The Pearl City Chargers fell shot of everyone’s goal of league and state championships, but the class of 2019 can graduate knowing that it left the football program better than it found it.
The Chargers put together their third straight winning season and eighth in the last 10 years. Pearl City earned one fewer win than last year despite being worse on both sides of the ball.
The Chargers averaged 20.7 points per game after putting up 26.0 last year and allowed a better-than-average 17 points against per game, but not up to the standards of two years ago when it allowed 11.1.
Things were very promising for Pearl City until a three-game losing streak to end the season, the fourth time in head coach Robin Kami‘s six years a season ended with a losing streak of two or more games. Kami ended his sixth campaign just two wins away from the program record of 39 by Joe Francis from 1973 to 1981.
2018 TOP PERFORMANCES
Junior Makana Canyon was Pearl City’s passing leader with 696 yards and 10 touchdowns to five interceptions, but passing attempts were split nearly evenly with Christian Tielu, who gathered 532 yards and eight touchdowns and five picks. Canyon didn’t attempt a pass in four of the first five games of the season but came of age in the sixth with 225 yards and five touchdowns against Kalaheo. His 225 yards were the most for the program since Kekainalu Simon had 301 against Nanakuli in 2015.
Pearl City’s running game was a group effort led by Tex Kang‘s 342 yards on 74 attempts, but four other players had more than 20 carries and three of them gained more than 100 yards. Shayden McMoore was the school’s touchdown machine on running plays, scoring three of them on just 15 carries for 15 yards. Kang had the biggest game of the season in a visit to Waialua in the second week of the season, gaining 94 yards on 17 carries. The Chargers have failed to have a rusher go over the century mark in two of the last three seasons.
Six-foot-1 senior Thomas King earned the mantle as Pearl City’s top threat this year, catching 38 passes for 430 yards and eight of the program’s 20 receiving touchdowns. Micah Quillopo-Jamile was next on the totem pole with 17 catches, followed closely by Herbert Hallers with 16 and Pookela Moses-Espanto with 14, but none of them had more than 213 yards. King’s breakout was a big step for the program, putting together the best season in purple since Dominic Maneafaiga caught 41 balls for 610 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014. King’s best game was relatively modest compared to his season numbers, catching six passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns against Kalaheo, but it broke the program’s 23-game stretch without a receiver going over 100 yards. Quillopo-Jamile was just 3 yards away from taking the bragging rights, going for 107 yards on six catches with a touchdown against Pac-Five. This was the first time two Chargers broke the century mark since the 2012 team coached by David Hallums, which had Daicorri Briscoe, Tanner Tokunaga and Isaac Amorin all do it multiple times.
The Chargers sorely missed the presence of Zion Tupuola-Fetui, now a freshman at Washington, to graduation, but kept the tradition of stiff defense alive with two shutouts, both of them in blowouts. The best overall performance came against Kalani, stuffing the run for just 25 yards (for a 1.8 average) and limiting the Falcons passing game to 112 yards and an interception by Kody Kikuyama. Kami has engineered 12 shutouts in his six seasons at the helm, second behind Ben Ronquillo‘s 13 blankings from 1986-1993 and the 13 by Francis’ teams from 1973 to 1981.
>> Robin Kami is 37-24 in six seasons as head coach.
>> QB Makana Canyon finished ninth and QB Christian Tielu finished 10th in Division II in passing yards.
>> RB Tex Kang finished eighth in Division II in rushing yards.
>> WR Thomas King finished fourth in Division II in receiving yards.
KEY UNDERCLASSMEN IN 2018
>> LB Kody Kikuyama (5-10, 160), QB Makana Canyon (5-9, 160), WR Herbert Hallers (5-7, 165), WR Stanton Hong (5-7, 165), WR/DB Gabriel Parrish (5-8, 140).
FINAL TEAM STATS