>> 6-3 overall, 6-3 ILH Division II
>> Kip Botelho is 50-102-1 in 16 seasons with the Wolfpack
KEY UNDERCLASSMEN IN 2019
>> WR Angelo Coluccio, 6-1, 165, Jr.; QB Chase Hedani, 5-11, 165, Jr.; LB Dane Ishibashi, 5-7, 170, Jr.; WR Kaala Tam, 6-0, 175, Jr.; RB Micah Kong, 5-9, 170, Jr.
PAC-FIVE THROUGH THE YEARS: 1973-2019
HISTORICAL EQUIVALENT: 1981 Kalaheo
After being told before the season started that they would not be playing for a title, the Pac-Five Wolfpack simply put their head down and had their most successful season in a decade.
Pac-Five put together a 6-3 record against OIA teams in Division II, its most victories in a season since Kip Botelho‘s offensive juggernaut won seven in 2009. This edition could not hold a candle to that offense, but may have had a more complete team.
The Wolfpack averaged 20.1 points per game for their best output since a 27.3 in 2016 and improved over last year’s numbers by nearly a field goal per game. The defense actually regressed to an 18.3 mark after last year’s 16.8, but the combination of the two added up to two more wins and an increase in victories for the third straight season. That hadn’t happened since 2014-16.
Pac-Five had a positive margin of victory of 1.8 — the second straight year of scoring more points than allowing — the first time that has happened since Don Botelho‘s magical squads from 1982-85. The 1.8 margin of victory would suggest a .500 season, but of the five other teams with the same margin of victory, three of them earned six wins. Darrell Smith‘s 1981 Kalaheo squad led the way with a 6-3-1 record, followed by Joe Kahahawai of 1959 Kailua (6-4-1), George Naukana‘s 1968 Kamehameha (6-5), Wally Aina‘s 5-6-1 with 1987 Damien and James Millwood‘s hard luck 1996 Mililani team (4-5).
Pac-Five closed the year on fire with four consecutive victories, matching a streak bridging 2010-11 and eyeing the 1987-88 teams for its fifth in a row. The school record is eight straight by Garrett Gabriel‘s 1985 champions.
Junior quarterback Chase Hedani ran the offense for Pac-Five, staying with the same 55-45 run-pass split Kip Botelho used last year with Rocket Uechi under center. Greatness is judged by championships and Hedani never had a chance, but his numbers would put him right up there especially if he can follow it up next year. He threw for 1,214 yards with 10 touchdowns and only six interceptions, 300 yards more than Uechi compiled the year before, and the first 1,000-yard passer for Pac-Five since Ryan Johnson in 2016. Hedani was at his best in the winning streak to close the year, throwing seven of his touchdowns in the final four games, with only two picks, and put up 297 yards in a thrilling win over Pearl City.
Despite running a similar scheme, Pac-Five took only 465 snaps from scrimmage this season compared to 544 last year in the same number of games.
Ian Canute was the big play threat, leading the team in rushing with 280 yards. That would be a really low number for most programs, but Pac-Five has struggled running the ball for a long time and Canute’s 280 yards is the most for the program since Keoni Tom-Millare in 2012, and Tom-Millare surpassed Canute’s number in just two games. Canute led the school in rushing this season despite getting 25 fewer carries than Micah Kong, who gained 251 yards.
Joshua Arcayena was another threat, gaining 114 rushing yards on 37 carries. Eight different players had rushing touchdowns for the school. Canute didn’t get a carry until week four and 81 percent of his carries came during the winning streak while Kong got 87 percent of his during the successful four-game run.
Not only was Canute the leading rusher without the most carries on the team, the playmaker led the Wolfpack in receiving despite trailing two others in catches. Canute finished with 271 yards on 16 receptions with two touchdowns, the fewest receiving yards for the school’s top dog since the similarly deep 2012 group. There was no Tsubasa Brennan on the team this year, but Tam (19-247-3), Angelo Coluccio (17-225-1), Kong (14-198-0), Kama Espinda (10-98-2) and William Reed (4-97-2) gave Hedani plenty of options. Because of the depth, no Pac-Five receiver had a reception in every game but Canute and Tam were shut out of only one.
Hedani is slated to return for his senior season next year and could be the first quarterback to lead the team in passing in successive years since Kainoa Ferrerira in 2014-15. Canute will ride off into the sunset as the team’s best rushing/receiving threat since Jordan Ho-Ching in 2006, but nearly everyone else will be back and they hope something happens to allow them to chase a championship of some kind.
2019 TEAM STATS
Updated: Oct. 13, 2019