No. 3 Trojans overcome adversity to win thriller

Mililani defensive lineman Seth Ebesugawa sacked and forced a fumble by Kamehameha quarterback Christmas Togiai in the final minute to preserve the Trojans' 31-24 win. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

One by one, the Trojans of Mililani went down.

With powerful running back Kilifi Malepeai already out with an injury, they entered Saturday night’s epic battle with Kamehameha at less than full strength. But shortly into the game, defensive tackle/running back Mykah Tuiolemotu suffered a leg injury. Later, it was receiver/kick returner Reichel Vegas who got hurt. Then receiver/punter Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi limped off the field.

Linebacker Darius Muasau had returned from an ankle injury in time for the game. Mililani built a 24-3 lead, then hung on to dear life for a 31-24 victory over the sixth-ranked Warriors at John Kauinana Stadium.

“In this rain, it was really tough getting off the blocks. We started getting tired. Mykah is a big loss, especially on our D-line. We weren’t getting penetration. We had a lot of players stepping in,” Muasau said.

The visiting Warriors roared back to tie the game at 24, but the Trojans didn’t fade. When Kamehameha went to work for the potential game-tying — or winning — drive, Mother Nature took command with a torrential downpour. Somehow, running back Laakea Ane could see through the pouring rain, making a clutch 14-yard pass to give Kamehameha a first down at the 15.

Then, one snap later, Christmas Togiai shuffled away from the pass rush, launching a spiral in the sky that nobody could see clearly. The ball caromed off the hands and helmet of his tight end, Brook Ai, who was wide open in the middle of the end zone.

“I was kind of scared. I thought he was going to catch the ball,” Muasau said. “It was a relief.”

But the game far from over. Mililani brought heat on the next play and defensive lineman Seth Ebesugawa corralled the elusive Togiai, who tried to lateral the ball. Trojans defensive back McKenna Alcover recovered at the 25-yard line with 22 seconds left, preserving the win.

The downpour continued for several minutes after the game, but within 30 minutes, all was calm again. Not a single drop from the sky.

Mililani is now 3-0 overall, but still 1-0 in OIA Open Division since interleague games don’t count in the OIA standings. They did it with their trademark explosive offense, and came through defensively despite the absence of key players like Tuiolemotu.

Quarterback Dillon Gabriel came up with 304 yards and four TDs through the air. He wasn’t satisfied with his overall performance, but even as a player, Gabriel feels the electricity of the OIA-ILH alliance.

“That game was crazy fun,” he said. “Seeing the ILH and OIA going at it is just a great atmosphere.”

Mililani receiver Reichel Vegas broke away for a big gain before leaving Saturday’s game against Kamehameha with an injury. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.


  1. Hawaii born August 19, 2018 7:02 am

    They gonna get smashed by st.louis playing like much mistakes by kamehameha that allowed millilani to win.. st.louis wont make those mistakes…what a exciting season it is

  2. TooMeke August 19, 2018 8:05 am

    lol…St LuLu fans gotta come on a game that has nothing to do with them and post their wishful thinking…

    Makes sense…cuz St LuLu is the “mighty” ILH’s ONLY hope of winning States… Whereas OIA has both Kahuku and Millz…and make no mistake, Millz will be in the mix come time for States…

    St LuLu the only undefeated left from ILH…LMAOOOOOOOOOO…


  3. anywaaaays!! August 19, 2018 8:25 am

    LOL this goes to show what an overrated and SOFT league the ILH is. soft leagues with soft teams. Kam schools with all their money and recruiting couldnt’ even beat an undermanned mililani team and then you have saint lulu fans coming in trying to downplay milz in order to make their SOFT and WEAK league look better. It just goes to show that all the recruiting in the world can’t beat homegrown talent. RRFL!

  4. anywaaaays!! August 19, 2018 8:33 am

    Pretty soon you’re gonna have ILH fan boys and all the media in service to the ILH agenda whining and saying if it didn’t rain then Kam woudl’ve won. Well if the ILH didn’t recruit, then maybe the playing field would be more even top to bottom in the OIA. But that’s okay because like every year, Big Red is gonna show everyone how football is played. none of this soft weak football we’ve been seeing every week.


