Kaheaku-Enhada: Injury Isn't as Severe This Time
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
When Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada fell to the ground following a four-yard run late in the second quarter of Navy's 24-17 upset at Wake Forest on Saturday, he slammed his hands together in frustration.
The senior quarterback was mad: Not only did his left hamstring seize up, but he didn't pick up the first down like he thought he had.
"There were a few choice words I had with myself," Kaheaku-Enhada said of the run, which came on third and five at the Demon Deacons 22. "I kind of saw the hole and the natural thought was for me to make a play. Before the play I was thinking, get the first down, and at that point in the run, before I cut up, I was thinking touchdown. I got excited, tried to explode, and there was nothing there."
Kaheaku-Enhada re-injured the same hamstring that he strained in the team's first scrimmage; that injury caused him to miss a month of practice and the first two games.
"The first one was a lot worse," he said. "It was very similar to what happened the first time, but [this time] definitely wasn't as severe."
He added that he doesn't yet know if he'll be able to play against Air Force (3-1) on Saturday.
He didn't participate in yesterday's non-contact practice, and he rode a stationary bike while the Midshipmen went through their post-practice sprints.
Coach Ken Niumatalolo said that Kaheaku-Enhada will undergo treatment all week in the hopes that he will be able to play.
"You're always worried about hamstrings," Niumatalolo said. "That's why we tried to take our time with it [after the initial injury]. Some people say 'How come you're not pushing him more?' This is the reason. Unfortunately this happened and we have to deal with it."
For junior defensive end Matt Nechak, one of the most satisfying things about Navy's defensive performance against Wake Forest was the way the Midshipmen got contributions from so many players. Navy intercepted four passes, forced and recovered two fumbles, and sacked quarterback Riley Skinner three times -- and 11 players were credited with each.
"That goes all the way across the board," Nechak said. "We were getting coverage sacks, and they were getting interceptions from us getting pressure. The linebackers were going to their drops. I think everyone playing well as a team made it what it was."
Defensive end Jabaree Tuani, who became the first freshman to start on the defensive line in 10 years, forced a fumble and had two tackles for losses.
"It wasn't surprising, because I know how good he is," Nechak said. "It's just rare to see a freshman like him."
Niumatalolo said that sophomore kickoff returner John Angelo suffered a "severe" concussion and is out indefinitely; Angelo absorbed what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit by Wake Forest's Alex Frye on the opening kickoff of the second half. "That was a pretty violent collision," Niumatalolo said. . . . Just five games into his first full season as head coach, Niumatalolo has already accomplished two things that his predecessor, Paul Johnson, never did: win back-to-back games against teams from BCS conferences (Rutgers and Wake Forest), and upset a ranked opponent (the then-No. 16 Demon Deacons).
Johnson -- who led the Midshipmen to five Commander-in-Chief trophies, five bowl appearances, and a long-awaited victory over Notre Dame in his six seasons -- was 0-8 against teams ranked in the Associated Press top 25.