On this date in 1983, Pac-Five coach Don Botelho thought he knew everything Kamehameha’s Kalani Perry was capable of doing with his feet.
He just didn’t expect him to use them to punt his team into submission.
Perry weaved through the Wolf Pack defense for a 48-yard score and then buried Pac-Five with a 56-yard punt to the 3-yard line in a 16-0 win in front of 8,500 people at Aloha Stadium.
Perry ran for 167 yards in the victory, but his punt was the game-changer. He had the option to run with the ball but opted to punt.
“No doubt about it, that was the big play of the game,” Botelho said. “We were going for the tie then because a tie would hurt them worse than us.”
Botelho’s defense held Perry to 90 yards in a win a month earlier. Perry closed the season with 168 yards in a win over Damien to solidify an 8-3 season. The Warriors scared Saint Louis with a 2-0 loss to fall out of contention. Perry was held to 51 yards in that game.
Pac-Five went on to beat Punahou and Iolani before losing 34-7 to Saint Louis.
The 5-9, 187 pound Perry was rewarded as a first-team ILH all star along with Donny Maa of Pac-Five and Punahou’s Alema Harrington. Harrington edged Perry for the ILH’s rushing crown with 1,110 yards to 1,054 in 10 games but the Buffanblu had 50 more carries.
“That’s quite a group,” Botelho said. “It would be hard to top that in the state.”
Indeed, Perry and Maa picked up all-state honors by the Honolulu Advertiser. Harrington slipped to the second team in favor of Nanakuli’s Alapati Sula.
Perry was also a standout baseball player and was named Kamehameha’s athlete of the year along with Tita Ahuna. They were both inducted into the Hall of Honor.