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.”
* * * * * *