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Both teams being guided by Mules

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Australian talk show host Grant Denyer, far right in uniform, interviewed punter Alex Dunnachie.
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Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz has traveled 3,207 miles for another high school reunion.

"It’s not a big thing," said Moniz, who will face 2010 Leilehua High graduate Andrew Manley when the Warriors face New Mexico State in Saturday’s game in Las Cruces, N.M.

Moniz was a senior at Leilehua during the 2006 season when Manley, the state’s offensive player of the year in 2009, was a freshman.

"It’s no different than when I played (Idaho linebacker) Robert (Siavii)," Moniz said of the former Mules linebacker. "This time, I don’t actually get to play against (Manley) because he’s not a defensive player. It’ll be cool, though."

Moniz and Manley have ties. Both used to participate in Vince Passas‘ summer passing workshops at Saint Louis School.

Moniz’s brother, Bronson, was Manley’s center at Leilehua.

"They won the state championship together, graduated together," Moniz said. "I always see him around."

Last week, Moniz set a UH single-game record with 560 passing yards. Manley is listed as the Aggies’ starting quarterback this week.

A name of his own

Haku Correa is not a starter, but he has developed into an impact player in his limited role as a defensive tackle.

Correa, who averages about 30 defensive plays a game, is effective in creating a push, opening the way for the linebackers to swoop in for tackles.

"He gives us a real boost," defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said.

Correa, a third-year sophomore, was the No. 1 defensive right tackle through spring practice. But he ceded the starter’s job to Kaniela Tuipulotu during training camp.

"I was disappointed, but it made me push harder," said Correa, a Damien Memorial School graduate. "I’m trying to make plays and stand up for myself and my last name."

His older brothers were football players, and his younger brother, is a sophomore at Saint Louis School.

Laanui Correa, who was a standout defensive end for the Warriors, "expects more from me than what I expect," Haku Correa said. "That’s good. I know he’s watching me. That pushes me further."

He said his biggest improvements are playing to an opponent’s pad level and using hand techniques to fight off blockers.

"Separation is what D-line is all about," Correa said.

Popular Down Under

Australia’s most popular morning television show, "Sunrise Australia," televised live interviews yesterday with UH punter Alex Dunnachie and right guard Adrian Thomas after the 2-hour practice.

"Football is huge to us, mostly AFL (Australian rules football league)," said Chezzi Denyer, the show’s assistant producer. "All of these (UH players) are like big celebrities to us. They made it overseas."

She pointed to Dunnachie, saying, "Alex is very popular."

Dunnachie said: "I think it’s just Mum and Dad."

Denyer responded: "And all of Victoria. They’re all cheering him on."

Grant Denyer, one of the show’s hosts, said: "Victorian AFL kickers are gnarly kickers. (Dunnachie) is proving that Down Under. We have very good right legs. That’s about all we’ve got. That’s a golden right leg that (Dunnachie) is sitting on, and a nest egg for his future."

Still, Grant Denyer is figuring out the American rules.

"He hasn’t moved," Denyer said of Dunnachie. "Apparently he stands on the sideline for most of the game, then walks out for the glory points."

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