Top Performers
Saints' Aina-Chaves off to hot start




Athlete of the Week: Jonan Aina-Chaves, Saint Francis football
To say that Jonan Aina-Chaves got his 2018 football season off on the right foot, might be a bit of an understatement.

The Saint Francis junior running back ran for 263 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries to break his own school record Saturday night in a 28-21 win over Radford at John E. Velasco Stadium.

"First of all, the (offensive) line did a pretty good job of blocking for him and there's a lot of stuff we still need to clean up, but as far as what he did, that's his character and his attitude on display," Saints coach Kip Akana said of the 5-foot-8, 160-pound Aina-Chaves, who goes by the nickname "Bubbah."

"He's a relentless runner. He's in 'beast mode' all the time, from the start of practice to the end of practice and then he turns it up a notch in the games and he really expresses that when he runs," Akana said. "There are times when I'm yelling at him to go down — to try and eliminate the chances of injury — but that's just not his personality. That's not his attitude and he's just relentless."

Aina-Chaves, who averaged a staggering 9.4 yards per rush, scored the game's first two touchdowns, including a 72-yard scamper to open the scoring.

"He probably ran about a hundred twenty yards on that play, but that's just him being him," Akana said. "It was zero-zero and we needed a spark and any time he touches the ball — whether it be on special teams, out of the backfield or catching the ball on the perimeter — he's a threat to do something special. It's his desire to extend the play and not go down. That play was one of those things and it was just effort, a lot of effort, a lot of heart. Every play matters to him and he has the ability to run away from you, run through you, or put a move on you — and in his spectacular runs you usually see him do all three."

Aina-Chaves one-upped his previous single-game school record of 243 yards that he set against Iolani last year and he did so without much of a passing game to aide him — the Saints completed only seven of the 21 passes they attempted for 85 yards — and against a Radford defense that was content on stopping the run.

"They definitely had eight guys in the box, so those yards were hard to come by. Radford was a very tough team," Akana said. "I think even (Radford) coach Lon (Passos) would agree that it wasn't the best game execution-wise for both teams, but they knew that Bubbah was our go-to guy back there and they were prepared. They did a pretty good job, but he's just a tough guy to contain for four quarters."

As a sophomore last year, Aina-Chaves rushed for 1,637 yards and 17 TDs on 231 carries. He averaged 7.1 yards per rush, 136.4 yards per game and also caught 26 passes for 417 yards and one TD. Aina-Chaves earned both ILH All-Stars and All-Hawaii D2 first team honors and was also selected as the Male Pizza Hut Newcomer of the Year award winner.

"He's a year older now, he's smarter, he understands what he means to this team and you really see his leadership skills coming out this year after our seniors last year departed," Akana said. "He really understands his role is and what we need from him. His leadership skills are being exposed and I would say that's the biggest difference from last year."

Aina-Chaves, the Preseason All-Hawaii D2 Offensive Player of the Year, keeps busy on special teams as a punt and kick returner, as well as the long snapper. He also will see spot duty at linebacker and defensive end.

"His work ethic is off the charts. He works hard on his own. He'll get up early in the morning and run before school and we attribute his durability and endurance to that," Akana said. "He's just a true football player and he loves the game. You can see it on his face every day in practice that he just loves playing football."

Aina-Chaves and the Saints (1-0) open the regular season Saturday against McKinley (1-0) at Roosevelt's Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.


FOOTBALL
Kyler Aguiar, Hilo — Rushed 11 times for 126 yards with a touchdown and threw a TD pass in a loss to Campbell

Wesley Alo-Maiava, Kahuku — Rushed nine times for 130 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Konawaena

Fabian Bautista, Aiea — Caught a touchdown pass and intercepted two passes in a tie against Kaiser

Migguel Camacho, McKinley — Rushed 26 times for 152 yards with two touchdowns and scored on a 21-yard fumble return in a win over King Kekaulike

Jonah Chong, Iolani — Threw for 136 yards and three touchdowns on 8-of-8 passing in a win over Kalani

Kevin Davis, Roosevelt — Had three sacks and recovered a fumble in a win over Nanakuli

Alfred Failauga, Waipahu — Rushed 29 times for 147 yards and a touchdown in a win over Waianae

Cameron Faletufuga, Farrington — Had three tackles for losses, one sack, forced a fumble and scored on a 21-yard fumble return in a win over Leilehua

Dillon Gabriel, Mililani — Threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns on 10-of-17 passing in a win over Kailua

Jorden Himalaya, Kealakehe — Threw for 156 yards and three touchdowns on 8-of-16 passing in a win over Pearl City

Trey Hunter, King Kekaulike — Scored on a 78-yard kickoff return and caught a TD pass in a loss to McKinley

Isaac Ignacio, Iolani — Scored on a 26-yard interception return in a win over Kalani

Kenneth Joseph, Jr., Waianae — Rushed 14 times for 105 yards with a touchdown and caught a TD pass in a loss to Waipahu

Kamryn Kahoonei, Kailua — Caught four passes for 102 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Mililani

Krenston Kaipo, Campbell — Threw for 135 yards and three touchdowns on 7-of-11 passing in a win over Hilo

Zacharias Kalahiki-Basque, Aiea — Caught 10 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown in a tie against Kaiser

Selau Kalani, Farrington — Caught a touchdown pass and rushed for another score in a win over Leilehua

Zechariah Kanahelemone, Kapolei — Scored on a 26-yard interception return in a win over Castle

Cody Marques, Waipahu — Threw for 218 yards on 10-of-15 passing with three touchdowns and rushed for another score in a win over Waianae

Hoku Parbo, Kauai — Rushed for three touchdowns and scored on a 15-yard interception return in a win over Kalaheo

Aalona Monteilh, Roosevelt — Caught four passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns and intercepted two passes in a win over Nanakuli

Kalani Piltz, Kealakehe — Caught five passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Pearl City

Christian Rapis, Kapolei — Threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns on 14-of-22 passing in a win over Castle

Malik Rhines, Radford — Scored on a 75-yard fumble return in a loss to Saint Francis

Justus Rogers-Makainai, Farrington — Made seven tackles, four of them for losses, including three sacks, in a win over Leilehua

Chayden Sasaki-Kalamau, Roosevelt — Had three sacks in a win over Nanakuli

Robert Sauvao, Kahuku — Threw for 148 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-25 passing in a win over Konawaena

Bryson Tuisaloo, Campbell — Recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in a win over Hilo



Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].


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