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Expect Pac-Five, 'Iolani to keep the ball in the air


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POSTED: Saturday, September 19, 2009

There won't be any checks in the mail for Kip Botelho and Wendell Look.

Instead, they just might get a bill from HECO.

When tonight's gridiron duel between gunslingers P.J. Minaya and Jarrett Arakawa is over, the lights at Kamehameha's Kunuiakea Stadium might crackle and fizzle from overuse. A 4-hour game between a pair of run-and-shoot attacks could certainly happen. So, who picks up the bill for extra usage?

It could be shoulder-shrugging time.

But seriously, Pac-Five (4-1) has been electrifying through the air thanks to Minaya and a stellar group of skilled returnees in the run-and-shoot offense. The Wolfpack aren't just dangerous offensively; their defense has struggled mightily, which means Minaya and Co. get the ball back more quickly than almost any other team in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.

That's the kind of tempo June Jones loves.

Botelho grew up on pulverizing, smashmouth football. HIs father, Don, guided the Wolfpack to Prep Bowl titles in 1983 and '85. Current Word of Life coach Joe Onosai was a behemoth fullback back then, at 240 pounds, setting the tone for the I-formation mentality.

Botelho and his staff have been flexible, modifying their schemes to fit the personnel. Minaya doesn't have an Onosai in the backfield, but he's got plenty of versatile, glue-fingered route runners like London Amorin and Darin Kamealoha. If Kamealoha isn't back—he injured an ankle in last week's 37-12 win over Damien—Everett Kim is very capable in his place.

Minaya, a senior from Hanalani School, has video-game totals so far: 1,658 yards, 25 touchdowns, seven picks on 102-for-189 passing.

Arakawa, who is also a senior, has led 'Iolani to a 4-1 start, as well. The Raiders, ranked seventh in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, are 2-0 in ILH play. Pac-Five is 1-1 in the ILH.

Here's a look at more matchups:

 

Kailua vs. No. 4 Farrington, Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium

Since a narrow win over Roosevelt three weeks ago, Farrington has tightened the screws defensively, allowing only 15 points in wins over Castle and McKinley.

 

Kalani vs. Moanalua, Kaiser Stadium

Na Menehune are a perfect 4-0 in the OIA White (4-1 overall), winning twice by slim margins: 34-33 over Radford in two overtimes, and 28-25 over Pearl City last week.

 

Radford vs. Kalaheo, Kailua field

The Rams (2-2, 2-1) bounced back from a heartbreaking loss to Moanalua by edging Pearl City last week. Dramatic finishes have become a way of life in the OIA White this fall. Kalaheo (2-2, 1-2) got a big game from Jesse Carney last week, but was outscored 14-0 in the second half and fell to Aiea 31-14.