Hawaii football practices at Aloha Stadium

Nickelback Eugene Ford had a big day at Hawaii's controlled scrimmage at Aloha Stadium on Saturday. / Photo by Darryl Oumi, Special to the Star-Advertiser

What happens when a Ford and a Froooot truck collide?

The result is a thumping takedown and rousing cheers from the defensive sideline after 200-pound nickelback Eugene Ford‘s open-field tackle of 250-pound running back Dayton Furuta.

That was among many highlights of the Rainbow Warriors’ controlled scrimmage at Aloha Stadium. Also:


> Ford had a 55-yard pick-6 to end the 62-play scrimmage.

> Noa Kamana — son of Carter Kamana (Michigan State) and grandson of John Kamana (USC) — picked off Cole McDonald in the end zone.

> McDonald came back on his next series, teaming with wideout JoJo Ward on a 62-yard touchdown. On the play: 1) McDonald recognized the coverage quickly and led Ward, and 2) Ward was able to track the ball against the overcast background.

> The second-team bonding between quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and right slotback James Phillips was evident on two scramble plays, resulting in touchdowns of 53 and 34 yards. Phillips said they benefited from daily scramble drills.

> After the offense averaged 7.0 yards on the first three first-down plays, the defense fulfilled its promise of cracking down. In particular, the defense sealed the interior lanes. Defensive tackle Djuan Matthews, who arrived in town the day before camp opened, made two big backfield stops, including a sack. The defense also had three red-zone stands, four sacks and two forced fumbles. To simulate game conditions, defensive coordinator Corey Batoon called plays from the coaches’ booth.

> Nose tackle Blessman Taala stormed in for a sack. That was not surprising. What was different was his demonstrative response. Taala, only a sophomore, is developing into both a physical and emotional leader.

> It has been noted that 44.1 percent of rush end Kaimana Padello‘s career tackles have been in the backfield. But his maturity showed when he passed up a kill shot to instead soar to knock down a pass into the flats. Padello is becoming a more well-rounded defender.

> Of the defense, head coach Nick Rolovich said: “If they come out with the right energy, they’re playing well. We’ve had days when they’re coming out dragging, and they get their ass. For the most part, if they come out with the right mind-set, at least we know they’re going to play hard and they’re going to play together and they’re going to have energy. And that gives you a chance.”

* * * * * *

Former UH linebacker Adam Leonard attended today’s practice at Aloha Stadium. Leonard, who had a brief career in the CFL, is now a high school teacher and football coach in California.


  1. roygbivs August 3, 2019 1:20 pm

    Boom. Saturday.

  2. Stephen Tsai August 3, 2019 1:43 pm

    Last year, it was Kendall Hune who was a late addition to boost the defensive line. This year, it’s Djuan Matthews who might provide an immediate impact.

  3. H-Man August 3, 2019 2:22 pm

    Sounds like Eugene Ford will be the surprise of fall camp. And right slot James Phillips in a close second.

  4. Stephen Tsai August 3, 2019 3:41 pm

    It’s going to be a tight competition.
    Ford and Kai Kaneshiro have been rotating at the nickel.
    Travon Killins, who has been really impressive, also has worked at nickel. Killins can play corner and safety, too.

  5. H-Man August 3, 2019 5:53 pm

    This level of competition just makes it so much more exciting. I don’t want to miss a game this season, especially the games against the Pac12 teams to see how we stack up. And how did we get Travon Killens away from Florida? Kudos to the coaching staff.

  6. Da Punchbowl Kid August 3, 2019 6:59 pm

    Its gonna be fun at the old rust bucket this fall. I’m glad the Warriors saw their battleground early in the camp.

    Own it, Warriors.

  7. Stephen Tsai August 3, 2019 7:45 pm

    You can thank the dearly departed Erick for the Aloha Stadium preview.

  8. Music man August 4, 2019 10:14 am

    Whatever happened to running back Hekili? If not a running back, he has good size and speed for linebacker or DE? Seems like all the recruiting accolades is all hype or position is stacked?

  9. Stephen Tsai August 4, 2019 12:31 pm

    Music Man:
    Hekili is in the mix at running back with Holly, Reed and Furuta.

  10. Tom-warriornation August 4, 2019 3:41 pm

    Awesome updates ST!

    Join our 400+ Warrior Nation group at the UW, Reno and UNLV road games and sit right behind our Warriors bench with friendly UH fans instead of the hostile home fans, lol. Text me 415-324-0585 or: tomkitaguchi@yahoo.com

  11. ai-eee-soos August 5, 2019 1:37 am

    James Phillips 53 yd TD was from Justin Uahinu, per Brian McInnis.

    Good job done by all.

  12. ai-eee-soos August 5, 2019 1:48 am

    John Ursua “hanging out” with Russell Wilson.

    “Fresh off signing a record four-year, $140 million contract extension, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hosted a mini-training camp for a handful of teammates at his house in San Diego.
    Among those who headed to Wilson’s residence for the excursion was former Hawaii wide receiver John Ursua, who was taken in the seventh round by the Seahawks in April. Wilson documented the experience on his official YouTube channel, where Ursua made a couple of memorable appearances. ”

    in an article by Christian Shimabuku.

  13. Earl Spencer August 5, 2019 8:10 am

    “Wroll Warriors!” (Not a typo)~

  14. Stephen Tsai August 5, 2019 12:09 pm

    New post: https://www.hawaiiwarriorworld.com/?p=50478

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