Defense leads No. 5 Punahou over No. 3 Mililani

Mililani slotback Kai Banks (20) absorbed a hard hit from Punahou's Jonah Henry (31) and Trent Shiraki (38) during the first half of a game this season. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

The Punahou defense did exactly what it needed to do to slow down Mililani’s offense in Saturday night’s 43-21 victory at the Trojans’ John Kauinana Stadium.

The Buffanblu (3-1, 3-1 ILH Open) wound up sacking star quarterback Dillon Gabriel six times, including three by another guy with the first name of Dillon — Dillon Lundberg.

In the defensive backfield, Trent Shiraki came up with two of his team’s three interceptions of Gabriel.

No. 3 Mililani (3-2, 1-0 OIA Open) is not used to being shut down, but No. 5 Punahou had the right people in the right places.

According to Shiraki, middle linebacker Maninoa Tufono moved to the outside, and outside linebacker Marist Liufau moved to the inside to spy on Gabriel, who can also hurt you with his running.

Gabriel was held in check. Liufau had two of the sacks and also came up with a fumble recovery after a strip by Kennedy Freeman.

Another player Buffanblu coach Kale Ane was worried about — Trojans running back Kilifi Malepeai — got his yards (154 on the ground) and a 21-yard touchdown but he was also on the receiving end of numerous gang tackles.

Ane wasn’t kidding when he said last week that it takes more than one person to take Malepeai down.

Usually, the Mililani offense wants to outscore the opponents, shootout or not. A shootout didn’t happen.

Punahou’s offense was on the money, especially during the first half, when quarterback Hugh Brady fired four touchdown passes for a 35-14 lead at the break.

Brady wound up throwing for 378 yards. Tamatoa Falatea caught nine balls for 196 yards and two TDs, and Koa Eldredge made just two catches, but both went for TDs (of 75 and 52 yards).

Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel was tackled by Punahou’s Marist Liufau (7) and Alaka`i Gilman (11) on a first-half run. Gabriel threw for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns but tossed his first three interceptions of the season. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Gabriel threw for 304 yards and two of the Trojans’ three TDs.

“We practiced for Dillon because we know he’s talented in both running and passing,” the Buffanblu’s Shiraki said. “Everyone did their job. No one was selfish. We were team players and did what we were supposed to do and this is the outcome.”

Ane said afterward that the goal was to contain Gabriel.

“It was a total group effort,” he said. “We worked hard all week on coverage. The windows (for Gabriel) were tiny, but he still put some in there. I’m really happy. The coverage was good.”

Mililani had two 100-yard plus receivers — Maka Hill (seven catches, 115 yards) and Ryan Chang (nine catches, 129 yards).

Kaulana Makaula also made an interception for Punahou, and Yoshi Kobayashi came through with a sack.

In scrimmage yards, Punahou (378 passing, 91 rushing) outgained Mililani (304 passing, 131 rushing) 469-435.

The Trojans, who have lost two in a row (including a 52-14 loss to the No. 1 team in the nation, St. John Bosco of Bellflower, Calif., last week), will try to get back on the winning track next Saturday at home against undefeated No. 4 Campbell (4-0, 1-0 OIA Open).

Punahou has a big one next Saturday at Aloha Stadium against ILH rival and No. 1 Saint Louis (3-0, 2-0 ILH Open).


  1. anywaaaays!! September 9, 2018 3:04 pm

    Recruiting Leads No. 5 Punahou over No. 3 Mililani. There, I fixed the headline for everyone. RRFL!

  2. Dafun September 9, 2018 3:13 pm

    Here I’ll change the headline….in other news kahuku gets destroyed against St Louis. Haha!!! Get it?? Destroyed!

  3. Tyler September 9, 2018 3:39 pm

    theres no winning with you type of guys. first its, ILH, saint louis so scared to play mililani. “ILH coaches don’t want to reschedule games during hurricane lane cause they are so scared of OIA.” Now when ILH schools win its “recruiting is the only reason they are winning”
    make up your mind already.

  4. Tired of anywaaays and those guys from posting September 9, 2018 3:44 pm

    Every time a ILH team plays you can BET theres going to be one of these two types of comments:

    When an ILH team loses:
    1: ILH sucks! OIA is so much better, and proceed to give credit where credit is due to the OIA

    When an ILH wins:
    2: ILH only wins because of recruiting. Lets ignore the possibility of having better coaches, more discipline players, and better gamelans and execution. But lets just say they won because of recruiting and nothing else.

    Look at every post featuring an ILH team and you tell me this isn’t true.

