Kaipo-Noa, Navy eye Army

He's quick, athletic and runs Navy's powerful triple option offense almost seamlessly. Sound familiar? Another year, another talented Navy quarterback. However, sophomore Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada wasn't supposed to be the guy leading the Midshipmen (8-3) into its annual showdown with Army on Saturday in Philadelphia.

No matter.

Kaheaku-Enhada is getting the job done. "He's gotten a lot more comfortable with the offense and has done a good job," Navy coach Paul Johnson says. "He's proven week-to-week that he can get the job done. I think the biggest thing, and he would be the first to tell you, is that everyone around him has played better. That's made his job a little easier. Everyone's done their thing."

Kaheaku-Enhada took over after starter Brian Hampton went down with a season-ending knee injury during a 34-0 loss to Rutgers on Oct. 14 in Annapolis. He scored two touchdowns in his debut against Notre Dame and has been lights out since.

Kaheaku-Enhada's four rushing touchdowns against Eastern Michigan on Nov. 11 tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns in a single game in school history and tied for the fifth-most total touchdowns in a game. The four touchdowns are also tied for the third-most touchdowns in a single game in the country this season.

Only Sidney Rice of South Carolina, Marshall's Admad Bradshaw and Ian Johnson of Boise State with five touchdowns have score more this season. "We have a lot of confidence in (Kaheaku-Enhada). We know he can get the job done," Navy center James Rossi says. "He's making a lot of plays for us and we have a lot of faith in him." Kaheaku-Enhada, who is 5-foot-11, 186 pounds, ran the option at Kapolei High School in Hawaii and at Navy's prep school. He's such a good athlete that Johnson played him at wide receiver just to get him on the field last year.

With Kaheaku-Enhada running the show, Navy has put up three of its four highest scoring totals this year, putting up 42 points against Temple (Nov. 18), 49 versus Eastern Michigan (Nov. 11) and 38 against Duke (Nov. 4). Kaheaku has put up 11 all-purpose touchdowns over the last four years.

"He knows what we are doing," Johnson says. "He's very cerebral. he's got good football sense and he knows what we're trying to do."

And what Navy is doing is clicking, eating up yards. So the question remains: Can Army stop the high-flying Midshipmen?

The Black Knights didn't stop quarterback Lamar Owens last year - or his predecessors - Aaron Polanco and Craig Candeto.

Kaheaku-Enhada hopes Saturday is his day to shine.


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