Hawaii Grown Report


POSTED: Friday, January 09, 2009

Local players have roles in many bowl games

The end of the college football season is always marked by marquee bowl games, and players with local ties were involved in many of them.

Southern California linebacker Kaluka Maiava (Baldwin '05) had four solo tackles and two pass breakups to earn defensive most valuable player honors in a 38-24 Rose Bowl victory over Penn State.

The Hawaii-Grown defensive player of the year finished his senior season with 66 tackles and is headed to Houston for the 2009 East-West Shrine Game.

A day later, Utah linebacker Kepa Gaison (Kamehameha '05) made the most of his only start this season. Playing in place of injured Nai Fotu (Kahuku '07), Gaison had six tackles, two sacks and a quarterback hurry as the Utes upset Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl to finish as college football's only undefeated team.

The Pac-10 finished 5-0 in the bowl season, including Oregon's 42-31 victory over Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl.

Ducks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli (Saint Louis '06) rushed for 106 yards and three touchdowns, and completed 18 of 32 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown to put an exclamation point on an outstanding season.

Barely a blip on Oregon's radar screen at quarterback in fall camp, Masoli became the starter early in the season and finished with 718 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns. He also completed 57 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,744 yards and 13 TDs with only five interceptions.

Center Max Unger (Hawaii Prep '04) made his 51st and final start for the Ducks on the offensive line.

Oregon State survived the lowest-scoring major bowl game in 50 years with a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl.

Linebacker David Paaluhi (Waianae '07) had three tackles as he looks to earn a starting job next season, while senior safety Al Afalava (Kahuku '05) finished with two tackles, including one for loss, and a pass breakup. Tavita Thompson (Saint Louis '04) started at right tackle. Afalava accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game yesterday.

Other bowl games involving local athletes included Arizona's 31-21 win over BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. Wildcats defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu (Arizona '07) and Cougars defensive lineman Ian Dulan (Kamehameha-Hawaii '06) each had a tackle, while Cougars senior C.J. Santiago (Saint Louis '04) punted three times for a 37-yard average.

Navy quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (Kapolei '04) capped an injury-plagued senior season with 83 rushing yards and a touchdown in a 29-19 loss to Wake Forest in the EagleBank Bowl.

In California's 24-17 victory over Miami in the Emerald Bowl, Bears defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (Saint Louis '05) had three tackles and a quarterback hurry and Mika Kane (Kamehameha '05) added two tackles.

Kentucky's Mikhail Mabry (Mililani '04) assisted on a tackle in a 25-19 Liberty Bowl win over East Carolina and Nevada's Jared Silva-Purcell (Saint Louis '06) had three tackles in a 42-35 loss to Maryland in the Humanitarian Bowl.


» The Swarthmore College (Penn.) men's soccer team advanced to the sweet 16 of the NCAA Division III tournament, finishing the season with a 17-3-2 record. Junior Dylan Langley ('Iolani '06) led the team with 19 points (seven goals, five assists), while younger brother Morgan ('Iolani '07) finished with three goals and six assists.


» UNLV freshman Jamie Smith ('Iolani '08) had six points, eight rebounds and two blocks in a 75-49 loss at New Mexico. Smith has started 10 of UNLV's 14 games this season and is averaging 10.6 points and 8.1 rebounds a game.

» Cal State Northridge sophomore Analee Viena-Lota (Kamehameha '07) made 6 of 11 shots and scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench in an 86-66 loss to UC Davis.

» Western Washington senior India Soo (Kamehameha '04) had six assists, five points and four rebounds as the Vikings finished their nonconference season 8-3 with a 58-37 win over Merrimack (Mass.).

» Washington University (Missouri) senior Shanna-Lei Dacanay (Punahou '05) had nine points, seven assists and five rebounds without a turnover as the Bears closed their nonconference schedule with a 78-46 victory over Webster University.