Mililani limits Kahuku to lowest output in OIA since 2014

Kahuku fullback Toalei Lefau was brought down by Mililani linebacker Darius Muasau. Photo by George F. Lee/

The roller coaster doesn’t end for the Kahuku Red Raiders.

For Mililani, the blend of experimental laboratory and tough-nosed fundamentals continue well into Coach Rod York’s ninth season.

Kahuku’s 27-7 loss to Mililani in the OIA Open championship game on Friday night at Aloha Stadium was, in many ways, a sequel to the first meeting between the teams. In their first matchup, Mililani prevailed 38-10 on Kahuku’s homecoming despite muddy terrain and the home team’s 51-game win streak at Carleton Weimer Field.

This time, Kahuku’s defense came up with two turnovers, but was stonewalled on the ground for much of the night. Up and down, up and down. The seven-point output is the lowest of the season for Kahuku, which scored 14 points against Saint Louis. No Hawaii team had limited Big Red to 7 points or less since Oct. 31, 2014.

That’s when — guess who? — Mililani won at Kahuku, 20-7. During the same stretch, only two other teams have held Kahuku to seven points: Bishop Gorman (Nev.) in ’16 and Bingham (Utah) in ’17.

Now the Red Raiders enter the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships with a semifinal matchup against No. 1 Saint Louis.

“Now we know who we’ll prepare for — the best team in the state,” Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho said, referring to No. 1 Saint Louis. “It came down to big plays. Mililani made four and we made one. We’ve got to be able to sustain drives.”

Kahuku’s defense brought the heat on Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel, but he was simply unbreakable. He was in the grasp of a Kahuku pass rusher outside the pocket, but still unleashed a long pass that turned into a 67-yard touchdown to Ryan Chang.

“We brought pressure on Gabriel, but we had broken coverages,” Carvalho said.

Gabriel, the senior who broke the state career passing yardage record last month, was composed. His counterpart, Kahuku junior Robbie Sauvao, showed enough awareness in the pocket to extend a few plays, but was on the run for most of the night. Mililani’s defense was relentless against Kahuku’s pistol and pistol “deluxe” formations. Any semblance of a Kahuku option game was disassembled early by Mililani’s front seven, including defensive lineman Mykah Tuiolemotu. The 5-foot-10, 215-pound stopper was simply too quick.

“Mykah, to me, should be player of the year, but people want to look at his size, not his heart,” York said. “His leadership, he inspires the whole team. He’s a vocal leader in the locker room and he controls the team, to be honest. He’s humble. He’s, honestly, like a coach. A leader, a captain. When he speaks, the team listens.”

Was it the best defensive performance of the season by Mililani? Probably. The Trojans certainly had plenty of discipline and excellent positioning. Mililani’s biggest defensive play of the first half came on a sack by Tuiolemotu, and after linebacker Darius Muasau forced a fumble, defensive end Shane Kady came up with the ball.

Kahuku snatched interceptions in that sequence, getting picks by Frisco Aveau and Joseph Taufa, but Gabriel struck gold. He found Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi on a 29-yard TD pass and moments later Kady came up with a sack of Sauvao. That led to a third Mililani TD late in the first half. The Red Raiders never recovered.

“When Mililani got to Robbie early, his eyes went down instead of him making his reads,” Carvalho said. “We’ll head back to the drawing board.”


  1. Koko B Ware November 4, 2018 9:39 pm

    @Robocop, that is a great movie. Just like Back to the Future! Aloha!

  2. Koko B Ware November 4, 2018 9:44 pm

    There are numerous public schools that dominate their divisions over private schools with more money. Why you might ask? I don’t know the reason. But if I had to make an educated guess, I bet they are not on newspaper blogs crying and making excuses.

    I never seen anything so sad. Instead of being happy that their kids and other kids are being active, staying out of trouble, being a part of a team, some people have to insult and try to take away the great things many kids accomplish.

    You must have a sad life to insult kids and what they are doing.

