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Tua Tagovailoa, Jordan Ta’amu put up huge numbers in victories

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) throws a touchdown pass against Texas A&M during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Former Hawaii high school quarterbacks continue to shine and put up huge numbers in the elite Southeastern Conference.

In Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saint Louis School star Tua Tagovailoa passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score to lead No. 1 Alabama to a 45-23 rout of No. 22 Texas A&M today.

In Oxford, Miss., Pearl City alum Jordan Ta’amu threw for 442 yards, two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead Mississippi over Kent State 38-17 today.

Ole Miss (3-1) had some good moments, especially in the second half, but struggled to shake the malaise from last week’s 62-7 loss to Alabama. The Rebels and Golden Flashes went into halftime tied at 7. The game had two delays for lightning, a 53-minute stoppage at the beginning of the second half and another 1-hour, 43-minute delay in the fourth quarter.

Ta’amu completed 28 of 38 passes and had one interception. This season, Ta’amu has thrown for 917 yards, with eight touchdown passes and two interceptions.

Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) easily passed the first test against a ranked team. Kellen Mond and the Aggies (2-2, 0-1) couldn’t put up nearly the fight they had in a 28-26 loss to No. 3 Clemson.

Tagovailoa completed 22 of 30 passes before leaving after Henry Ruggs III took a shuttle pass 57 yards for a score late in the third. His first attempt went for a 30-yard touchdown to a diving DeVonta Smith, and he hit tight end Hale Hentges for two more scores.

Mond completed 16 of 33 passes for 196 yards with a touchdown but was intercepted twice, including on his first throw. He collected 98 yards rushing despite getting sacked seven times.

Texas A&M seemed poised for a while to give the Tide its first test of the season. But Tagovailoa & Co. kept answering and scored 10 points in the final 1:09 before halftime for a 31-13 lead.

Tagovailoa set up a touchdown with a 52-yard pass down the right sideline to Damien Harris. Then freshman cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. intercepted Mond’s deep ball and the Tide drove for a field goal.

So far this season — Tagovailoa’s first as a starter — the hero of the national championship game has thrown for 646 yards and eight touchdown passes without an interception.

On Friday, another former Hawaii high school quarterback, McKenzie Milton, a Mililani alum, accounted for six touchdowns in Central Florida’s 56-36 win over Florida Atlantic. Milton passed for 302 yards and three scores and ran for 81 yards and three touchdowns to lead the No. 16 team in the country.

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