14 loss at Kamehameha last weekend. "I gotta tell you, I think they're a heck of a team, and this is not coach-speak. I saw it with my own eyes."
Tokuda plans to cut the playbook in half to accommodate Iosefa.
"We'll be prepared for whatever they have to do," Hernandez said. "They still got great receivers and a good offensive line. Joe can throw the ball. They won't change the whole offense for just one guy. He's the kind of player who would start for many teams."
Tenth-ranked Kapolei (3-1, 2-0) has lit up scoreboards and racked up passing-yardage totals that require an abacus to keep up. Quarterback Brad Padayao's quick feet make him a formidable target for defensive linemen and linebackers. However, his passing touch has helped the Hurricanes become an aerial force.
The Hurricanes met Punahou early in the season and fell victim to their own miscues in the second half. "We're at a stage in our formative development. We really don't know where we stand," Hernandez said. "We played a darn good Punahou team solid for a half, and we started turning the ball over and they ran away from us."
Hernandez's defensive unit, though, is the program's heart and soul. Offseason dedication is paying dividends for a team that has size but not as much depth as elite programs like Kahuku, Hernandez maintains.
That's where Moniz's input is valuable. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior spent a good portion of his visit to UNLV's summer camp as an unofficial tutor to other quarterbacks. He is already taking Algebra III, something Tokuda points out with pride. When he says Moniz is almost like having another coach, he isn't kidding.
Leilehua's multitude of injuries isn't lost on Hernandez, but there is no way his team will ease up.
"I kinda had to laugh when I read the story that suddenly, they're the underdogs. I was at the (Kamehameha) game, and they're still tremendous without those four or five guys. Let me tell you, they're a solid team, up and down and inside and out," Hernandez said.
Meanwhile, top-ranked Kahuku battles Windward rival Castle tomorrow night at Aloha Stadium. Kahuku's Kamuela Alisa has power and speed, but his field vision has been remarkable in wins over Kamehameha and McKinley. His backup, Malosi Te'o, could start for almost any other team in the state.
Former backup Kaulin Krebs is the starter, but former starter Jacob Kahawaii looked good in his stint against McKinley. For now, there is no quarterback controversy, according to coach Siuaki Livai.
Whether Castle signal-caller Bryce Kalauokaaea will have enough time to find receivers is an issue. Kahuku's front seven is probably the best in the state, from defensive end B.J. Beatty to a plethora of linebackers like Micah Wily and Kevin Unga.
Kickoff at Aloha Stadium is set for 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the stadium hosts perhaps the best showdown of the weekend. Third-ranked Punahou squares off against No. 5 Saint Louis in a 7:30 p.m. game.
Punahou is coming off a remarkable 10-0 win over Utah's No. 1 team, Timpview. Saint Louis, meanwhile, racked up more than 600 yards in total offense against another Utah powerhouse, Davis, for a 54-26 win.
Saint Louis opened the season with a 30-20 nonconference loss at Waianae. Since then, the Crusaders have been on a mission. Cameron Bayne, a 6-1, 203-pound senior, has been nearly unstoppable at wide receiver. He caught five passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns (26, 47 and 71 yards) against Davis.
The Crusaders' passing game, led by Cameron Higgins, has been sharp despite changing to a version of Urban Meyer's high-low option scheme.
Saint Louis linebackers Jacob Barit (6-2, 218) and Jared Silva (5-10, 211) are among a defensive core that has been turnover-hungry.
Punahou quarterback Brett Kan has been savvy, forcing passes far less while finding receivers in his team's run-and-shoot attack. Miah Ostrowski has been exceptional, pulling in 18 receptions in his last two games for 331 yards. Whether the Crusaders can match up with Ostrowski, who sometimes lines up in the slot, is a huge question.
In two games against Saint Louis last year, Ostrowski caught 13 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown. The Crusaders won the games 35-7 and 42-0.
Another big issue is how Punahou's defense will respond to the loss of linebacker Sam Higgins, who was injured in the Timpview game.
BACK TO TOP
» Honokaa at Kamehameha-Hawaii, 7 p.m.
» Konawaena at Ka'u, 7 p.m.
» Kauai vs. Kapaa at Vidinha Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
» Kamehameha-Maui at King Kekaulike, 7:30 p.m.
» Baldwin vs. Pac-Three at War Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
OIA Red East
» Castle vs. Kahuku at Aloha Stadium, game begins 25 minutes after 4:30 p.m. JV game
» Farrington at Roosevelt, game begins 25 minutes after 5 p.m. JV game
OIA Red West
Games begin 25 minutes after 5 p.m. JV game.
» Pearl City at Mililani
» Leilehua at Kapolei
» Waianae at Aiea
» Moanalua at Kaiser, 25 minutes after 5 p.m. JV game
» Waiakea at HPA, 2 p.m.
» Hilo at Kealakehe, 7 p.m.
» Kohala at Keaau, 7 p.m.
At Aloha Stadium
» Damien vs. Pac-Five, 4:30 p.m.
» Saint Louis vs. Punahou, 7:30 p.m.
» Lahainaluna vs. Maui at War Memorial Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
OIA Red East
» Kaimuki vs. Kailua at Roosevelt, game begins 25 minutes after end of 4 p.m. JV game.
Games begin 25 minutes after end of 4 p.m. JV game.
» Waipahu vs. Kalani at Kaiser
» Radford at Waialua