  5. ALLILH September 9, 2018 4:38 pm

    aannyywwaayyss you have a lot of hatred in you. Is it because you wasn’t loved when you was younger?


  6. Sea Dog September 9, 2018 5:02 pm

    Anywaaays loo za whina excuse may ka!

  7. Awrite!! September 9, 2018 9:22 pm

    anywaaayyys is a punahou grad he admitted it last year when he was Posting as “Education First”, just making trouble for Kahuku which it dont matter Kahuku thrives on rivalry build up.

    * Punahou stopped playing in the 2nd half, whats up? they did the same against Kahuku and lost. Mililani has many holes in their O and D they are definately on a down year of recruiting because no more big polys in the trenches anymore. This game was hard to watch, so many mistakes by both teams. Although the night before where Kahuku lost to STL, that game was a heavy weight battle.

    Kahuku and STL are on another level by themselves with STL a lot more organized with their O, Kahuku will get their O going by playoffs and I think a rematch will be closer. Kahuku O has not gotten any reps, that Waianae game was all special teams and the O only had like 2 offensive drives over 4 plays. Hard to get good when the D and special teams is doing all the scoring and putting the other teams Offense back on the field.

  8. Truuu September 9, 2018 10:57 pm

    You’re all clowns. Lol How old are you guys? These are all Hawai’i born kids battling and playing at a very high level. How insecure do you have to be to diminish what Punahou did? I’m a Stl alum, and this is pathetic. I’m happy when anyone or any team from the islands does well. You all need to grow up and see the big picture. Our state is a hotbed for football talent, and we are lucky to finally see who the best teams are. I think mixing the leagues has brought out the best in all teams. This is the most exciting season I’ve seen in years. A win is a win. ALL TEAMS RECRUIT. Not just ILH. End of the day, these boys gotta strap it up and play. No excuses.

  9. BangkokJoe September 9, 2018 11:04 pm

    Often, these comments are more entertaining that the article. Everybody knows everybody, and I enjoy the rivalry and the “inside” scoop .

  10. Awrite!! September 9, 2018 11:59 pm

    Truuu – easy to be calm and happy when you back on top, not too long ago when STL was about to shut its doors and go out of business because no state titles was coming your way. Yes, Football is the life line of your school and ties directly into enrollment. Win-at-all-costs is no joke.

    When Kahuku was the big dog on the block in the 2000’s I recall ILH and OIA fans saying….
    “they got a cup cake schedule”
    “they dont play anyone all season and then come into the playoffs healthy, while the ILH gotta play PUN/Kam/STL year round.”

    At first they merged the OIA east/west into OIA Red thinking that Kahuku will now have a hard time playing all the west schools (Kap/Mill/Waianae), nope we still dominated, big time, so much so that the next tactic was to get Kahuku to play STL/Pun. Now we got Open div.

    Believe me! This whole merger thing does not happen if Kahuku wasnt so dominate because the rest of the OIA had parity and didnt need the ILH, look how dominate PUN and STL are over the OIA, literally blow outs everywhere, but I guess you tuition paying ILH parents expect and want that huh!

    Heres an interesting stat….ILH volleyball and bball are so dominate and have no OIA threat so they dont need to merge those sports, so why only football?

    The side effect of this merger will force OIA schools like Mill/Waianae/Farr/Kapolei to gradually lay down and give up or drop down a division.

    STL looks like a college team nowdays because all the best OIA kids are linning up to attend. That just basically destroys the local community schools.

    “A lot of our kids end up going to Saint Louis. Its (Mckinley) a popular area for private schools to recruit in.”

    – McKinley Head coach PAT SILVA

  11. Northshore September 10, 2018 5:29 am

    The fact of the matter is, it would be an embarrassment if any of the ILH teams in the open division lost to an OIA team. The ILH (private) schools has more to lose since they provide “financial aid” to talented athletes specifically to play sports and not primarily based on their academics achievements. The OIA (public) schools have nothing to lose but more to gain (pride) when they beat the ILH schools. As of today, I would rank St Louis as the top team and Punahou right behind. After watching the Kahuku/Punahou game, Punahou was out coached and out played in the second half after shifting their game plan and I thought Punahou should have won and not being bias…just speaking the truth and not taking anything away from Kahuku. The subject of recruiting by ILH and OIA schools will go on forever and it does happen on both sides but the ILH has an advantage over the OIA because of having the resources to provide the athletes. Just my unbiased opinion.

  12. TooMeke September 10, 2018 5:44 am

    ILH showed up this weekend (well…St LuLu and Puns did – Iolani and Kam not so much). Let me be blunt: Millz needs to regroup, and Big Red needs to get more organized (that was extremely poor coaching/disorganization after a 3-week break – I don’t wanna hear any whining or excuses).

