Midseason Assessment Of East Oahu Prep Football Teams

For Anuenue, Kalani, Kaimuki and Kaiser, the midway point of the football season is this week. Below, the East Oahu Islander looks at the weekend’s matchups for the schools.

Anuenue at Kaiser — 7 p.m. Friday Kaiser responded big-time from a heartbreaking loss to Kalaheo in week two with a workmanlike 17-7 win over Pearl City. Most impressive was the way they won the game — with defense and solid special teams. Kai Gonda returned a punt 83 yards for one score, and the defense forced three turnovers. Fitou Fisiiahi also turned in a big day on defense with a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. Three weeks into the season, Gonda is on his way to a great fall, having averaged 5.1 yards per carry on the ground to date, while adding eight receptions. Quarterback Makana Lyman (594 passing yards, three touchdowns) and wide receiver Christian Clapp (15 receptions, 14.9 yards per catch) have proved to be a productive tandem.

Anuenue broke through for its first win Aug. 25 with a 46-20 win over Waialua. Behind running backs Kainalu Kaleo (718 yards, seven TDs) and Anuenue Tui (256 yards, two touch-downs), Na Koa are averaging 367 yards per game on the ground.

Kalani at Nanakuli — 6 p.m. Saturday The Falcons rode their defense to their first win, a 33-14 triumph over Waialua Aug. 18. Shiloh Laboy led the way, racing 90 yards with a fumble return for one score and adding another touchdown after covering 30 yards following a punt block. Most visible of the defensive plays is their run defense as it’s yielding only 32 ypg on the ground.

Those numbers are encouraging with Nanakuli coming up. The Golden Hawks are averaging 271 ypg on the ground to date, through a pair of hard-fought games with Anuenue (a 30-24 win) and Kalaheo (a 24-21 loss). The bad news for Nanakuli is that its run defense has been porous, as it’s giving up 343 ypg on the ground.

Balance has been Kalani’s offensive forte so far. It’s averaging 84 ypg through the air and 98 yards per week on the ground. Quarterback Noah Brum, wide receiver Enrique Gruver and running backs Noah Kim and Genia Hammani have been offensive leaders. Kalani had a bye after its Waialua win before returning to action last week against Anuenue.

Kailua versus Kaimuki — 6 p.m. Saturday at Kaiser The schedule has been unrelenting to date for Kaimuki after being promoted to Division I this past off-season — with Aiea, Damien, McKinley and last weekend’s game with Farrington on the slate to begin 2012. With Kailua still winless heading into last weekend, this might be the break-through week for the Bulldogs. Their best bet here may be their passing game, led by quarterback Kainalu Spencer (478 yards passing, five touchdowns) and receivers Fiano Tuisila (15.8 yards per catch) and Zac Bastatas (23.4 yards per catch), who accounted for five of the team’s six touchdowns through the first three weeks.

Scoring has been hard to come by for Kailua, as the Surfriders are averaging a touchdown per game through the first three weeks.