Back against the wall after an early-season loss to 'Iolani, Ryan Ho said flatly, but precisely, "This is do or die."
After a state-title run and news that coaches and media voted him the Star-Bulletin offensive player of the year, he was equally deadpan.
"There's other people that deserve it too, but it wasn't our choices. I didn't go into the season thinking I'll win this award," said Ho, who had 1,530 rushing yards (6.7 per carry) and 19 touchdowns. "I just do what our team needed me to do."
After the loss to 'Iolani, Kamehameha's prolific, durable running back called it like it was.
"The loss was pretty good for us. It snapped us into reality. We needed a wake-up and not take days off," Ho said.
The Warriors responded, banking on the 5-foot-6, 175-pound senior for pile-moving yardage between the tackles and breakaway runs on the perimeter.
Starting with a 28-10 win over defending state champ Punahou, Kamehameha kept handing the ball to Ho and won nine games in a row, including a 34-21 victory over Kahuku in the final.
Kamehameha's defense was air-tight, to no surprise. The passing game, though, was a work in progress from the start. Carrying the Warriors from Point A to Point B was Ho, who was consistent and always knew exactly where the first-down marker was. Often facing stacked defenses, he never had less than 94 rushing yards in a game.
Kamehameha's offense didn't record a 200-yard passing game until Oct. 9. To that point, Ho had 785 yards and nine touchdowns in six games. After quarterback T.C. Campbell caught fire, Ho was still highly productive, amassing 745 yards and 10 touchdowns in the last six games.
That included 147 yards and two touchdowns against Saint Louis; 153 yards against Punahou; 107 yards and a touchdown against Leilehua; and 121 yards and two scores against Kahuku.
Ho credited the offensive line.
"They improved from last year, more as one unit this year. Last year was a couple of standout guys. This year everybody worked together," he said.
"Props to the whole team and coaching staff. It wasn't a single character; we relied on our offense, defense and special teams every single game."
FIRST TEAMMicah Hatchie
Waialua, OL, Sr.
Ht.: 6-5 Wt.: 275
Possibly best lineman in Bulldog history; committed to Washington
Farrington, OL, Sr.
Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 260
Co-captain and left tackle anchored a bulldozing line
Leilehua, OL, Sr.
Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 300
Left guard overcame head injury for a stellar senior season
Kahuku , OL, Jr.
Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 265
Center was a key piece of Kahuku's transition to more balance
Farrington, OL, Sr.
Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 300
Veteran center helped RB Tuimaseve lead state in rushing
Castle, WR/R, Sr.
Ht.: 5-11 Wt.: 165
68 catches, 1,150 yards, 19 TDs, including 11 catches vs. Kahuku
Pac-Five, WR, Sr.
Ht.: 5-11 Wt.: 170
101 catches, 1,653 yards, 20 TDs; 141 yards, 2 TDs vs. Kamehameha
Leilehua, WR, Sr.
Ht.: 5-9 Wt.: 170
74 catches, 1,093 yards, 13 TDs; 8 catches, 124 yards vs. Farrington
Farrington, RB, Sr.
Ht.: 5-10 Wt.: 175
1,786 yards, 5.9 ypc, 15 TD, state-high 301 carries; 258 yards vs. Honokaa
Leilehua, QB, Sr.
Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 220
3,099 yards, 137.8 rating, 28 TDs, 11 INT; committed to NMSU
Dalaunte Stevenson Mililani, AP, Sr.
Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 190
"Taz'' a threat as RB, WR, returner and safety; committed to Washington
Kahuku, K, Sr.
Ht. 6-0, Wt. 170
12 FGs, long of 49 yards; 49-for-50 PATs; huge weapon on kickoffs
|Shane Brostek||Hawaii Prep||OL||So.||6-3||300|
|Duke Bukoski||Saint Louis||WR||Jr.||5-11||175|
|Jordan Fukumoto||Saint Louis||WR||Sr.||5-9||155|
|Solomon Dixon||McKinley||R||Jr.||5-9||142 |
|Awa Poggi||Word of Life||AP||Jr.||5-8||150|