No. 4 Mililani orchestrates an eye-opening victory

Mililani is No. 3 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10 and No. 149 in the MaxPreps national computer rankings for the state of Hawaii. In photo, Mililani's Ryan Chang turns it upfield after catching a pass in a Sept. 8 victory over Farrington. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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.”


  1. Bradah D September 9, 2017 7:25 am

    Way to go TROJANS!!! Keep grinding it out!!

  2. Knation September 9, 2017 8:00 am

    As I said the best offense in the state!!! Can’t wait to see them against kapolei defense

  3. NOkimoto September 9, 2017 8:22 am

    Farrington always hits a low ceiling. Good enough to make playoffs. Not good enough to even come close to states or an OIA championship. Kalihi community deserves better

  4. Douglas Hu September 9, 2017 9:28 am

    Mililani has a very good offense…St. Louis, Punahou and maybe even Hilo could also say their offenses are the best in the state…I do think that Coach York and his staff could very well be the best in the state, though…the best evaluators of talent and utilization…that Vegas kid who transferred from St. Louis…was basically flushed out over there and not because those kids are better…he made a decision to leave and I don’t blame him…at St. Louis, a few of the players are promised playing time without having to earn it…this is no secret…at Mililani, those coaches will play the best 11 football players for football reasons only and nothing else…

  5. Alpha September 9, 2017 10:00 am

    @Douglas Hu. . . I agree about Mililani’s offense, I was expecting another Malepeai show but it became the R. Chang show and the game was over early. Prime example of take what the D gives you. . . Defense wins Championship and that’s going to be the difference in states. . .

  6. M.Nevaeh September 9, 2017 11:01 am

    Farrington needs to get rid of their head coach. They need to learn to Rotate players. Your team is dying to play but they never do and that is why your players are tired. You have more than 22 players
    Okimoto is getting PAID to loose games he don’t care about the big W.

  7. Douglas Hu September 9, 2017 11:56 am

    Alpha….yes, I think it will come down to defense…so far, Mililani hasn’t played anyone with a potent offense (don’t know much about the mainland team they played)….but that Malepeai kid (Tasi) and Tuiolemotu seems to be tone setters on that D…Coach Silila Malepeai has been doing wonders out there for several years….their D will always be tough…we’ll see as the season goes..

  8. September 9, 2017 12:54 pm

    neva seen a coach so hapy for a lose okimo gotta go

  9. NOkimoto September 9, 2017 2:44 pm

    How long does the Kalihi community have to put up with okimoto’s losing ways? We’re tired of showing up to games only to see him give away games from poor coaching and game planning. Coach Skippa Diaz must be rolling over in his grave. NOKIMOTO MUST GO!


  10. phILHarmonic September 14, 2017 2:30 pm

    just for the sake of conversation, who would Kalihi peeps consider as candidates for Head Coach at Farrington?

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