Mililani looks to jump-start offense for states

Mililani players saluted their fans after singing the alma mater following a 7-3 loss to Kahuku in the OIA title game Saturday night. Photo by Brian McInnis/Star-Advertiser.

Any moments of offensive rhythm between Mililani and Kahuku on Saturday night were like visits from a long-lost friend who couldn’t stay around to chat and catch up.

Kahuku got the better of a rock fight at Aloha Stadium, prevailing 7-3 to claim its 27th OIA championship and deny Mililani a repeat Open Division title and a fifth overall under coach Rod York.

The night started for Mililani with a clanged field-goal attempt off the left upright and didn’t get much better from there. The Trojans finished with 100 yards of offense.

The deciding play came on Kelsyn Tangaro-Kanoa’s 93-yard kickoff-return touchdown following Kaulana Navares’ 24-yard field goal giving Mililani a very brief lead with 5:37 left in the game.

It was quite a bit different outcome than a 32-0 home win over the Red Raiders way back on Aug. 16, the second game of the season.

“Well, first time was great plays, defense and special teams made great plays. Today, (Kahuku) did good on that kickoff return and we let that one go,” York said. “But everything is on me, the head coach. I’ve gotta get our boys better prepared. Credit Kahuku, man. They deserve it. They had the better team tonight. They played great defense and great special teams, and they did enough on offense. And we left our defense on the field too long.

“We just couldn’t get too much going ’til that last quarter.”

Unfortunately for the Trojans, the offensive struggles seen Saturday were nothing new.

In their last four games, the Trojans had a 21-0 win over Kapolei in which they did not score in the first half; a 3-0 loss to Punahou, the first time they’d been shut out since 2000, a span of 213 games; a reprieve from the struggles in a 34-7 OIA semifinal win over Farrington; and Saturday night’s slugfest.

Against the Red Raiders, Mililani was held to 30 yards on the ground and 70 yards in the air. That couldn’t get it done, though Kahuku was held to a similar total. Quarterback Brendyn Agbayani went 11-for-27 for those 70 yards and tossed an interception to Kahuku’s Kaonohi Kaniho.

York was asked of Kahuku threw a new defensive scheme at his team.

“No, no, no, they just played sound defense, you know?” he said. “When we had the throws, we hit them, but we didn’t hit all of them. I mean, shoot … we had plays in spurts. We tried to feed off of our defense. Our defense did their job, we had a lot of turnovers (gained), but we just couldn’t move the ball on that defense. Credit their defensive staff and their special teams coming through.”

The good news for Mililani is it has quite a bit of time to figure out how to put points back on the board. It won’t play in the HHSAA tournament until Nov. 22 against either Punahou or Saint Louis.


  1. Alpha October 27, 2019 11:11 am

    No running game, no offense.

  2. Real - Recognize Real October 27, 2019 1:09 pm

    Can’t have a run game without a throw game and can’t have a throw game without a run game! Mililani run game is good! Defense is best in the state! Everyone in the state knows they can’t throw to win a game so – playing against them for any defense is simple! Play calling is also terrible! Mililani Coaches need to humble themselves because there walking around like there good! No strategy or adjustment at all! There run game and defense got them this far! I hear they have a better QB on the JV but due to politics they won’t bring him up??? Hmmmm….

  3. HailFromDaNorth October 27, 2019 8:15 pm

    They had RJ Javar! Who took their JV team into KAHUKU and won a JV championship! That kid is a gamer. And unfortunately he was told that he wouldn’t have gotten the start at Mililani. Now look at him at Moanalua! But also yes the play calling was horrible, no adjustments always just looking for Gibson. Kai Banks and evening mystic Sampaga are awesome receivers! Sampaga was an impact player as a freshman or sophomore, now you don’t even hear his name called. Rod was gifted with 2 talented QB’s while he was there. He don’t know how to coach a kid up to where he needs to be. High expectations and sorry rod York couldnt deliever.

  4. Lou October 27, 2019 10:17 pm

    Listen closely. St.Louis will beat Punahou. I hope Punahou forces St.Louis to play 2 games, but they won’t lose 2 games. Then St.Louis plays Mililani. Mililani got exposed by Punahou and Kahuku with 0 touchdowns. No way Mililani beats St.Louis even if York recruits 10 more players. Kahuku vs.Campbell. after 2 games with a combined 81-7, no way Campbell stops Kahuku”s ground and pound. Folks let’s just meet up for the St.Louis vs. Kahuku EPIC BATTLES.

  5. To da hale October 27, 2019 11:10 pm

    It’ll be one sided unless you referring to epic as in “epic blowout “.

    Unfortunately, kahuku not as strong as their past championship teams when they could just win by being predominantly a one dimensional team on O.

