Rod York and the Mililani Trojans have moved on, that’s certain.
But the charismatic football coach had this to say (text, actually) upon reflection after a 76-53 loss at Liberty, Nev. last weekend. It was the same Liberty team that came to the islands and lost to Saint Louis, 43-16, just one week earlier.
“They outmatched us physically,” York wrote. “Up front to their three big fullbacks to their powerful, quick backs. We have not seen those types of athletes ever. It’s like Kahuku and Farrington combined their starting rosters.”
It’s a basic fact that Liberty was playing its first game of the season when it traveled to meet Saint Louis, which has recently supplanted Mililani at No. 1 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10. So the Patriots had time to make personnel adjustments, maybe. Or maybe it was more about simply feeling comfortable before a home crowd and not having to travel 3,000 miles.
Mililani was missing a key defender in linebacker Jalen Olomua (6-0, 220) due to injury, but York believes it was much more than one player’s absence.
“No, we were missing one guy. No excuses on our side,” he added. “I know they didn’t show it against the Crusaders, but they were a very different team in Vegas offensively.”
Maybe the three-way comparison is too much to gauge. When Saint Louis met Liberty, linebackers Jordan Loveni Iosefa and Isaac Slade-Matautia had begun to round into form after two years away from an official game.
A few weeks prior, it was Mililani that looked like the better team in a 41-21 win over Saint Louis during a game-format scrimmage. It’s all history now, shrinking in the rear-view mirror. Power-running teams like Kahuku and Farrington can’t help but wonder more than ever if they’ve got the blueprint and personnel to overcome OIA defending champ Mililani.