  5. Hawaii born August 19, 2018 8:43 am

    Lol I’m from kahuku but I’m not biased to one team I’m just looking ahead at the next games but you cry babies just wanna cry lol if millilani played punahou next week I’d say the same thing…my family been going to kahuku longer then most people in this community from my great great grandparents working the sugar mill from before there was a school

  6. ToppDoggs August 19, 2018 11:53 am

    Both teams gave great effort but St. Louis is on another level, I don’t see STL losing this year.

  7. Robert k. Hall August 19, 2018 11:55 am

    Lol if you think mills and kahuku dont recruit then you guys have no clue what’s going on! Anyways start using your real name! SL!

  8. Choloropicrin August 19, 2018 12:05 pm

    Kamehameha played a very physical game last night. Goes to show that the game counted for them in their standings, whereas Mililani was trying to get outta the injury free and not show their whole play book. Imo the open games should count for the OIA teams too, still doesn’t make sense.

  9. HAUULA93 August 19, 2018 12:08 pm

    I’m from Kahuku and I see no recruiting going on at Kamehameha… Remember, you gotta be Hawaiian to get in this school, #2 pass a test you can’t even pass,#3 Then pass a interview on why you want to go to Kamehameha… So to annnnyyyy noooo way you from Kahuku… Bite this… I see my sons work and braddah I’m glad he goes to Kamehameha, because football will be only for a few good individual and I know my son will be making way more $$$ than you… Now that the truth… THE TRUE RRFL…

  10. Coach C August 19, 2018 12:13 pm

    Man, with the hitting and injuries, you gotta have a 90+roster to survive in the open. That and $$$, trainers,coaches,staff,bus,etc.etc.etc. Both Friday and Saturday games seen multiple injuries. Anybody know what the post OIA brackets look like? If I was in the post OIA and played my last regular game against ILH, yup I would rest my weary.

  11. Choloropicrin August 19, 2018 12:29 pm

    Coach C – Yeap, I would rest my players too if my team was already in the OIA postseason semis. I don’t know why these crossover games don’t count for the OIA.

  12. FootballJUDGE August 19, 2018 1:06 pm

    All Oahu OIA (mililani) Just as bad as All Oahu ILH (St Louis) – how much of your top player come from your community? Ha? Guarante the backups from millilani LOL, sad for the kids & families there!

  13. Awrite!! August 19, 2018 1:16 pm

    Injuries are more worse in the open division because now you have big boys hitting big boys. B4 when its a Kahuku vs. Aiea the little guys dont come running so hard to stop the bigger guys and that prevents injuries. This alliance was a bad idea for so many reasons but it was just a step toward Cal Lee and the ILH controlling Hawaii High school football and continuing to use the OIA as punching bags.

    ps. Anywaaaayays! is from Punahou he used to be Education First from last year.

  14. Knation August 19, 2018 1:38 pm

    Anywaaays is education first!!! He’s been trolling ever since punahou lost to kahuku. Not he wants to start trouble for kahuku

  15. Choloropicrin August 19, 2018 2:18 pm

    JPS is Mililani’s feeder system. Seems like alot of kids from JPS that don’t go ILH go to Mililani (and now campbell) I think Coach York is like a director of JPS and if you noticed they have ‘JPS’ on their jerseys last night, conflict of interest, no?

  16. Imua2012 August 19, 2018 2:24 pm

    Overall good effort by both teams. Abu blew it for the warriors. Example 1, who switches there whole defense on punt, they should keep the starters in so they’re not rushing off the field to exchange personnel, example 2, they were on the goaline and tried to pass on all three downs and missed the field goal, abu should install a big offense and run down there throat, example 3, there corner got burnt twice after switching with Peterson, they should’ve left him out at corner and let him battle with there top receivers, example 4, they weren’t blitzing as much as they were against kapolei and Milton would just get free and either make a good pass or scramble, example 5, Millilani DB #19 was 5’5 and warriors couldn’t find that miss match and pick on him. What are they doing.

  17. anywaaaays!! August 19, 2018 4:01 pm

    LOL I say the same things basically that awrite!!! and other people like toomeke but then they turn around and are like “you’re causing trouble for the kahuku community” even though I bleed red since the day I was born and have been arguing with Education First since before he left the blog. Get real. We all are cheering for the same team and cheering against the same ILH agenda. RRFL!