    Plus, they’ll have a difficult time stopping StL’s dynamic passing attack.

    Drop 7 or 8 then Delaura will pick them apart if given ample time. Load the box and bring the house, they will kill you with the short routes as Delaura will get rid of it fast. Zion will need to be able to put pressure on Delaura and make him uncomfortable in the pocket forcing them to make mistakes.

    But still looking forward to a great final game of the season.

    Just my $0.02…

  6. Busta October 28, 2019 8:00 am

    Lets givum somting to talk about

  7. The School on Kalihi Hill October 28, 2019 10:13 am

    IDK about jump start, it really shows without a dillon gabriel and a mckenzie milton the OC has no clue what to do. IDK why coach york didnt fire his OC weeks ago. The trojans offense is pathetic. Thinking they can go head up with Kahuku trying to pound the ball. SMH. Its like nobody is teaching the QB anything. He literally just throws the ball up in the air, now, is it he qb’s fault? idk , id rather put the blame on the OC because he calls plays that just dont make sense. On top of that , coach york needs to better manage the game. using all his timeouts in the first quarter seems to be the trend everygame and it hurts them big in crucial situations. Another note is, why wasnt that alcover kid not running the ball from the start? That kid is explosive , big difference with him in there. As far as the D goes, Vince Nihipali is doing a hell of a job. I know vince personally in the football world. That defense is tenacious. I just dont see the trojans having any chance against the crusaders, its going to be lopsided as well as the state championship game, that too wiill be a lopsided game which would probably be Kahuku, i just dont see campbell beating them. With that said, Saint Louis will win it 4 years in a row. hands down

  8. Get Real October 28, 2019 11:28 am

    Real -Recognize Real, if our JV QB was really better then Agbayani, don’t you think he would have played vars from the start of Rod realizing that??? Obviously you don’t know Rod York because we all know this guy takes pride in his program and wants to win at all cost… period!!! You can’t be a JV QB and throw 3 picks in a championship game I claim he is better then who we have at vars now… think about that.

  9. Get Real October 28, 2019 11:31 am

    Sorry, meant to say “and” claim.

  10. Mills on Wheels October 28, 2019 12:18 pm

    Get Real – good point, I was thinking the same thing. I just think someone needs to seriously work with Agbayani and we stand behind this kid. My son is a junior at Mills, and heard a rumor they might actually have another QB coming in next year… anybody know about this????????

  11. Set it Straight October 28, 2019 1:16 pm

    Real – Recognize Real – I think there was miscommunication with whoever told you we have a better QB at jV level and because of politics he didn’t get pulled up. What this person probably meant to tell you was we “HAD” a better qb at jv level last year in ”Javar” but because of politics he ended up leaving to Moanalua. We screwed up that one for sure!!!!

  12. Top of the Mauka October 28, 2019 1:38 pm

    I believe agbayani is a good passer sitting in the pocket. But i think the teachings , i think the plays calling doesnt put the kid in good positions, making the kid look bad. I feel for the kid, i feel like hes forcing the throws where he isnt supposed to maybe based on the play, idk, but thats from a fan in the stands point of view. I think the kid would be great if taught well, doesnt he work with joe lane or Vinnie Passos? But then again , Joe Lane and Vinnie Passos is not calling the plays. Also , the recievers doesnt help out at all, lots of dropped balls in crucial moments. Agbayani will be better next year, i truely believe that.

  13. Yezzir October 28, 2019 1:42 pm

    First of all York has had 4 qbs under him since he started and he did a hell of a job with ALL of them. I honestly wish we went with RJ. Feel he would’ve done GREAT but I’ve been supporting Agbayani since that’s our guy. Not sure if a lot of you realize York built this program and it is where it is because of him I think Ppl forget where this program was before. Laughable when ppl suggest he get gone LOL. The whole thing will crumble.

    Brendyn is struggling and I’ve been supporting him but this last game was HORRIBLE. First time I felt he ain’t it. O line was blocking. Receivers got open and he cont to over throw every single ball. Should’ve tried the second string kid. Still hope he can get better. But also would’nt oppose others trying for QB. Hoohuli I heard played QB as well. I believe everyone can get better and work on their talent maybe he will surprise us.

    And don’t hate on our JV QB. JV dominated every game since he started. And this was against a very talented Kahuku JV defense. End of the day, Mililani JV won their championship so let’s not down that QB.

  14. Get Real October 28, 2019 3:59 pm

    Yezzir – whoa, I’m a big supporter and alum of Mililani, nobody hating on our JV Qb, I was stating fact, and something to think about. It sounds like you know a lot about How Rod York runs his program, so you know I make a valid statement on why our JV qb didn’t come up. I personally don’t think he would be ready and I been to every game. Maybe next year or the following he’ll be ready to take over, and If he is ready, I’d be right there supporting him. At this moment though, I agree with others that Agbayani is actually good, and we should stand by him because really, he’s the best we got right now.

