LIVE BLOG: Mililani 62, Hilo 18, F

Mililani's Rico Sallas was tough to tackle in a first-round state tournament game against Hilo. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Mililani’s Rico Sallas was tough to tackle in a first-round state tournament game against Hilo. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

For the first time in almost two full years, Mililani takes the field tonight coming off a loss to a team from Hawaii.

The Trojans had a 22-game winning streak against Hawaii teams end in a 20-7 loss to Kahuku last week in the OIA title game. Freshman QB Dillon Gabriel was lost with a broken collarbone and the Trojans have called up freshman Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi, who coach Rod York said will start tonight.

However, reigning Honolulu Star-Advertiser all-state offensive player of the year McKenzie Milton is out on the field warming up. Milton hasn’t played since injuring his shoulder Sept. 26 against Kailua. He hasn’t played in Mililani’s last four games.

The Trojans are the defending state champions and take on a hungry Hilo team that gave Kahuku all it could handle in the state tournament last season.

Kickoff is set for 7:40 p.m.

Hilo's Ka'ale Tiogangco and the Vikings ready for battle. No BIIF team has ever won a state tournament game at Aloha Stadium. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Hilo’s Ka’ale Tiogangco and the Vikings ready for battle. No BIIF team has ever won a state tournament game at Aloha Stadium. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

No BIIF team has ever won a state tournament game at Aloha Stadium. Hawaii Prep beat Waipahu at Radford in 2004 and won at Moanalua in 2009.

Here is Milton with a quick warm-up throw courtesy of Paul Honda.

Hilo: Pono Landford, Dallas Mata, David Pakele, Cody Raymond
Mililani: McKenzie Milton

Trojans win the toss and will receive.


Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi with the start and throws complete to Rico Sallas for a loss of 2 yards. RB Vavae Malepeai, who is 268 yards shy of Joe Igber‘s all-time career rushing mark, picks up 10 on his first carry. Malepeai picks up seven on third down for a first down. Third-and-1 and Kuboyama-Hayashi throws to Sallas, who is stopped for a loss of 2 yards. Fourth-and-2 and Mililani goes for it. Malepeai lines up at QB and runs for 4 yards and a first down. Malepeai again for a yard. Malepeai now rumbles for 40 yards but is caught from behind by a defender and fumbles. Hilo recovers. DB Ka’aina Lewis caught Malepeai and forced the fumble and LB Rylen Kaniaupio recovers on the Hilo 12.

After a nice pass out to the 31, Kalei Tolentino-Perry runs for 8 yards to make it third-and-2. Hilo moves early. 12-yard pass from Ka’ale Tiogangco to Ke’aho Kaawa-Wilson is enough for a first down. Hilo doing a nice job mixing pass and run on this opening drive. Tiogangco fakes the handoff and keeps for 13 yards and a first down inside the Trojans 40. Third-and-11 and Tiogangco has an open receiver but great closing speed by Tielu Mamea to make the hit and break up the pass to force a punt. After a Mililani timeout, Vikings with a great punt down to the 2.

Milton comes out to start the second drive on offense for the Trojans. Vikings jump offsides. His first pass goes to Makana Tauai for 8 yards. Milton to Bryson Ventura for 11 yards and a first down after a false start. Malepeai runs for 9 to the 30 for a first down. Pass to Sallas who makes two guys miss and there he goes. 47 yards on the play. Timeout Hilo. Back to action and Milton goes short to Kalakaua Timoteo, who has his first catch for 12 yards to the 11. Milton throws low to the far side of the field. First incomplete pass for Milton. Short pass to Timoteo who just outmuscles the defenders and gets into the end zone. Touchdown Trojans. 7-0, 3:10, Q1.

Milton on that drive becomes the fourth QB from an Oahu school to surpass 7,000 career passing yards, moving past Punahou’s Larry Tuileta for fourth on the all-time list.