  18. ALLILH August 19, 2018 4:10 pm

    Aannyywwaayyss and friends are pretty stupid. Look back on all the old blogs all of you stated you wanted the ILH to play real teams like the OIA on a weekly basis. Now that this is happening and some people with GE’s get hurt you crying. Stop living your lives through these kids. Let them play. I must admit though, for us educated, your comments are entertaining!


  19. Dafun August 19, 2018 4:43 pm

    AllILH I agree. Toomeke and his lover awrite and anyways have been abusing this site for years. They probably have never even went to kahuku but they’re all over kahuku like they own the school. Get over it guys you never even played football before either probably

  20. Awrite!! August 19, 2018 6:04 pm

    ALLILH you calling us natives stupid is exactly what capt cook and the american militia did when they discovered these islands. Sorry but you educated ILH folks are just ponds and puppets. Sell outs to the white man!

    What america thinks is best for Hawaii
    is the same treatment of the ILH thinking whats best for the OIA.

    My native hawaiian grandfather was told to not speak his native Hawaiian tongue in elementary school and because of that he suffered from a speech impediment his whole life…never amounted to nothing but lower class type jobs, owns no land, and that is exactly what the white man wants…for us natives to be controlled and oppressed.

    Stay in yo own lane! Its good what you got going on over there in the ILH but dont dictate to the OIA what we should be doing, especially when we (Kahuku) started to dominate, now rules change and formats change so that the OIA can take a step back and the ILH get an upper hand. Take the blinders off and look deeper beyond what the media is telling you! Its all about power and money….the ILH want it all.

    All those ILH alumni that make it big are expected to give back to your ILH schools so they become more powerful and the gap of haves vs. have nots gets bigger.

  21. Dafun August 19, 2018 6:14 pm

    Awrite what the hell is wrong with you? Have you not noticed how all the OIA teams this year have had home field advantage and ILH has to travel to them? Every single game. Explain that one. The state makes it so the OIA has an advantage. That’s why only 2 ILH team goes through to states while 3 OIA teams get in. Remember last year???

  22. ALLILH August 19, 2018 6:55 pm

    Oh I feel really bad for your ancestors….like you should feel bead for my ancestors that was oppressed and enslaved! Get over it you idiot!


  23. Awrite!! August 19, 2018 7:40 pm

    ALLILH se mimi oi lo sucki my polo! bwaahahahahahaufa!

  24. anywaaaays!! August 19, 2018 7:56 pm

    I agree with awrite!!! All of you owe Kahuku fans and the entire north shore an apology for all the hate you put out on the daily at us. The ILH/OIA sham of an alliance is just like how the sugar planters said “this planation will be good for you!” and then they overthrew the kingdom. That’s EXACTLY what the ILH is.

    And you know what the saddest part about this is? Not only is the ILH destroying our communities and our football teams, they BRAINWASHED public school parents into thinking private “schools” offer better education and better opportunities to succeed. The ILH agenda doesn’t even need to do anything at this point because you have parents saying things like private school will get their kids ahead in life. But those of us still are loyal to our roots and loyal to the soil.

    Stay strong, brothers and sisters. RRFL!

  25. ALLILH August 19, 2018 8:07 pm

    Sorry…..that idiots like you represent a great community! HAPPY!


  26. Realist808 August 19, 2018 10:56 pm

    I recall in the mid 00’s Kahuku brought Micah Strickland and Manti Te’o from Punahou to Kahuku. Won states. Manti then transferred back to Punahou after. The same goes for every team on island. You want the best players on your team. A private school is not limited by a district. If parents are willing to send their kid to a private school then so be it. Don’t be trashing on the educations of these schools as well. I’m prettt positive a STL diploma holds up better than a Kahuku diploma 9 times out of 10.

  27. 88 August 19, 2018 11:52 pm

    Check your facts before you post. Thank way you don’t look like an idiot.

  28. Recruit dis August 20, 2018 2:02 am

    It’s funny how everyone said that ILH d1 schedule last year was weak. Look now it seems kam, punahou and St. Louis are the ones hanging tough while everyone else is getting hurt or complaining.

  29. Realist808 August 20, 2018 6:17 am

    @88 I’m open for correction if you deem it necessary. It’s easy to say I’m wrong but it’s pretty hard to prove it. All I’m saying is stop making like only the ILH recruits. Every team does it.

