One glance at the Mililani offensive line in pregame warmups set off a little bit of an alarm for Farrington coach Randall Okimoto on Friday night.
“I was concerned, looking at that offensive line, especially,” Okimoto said after the fourth-ranked Trojans stopped his sixth-ranked Governors 42-6 at Skippa Diaz Stadium. “I saw those names. I recognize those names — (Ikaika) Lafaele, (Noah) Williams. I played with Williams’ dad. We had a Lafaele over here. You see them and you know it’s going to be a good challenge.”
That cohesive Trojans offensive line was instrumental in the win, helping Mililani outgain Farrington 381-145 in total yardage.
“One through 10,” Mililani junior quarterback Dillon Gabriel said proudly about the starters and backups up front. “We’ve got some depth this year.”
Gabriel threw for 263 yards, including 158 and three touchdowns to Ryan Chang. Gabriel also scored on a 15-yard keeper.
Afterward, the son of former University of Hawaii star Darryl Gabriel talked about Chang’s speed, and Trojans coach Rod York talked about the success of all of his players at executing the game plan.
And it wasn’t like Okimoto didn’t have a clue at what hit him and the Govs.
“Precise route-running and accurate passing,” he said. “And coach York does a good job with his offensive system and controlling the game. We haven’t faced a caliber quarterback and receivers like that. Maybe the receivers, but maybe not the QB. When you put them together like this, it’s something we haven’t faced.”
Farrington didn’t let Mililani running back Kilifi Malepeai break away, but the big Trojan still gained 42 yards and scored one of the team’s three rushing touchdowns. Just the fact that they had to figure out a way to stop him as well as Darius Muasau (32 yards and a TD on five carries) gave more room for that dangerous Trojans passing game.
The final result comes as a bit of a surprise, since both teams are solidly in the Top 10 and fans may have been looking for a close-to-the-vest game. Earlier in the season, Farrington’s defense held down then-No. 5 Kapolei in a 28-7 home win Aug. 26 and followed up by blanking then-No. 6 Kailua in a 3-0 road victory Sept. 1.
But Mililani’s offense is a different animal.
“A different animal, yes,” Okimoto said.
York is a master of taking what openings you give him, and, whenever he’s asked by the media about what makes his offense tick, he doesn’t try to hide the fact that that is exactly what he’s trying to do (and usually succeeding).
So, is there a defensive coordinator out there who can successfully not leave an opening that the Trojans can exploit? That’s a good question that will eventually be answered as the season progresses.
This different-animal Mililani offense is much more in sync than it was last year. What’s more, the Trojans’ defense is supremely better than last year, too.
“We’re not going to get complacent and say our offense is great,” Gabriel said. “At the end of the season, we can start talking about that, maybe. Right now, the focus is keep producing. And if our defense plays lockdown defense like they did tonight, it will be good.”
The Trojans (5-0, 4-0 Oahu Interscholastic Association Red) have won nine games in a row, dating back to last season. They visit Kapolei on Friday.
The Governors (3-3, 3-2) host Castle on Saturday.
“After the game, I asked the boys how we responded after the Campbell loss (26-20 on Aug. 11),” Okimoto said. ” ‘We bounced back,’ they said. All the guys showed up the next day for practice. It’s (losing to Mililani) one of those things, you gotta experience it for you to get better.”