How high will Milton and Tagovailoa fly?

Marcus Mariota led Saint Louis to the state football championship in 2010.
Marcus Mariota led Saint Louis to the state football championship in 2010.

It’s not just the two best quarterbacks in the state hooking up tonight at Aloha Stadium, it’s two of the best all time.

Mililani’s McKenzie Milton and Tua Tagovailoa of Saint Louis are expected to match each other score-for-score in the second semifinal of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championships, leaving state records in the dust.

The former Pop Warner teammates could seriously threaten 1,000 yards passing apiece if that’s what the defenses give them. Should it live up to the hype, here are some of the most classic quarterback duals in state tournament history, ranked by total yards:

Passing shootouts

    Leilehua's Kenan Sadanaga. (Star-Advertiser file)
    Leilehua’s Kenan Sadanaga. (Star-Advertiser file)

    Marcus Mariota vs. Kenan Sadanaga

2010 first round: Saint Louis 42, Leilehua 28 (769 yards)
Marcus Mariota was 17-for-19 for 349 yards with two touchdowns and one pick. He also rushed for 49 yards and another score as Saint Louis’ balanced offense kept the Mules’ attack on the sideline. Three of his receivers had at least 90 yards in receptions. Duke Bukoski had four catches for 103 yards with a touchdown, Joshua Tupua added three hauls for 113 yards and sophomore Jeremy Tabuyo had three catches for 90 yards and a score. Leilehua quarterback Kenan Sadanaga had another 400-yard passing game, completing 38 of 58 attempts for 420 yards and four touchdowns. Fred Padrones had 14 catches for 145 yards and Darrien Shealy had nine catches for 142. Sadanaga, a junior, was picked off three times, however, as the Mules (8-4) trailed by as many as 28 points.


    Larry Tuileta vs. Jarin Morikawa

2012 semis: Punahou 49, Mililani 19 (715)
Larry Tuileta passed for 420 yards and five touchdowns as second-seeded Punahou rolled to a 49-19 win over unseeded Mililani at Aloha Stadium. Tuileta went through a first-half stretch of five incompletions in seven attempts — a rare downturn for a passer with a 68-percent completion rate. But Punahou quit the deep drops and went back to three-step drops and quick releases by Tuileta, who completed 11 of his aerials to standout sophomore Kanawai Noa for 229 yards and a touchdown. The Buffanblu kept Mililani QB Jarin Morikawa to sub-50 percent passing (23-for-49), but the senior still threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked five times.


    McKenzie Milton vs. Ephraim Tuliloa

2014 championship: Mililani 53, Punahou 45 (706)
Milton enjoys a 421-yard, seven-touchdown passing performance. Four of Milton’s touchdown passes went to Kalakaua Timoteo, who ended the night with seven receptions for 117 yards, and Mililani finishing off the undefeated campaign by ending Punahou’s 19-game run of victories. Tuliloa goes 17-for-33 for 285 yards and two TDs for Punahou, but throws an interception. The 1,214 yards put up by both offenses destroyed the 932 put up by Iolani and Lahinaluna in 2012 and remains the only time a state game has had over 1,000 yards but Konawaena and Damien threatened it last week by going for 968.


    Cayman Shutter vs. Dayton Kealoha

2008 semis: Punahou 35, Farrington 28 (647)
Shutter lofts 55 passes and completes 34 of them for 412 yards and three touchdowns to go with two picks. Dalton Hilliard catches 13 of those passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Kealoha, who was never asked to throw much and had only 115 yards in Farrington’s previous game, completed 10 of 22 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Drake Miller hauled in 139 yards on four catches with a TD.

Here are some other star-studded QB matchups that combined for more than 500 yards in a state game:
2010: Kenan Sadanaga, Leilehua vs. Keelan Ewaliko, Baldwin (624)
2008: Cayman Shutter, Punahou vs. Andrew Manley, Leilehua (604)
2007: Andrew Manley, Leilehua vs. Jordan Helle, Baldwin (597)
2013: Isaac Hurd, Campbell vs. Donovan Kelley, Hilo (556)
2013: Larry Tuileta, Punahou vs. Montana Liana, Farrington (554)
2005: Brett Kan, Punahou vs. Kali Kuia, Aiea (534)
2009: Andrew Manley, Leilehua vs. Brock Shishido, Baldwin (520)
2015: McKenzie Milton, Mililani vs. Kaale Tiogangco, Hilo (520)
2015: Austin Ewing, Hawaii Prep vs. Marcus Faufata-Pedrina, Damien (514)
2008: Andrew Manley, Leilehua vs. Ikaika Wilhelm-Iaone, Baldwin (511)

Looking ahead to tonight, here are state single game records:
Comp: Kenan Sadanaga, 2010 Leilehua vs. Saint Louis, 38
Attempts: Sadanaga, 2010 Leilehua vs. Saint Louis, 58
Interceptions: Kahoalii Karratti, 2011 Konawaena vs. Baldwin, 7
Yards: Sadanaga, 2010 Leilehua vs. Baldwin, 474
Touchdowns: Timmy Chang, 1999 Saint Louis vs. Waimea, 8
Comp % (min 5 att): Marcus Mariota, 2010 Saint Louis vs. Leilehua, 89% (17-19)

And where Milton stands in the career records:
He needs:
>> 72 completions to pass Andrew Manley for the state tournament career record
>> 145 attempts to pass Manley for the state tournament career record
>> 732 yards to pass Larry Tuileta for the state tournament career record
>> 10 TDs to pass Tuileta for the state tournament career record


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