  30. papa45 August 20, 2018 6:34 am

    The biggest difference between ILH and OIA is the coaching staff. You can have your talented teams like Mililani and Kahuku that are capable of beating any ILH team but can’t. Why? Because when it comes to strategy, planning, knowing the limits of each player and putting all this into a game plan, ILH has the advantage. ILH can afford it.
    Kamehameha played a brilliant game but just came up short. They under estimated Mililani offense in the first half then adjusted in the second half. Too late.

  31. 88 August 20, 2018 6:56 am

    #5 was not brought in. #5 is from Kahuku. Played on the Kahuku JV team that lost in the JV championship. Mr. Strickland never made it to the State title game because we lost to Leilehua that year in the playoffs. You have been corrected ma’am.

  32. 88 August 20, 2018 6:58 am

    Papa45 Kamehameha was garbage. If you couldn’t see that from watching the game you need to get a thicker lense…

  33. Realist808 August 20, 2018 7:18 am

    @88. I stand corrected on winning states but “#5” was at Punahou before he was at Kahuku JV. He looked like an absolute beast on their intermediate. Why would he leave the community twice? It seemed like it worked out well for him

  34. 88 August 20, 2018 7:49 am

    He never left the community. He born and raised here. As far as going back to Punahou that’s his and his family’s business. Maybe Punahou JV Football is sh!tty I don’t know…

  35. Knation August 20, 2018 9:20 am

    manti and Strickland played different years. Manti won states with kahuku and Strickland didn’t because we lost the mules.

  36. Chicken Grease August 20, 2018 1:06 pm

    August 20, 2018 6:34 am

    The biggest difference between ILH and OIA is the coaching staff. You can have your talented teams like Mililani and Kahuku that are capable of beating any ILH team but can’t.

    Uh. Is Kam’ School no longer ILH?

    Take a nap, “papa.”

    Trojans!!!!!! Blood and Honor.

  37. Awrite!! August 20, 2018 5:41 pm

    papa45 –

    What did Cal Lee do in the 80’s and 90’s? …a lot of recruiting.
    What did Cal Lee do at Kalani (2012-14)? How about UH (02-10′)? …a lot of losing.
    What did STL do while Cal was gone? …a lot of losing.
    What did Cal do when he returned to STL? …a lot of recruiting.

    3 different coaches took Kahuku to the finals because of the TALENT! If you havent figured out the TALENT thing go as Nick Saban or Pete Carroll.



  38. Tedium August 20, 2018 7:04 pm

    Gotta love all the opinions by some passionate people about their respective schools. All good stuff. But this guy anywaaaays!!, is classic. If you sign your post “RRFL”, then please don’t talk about ANY school recruiting because you guys are the biggest culprit. But it’s all good, do what you gotta do to compete. Kahuku, St.Louis, Puns, Kapolei, Iolani, etc., etc…all do it. Smaller schools like Damien and St.Francis sure. I guess must include Campbell now with their influx of “transfers”. It happens, and like it or not, it is what it is for now. But at least own up to it and stop claiming to be a school of homegrown boys from the north shore and ILH has agenda, blah, blah, blah. Nobody outside of Kahuku feels the same way you do. Recruit a better QB and maybe you get chance against the saints…or at least keep the ones you have instead of letting them “transfer” out to mainland schools. Lol, its so funny cause the transfer rate at Kahuku is so high, teachers actually told me they don’t learn football and basketball players names because they will probably not be at Kahuku the following year. The new definition of 1 and done! RRFL

  39. Tedium August 20, 2018 7:14 pm

    Oh, and all who were at the game saturday night, saw that 1 guy made the difference. Dillon Gabriel. Mills has a great QB, Kamehameha doesn’t. Kamehameha played great defense, those guys fly around, hit hard, was the most impressive unit on the field at most times. But…in the end, if your QB can throw the rock, it only takes 1 pass and TD. Kamehameha relied on trickery for any offense. Mills would get stopped, get stopped, then boom, 45 yard TD. Gabriel is a luxury to have. If Kahuku cannot throw the ball like those 2 teams, I don’t see them coming close to Saints, but maybe being the more physical team vs Mills would give them the upper hand. I anticipate the winner of the Kamehameha/Kahuku game to be the team that fumbles less.

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