A little D, a lotta O
Offense lays down the law as heads bang
By Paul Honda
Friday, April 5, 2002
HONOLULU – Last Friday was Good Friday, but this one wasn't bad at all.
The Warriors took to the quarry field in full pads today, and the offensive unit bounced back with more consistency following Thursday's six-sack debacle in 11-on-11 (shells). Much of Friday's 11-on-11 was filled out by reserve players hoping to make the cut. Some projected starters didn't play a down.
About 20 players will be dropped from the roster following the spring.
"We try to give a lot of guys opportunities that normally don't get chances. We'll evaluate them and go. There's a lot of good energy and excitement, so that's good," Warrior head coach June Jones said. "Obviously, over the last two scrimmages, we've kind of devoted to everybody to get a look at everybody so they can't say they didn't get a chance. It makes it good because you also find some players you didn't think could play. It's a positive deal."
The trio of Shawn Withy-Allen, Jason Whieldon and Jeff Rhode looked fairly crisp – not perfect – but on the higher end of the expectation bar. Of the last 21 plays, 18 went for positive yardage. Withy-Allen connected with Ryan Richards on a 34-yard play down the right sideline and a nice pass play to Keiki Misipeka. The latter play, a screen to the left side, went from a scrum to a thundering pickup by the former star from American Samoa. After he broke three tackles – crunching one defender in the secondary – the 215-pound back wound up with a 23-yard gain and the loudest hooting and hollering by teammates during the matchup.
Richards had a pair of receptions in all for 49 yards, while Bryant Stevens, Britt Komine and Omar Bennett were among other fairly new faces who also pulled in passes.
Stevens is among the new Warriors who has caught Jones' eye. "The first couple days, he looked like he was going to be a player. He's got some skills and will learn a lot," Jones said of the 6-foot-1, 191-pound sophomore from Waiakea High School and the University of San Diego. "He's only had, what, eight practices? Nine practices so far? He's coming along, and by the time we tee it up next September, he'll be able to help, I'm sure."
The offensive line, which bore the brunt of coach Mike Cavanaugh's fury during Thursday's video session, went rather unscathed. There was one borderline sack – no hitti