    Looks like Puns has learned and made adjustments from their previous games. Congrats to them on executing a great game plan. They have three D1 O-lineman…they should be able to hold their own against any team in Hawaii. This bodes well for the competitiveness within ILH – Kam looks better, Puns now looks better, and St LuLu’s D is as advertised (their offense is not really all that this year – they benefit from that great D). It’ll be interesting to watch their front 7 vs Puns OL.

    This also tells me that HI teams measure up well with the majority of mainland teams.

    Hopefully Millz and Big Red learn from this weekend, because they’ll both be in States…probably with Campbell (although Kapolei looks like they’re progressing nicely). OIA playoffs will be really good this year.

    See you at homecoming in 2 weeks Millz. Should be a great game.

    Best season so far. Hope injuries are minimal and we have more great games.


  13. TooMeke September 10, 2018 5:52 am

    I like be first, so… lol…

    My Top 7 for this week (cuz really no point going beyond that)

    1- St L
    2- Puns
    3- Campbell
    4- Big Red
    5- Millz
    6- Kam
    7- Kapolei

  14. Mason September 10, 2018 8:26 am

    How the heck do you have Campbell ahead of Kahuku and Mililani? I know they are undefeated but Kahuku and Mililani are gonna spank them. Just saying!

  15. Toko September 10, 2018 8:56 am

    @coach Silva with all due respect, didn’t your kids attend private school. And I know some of your assistance have kids at Saint Louis. So I don’t understand why you’re gripping for when it’s all up to the kids and there families.

  16. Disappointed Trojan September 10, 2018 9:59 am

    Crusaders will take it this season. They are on another level as of right now.

    States will be Red Raiders and Crusaders.

    Red Raiders will be their toughest challenge and could possibly get close to beating them, but Crusaders will come in clutch at the very end.

    I say Campbell will be above Milz, they just need to fix pockets of things here and there. They have a tough team and just need to blend a little more. Once they get in sync, they will be the to go team after Kahuku.

    Kapolei is building up strong but it may be too late for them to bounce back. Watch out for them next season!

    Sad to say my poor alumni Milz will be the disappointing team this season. Their games have been sad to watch so far. York screwed these boys from the get go with his extra curricular activities. Boys lost trust in him. Defense running same plays that they get burned with over and over again, watch the games against Kahuku and St. Louis last season, no adjustments made, same thing happened with Bosco and Punahou. DB’s getting burnt all night, then they stop 1 play and they cheering like they won the Superbowl, throwing their hands up, make shame like that. Offense not utilizing all their weapons, same kids getting thrown the ball even though they got double coverage while other players are wide open. QB cannot seem to work well under pressure. His players no even go to practice cause they know he going let them play but that’s how its always been. No accountability, no trust. Leadership is poor both coaching and captains and its all starting to unravel.

  17. TooMeke September 10, 2018 10:09 am

    @Mason – why are you crying about some arbitrary ranking that I slapped together? (Now let’s wait and see how close I am to HPW’s and ScoringLive’s rankings – I’m willing to bet pretty close).

    Simple – Big Red and Millz lost…Campbell has not – and they beat a pretty good Kam team…and it wasn’t really that close of a game.

    Now…all rankings are all fodder for debate – Campbell plays Millz, St LuLu plays Puns, and Kam plays Big Red…so guess what? It’ll all most likely be different next week.

    Relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaxxxxxxx bu… what matters is that they’ll all be in the mix in the end.


  18. Notes September 10, 2018 11:17 am

    Punahou and Mililani played all out, good to see both teams pushing the limits but lets be honest here, St. Louis looks so dominant that no one except for maybe Kahuku has a chance at knocking them off. All other Open div. games and schools are just playing for fun and thats a sad fact.

  19. Ioane Liufau September 10, 2018 9:03 pm

    Let’s talk about RECRUIT since some people are still making a fuss about it. I only have one question to all those people….If your son, daughter, nephew, niece or any STUDENT ATHLETE in your WHOLE EXTEND FAMILY is RECRUITED by some of the BEST UNIVERSITIES in the NATION, Are you going to say NO THANK YOU because that is a BAD thing to do? Sorry,it will DESTROY my community. Sorry it is not FAIR for the other schools. What ever EXCUSES you are thinking of, YOU and I both know is BS. We all love our kids. We all want them to be BETTER than us. The ONLY WAY is through EDUCATION. Football can END tomorrow but a GOOD EDUCATION will LAST A LIFETIME. Let’s talk about “financial aid” so that everyone understands. Yes, ILH have TUITION and of course we also have financial aid. But did ALL of you KNOW that OIA or PUBLIC SCHOOL are NOT FREE. They have the BIGGEST FINANCIAL AID in the STATE paid for by ALL THE TAX PAYERS in this GREAT state of ours.. THE ALOHA STATE. Yes, NOT only we have to PAY for our kids, with the the help of the GREAT FOUNDATION in our school “financial aid”, but ALSO YOURS. And one more thing, my son was NEVER EMBARRASSED when they lost to KAHUKU because he left his HEART on that field.TRY IT SOMETIME………. Ioane

