It’s almost surreal the way Ranan Mamiya and McKenzie Milton have been playing, so it’s not surprising to see that they have out-of-this-world stats.
In the most simplest and bare-bones way, Mamiya can run and Milton can pass.
With burning speed and natural cutting instincts, Mamiya, the Farrington senior running back, is averaging 16.8 yards per carry in two games. What? He also has six touchdowns, and he was barely touched in a four carry, 124-yard, three TD performance in less than two quarters in the opener against Waipahu.
Only one player in the state is averaging more yards per carry than Mamiya, and that person just happens to be Milton, who has 226 yards rushing on 11 carries from his quarterback position.
Against Kapolei, Mamiya rolled for another 128 yards and three touchdowns, including one on an 89-yard kickoff return in a tight, hotly contested game.
So far, it’s been a rare sight to see Mamiya on the ground, but one time in particular in Saturday’s win over Kapolei, it was done with a huge effort from the Hurricanes’ Tristan Centeio, who caught Mamiya from behind on a 64-yard gain.
Doubters of Centeio’s speed would be wise to think again. He ran back a kick 94 yards for a TD later in the game, showing pure breakaway ability.
Mamiya is humble in the assessment of his own ability. He called it “a gift from God” after the win over Waipahu.
With poise and intelligence, Milton, the Mililani junior quarterback, is averaging 319.5 passing yards in two games. He has thrown for six touchdowns and, on top of that, has four rushing touchdowns.
His NCAA quarterback rating is 233.64. What? That’s off the charts.
Milton’s passing effort in a 49-7 win over Kailua is worth a closer look. He completed 13 of his 15 attempts, including all of his first 12.
Pass No. 13 was tipped away from the outstretched arms of a would-be receiver in the end zone. A Mililani receiver caught pass No. 14 out of bounds.
He was nearly 15-for-15, which is tough to do, and which, for older folks, might stir memories of Phil Simms’ 22-for-25 outing in Super Bowl XXI.
Milton, too, is humble. He seemed genuinely perplexed that he didn’t complete all his passes and credited his skills to sheer hard work. He works out with former Saint Louis star Joel Lane.
“Every Sunday, right here,” Milton said, pointing to the turf at Mililani’s John Kauinana Stadium after the win over the Surfriders. “It’s work. A lot of hard work in trying to perfect the craft.”
Now, those averages for both players are likely to go down as the season goes on and the opponents get tougher. It’s the law.
And it certainly is clear that both Milton and Mamiya are products of a system.
Mililani’s offense is finely tuned all the way around and the presence of All-State running back Vavae Malepeai helps a whole lot.
Mamiya has the luxury of running into gigantic holes made by Farrington’s offensive line that includes one 420-pounder, Jonathan Leusogi-Leae, and some in the high 300s.
Believe it or not, one quarterback in Hawaii has a higher passer rating than Milton — Leilehua’s Kalanimoku Pauole at 234.06. He has seven TD passes, one more than Milton, but he has also thrown two interceptions to Milton’s zero and he hasn’t had to go up against an ILH power like Saint Louis yet.
Top 10 Oahu passers in NCAA passer rating (minimum 10 attempts)
1. Kalanimoku Pauole, Leilehua, 234.06
2. McKenzie Milton, Mililani, 233.64
3. Tua Tagovailoa, Saint Louis, 189.05
4. Kawika Ulufale, St. Francis, 174.86
5. Tuli Matagi-Wily, Kahuku, 167.67
6. Bransen Apao, Damien, 166.62
7. Austin Jim On, Iolani, 164.80
8. Kainoa Ferreira, Pac-Five, 151.66
9. Alton Julius, Kapolei, 138.71
10. Brandon Sevelino, Nanakuli, 135.04
Top 10 Oahu rushers in yards per carry (miniumum 10 attempts)
1. McKenzie Milton, Mililani, 20.55
2. Ranan Mamiya, Farrington, 16.80
3. Ikaika Piceno, Leilehua, 11.45
4. Micah Teal, St. Francis, 11.42
5. Sean Noda, Kaimuki, 10.86
6. Makaila Haina-Horswill, Nanakuli, 10.00
7. Terell Johnson, Kalaheo, 9.48
8. Storm Lotomau, Iolani, 8.90
9. Abiel Taito, Campbell, 8.20
10. Kesi Ah-Hoy, Kahuku, 8.00
10. KJ Pascua, Iolani, 8.00