37-yard return by Kahale Huddleston but an illegal block is called. Hilo will start on its 20. Mamea has a ball thrown right to him but can’t make the interception. Third down pass to Ka’onohi’okala Boteiho who tries to stretch for the first down but instead he fumbles. Dustin Gapusan on the recovery.

Milton with an 18-yard completion to Makana Tauai to the 19. Handoff to Malepeai who bounces outside and is in. A 19-yard TD run for his 69th career rushing TD. 14-0, 1:44, Q1.

Rain coming down at Aloha Stadium as Hilo starts on its 19. Tiogangco’s first pass is intercepted by sophomore AJ Burris.

Trojans ball on the 21. Encroachment moves the ball to the 16. Malepeai runs for 14 yards to the 2. Milton throws it for Timoteo and the throw is incomplete (high). Milton takes his first real shot on a hit by DE Malu Lapilio. Malepeai takes it on the next one for a 2-yard TD run. Career rushing TD No. 70. 21-0, 1:09, Q1.

Pono Landford with a nice 9-yard run but it comes after a 5-yard loss. Third-and-6 to start the second quarter.


Short pass to Lucas Kuipers for a first down as he just gets past the tackle of Mamea for a first down. Tioganco scrambles for 2 yards. Landford now with 12 yards straight up the middle. Hilo will have to punt though as DL Kingston Maae comes up with a sack on third down.

Mililani starts with a reverse to Tauai for 5 yards. Milton with his first deep pass down the middle and it hangs up and is intercepted by Dallas Mata. Vikings ball at their 42.

Impressive running by Isaac Lerma as the Vikings have it inside the Trojans 35. 9-yard run there. Tiogangco with a nice run to make it third-and-short but a holding call on Hilo backs the Vikings up. Third-and-17 at the 39. Hilo makes it worse with a delay of game. Lerma picks up 3 yards and Hilo will punt.

9-yard punt and Mililani will have it at the 32. A 13-yard pass from Milton to Timoteo. Trojans keep it up-tempo as Milton hits Tauai for a short pass and run after scrambling out of a sack. Easy throw for Milton to Ventura but Milton launches it high. Incomplete. Still some rust for Milton there but that’s why it’s important to get him some playing time in this game. He hits Timoteo for 13 yards to the 10. First-and-goal. Pass out to Tauai who bowls over the defender and into the end zone for a 10-yard TD. Second TD pass for Milton.

Kaimana Padello makes his presence felt with his first sack of the game on third down and Hilo goes three-and-out.

Mililani takes over on the 41. Malepeai is stopped for a 2-yard loss as he’s gang-tackled by the Vikings defense and whistles sound as Malepeai is down on the field. Malepeai comes off the field but it looks like it’s his right shoulder bugging him. Kuboyama-Hayashi in at QB now. Why risk it if you’re Mililani? Timeout Trojans. Third down and great play call by Mililani as the screen pass goes to Tauai for a 43-yard TD. First career TD pass for Kuboyama-Hayashi. Extra point is no good. 34-0, 2:08, Q2.

Hilo tries a screen pass on third down but nobody is there. Vikings will have to punt with 1:26 remaining.

Tauai picks up the punt off the bounces and runs for 19 yards to the Hilo 36. 1:12 remaining. Timoteo gets 12 on the pass from Kuboyana-Hayashi. Another pass to Timoteo for 9 yards as Hilo plays soft coverage on the outside. Second-and-1 at the 15. Same play again as Timoteo gets 7 yards to the 8. Tauai runs for no gain with Malepeai on the bench with his shoulder pads off. Tauai runs down to the 4. Third-and-goal at the 4 as the clock runs down. Kuboyama-Hayashi finds Bryson Ventura on the slant for a 4-yard TD pass. 41-0, :04, Q2.


