Mililani ends Kahuku’s hold on OIA Red crown

by Jason Kaneshiro on October 24, 2013

McKenzie Milton passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns for Mililani on Thursday night. (Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser)

McKenzie Milton passing for 220 yards and two touchdowns for Mililani on Thursday night. (Bruce Asato / Star-Advertiser)

Kahuku had owned the first 10 matchups against Mililani.

The Trojans claimed control of meeting No. 11 early on and ended the Red Raiders’ hold on the OIA Red title.

Mililani broke its hex against the Red Raiders with a 37-22 win Thursday night at Aloha Stadium that propelled the Trojans to a second straight appearance in the OIA Red championship game.

Mililani’s underclassmen played pivotal roles for the offense with sophomore running back Vavae Malepeai rushing for 141 yards and three touchdowns and quarterback McKenzie Milton passing for 220 yards and two scores.

A senior-led defense was paced by linebacker Jacob Afele, who finished the night with 12 tackles, including four for losses. Defensive end Kelii Padello had three sacks and safety Ian Namu contributed eight stops, one for loss, and an interception.

The Trojans also secured a spot in the state tournament by winning their second straight playoff game without one of their senior leaders.

Linebacker/fullback Dayton Furuta has missed the last two games with a high ankle sprain, but expects to be back in action next week. Furuta said he was medically cleared earlier Thursday, but the decision was made to hold him out another week.

The Trojans’ performance on Thursday ensured he’ll have at least two more chances to play this season.

“We know Dayton’s a big factor for our football team, we had to play as one and execute on both sides of the ball,” Afele said.

“It’s no secret the kids play for each other and they showed it tonight,” Mililani coach Rod York said.

In the previous meeting between the teams, Kahuku pounced on eight Mililani turnovers on its way to a 50-13 rout in the OIA Red final.

Close to a year later, Mililani didn’t commit a turnover and Namu’s second half interception was the game’s lone takeaway.

Kahuku gave the ball away on downs twice and punted twice in the first half while Mililani jumped out to a 17-0 lead.

“They’re real seasoned and hats off to them,” Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said.

The Red Raiders will play in the OIA Red’s third-place game on Nov. 2 with the league’s final state tournament berth at stake.

The championship game on Nov. 1 at Aloha Stadium will be just the third without Kahuku since 2003. Kahuku lost to Kapolei in the 2007 playoffs and forfeited the 2010 final with the title being awarded to Mililani.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marky October 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Just wondered what happened to Samsel the kicker? Their kicking game was terrible. Also Tuli Matagi was playing with a cast. Did that happen against Waianae? Mililani was the better team tonight.

footballfan2013 October 25, 2013 at 7:59 am

Well, my prediction of a Kahuku victory was a bust, but I was happy that Mililani was finally able break Kahuku’s stranglehold in such a convincing way. Time for a change and congrats to Mililani to well earned victory.

posterized09 October 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm

It’s no secret Mililani was the better team. Did Kahuku ever really show signs of greatness during the season? Even when they did win, it seemed like they gave up HUGE plays during those games. Like I’ve mentioned before, if any opponent had done any homework on Kahuku they would have known to just bomb the ball on every play. 50% of those bombs will be TD’s. Sad but true.

Reggie is a good coach but when he doesn’t have many talented kids on the team, he get exposed as a “great” coach. If he can pull off a State title with this team, I’ll be convinced he’s a great coach. Until then, we’ll just wait and see…

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