Pat Silva‘s 2018 McKinley Tigers are living proof that turning a program around doesn’t ever come easy.
The Tigers won three games this year, tripling the number they won in the previous four years combined and the most in a season since Joe Cho‘s crew won five in 2013. That includes a scheduled season finale against Kaiser that was canceled because of rain.
Silva’s offense and defense would still not register as good or even average, but the Tigers did enough to win three games while averaging 13.4 points scored. That number isn’t anything to brag about until you consider that the Tigers averaged 10.6, 6.8 and 2.7 points in each of the past three seasons.
That represents three straight years of improvement, something the school hasn’t seen since 2009-11 under Cho. The defense was even better compared to last year, allowing 27.1 points per game after yielding 35.5 in 2017. It was the school’s first time giving up less than 28 points per game since 2013.
2018 BEST PERFORMANCES
Junior Alexandria Buchanan was the starter and threw one of two McKinley touchdown passes this year. It’s the second straight year Buchanan — the only girl in Hawaii history to do so — has thrown a TD. But Jayden Victorino-Jay actually threw for more yards than Buchanan did and did it in half the attempts without Buchanan’s 12 interceptions. The bulk of Victorino-Jay’s yardage came against Kalani, when he passed the ball around for 136 yards on a career-high 16 attempts in a loss, including an 80-yard TD. Victorino-Jay’s 136 yards eclipsed Buchanan’s career high of 135 last year and was the most by a McKinley quarterback since Elyjah Badua threw for 166 late in 2016.
Migguel Camacho came from out of seemingly nowhere to become one of the top backs in the state, easily breaking the 1,000-yard mark and scoring nine touchdowns as well as being one of the team’s most dangerous receivers. Camacho was great all season, but he took it to ridiculous extremes in the final game of the season against Waialua. All he did is tote the ball 33 times for 306 yards and five touchdowns while leading the struggling offense to 34 points. He broke the century mark in four games, the first McKinley back to do that since Solomon Dixon in 2010. His 306-yard explosion represented a school record in the school’s long and rich history.
Leon Montgomery was almost the complete show out wide, catching the only touchdown and compiling 227 yards on 13 receptions. Other than Camacho, no other receiver had more than three catches or 26 yards. Montgomery was a consistent target, with more than 40 yards in a game four times, but Camacho had the biggest game with three catches for 86 yards against Kalani, including an 80-yard TD. Camacho’s big day represented the most yards for a McKinley receiver since Nino Mitchell had 97 against Mililani in 2015.
The season started so promising with a visit to King Kekaulike that led to a 31-14 victory and high hopes. Even though the Tigers’ best defensive effort came in their first game, the unit improved as the season went wrapping up with holding Waialua to 19 points after shutting the Bulldogs out last year. The Tigers held two different opponents under three touchdowns, the first time they had done that since 2013.
>> Pat Silva is 24-37-8 in eight seasons overall and 4-13 in his two seasons of his latest stint with the Tigers.
>> RB Migguel Camacho finished second in Division II in rushing yards.
KEY UNDERCLASSMEN IN 2018
>> QB/LB Jayden Victorino-Jay (6-2, 150), DB Alex Linmark (5-5, 125), OL/LB Lincoln Naki, DB Fletcher Faletoi.
FINAL TEAM STATS