Milton 11-15, 170 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT.
Kuboyama-Hayashi 7-8, 76 yards, 2 TD.
Malepeai 12 carries, 127 yards, 2 TD.
Kalakaua Timoteo, 7 catches, 77 yards, TD.
Makana Tauai 5 catches, 96 yards, TD.

Tiogangco 7-18, 74 yards, INT.
Pono Landford 6 carries, 20 yards.

Second half will kick around 9:10 p.m.

Also of note in first half. Mililani’s Vavae Malepeai, who we’re told suffered a shoulder stinger but is OK, passed Kahuku’s Aofaga Wily for second on the all-time rushing list. He has 4,291 yards at halftime and trails Joe Igber by 137 yards.


Hilo runs twice with Landford then hits a big pass for 27 yards to the 50. David Pakele in on offense to run the ball. No gain. Mililani’s Lomani Vili with a sack to force a punt.

Sallas with an 87-yard punt return for TD that is going to be called back. Heckuva return though. Milton in at QB and Fabian Johnson-Slay at RB. First pass is incomplete but then Timoteo gets 10. Almost shocked to see Milton in the game. 14-yard completion to Tauai. Quick pass to Ventura out to the right and Ventura cuts back inside, breaks a tackle, runs through another and he’s off to the races. 69-yard TD pass from Milton to Ventura makes it 48-0, 6:15, Q3.

Career touchdown pass No. 80 for Milton.

Hilo still fighting as Joe Pagan gets it across midfield with a 12-yard reception. Tiogangco runs for 6 yards to the 36. Boteilho now with a 14-yard reception to the 22. Down to the 11 after a pass interference on Mililani and Tiogangco with great touch on the fade pass to Ke’aho Kaawa-Wilson for an 11-yard TD and Hilo is on the board with 1:28 left in the third quarter. Two-point conversion is no good.

Mililani playing like Kahuku on this drive, putting a back at QB and then running out of a big set. Third quarter ends with Mililani first-and-10 on the Hilo 45.


Nicholas Culp getting his turn to run out of the jumbo set and he takes a couple of big hits. Hilo whistled for a personal foul and then Culp runs for 21 yards. First-and-goal at the 5. Culp 5-yard TD run. 55-6, 11:09, Q4.

Mililani’s 55 points are the fifth-highest total in a state tournament game (Saint Louis 63, Kaiser 59, Kahuku 57, Saint Louis 56).

Tiogangco throws his second TD pass of the game — 26 yards to Lerma — to make it 55-12 with 6:09 remaining.

Mililani continues to run it out of the same formation and Fabian Johnson-Slay scores on a 29-yard run to give the Trojans 62 points.

Tiogangco adds a 75-yard TD run for the Vikings on a broken play. Showed some speed late in the game despite playing a ton. Two-point conversion is no good.

There have been only three higher-scoring games in state tournament history. Mililani 53, Punahou 45 in 2014 D-I final. Waianae 48, Mililani 41 in 2010 D-I semifinals. ‘Iolani 41, Kaimuki 40 in D-II first round in 2006.


Mililani 62, Hilo 18
At Aloha Stadium
Hilo (7-5) 0 0 6 12 — 18
Mililani (10-2) 21 20 7 14 — 62

Mil—Kalakaua Timoteo 12 pass from McKenzie Milton (Isaiah Kuloloia kick)
Mil—Vavae Malepeai 19 run (Kuloloia kick)
Mil—Malepeai 2 run (Kuloloia kick)
Mil—Makana Tauai 10 pass from Milton (Kuloloia kick)
MI—Tauai 43 pass from Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi (kick failed)
Mil—Bryson Ventura 5 pass from Kuboyama-Hayashi (Kuloloia kick)
Mil—Ventura 69 pass from Milton (Kuloloia kick)
Hilo—Ke’aho Kaawa-Wilson 11 pass from Ka’ale Tiogangco (pass failed)
Mil—Nicholas Culp 5 run (Kuloloia kick)
Hilo—Isaac Lerma 26 pass from Tiogangco (pass failed)
Mil—Fabian Johnson-Slay 29 run (Kuloloia kick)
Hilo—Tiogangco 75 run (pass failed)

