For a brief moment, Mililani held a lead against the No. 1 team in the land.
Facing a St. John Bosco squad that had not given up a point yet this season and allowed only 9 total yards all game last week, the Trojans scored on their opening drive and took a 7-0 lead against the team ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps and No. 2 by USA Today.
That lead didn’t last long however as George Holani scored on an 80-yard TD run on the Braves’ first offensive play from scrimmage. Junior DJ Uiagalelei, the No. 1-rated QB prospect in the nation in the class of 2010, added six touchdown passes and the Braves ended up squashing the Trojans 52-14 in just their second home game at their brand new $7.2 million stadium.
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“Those guys are No. 1 for a reason and you could see why,” Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel said in a phone interview after the game. “It was a great opportunity for us to kind of get better and see the top talent.”
Gabriel held his own against a Braves team that has 11 players with at least 10 Division I scholarship offers. The Army commit finished 21-for-34 for 251 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover.
His first TD throw went 47 yards to freshman Kai Banks, who had a team high seven catches for 116 yards. The Trojans’ up-tempo offense confused Bosco early and forced the Braves to take two defensive timeouts on the first drive.
Gabriel added a 5-yard touchdown pass to Maka Hill in the second quarter, but the Trojans were shut out the rest of the game.
The first half ended when Gabriel was stuffed on the goal line on a QB sneak on fourth down, keeping Bosco ahead 35-14.
“I think at least two or maybe three more touchdowns we left on the board,” Gabriel said. “I think that one right before half we didn’t get in was a key one. You can’t make mistakes like that, but we learned a lot and we’ll get better from it.”
Gabriel knocked off a few more career milestones in the game. He became the seventh quarterback on Oahu to surpass 7,000 career passing yards and his TD pass to Banks was the 80th of his career.
Mililani played just its third game ever on the mainland. The Trojans lost at Liberty High School in Henderson, Nev., 76-53 in 2015, and beat Clayton Valley in Calif., 49-30 last year.
St. John Bosco is scheduled to play Mililani on Oahu next season. The Braves traveled to Hawaii in 2014 and beat Saint Louis 63-14 with Josh Rosen at quarterback.
“The loss doesn’t look good but for us, it’s not a loss,” Gabriel said. “When we get back (to Hawaii) a lot of things will slow down. One through 11 those guys were 6-foot-3 and up and huge and strong. The windows were a lot tighter and getting out of the pocket was a lot harder. But we’ll be better.”
Gabriel was sacked six times and Uiagalelei finished 27-for-33 for 374 yards.
Mililani did force the Braves to punt on their first drive of the second half. It was just the second punt Bosco attempted this season.
Stanford commit Colby Bowman led the Braves receivers with nine catches for 142 yards and three scores.
Mililani didn’t have receiver Ryan Chang available for the game but did get running back Kilifi Malepeai and defensive tackle Mykah Tuiolemotu back from injury.
The Trojans will fly home Sunday to prepare for next week’s game against Punahou. Before that, however, the team will attend Saturday’s USC/UNLV game and root for Mililani alumnus Vavae Malepeai, a running back for USC and one of three players from Hawaii on the Trojans’ roster.