Rainbow Warrior Defensive Line Coach, Louis Powell, complimented Nevada Quarterback Cody Fajardo stating we knew what he was going to do, but we couldn’t stop him. Powell pointed out that Fajardo did nothing different from the BYU films they watched when his running and selective passing brought the Wolf Pack back from being three scores down.
The Wolf Pack coaching staff did a good job scouting Hawaii’s personnel as their O line kept leaving Hawaii defensive tackle Kennedy Tulimasealii alone using his explosiveness to overrun plays and leave his gap. After Hawaii’s staff spotted that, Tulimasealii stayed in the gap when not blocked, forced Fajardo to hold the ball and go outside. Unfortunately, we still could not stop that play. Hawaii’s safeties were assigned to cover Fajardo but just did not have the angle or speed on most plays to be effective.
Also hampering Hawaii’s defense was Nevada sending their personnel onto the field late so by the time the personnel was identified upstairs and sent to the field, defensive signals were being relayed when Nevada was nearly ready to snap the ball.
Scouting may have also helped Nevada block Hawaii’s first attempted field goal when a defender timed the holder’s signal perfectly and made a running leap by the snapper to block the ball. Fortunately, our Special Teams punting performance was good with five punts averaging 45.4 yards with one downed inside the 20 yard line. Powell expounded on Scott Harding’s ability and value to the team and gave for a sigh of relief when he reported Harding was okay after being visibly bothered by some leg or hip ailment during the game.
Powell also pointed out what Offensive Line Coach, Chris Naeole, did in the October 13 meeting where the punt return team vacated the field as soon as Harding punted the ball, save a lone receiver. Given that scenario, Powell was asked whether Harding could execute a drop kick to create a live ball situation. However, Powell reminded the audience that a drop kick would be permissible as a field goal attempt and if no opposing player touched it, the play would be a failed field goal attempt and the ball turned over.
Powell reported that Hawaii’s next challenge, Utah State University, is down to their fourth string quarterback so we can expect a lot of running. He said that quarterback is a true freshman who ran a run-oriented attack in high school so he might not be ready to throw a lot. In any case, the Aggies do a lot of the same things Hawaii’s offense does so because the defense sees that every day in practice, we should match up well.
Coach Powell thanked everyone for their continued support, said the kids are still fighting hard, watching film, and learning to correct their errors.
Written by: Gareth Sakakida
Injuries continue to deplete the Rainbow Warrior ranks, but they keep battling back to finally grab the victory over Wyoming along with the Paniolo Trophy and a first place perch in the Mountain West’s West Division.
Quarterback Ikaika Woolsey went 8 for 9 passing for 173 yards and two touchdowns in a relief appearance for Taylor Graham who may have broken his foot. Running Back Diocemy Saint Juste carried 17 times for 135 yards and his first score of the season while picking up the slack for a stricken Steven Lakalaka.
All of this critically needed offense came courtesy of the offensive line, which has performed well in spite of injuries of their own. All the more appropriate that Offensive Line Coach Chris Naeole was the speaker at the NaKoa lunch meeting today.
Naeole pointed out that Ben Clarke and Kody Afusia continue to battle ailments, but keep playing and executing well. That dedication is impactful and Naeole said that is the kind of player HE would want to play with. He applauded Brenden Urban who left the team for a while due to economic reasons, and Dejon Allen who is “athletic with no fat…the sky is the limit for him.” Of Sean Shigematsu, Naeole said with his size (6′ 6″) and long pipes (arms) he should be able to block anyone.
Naeole tells his 16 boys that every day you have to tell yourself to earn it (playing time). He makes sure no group works harder than his at practices. During film reviews he is not shy about pointing out who is working and not….“the film sees all, you can’t hide,” he says.
In two games the O line was called for a chop block which Naeole says were good calls. On one play his lineman got off to a late start, and on the call in the Wyoming game the defender stunted into the chop.
The O line will play even more critical roles in the upcoming weeks with Steven Lakalaka’s uncertain status after being dinged. Although Preese Joas looked good on his one carry for 14 yards, there are other duties and aspects of the game he must learn like pass protection.
Fortunately, Diocemy Saint Juste is finally healthy but is better suited to perimeter runs versus between the tackles. He is a quick, smaller back but is the biggest of those still healthy noted Naeole. Saint Juste is also a good blocker.
To prepare for the National Football League, Coach Naeole tells his players the more positions they can play the better. They must also be cerebral as they will be asked to draw up defenses on the chalk board and explain the play.
Naeole himself played for five years with the New Orleans Saints, followed by seven more with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Kahuku graduate played O and D line, “I never came off the field!” As a Colorado Buffalo, he played O line, but did get some time on goal line defense.
Coach is very excited about the five primary prospects – all high school seniors – for next year but takes nothing for granted and keeps in touch with calls and letters all the time. Of course, he is already targeting 2016 prospects.
Written by: Gareth Sakakida
From L to R:
Head Coach Norm Chow; Kainoa Kaulukukui; Ikaika Woolsey; Margaret Kaulukukui; Solomon Kaulukukui, Jr; Shari Kaulukukui; Kim Fujiuchi; Scott Kaulukukui; Jordan Wynn
Ikaika was the first honoree of the Solomon Kaulukukui Sr Memorial Fund supporting summer school for the Rainbow Warrior Football team through Nā Koa. Mahalo to the Kaulukukui family for their generosity and support.