Navy Optimistic Kaheaku-Enhada Can Play Saturday
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
As Navy's players lined up for their usual end-of-practice wind sprints yesterday, there was one bright spot on the cold and dreary afternoon: Senior quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada was out there with the rest of his teammates.
Kaheaku-Enhada, who has not played since re-injuring his left hamstring against Wake Forest on Sept. 27, was able to run and Coach Ken Niumatalolo is optimistic that he will be able to play Saturday, when Navy (5-3) hosts Temple (3-5).
"This was the first time he's run gassers in I don't know how long," Niumatalolo said. "We'll kind of see how he does this week, but I was encouraged by today."
That's good news for the Midshipmen, who need one more victory to claim their spot in the inaugural Eagle Bank Bowl. Senior Jarod Bryant, who has made five starts in place of Kaheaku-Enhada, is likely out this week, after spraining his right (throwing) shoulder against SMU on Saturday.
If Kaheaku-Enhada is unable to play, Navy will turn to sophomore Ricky Dobbs. Earlier in the season, that may have been a cause for concern -- Dobbs did not play at all as a freshman and is still learning the triple-option offense -- but after his performance against SMU, the Midshipmen feel more confident. Dobbs rushed for 224 yards and four touchdowns on 42 carries and led Navy to a 34-7 win.
"What you saw is Ricky, he's a guy that's going to be very hard to tackle," Niumatalolo said. "As he continues to learn where to go and what to do, he's going to be a real good one. He's still learning. I guess you could say it was a perfect storm for Ricky: from the standpoint of, [the Mustangs] were pretty vanilla on defense, they just lined up one way, he didn't have to do many checks. Ricky played a great game."