Rising Star: Leilehua running back Jemell Vereen

Rising Star

The emergence of Leilehua sophomore running back Jemell Vereen has added yet another valuable facet to the Mules’ quick-paced, no-huddle offense.

The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Vereen was called up from the junior varsity team at the end of October, and all Leilehua has done since Vereen made his debut with a touchdown against Moanalua, is reel off five consecutive victories.

Vereen has tallied 415 rushing yards during the winning streak, including a 142-yard effort on a career-high 27 carries in a win over a really good ‘Iolani squad.

His 70.8 yards rushing per game ranked fourth in Division I on Oahu, but he’s done more than just improve the Mules’ rushing attack.

With him in the backfield, Leilehua quarterback Kekoa Turangan has put together the Mules’ five best passing efforts of the season in the last five games. 

Opposing defenses have to account for Vereen in the backfield, and since his varsity debut, the Mules are averaging more than 100 more passing yards per contest.

Their season will be on the line Friday as they host defending OIA and state champion Waipahu in an elimination game in the OIA semifinals. 

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