RUSHING—Hilo: Tiogangco 11-111, Pono Landford 8-26, Lerma 7-25, Kalei Tolentino-Perry 1-8 Kore Ohumukini 2-4, Malu Lapiliio 1-0, Kahale Huddleston 1-(-5). Mililani: Malepeai 12-127, Tauai 5-21, Culp 10-61, Johnson-Slay 1-29.
PASSING—Hilo: Tiogangco 14-30-1-182. Mililani: Milton 14-19-1-262, Kuboyama-Hayashi 7-8-0-76.
RECEIVING—Hilo: Lucas Kuipers 2-26, Tolentino-Perry 2-17, Ka’onohi’okala Boteilho 2-28, Kaawa-Wilson 2-23, Lapiliio 1-27, Lerma 1-26, Josiah Factora 1-12, Joe Pagan, 1-12, Ikaika Kamahele 1-6, Huddleston 1-5. Mililani: Timoteo 8-87, Tauai 6-109, Ventura 3-85, Rico Sallas 4-57.
Attendance: 3,146


  1. Insideoutsidein November 6, 2015 8:13 pm

    Sorry but like I said, Hilo will not win this game. Maybe counting my chickens but millz and Stls is going to be a good game. Go OIA!!

  2. Manley November 6, 2015 9:29 pm

    48-0 coach York, time to put in the 2’s and 3’s?

  3. J November 6, 2015 10:07 pm

    Ummm… no disrespect to Hilo, but I think Punahou or Kamehameha who are not in the tournament could put up a better challenge. I think the HHSAA needs to move away from AYSO style tournaments and put in the real top 6 teams of the state.

  4. OHHREALLY November 7, 2015 3:18 am

    That’s the price you pay as private school who has no district boundaries. If this was allowed to public schools you’d be seeing a lot more teams loading up like mililani. No disrespect intended..
    They might not have the best teams playing in the tournament but it’s the best teams that won their division. Kahuku got knocked out early in the OIA playoffs a few years ago while being ranked #1 in the state. Should they have been allowed to play in states? Absolutely not!!

  5. The rim November 7, 2015 3:33 am

    J- This is a state tournament! Maybe more BI teams should be represented in the Girls State Basketball tournament as well since they dominate every year in both divisions? ILH has kids from across the State, while Hilo with its population base of roughly 35,000 splits the talent pool between them, Waiakea, and Kamehameha! The best teams from each jurisdiction is being represented in the State Tournament how it was intended.

  6. hi808 November 7, 2015 7:25 am

    Mililani and St. Louis recruit so it will be a clash of titans next week. Funny thing though is that they both are just a one man team. Without their starting QB’s they are not title contendors, case and point last week Mililani not scoring a point against Kahuku.

  7. True Story November 7, 2015 8:00 am

    I keep reading about how certain schools “recruit” and a kid belongs to a certain district. Well I’d like to say that parents and the family are the only ones who should decide the academic welfare of a child. Well unless they ask others for advice. I find it absolutely appalling to read certain kinds of things on here.

    I’d like to share a story about Steven Falatea who graduated from Punahou.

    Growing up in Hau`ula, Steven Falatea expected that he would attend high school in California, where his parents felt he and his siblings would have better educational opportunities. But after his father passed away from a sudden heart attack when Falatea was in sixth grade, the move to California was postponed and his mother decided to try her luck with private schools in Honolulu. Falatea came to Punahou as a freshman from Kahuku Middle School.

    “The hardest part was switching communities,” he remembers. “There, it’s such a huge community – everyone knows everyone. Leasing it is like leaving your family behind.” He credits the Malama Bridge Program for making the transition easier. “I’m really grateful because it gave me a solid foundation and a small family to come back to and feel safe around, especially my freshman year.”