  15. Hmmmm??? October 28, 2019 4:14 pm

    Yezzir – sounds like you hating on Agbayani??? Are you the one that told “Real – Recognize Real” that our JV Qb is better??? Haha… is our JV QB your son or nephew???? Hhmmmm🤔🤔😂.

    Let’s jus support whoever Rod York decides on playing at QB and shock the state on our next game… I believe!!!!!!

  16. HailFromDaNorth October 28, 2019 10:53 pm

    Bianco might transfer? Been hearing some stuff. With Keahi Graham being a stud the playing time for both these guys might be up in the air. They gonna have to battle to take the starting job at Saint Louis.

  17. Bird’sEyeView October 29, 2019 8:41 am

    This championship game is a sad testament of how self-serving adult politics and the quest for the big “W” continues to plague our student athletes. Student transfers (no matter what school) continue to dishearten the faithful and discourage the new. The usual “Parental Huis” are disappointed as they watch their kid with little to no playing time despite promises of greatness; while others are forced to transfer out only to win championships. Ironic, isn’t it? While the adults of the world now debate over this & that, playing the could of, should of, would of, back to the drawing board for next season game, —the c/o 2019 Seniors walk away with a Loss that they Will Remember Forever!! Reminds me of an old Samoan saying, goes something like this- “ e ai e makua le vige moko, ae magiagia ai nifo a le fanau”… Best of luck to all our student athletes, and God Bless You All…Go Trojans!

  18. Bird’sEyeView October 29, 2019 8:46 am

    Sorry meant C/o 2020…oops! Wrong year, c/o 2019 DOMINATED WITH IT’s OWN !!!

  19. Reality Checked October 29, 2019 10:45 am

    Agree with ” HailFromDaNorth” Why does York feel the need to go out and recruit. He has DEVOTED, DIE-HARD, QUALITY players that are dying to play. Why keep throwing to Gibson with all the talent that you have? You have receivers wide in the open and you throw to Gibson. We all see that. I see looking at the stats, Gibson is the only receiver that Mililani has on the standings. SMH… We can all support Agbayani but if he’s not doing it, there needs to be a plan B. I KNOW that Mililani has players with experience for QB that can do better when Agbayani is down. QB constantly over throwing and just throwing the ball away. He obviously looked shaken up. The O line keeps looking at the sidelines waiting for the calls & causing delay of game penalties. SMH again. This game was embarrassingly terrible & York make no adjustments. Props to the defense. They were awesome, but they were on the field way to long. York swallow your pride, get your Die-Hard players back in the game and work on another QB. You have 3 weeks to make your adjustments. Any change is better than none.

  20. School on the Hill October 29, 2019 12:55 pm

    @reality check
    your right, not sure why the other running back alcover wasnt getting touches early in the game. Instead you wait till 4th quarter to put him in, with a big difference in running the ball and moving the chains, at the point of the game , its too late. Personal on the Mililani team is just hard to understand. There are kids out there that should be playing more. I wouldve tried my second QB going into the second half just to see if there would be some spark for the offense, the D was playing well so i wouldve tried that route. Seriously, the mililani staff just looked so un organized. The running back #9 got hurt from a silly play that anybody couldve sniffed out before the ball was even snapped which got the kid injured. Terrible.

  21. Reality Checked October 29, 2019 1:35 pm

    So on that play that #9 was QB, I’m guessing that Agbayani was suppose to throw it back to #9 because he was looking that way, but when he saw #9 went down he froze and didn’t know what to do. I’m not hating on Agbayani but York needs to make adjustment before someone gets seriously injured.

  22. Alpha October 29, 2019 3:04 pm

    @Real, Mililani run game is not good. During Yorks tenure at Mililani his rb’s except for V. Malepeai have been underrated as to how valuable they are to the offense. Mililani has had stable of rb’s comparable to Kahuku and Farrington. This years group could have been just as good with Motoyama, Alcover and Sam.

  23. SouthSide4Lyfe October 29, 2019 4:41 pm

    @ school in the hill –
    You are right! York calling that play that injured #9 was just more solid proof of how he has no idea about play calling! And the last couple of years with his great QBs – they must of had some influence on the calls! York was just exposed! Mililani started off the season as the team to beat! And due to Pride, Power Trips, etc York has let his team down! So sad! He’s been a coach for many years! He knows what he’s doing! Leaving Agbayani in all the time even after ALL the mistakes and mis-reads! That is unacceptable! Somethings going on over there! He’s making his whole Offensive look junk! The Line is actually good! The running backs are very good and complement each other. Receivers got hands. They don’t trust the QB and it shows! It’s sad! Wake up York!