  3. notes November 4, 2018 9:58 pm

    it’s so weird how Education First full on just took my user name and did a bunch of idiot posts about separating the leagues and making the prep bowl. mr. punahou out here trying to make me look bad

  4. Robocop November 4, 2018 11:21 pm

    All this talk about ILH teams being unfair is silly. The OOA didn’t even count the inter league games in the OIA standings. So it really doesn’t matter if Kahuku beat Punahou or if Punahou beat Mililani. It is just a game for them to play.

    If the Bosco game was good for Mililani to learn and compete with a team at that level, then how is it bad for OIA teams to play against ILH teams? Everyone gets more experience, everyone plays against teams at different levels. It’s ok for Kahuku to steamroll Waianae but when St Louis does it then the inter league games were a bad idea?

    Again, inter league games did not count towards OIA standings. Only OIA teams can knock each other out of play off contention. So why is this such a big deal. It’s such a big deal that a few people come here and make multiple names to complain and agree with themselves.

  5. notes November 5, 2018 12:13 am

    Hey Robocop, its a big deal because 100’s of thousands of dollars of scholarship money are on the table waiting to be offered to the best performing athletes.

    An average Linebacker can play at Nanakuli and not be offered because he is on a bad team, that same LB can transfer to STL to play behind Tuitele and other stud Dlinemen and all of a sudden his job becomes easier, his stats increase and now he is an allstar. That is why parents are willing to pay tuition to play with 5 star players like Tuitele in the ILH, and Cal lee is willing to recruit/sponsor a few 5 star athletes like Tuitele into their school.

    STL and PUN have the same agenda and that is to attract paying families, cant do that if you are not winning and if you dont have 1, 2 or more highly rated studs. Build it and they will come.

    Notice that for the past 30 years, the last two teams playing for the title are the ones with the most college offered players. Some players dont get offered till the semifinals and finals. That is why the ILH want their 2 teams in the Open tourney. They want all the food on the table.

    The OIA athletes get screwed in every way and from every angle, im being vocal to protect my alma mater Kahuku. The Kahuku kids that play in the ILH are usually those 3-4 star studs and they usually get those financial packages. They are the ones used as a crutch to boost up their PUN/STL teammates. Thats great and all id much rather see them stay at Kahuku and be a crutch to their childhood friends and family and helping the average Kahuku player get a scholarship.

    Watch, if Mililani make it to the finals which they should, atleast 1 or 2 kids that were under the radar will get an offer and I bet Gabriel will get an offer from a power conference. Making it to the title game is everything and that is all that matters.

  6. Robocop November 5, 2018 6:06 am

    If the player is that deserving of a D1 scholarship they will find them. That’s the scouts job. Look at Alualu from Moanalua and Paama from Kaimuki.

    Again I’ll say, just because a player is from kahuku and goes to a private school, that does not mean if they didn’t go to a private school they would end up at kahuku. They could transfer to any OIA school on the island.

    You are not arguing in the favor of the players themselves. If you were, you wouldn’t put the players down just because they attend a private school. You are salty because your team is losing and
    You are looking at this in the most selfish way possible. You want to win but your team is having a down season, which is still a good season by most standards. But instead you come on here every single day and cry and complain about recruiting and the ILH and everything in between.

    You crying about making it to a title game buy this is the first year in like 3 or 4 years that your team may not make it. So you cry and complain every day on very article. You talk about standing up for OIA athletes but I bet you had no problem when kahuku was smashing teams like Farrington and Kapolei by 40 points and injuring their players.

    People like you try and look like you are looking out for the kids when it’s very obvious you just miss being able to talk trash and say things like “ILH is weak” or “ILH teams are soft” Your team is losing and you are grasping at every excuse you can find

  7. Koko B Ware November 5, 2018 7:06 pm

    Man this guy is sad. He just cries and cries. I kinda feel sorry for him.

  8. FBF... November 6, 2018 3:28 am

    So are you saying St.Louis linebackers are average and only better cause of the 3 upfront ? Your crazy they would be studs at any school . The whole state are loaded with next level talent , don’t matter who plays in front , in the middle or behind scouts find them . stop bashing ILH schools you should be proud of all are local kids !!

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