    “I knew that a lot was expected of me, especially leaving Kahuku to come here, so my goal was to succeed in every way possible and do my best here.” Falatea made a promise to himself to take full advantage of all the opportunities Punahou afforded – and he did, participating in theater, sports, Holoku, student government (he was the class president his sophomore and senior years), various clubs, an the Capstone summer program in Tahiti and Rapa Nui.

    With his infectious enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, Falatea is a natural community builder and leader who is loved by his classmates and teachers, “Punahou really helped me to gain confidence and believe in myself. It helped me create a path for myself and just know what I want to do, where I want to go.” Ultimately, he says, “I learned that my passion is to make people happy.”

    So Mr. Falatea after graduating is now attending New York University, one of the most prestigious schools in the United States. And people on here insult families for leaving and the private schools for providing this opportunity?

    How many families in Laie, Kahuku, Waianae, Nanakuli, even Kahala or Hawaii Kai would turn down this kind of opportunity for their child? As a community we should be applauding this family for taking the risk, and more importantly for Steven for making the most of this wonderful opportunity.

    I understand that people can be jealous, have only the football team to live through. But, if you are going to insult a family for thinking of their child, at least have the nerve to write it behind your real name.

    I applaud you Steven, you make the entire State of Hawaii proud.

  8. GoBigRed November 7, 2015 9:31 am

    Like I said over a month ago… All OIA Final.

    Sorry Crusaders. You haven’t faced an offense like that. And Trojans have already played vs best D in state…by far.

    Excited for rematch with healthy Milton.

    Go Big Red.

  9. hi808 November 7, 2015 11:19 am

    True story, we are talking football not academics, great for private school opportunities but on this small island where the elitist want to win at everything , im sorry but recruiting from the middle-lower class in order to have a better football team and call yourselves king of hawaii is gonna get yourself some flak.

  10. TGOD November 7, 2015 11:21 am

    @True Story – cool story, I’m sure one of many similar stories of kids who leave their comfort zone for better opportunities. Every good parent wants the best for their children and must make decisions on what is best for them. No wrong or right decision as every family and situation is different.

  11. surfdad November 7, 2015 11:38 am

    TrueStory – the problem is private schools can give opportunity to kids that can help their school athletically. If the kid in your story was just another kid he would have to go through the application, interview process like everyone else. Would he have gotten in anyway? Could his parents have been able to afford the tuition? You are right, given the opportunity no one would turn it down. My issue is schools like Punahou are only giving the opportunities to athletes that can help their programs. Tell me a story about a kid from Kahuku that was approached by Punahou strictly for his/her academic potential. I never heard one.

  12. 88 November 7, 2015 1:01 pm

    We are blessed to have on such individual who is a loyal poster/reader of this very forum. He/She goes by any names and even discovered a magical equation that explains the reasoning behind the ILH woes in the State Tourney. Our buddy and defender of test scores everywhere, REALISTIC…..

  13. KLoNaKillaaa November 7, 2015 1:12 pm

    Oahu teams usually train way harder and more intensely than Big Island, most sport teams train to win and this comes from experience with going to Oahu for states in any sport I’ve played, even when I was in elementary. Oahu players have more aggression and that’s why even though I am from Hilo, I didn’t expect us to win. Football is already a brtual sport so props to all the football players out there. Everyone can be hating saying Hilo got crushed but honestly, we come from different ways and Mililani probably trained harder, they deserved the win, it was a great game to watch. People can talk shit about Hilo but we have no professional field to play on and our school isn’t rich, so we came this far. I’m just being humble, no need hate for, we all represent the state of Hawaii. Congrats Mililani and all the other teams this season.

  14. GoBigRed November 7, 2015 3:09 pm

    @KLo… I don’t think Oahu players train any harder than outer island kids. I know coaches for this outer island teams and they are just committed to building up the players as Oahu coaches. The difference is the pool of talent. Just due to population size differences Oahu teams have a huge advantage of larger talent pools to choose from.

