Division I State Semifinals
The matchup: Campbell (9-3) vs. Mililani (10-1)
Location/Time: Aloha Stadium, Friday, 4:30 p.m.
Head-to-head (since 1973): Mililani leads 14-8-1
Biggest margin of victory: Mililani, 48-12, Sept. 10, 2010
*Smallest margin of victory: Campbell, 23-21, Sept. 20, 2002
*Teams played to 0-0 tie on Sept. 1, 1995
Campbell’s offensive leadersUpdated: Nov. 18
|Amosa Amosa Jr.||11||30||419||4|
Mililani’s offensive leadersUpdated: Nov. 25
The list of candidates for state player of the year on offense begins with Punahou quarterback Larry Tuileta and Mililani running back Vavae Malepeai.
Campbell quarterback Isaac Hurd should be right there in the mix as well.
The Sabers senior put together one of the best performances in state tournament history last weekend in the opening round of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships against Hilo, throwing for 388 yards on 78 percent (28-for-36) passing with four touchdowns. He also ran for a TD in the 42-27 win over the Vikings, setting up a rematch in the semifinals against Mililani.
Hurd set a Campbell single-game record for passing yards and only three quarterbacks (Punahou’s Tuileta and Cayman Shutter and Leilehua’s Keenan Sadanaga) have ever thrown for more yards in a state tournament game.
Hurd has been very good for the Sabers and is the main reason Campbell is in the Division I state semifinals for the first time in school history. For the season, Hurd is completing 59 percent (186-for-315) of his throws for 2,438 yards and 23 touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 516 yards and 11 touchdowns, giving him 34 total.
Hurd is one of five quarterbacks on Oahu to throw for over 2,000 yards this season.
2013 2,000-yard passers on Oahu
|Ryder Kuhns||Saint Louis||2,014||124-187-6||25|
Of the five, only Hurd is still playing, and among Division I players, he only trails Moanalua’s Micah Kaneshiro. He’s also the only quarterback in the group who doubles as a legit running threat.
Campbell’s scored at least 21 points in all but two games this season, including a 42-21 loss to Mililani in the regular season. In that game, which was televised on OC16, Campbell led 14-0 after the first quarter and 21-7 at halftime, only to be outscored 35-0 in the second half.
Campbell ran the ball on 25 of 42 plays, averaging 3.7 yards a carry. Hurd completed just eight of his 17 throws for 107 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Mililani ran 23 more plays (65) than the Sabers, who outside of a couple of big plays, couldn’t sustain drives, especially in that second half.
Campbell did force two turnovers, which led to 14 points. Linebacker Solomon Matautia returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown and the Sabers turned a Malepeai fumble into seven more points in a first half they clearly won.
Everyone has Mililani and Punahou penciled in for the state final in a rematch of a game the Buffanblu won, 24-14, in mid-August. And why shouldn’t they? The Trojans have won nine in a row since then, beating every OIA team they have played by double digits.
Quarterback McKenzie Milton has only gotten better as the season has worn on and pulled off a rare feat in the OIA title game against Farrington, throwing for a touchdown, running for a touchdown and catching a touchdown pass.
Malepeai is the leading rusher on Oahu with 1,266 yards and 19 touchdowns, averaging 126.6 yards a game and 6.2 yards a carry. Defensively, the Trojans are allowing 13.5 points per game and have held five of their 11 opponents to single digits. Senior Kelii Padello is a defensive player of the year candidate with 16 sacks but the entire unit is stout, with linebackers Jacob Afele and a healthy Dayton Furuta, tackle Rex Manu and safety Ian Namu able to make big plays at opportune times.
They will all have to be aware of Hurd at all times. Farrington contained him and as a result, Campbell was shut out for the first time in four years. Kahuku and Hilo couldn’t find a way to stop Hurd and as a result, both of its seasons are over.
Of all the OIA teams, one could argue Campbell provides the toughest challenge to the Trojans. Mililani has rolled through every game since August. Can Hurd be the one to stop the Trojans?