  20. Trustno1 September 10, 2018 9:52 pm

    Mililani is done! They need to fix the coaching staff because it seems like Coach York is coaching every position even though it seems like they have 40 coaches on the sidelines. Coach York probably can only rely on 2 or 3 other coaches on his staff( Stili Malepeai and Maa Tanuvasa) bc it seems like the other coaches just came up from pop warner or the big boys league. Lots of talent on the team but you need coaches that know what they doing out there. DB’s look horrible and lost! Who’s the db coach? Who’s calling the D? The play calling was terrible but Punahou played lights out. #7 is a BEAST! I think The best thing Punahou did was put #7 in the middle ( I believe it’s Liufau) and move Maninoa outside. Hopefully this Weather holds up and then we get to watch great Highschool football games! Good luck to all the boys! 808 vs Everybody!

  21. shoooolleeee September 10, 2018 10:01 pm


  22. Awrite!! September 10, 2018 11:38 pm

    Recruiting in and of itself is not a problem. Its just a subset of other advantages that the ILH have over the OIA which again to ME is not a problem.

    The problem exists when the ILH think they are equal to the OIA. The ILH already have many advantages over the OIA and when those advantages dont result in one of them (ILH schools) winning the state title they seek more advantages in order to tip the tables in their favor. Prime example is this merger of both leagues because the ILH needed more games, then as if this merger wasnt good enough the STL coach complains about the OIA not counting their games vs. ILH. What else STL schools like us OIA do? what color underwear we wearing to practice?

    Set your sights on IMG and SJB, not Kahuku!

  23. Toko September 11, 2018 6:45 am

    Liufau ma i mau lou kemi , I love you defend your son. Punahou is a class act. Punahou don’t need to respond to any who hides behind there alias.

  24. Alpha September 11, 2018 9:21 am

    Mililani is missing swag and attitude, still got talent and a good system. They look the part but its not the same Mililani swag from the past 4/5yrs.

  25. Ioane Liufau September 11, 2018 11:00 am

    Toko, you are absolutely right. My son said the same thing last night. Sometimes, we just have to listen to our children. UA UMA FO’I SE MANATU. Once again I wish nothing but the best for the OIA and of course for ALL OUR KEIKIS TO BE SAFE………SOIFUA…….IOANE

  26. Toomeke September 11, 2018 2:08 pm

    🤔🤔🤔 Toko must not be an alias 🤣🤣🤣

  27. ??? September 11, 2018 4:33 pm

    Thank you as a STL alumni for admitting STL recruits!
    That’s ALL we other schools wanted from you guys, was to ADMIT. “Case Closed”

  28. To da house September 11, 2018 8:33 pm

    Let’s not forget that there are OIA schools who recruit in their own way. Taking kids from other districts.
    So it goes both ways.
    OIA and ILH merger is great for the fans.
    I just wish that the playoffs was just based on the top 4 teams with the best records and not predetermined (3 OIA 1 ILH). That way we get the best playing the best with out any what if’s…..

  29. Toko September 11, 2018 9:04 pm

    Toomeke i live in Waipahu now, let’s meet . You have no idea who you playing with

  30. Toko September 11, 2018 9:26 pm

    @toomeke you lahopiko keep hiding

  31. Toko September 12, 2018 8:52 am

    @pussymeke let’s meet let’s finish this, I learned one word it’s wa ha. We Mataele don’t play nicely

  32. phILHarmonic September 12, 2018 10:14 am

    Cant we all just get along??

  33. Toko September 12, 2018 10:26 am

    Sorry Phil I just lost it

  34. phILHarmonic September 12, 2018 11:52 am

    Its all G brotha.

    Dont let it get to you.

    At the end of the day, its just a bunch of peeps sharing their opinions on something we all have a passion for.

  35. The CHURCH is TRUE! September 13, 2018 1:12 am

    Well said Iaone Liufau. Your son Marist#7 is an awesome kid both on and off the field. Praying for an injury free season. Good luck to all STUDENT athletes this season.

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