This pirate prefers to keep his business on the playing field.
For Victor Moananu, carrying the football — and the Waipahu Marauders’ symbolic black flag — is a personal quest to serve his gridiron brothers.
Moananu rushed for 126 yards per game last season (755 yards in six contests) against some of the state’s most rugged defensive units in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West. Against Waianae, the Marauders’ bull in the one-back, spread option scheme took over when his quarterback was sidelined by injury.
Moananu took the Pirate package — essentially a Wildcat formation — and led Waipahu on a 75-yard scoring drive. Waianae rallied for a win, but Moananu’s verve and leadership still aren’t forgotten.
Moananu, who finished with 207 rushing yards on 29 carries that night, saw his season disrupted by a staph infection. Sixteen players in all lost playing time due to the health issue, which has since been remedied.
The stocky 5-foot-8, 190-pound senior won’t have to carry the same load this fall. Waipahu is looking up much more, having thrown the ball 40 times in a recent scrimmage.
"This year, we’re passing more. The great thing with Victor is his versatility," coach Sean Saturnio said.
The luxury of a back who can run with the ball, block in pass protection and catch passes as a slotback — Moananu’s original position as a sophomore — isn’t lost on Saturnio. But is it too much to ask from one athlete?
"It’s not hard at all. I’m football smart," Moananu said. "Once I’m told to do something, it sticks in my head."
That means all the new pages in the Waipahu playbook have been embraced.
"We added more passing plays, and more plays to the Pirate formation. Actually, a lot more plays," Moananu said.
Though the Marauders have capability at quarterback and in the receiver corps, he concedes to a penchant for the Pirate attack.
"Just lining up (in the shotgun) at quarterback, there’s a different feel to it. I like it," he said.
The Marauders have plenty of force up front led by Michael Angasay, an All-State third-team selection. More than that, they have cohesion.
"This year feels like something special," Moananu said. "We just love each other. I expect so much. The black flag, the meaning of it is so much for us. It makes us push more."
The Star-Advertiser kicked off the high school football season with unprecedented coverage, featuring top players at each position and counting down to the top teams in the state. See below for past and upcoming stories.
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