Moimoi a two-way punisher

As a two-way star manning on both lines for Menlo-Atherton, Litani Moimoi has the capability of delivering crushing pancake blocks on offense or chasing down running backs on defense. But for the Bears’ senior captain, there is one moment on the football field that stands above all other plays.

“There’s no feeling in football quite like sacking the quarterback,” Moimoi said. “That’s when you really know all the hard work has paid off.”

Moimoi has felt that uniquely gratifying experience plenty this season — 11 times to be exact — to help lead his team to a 5-1 start, including a first-place mark (3-0) in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division standings. The Bears face league rival Burlingame tonight at 7 p.m.

At 6-foot-3, 278 pounds, Moimoi has the classic build of an interior lineman, but because of his exceptional speed on the perimeter, he lines up on most defensive snaps at the end position.

“My speed is my greatest strength,” said Moimoi, who also has 58 tackles this season. “I do use some power techniques from time to time, but I feel like I can get to the quarterback best by using my quickness.”

While he may be the focal point behind a defense, allowing just 14.3 points per game, Moimoi has proven to be equally as valuable on the offensive side for the Bears, who score nearly 29 points a contest.

“Running behind Litani is easy,” said Bears senior running back Will Latu, who has rushed for more than 600 yards this season. “The minute I get the ball, there’s a huge hole for me.”

And when he’s not creating real estate for his running backs, Moimoi is the ideal senior leader, his appreciative teammates say.

“He does whatever he needs to do to help us get ready on game day,” said senior running back Jamal Wilkins. “He leads with his actions, but he’ll also make some inspirational speeches if he has to. He’s both a vocal leader and a leader by how hard he works every day.”

Moimoi’s actions have not gone unnoticed among Division I football programs. According to Bears coach Bob Sykes, Moimoi is being actively recruited by all Pac-10 Conference schools as well as Fresno State and Florida State.

“He’s got unbelievable athleticism and tremendous character,” said Sykes, who’s in his second season with the Bears. “He’s a truly remarkable kid, and colleges recognize that.”

Moimoi lists his ideal college choice as Cal, but for the moment he’s focusing on his senior year and helping Menlo-Atherton capture the PAL-Bay title.

“We’re doing a great job of executing our plays, but we can’t let up now because we know what can happen,” said Moimoi, referring to the Bears’ 8-0 start last year that was sullied by three straight losses to end the season. “We know we can’t get overconfident or play down to the competition. We have to play each game with the same amount of intensity if we want to win league.”

Other Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A “for rent” sign outside an apartment complex in the Mission District on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Housing inventory wins unanimous approval from supervisors

Legislation will require landlords to register properties, report vacancies and rents

Dr. Grant Colfax and Mayor London Breed said new restrictions could come this week due to rising COVID-19 cases. (Examiner screenshot)
Breed: ‘More restrictive action’ needed to slow spread of COVID-19

San Francisco officials said Tuesday tougher restrictions will soon be imposed to… Continue reading

Harlan Kelly, head of the SFPUC and husband to City Administrator Naomi Kelly (right), faces federal charges for allegedly trading inside information on a city contract in return for a paid family vacation. (Courtesy photo)
Harlan Kelly, head of SFPUC, charged with fraud in widening Nuru scandal

Kelly accused of engaging in corrupt partnership with permit expediter

Jeff Tumlin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said the agency’s fiscal situation is “far worse” than the worse case scenarios projected back in April. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA prepares for massive potential layoffs as budget crisis continues to build

More than 1,200 full-time jobs on the line as agency struggles to close deficit

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is weighing further restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise. (Genaro Molina/Pool/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Newsom considering new shelter-in-place order as COVID-19 cases rise

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday warned that he may need to reinstate… Continue reading

Most Read