After going neck and neck for eight quarters last year, Pac-Five and coach Kip Botelho know as much about Roosevelt as anyone does.
Unfortunately for the Wolf Pack, Botelho can throw all of that game footage aside.
Kui Kahooilihala‘s Rough Riders are a completely different animal this year, riding a passing offense and stifling defense that has obliterated everyone in its path. Pac-Five will be tasked with slowing it on Friday at Aloha Stadium.
Roosevelt is 4-0 this year, their best start since beginning 6-0 in 1974 with George Doi under center for their third-place finish in the OIA.
The Rough Riders have outscored their four opponents 166-13. That ratio won’t keep up, of course, the school record for offense is 36.0 by Les Parilla‘s troops in 1999 and the defensive mark is 6.3 by Ticky Vasconcellos‘ championship team in 1957.
The current edition of Rough Riders go into the Pac-Five game boasting of 10 straight shutout quarters, within the school record of 13 by Milton Kam and the 1957 squad.
The Wolf Pack have never beaten the Rough Riders, going 5-0-1 with the lone tie coming in 1990. Roosevelt beat Pac-Five twice last year, 17-15 on a field goal with no time remaining before Sky Ogata became quarterback and 20-7 for its first state tournament victory.
Ogata has kept the gun in its holster recently due to repeated blowouts, but the quarterback has already thrown for 1,024 yards and 12 touchdowns this year after finishing with 1,185 and seven last season.
His top receiver, Chase Akana, already has 304 yards after Scott Chung led the team with 318 last year. Chung is also ahead of last year’s pace with 197.
Roosevelt is 21-2 in its last 23 contests and Kahooilihala is 10 games over .500 in his five-year career at Roosevelt, the first Rough Riders coach to do that since Rodney Iwasaki in 1987.
It won’t be easy against Chase Hedani‘s Pac-Five crew, which is riding a two-game winning streak after repairing a defense that showed up late for the season with losses to Kaimuki and Kaiser.
Hedani has been a game manager so far this year, failing to complete half of his attempts in a game this year but throwing only three interceptions. With Bryson Ho getting such limited work out of the backfield he carries a lot of burden on moving the offense by hitting Kama Espinda, Ian Canute, Angelo Coluccio and Kaala Tam.
Pac-Five will be looking for its first three-game winning streak since 2015. Pac-Five has lost 13 straight games at Aloha Stadium. Roosevelt is looking for its first Stadium winning streak since 1992.