  15. ilh November 7, 2015 7:41 pm

    Go back to playing the Oahu Prep Bowl, because these outside island schools has no chance playing against the big power schools from Oahu, outside island teams will never win a State Championship in the Division one level in the State Tournament, let’s move on and put better quality teams in the Tournament.

  16. doggie November 7, 2015 8:09 pm

    To Go Big Red: Neither Mililani nor Kahuku schedule were challenging. They played each other once. They did not have to go through the brutal ILH schedule of playing Kamehameha twice and Punahou thrice like St. Louis. Remember that Punahou has the cream of the Kahuku-area football players. Is Running Back Malepeai better than Taulapapa? Are Mililani or Kahulu’s O-Llnes and D-Lines bigger or execute better than Kamehameha or Punahou’s? We will know in one week.

  17. RCA November 7, 2015 8:30 pm

    Hilo isn’t necessary a bad team, they’re good on the Big island but Oahu teams are just really good. It’s a whole different playing field in Oahu, literally. Population is a lot more, a lot more talent is available there than on the Big Island, like some people mentioned. I don’t think we should put the teams down like @KLo.. said. The game is gonna be good next week.

  18. TGOD November 7, 2015 8:54 pm

    Without a couple of teams from the outer islands, it wouldn’t be a true state championship tournament. Outer island teams are definitely at a big disadvantage versus Oahu teams, but they still deserve a shot to pull an upset. Maybe take out 1 OIA team and add 1 ILH team and keep it at 6. Or to me, add 2 more teams to make it an 8 team tourney.
    It’s also about the kids, and the outer island kids deserve to travel and play in the stadium against the best in the state. Make some memories, get exposure, etc.

  19. AOK November 7, 2015 11:08 pm

    No problem with inviting outer islands to participate as well. But, would like to see the tournament expanded: 1 more ILH and OIA apiece?

  20. hi808 November 7, 2015 11:50 pm

    Football is not like baseball where a best of 5 series determines the winner. Football is prone to injury so 1 game is all it takes, thats why the old prep bowl was perfect. Why would St.Louis play Punahou 3 times to win the ILH and then potentially have to play them again to win the states?

    This is the same reason why there should only be 1 team from all 4 conferences to create a 4 man state playoff.

  21. DoRightSleepWell November 8, 2015 12:21 am

    @ TrueStory – cool story! To all who keep bringing up the recruiting issue, everyone is entitled to an opinion and here’s mines. I truly believe the issue isn’t what is going on with all the other schools, its what going on with your school/community. The community wants the kids to stay but the kids don’t want to for their own personal reason(s). If your school has as good a program or coaching staff as mentioned many times over, you should have no problem overcoming this recruiting issue. Maybe, just maybe, academics means just a bit more to that individual than does football. Good luck to all!!

  22. Good Story November 8, 2015 9:13 pm

    @Doright…you’re not fooling anyone. You and True Story are the same person.

  23. Realistic November 8, 2015 10:03 pm

    The reason why “88” takes that S/N is she isn’t able to count to 3 digits yet! No worries, I believe in you! Also, I am sorry that I created such an challenging arithmetic equation for you. That was cruel and I will admit it. Next time I will make it more simple for you. I know since moms wasn’t home, there was no one to tuck you in. No worry, Imma come over and tuck you in!

  24. Ackrite November 9, 2015 4:54 am

    Malo Steven Falatea!
    se just put your name aleady… LOL!
    sounding like paul honda with your 2millz story… chheeehhuu

  25. 88 November 9, 2015 9:53 am

    Ahhhhhh REALISTIC, did I hurt your feeling. The reason no one understands your equations is because it’s just like the story of your kids attending Punahou, it’s IAMGINARY. Now run along and don’t forget to take your venlafaxine…

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