In each of Damien's three games this football season, Marcus Faufata-Pedrina has rushed for more than 100 yards and averaged nine yards per carry.
Not bad for a quarterback.
The Damien junior did it again Saturday, when he ran for a team-high 114 yards — nearly half of those coming on a 60-yard touchdown run — on just 10 carries. Faufata-Pedrina threw for 232 yards and three other scores for good measure in the Monarchs' 41-7 win over Kealakehe in a non-league game played at Aiea High School.
The 5-foot-8, 185-pound Faufata-Perdina completed 13 of 20 pass attempts and was not intercepted.
"I think he did a good job of executing the offense," Damien coach Eddie Klaneski said. "We're still kind of working on his game and what he needs to do in situations, but for the most part Saturday, he ran the ball and used his legs when he needed to and got the ball out there when the opportunities were there to throw it."
As a team, the Monarchs marched to 526 yards of total offense in a balanced effort (283 yards rushing, 243 pass). Six different players caught a pass, including tight end Shaun Apiki's six receptions for 59 yards. He was on the receiving end of a 4-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and a 13-yard scoring strike in the third, both from Faufata-Pedrina.
"We have a bunch of athletic guys that can run after the catch, so we have certain plays set up for certain people and Marcus is doing a good job of getting it to those guys, although he does have to make some reads," Klaneski said. "Also our guys have been catching the ball well and running after the catch."
Running backs Deacon Kapea (5 rushes for 92 yards) and Justice White (10 for 77) came through with complementary performances to Faufata-Pedrina. Kapea's 68-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter closed out the scoring.
For the season, Faufata-Pedrina has completed 61.1 percent (44 of 72) of his passes for 590 yards with 9 TDs to 3 INTs. He has already exceeded his touchdown total from all of last season.
"He studies a lot, he knows the game and he thinks about what he's doing," Klaneski said. "He's still kind of learning the little intricacies of the passing game and reading things pre-snap, but he's getting better at that. He's been doing a good job of being a leader on the field and earning the respect of everyone on the football field."
The Monarchs have rebounded with back-to-back wins after a 46-24 loss at Moanalua, in which Faufata-Pedrina threw for 356 yards and six touchdowns, but was also intercepted three times.
"We made a few mistakes offensively and he made a few decisions that he would take back, but when we'd look back at the tape it wasn't just him making mistakes, but people around him were making mistakes, so it definitely was a learning experience for us and for him," Klaneski said. "It's helped him to develop through the last couple of games and in practice so that when we had those certain play calls again, he knows that he can't make the same mistakes again."
One week later Faufata-Pedrina threw for 220 yards and five TDs — without an interception — and rushed for 132 yards to lead Damien to a 33-0 win over Maui.
Faufata-Pedrina and the Monarchs are 2-1 after playing three Division I opponents in as many weeks and will have a week off before opening up defense of their Interscholastic League of Honolulu D2 title against Saint Francis on Sept. 2.