It’s pick your poison for Farrington defense

Mililani's offensive line makes the Milton and Malepeai show run. Krystle Marcellus / Star-Advertiser
Mililani’s offensive line makes the Milton and Malepeai show run. Krystle Marcellus / Star-Advertiser

For all of the talk of Mililani’s leaky defense against Liberty, the offense has had no problems at all.

The Trojans have been held under 50 points in every game except one this year, scoring ONLY 49 against Campbell.

Farrington has given up more than 19 only once, a 35-point outburst by Moanalua’s machine.

The two units go head-to-head on Thursday at Aloha Stadium. It figures to be the first real test for the Trojans’ offense.

McKenzie Milton will get the ball out of his hands in less than 3 seconds, given a choice. Or he’ll stretch the play out, use his feet to get out of harm’s way and never lose sight of his targets across the field. The result, once again, has been magical: 1,686 passing yards (98-for-143), 22 TD passes, three picks. He is also averaging nearly 10 yards per rush (234 yards, one TD).

That same play-action, quick-strike, receiver-in-a-slant-route play that Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans used on Sunday — Trojans coach Rod York and his team borrowed from Oregon years ago. It’s simple, efficient and venomous to defenses that don’t respect it. Slotbacks Makana Tauai (17 catches, 211 yards, one TD) and Rico Sallas (10, 139, one) have benefited.

If the Govs pay full attention to running back Vavae Malepeai (490 yards, 11 TDs), an Oregon commit, the deep ball will go to Kalakaua Timoteo (26, 582, 10 TDs) or Bryson Ventura (19, 350, five).

It’s a pick-your-poison dilemma for the Govs. That’s why Freedom Alualu and the Bamboolas up front could set the tone by keeping one of the nation’s most devastating offensive units on the sideline.

Mililani has won the last four meetings with Farrington, including twice last year by scores of 41-14 and, in the state semifinals, 17-14. The Govs last beat the Trojans in 2011, 25-20.

And yet, even as voters knocked Mililani (4-1, 4-0) down from the top of the perch to No. 3 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 since, the Trojans haven’t lost to an island team in their last 17 games. No OIA program has toppled Mililani since 2012, when Leilehua posted a 17-13 home win over their arch rivals.

A win tonight could set up the Govs for a path to the OIA title and even a bye in the first round of the state tourney.


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