  24. Saviors October 29, 2019 6:04 pm

    Rod York if you listening, please go and get freshmen QB sensation at punahou… Guarantee we winnin next 3 years!!! Actually the next 5yrs cause his brother can step in when John graduates… can I get an “AMEN!!!” Well alrighty then, lets go gettum Rod!!!😂😂😂

  25. ILH October 30, 2019 10:28 am

    Is there a viable option to replace the #1?

    I mean. They won the games they supposed to win and struggled in the games that were considered tough games. Isnt that normal??

    Lost to Bosco, Saints, Puns and now RR’s. Thats a tough list. puns by 3 and now rr’s by 4.
    Beat RR’s 1st time around and beat that team from Utah which the offense did well.

    My point, is there an option on the team that gives them a better chance in beating the tough teams?
    Maybe the coach doesnt think so, so they stick with the #1. IDK.

    Sound like a lot of salty daddy’s on here.

    I hear a lot of, “my son could do better at “insert school here” if I moved him but he wants to be loyal to his boys so I left him, but if this chet dont improve, im moving him next year”. Go for it. Unless its St. Louis or Kahuku it aint better.

    Btw, how does a coaches play calling hurt a kid? huh?

  26. King of the Hill October 30, 2019 2:55 pm

    Mililani’s offense been playing poorly all season long. Imagine if they had at least a descent offense/QB, bosco game couldve been closer, saints game would have been closer, Punahou and Kahuku game mililani probably wins by 3 touchdowns. Thats what im saying and i believe thats a fact with the defense the trojans has. Anybody else agree?

  27. Coach C October 30, 2019 8:20 pm

    Lol,king of the hill, woulda win against Punahou and Kahuku, if this and that was in place?? Dude, it’s the end of the season. This and dat, should have been in place by now.

  28. Coach C October 30, 2019 8:26 pm

    King, look, York sent Javar to Moanalua who took Moanalua to D1 champs. Javar played at Mill since 9th. Yeah he small but he ball. Why? Agbayani get the famous name. Favors? York probably doing reverse kicks now.

  29. Hill October 31, 2019 7:14 am

    all you Kahuku people out there, Enjoy these next 3-4 weeks, when the time comes , Saint Louis will embarrass you and make you hate them more than you already do . Then here comes the “Recruit , Recruit, home grown, ddaadaddadadddadda lol smh at these clowns.

  30. Reality Check October 31, 2019 8:11 am

    @Coach C I agree. Like I said “Why recruit when you have the quality players already there” Agbayani “a friend’s son” SMH… You had a tough O line the last few years and most of them are still here. Why change ?? Theses boys has been working so hard and they are all forgotten by you. York look in your own back yard everyone is watching you. So sad when Politics is involved . And NO my son is not on the team just a dedicated fan…..

  31. ILH October 31, 2019 8:17 am

    Open and D1 is a completely different animal.
    It was a great decision on his part to go to Div. 1.

    Hill King-

  32. Mililani Community October 31, 2019 8:36 am

    sat behind the Mililani bench this past week. Its crazy how the Mililani coaching staff talks to the kids. I was very disappointed with the swearing and the comments made to the kids, very un professional from the coaching staff. I dont know how they get away with it, never seen a coach or should i say coaches talking to the kids like that. Im pretty sure i wasnt the only who heard it , whoever was sitting right behind the bench could hear everything from a distance. Then a parent came down , and there was some kind of conflict going on , not sure what was said but it was crazy. Mililani, keep your heads up, Give credit to both teams, Kahuku and Mililani, who played a very tight battle with defensive stands,Kahuku made one play more which turned out to be the outcome of the game.

  33. ??? October 31, 2019 9:39 am

    YES !!! I agree with u about Open div. is different animal but Mililani offense is better with RJ Javar than Agbayani…Mililani Oline is better than Moanalua but they still can move and score.

  34. HailFromDaNorth November 1, 2019 3:12 am

    @Mililani Community the staff gets away with it because the AD and the principle allow it. Mililani sold out to winning at all cost. They’re not giving these Mililani home grown kids a opportunity to play. It’s a public school, but somehow they got all these transfers in? Lol it’s crazy. I think since the community don’t really care about football too they allow it to happen, but I heard some Mililani families complain about recruiting. Sad

  35. Waipio Valley November 1, 2019 8:06 am

    The AD is making that money. Of course hes not going to do anything. everyfootball game at the high school is jammed pack. AD taking a little extra on the side so why would he want to get rid of that guy? Its taking money from his pocket if he does that lol. I got family whos son plays for mililani, heard he tells the kids point blank that they sh…y. And even to his own coaches. Dont get me wrong, i believe york is a good coach, but behind closed doors its crazy according to sources.

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