The Ka Leo Player of the Week for 9/16 – 9/22 is ‘Bows redshirt junior quarterback Cole McDonald.
Following a less than ideal road trip to Seattle, Washington, the Rainbow Warrior football team returned to Hawai’i hoping to turn things around. On Saturday night at Aloha Stadium, they certainly accomplished that. In a Homecoming night special, the ‘Bows beat down the visiting Central Arkansas Bears en route to a 35-16 victory to move to 3-1 on the season.
McDonald played a starring role in the win, picking up 300 yards through the air and tossing the ball into the end zone four times. He did well to spread the wealth with his throws, finding a different receiver with each of his touchdown tosses. McDonald finished with a 78.1% completion rate, his best of the season. He also racked up a season high 31 yards on the ground.
#HawaiiFB quarterback Cole McDonald went 25/32 for 300 yds, 4 TD but knows there are things that the offense ‘can clean up’ ahead of opening MWC play next week in Reno // For postgame reaction 👉🏽 https://t.co/Dt8pVW5iFP @ColeHunter520 #GoBows // https://t.co/SOdY37JnAf 🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/1a8VDKbjBQ— Rob DeMello (@RobDeMelloKHON) September 23, 2019
Entering Saturday’s game, McDonald trailed former ‘Bows quarterback Garrett Gabriel by just one score in program records for 4th most career passing touchdowns. With his second touchdown toss of the game, McDonald officially surpassed Gabriel to become the sole holder of fourth place in the school record books. He didn’t end things there however, finishing the game with two more touchdowns, bringing his career total to 50. With 9 games left on the season McDonald is on pace to surpass another former ‘Bows great, quarterback Bryant “Mighty Mo” Moniz, who currently stands at third with 75 touchdowns. Whether he passes Moniz or not, McDonald is now in rarified air, trailing only Moniz, Timmy Chang (117), and Hawai’i legend Colt Brennan (131).
Kai Kaneshiro (Football)
The redshirt freshman defensive back picked up his second career interception on the first Central Arkansas drive of the game. To top off the big play, Kaneshiro took the ball 55-yards to the house for his first career touchdown, and single handedly put the ‘Bows on the board first. Unfortunately, Kaneshiro later left the game with an ankle injury after being rolled up on by a fellow teammate making a tackle, but his impact on the win was undeniable.
Jared Smart (Football)
The junior transfer had a breakout game at receiver. Smart was a frequent target for McDonald, as he was targeted a team high 10 times, hauling in 8 of those balls for a career high 121 receiving yards and the first touchdown of his UH career. Some spotty punt return work aside, Smart has clearly announced himself as a receiving threat capable of standing alongside Biletnikoff watchlist teammates Cedric Byrd II and JoJo Ward.
Brooke Van Sickle (Wahine Volleyball)
The redshirt junior outside hitter was a defensive force for the Rainbow Wahine. Against the unbeaten gauntlet of the Baylor Classic, Van Sickle finished with 24 digs and 7 blocks. She has now tallied double digit digs in three consecutive games. Following the tournament, Van Sickle was named the all-tournament Best Defender.