OIA PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Mililani vs. Waianae

Mililani's McKenzie Milton handed off to Vavae Malepeai in Milton's second career start two years ago against Waianae. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.
Mililani’s McKenzie Milton handed off to Vavae Malepeai in Milton’s second career start two years ago against Waianae. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

The matchup: Waianae (7-2) vs. Mililani (8-1)
Date: Friday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m., Aloha Stadium
Head-to-head: Waianae leads 19-9
Last meeting: Mililani 44-24 (Aug. 30, 2013)
Biggest margin of victory: Waianae 40-0 (Sept. 3, 1993)
Smallest margin of victory: Waianae 7-6 (Nov. 3, 2006)

Waianae’s offensive leaders

Updated: Nov. 13, 2015
Jaren Ulu1366-149-81,0619
Kade Ambrocio111-1-0691
Jorell Pontes-Borje114-6-0492
Quinn Searle32-3-080
Brandon Hattori20-1-000
Jurick Valdez101066584
Javen Towne1311157919
Jorell Pontes-Borje11485193
Ezkiah Moniz-Hopeau10513893
Kade Ambrocio12502296
Nicholas Kelekoa10362202
Royce Carrick10351973
Solofua Grey8261524
Charles Mamala7211012
Rico Rosario18330
Kanai Mauga64270
Quinn Searle75250
Isaiah Freeney9120
Brandon Hattori2110
Jaren Ulu1360-640
Isaiah Freeney9236116
Kanai Mauga891641
Ezkiah Moniz-Hopeau108871
Kade Ambrocio127631
Jeresalem Tootoo57420
Royce Carrick105763
Jorell Pontes-Borje115500
Faaoli Luafutu34470
Javen Towne133551
Joey Nuuanu-Kuhiiki11101
Nicholas Kelekoa10160
Solofua Grey8140
Jordan Marquez Pacapac1130

Mililani’s offensive leaders

Updated: Nov. 14, 2015
McKenzie Milton9139-211-72,34430
Kaysen Higa938-85-35367
Dillon Gabriel446-82-14727
Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi217-23-12414
Maka Chun44-6-0430
Bryson Ventura100-1-100
Vavae Malepeai132271,93028
McKenzie Milton9434252
Makana Tauai13141251
Jalen Olomua1015851
Nicholas Culp410611
Fabian Johnson-Slay514571
Dillon Gabriel412522
Deven Ieriko515471
Stanton Lee21130
Rico Sallas112120
Maka Chun46112
Tommy Factora2190
Iain Vaovasa1140
Bryson Ventura10200
Andrew Valladares8100
Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi21-50
Kaysen Higa915-71
Kalakaua Timoteo12701,34522
Rico Sallas11414212
Bryson Ventura103673310
Makana Tauai13364944
Andrew Valladares8172892
Vavae Malepeai13101715
Chad Senas781262
Noah Thomas34150
Noah Domagsac13650
Tommy Factora33491
Nicholas Culp43260
Jarod Alama22180
Takai Villisoni22150
Jacob McLaughlin11200
Roman Tovi11120
Roy Ibrao11110
Kainalu Wong1190
Jordin Villanueva1190
Jalen Olomua10170
Tasi Malepeai1140
Stanton Lee21-10
Fabian Johnson-Slay51-20

Four games into his sophomore season, Mililani quarterback McKenzie Milton went 12-for-23 for 207 yards and two touchdowns in his second career start — a 44-24 win over Waianae.

In the first meeting between the two schools since, the Trojans might have another young sensation making his second career varsity start at quarterback.

Freshman Dillon Gabriel became the third different starting quarterback used by the Trojans this season in a 48-13 win over Moanalua last week to set up this semifinal showdown against Waianae set for 8 p.m. Friday at Aloha Stadium.

The Trojans have been without Milton since he hurt his shoulder in a win over Kailua on Sept. 26. Mililani has played twice since, averaging 54 points in two wins over Na Menehune.

Running back Vavae Malepeai, who is now fourth on the all-time career rushing list with 3,937 yards, has averaged 263.5 rushing yards in his last two full games without Milton in the lineup. That’s allowed Gabriel, who was 12-for-22 for 140 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday, to get his feet wet without feeling any significant pressure in games.

Waianae is hoping to give the lefty his first real test.

The Seariders bounced back from an ugly 30-0 loss to Kahuku with an impressive 37-22 victory over Kailua in a must-win game in the OIA quarterfinals. The Seariders defense intercepted Surfriders quarterback Noah Auld three times, matching his total for the entire season, and held Kailua to 39 rushing yards on 18 attempts.

It makes for an intriguing game against the Trojans, who have looked unstoppable against teams from Hawaii. Problem is, in the one game they did lose, the Trojans were a mash unit on defense and got run all over by Kenyon Oblad and company.

That bodes well for the Seariders, who aren’t going to deviate from what they do — run the rock. Of either semifinal game on Friday night, the Mililani defense trying to contain the Seariders rushing offense figures to be the most intriguing matchup of units on that field. If Mililani wants to be a state title contender, especially without Milton, who may not return this season, it can’t afford to get run on like it did on the mainland in a 76-53 loss to Liberty High in Nevada.

Malepeai has carried the load so far, but with each passing game that gets tougher, the Trojans will have to be balanced on offense. Outscoring opponents like it could with Milton will be much tougher without him, so much so that the defense is going to have to keep opponents to a respectable score each game in order to win.

Waianae can be a real measuring stick for the Trojans. Shut the Seariders’ rushing attack down and Mililani shows it can get this done without Milton. Don’t, and suddenly this OIA semifinal game could be up for grabs.

Gabriel seems to have learned quickly where to go when he needs to make a big play. Both of his touchdown passes last week against Moanalua went to senior Kalakaua Timoteo, who is 18 receiving yards away from 2,000 in his career.

If Waianae can hold off Mililani early and make it a game, the pressure will eventually fall on the Trojans’ young QB. This is a big stage, especially for a freshman, and the amount of pressure the Seariders can put on the inexperienced, but talented QB could determine whether Waianae plays in its first OIA title game since 2007, or Mililani goes for a three-peat next week.


  1. Manly October 21, 2015 10:40 pm

    Yes, this game has more of a chance of upset then the Kahuku / Farrington game. Waianae will bring it.

  2. TGOD October 22, 2015 12:24 am

    Should be interesting, but I don’t think Mililani loses this game. Too many weapons/options on offfense even without Kenzie. Plus we’ve already seen Kahuku vs Waianae, I’d much rather see Mililani vs Kahuku for the OIA title. But that’s why they play the game, I’m sure both Waianae and Farrington will be hyped knowing that most expect them to lose. Mililani better be ready for a tough battle.

    Go Trojans!

  3. RRFLbaby October 22, 2015 7:51 am

    If Milton is still out Seariders have a decent shot. But stopping Malepeai isnt going to be easy. Holding Timoteo in ck is possible, but im not sure West Side Pride has enough athletes to contend with the rest of the trojan receiving corps. Is the trojan D gona be able to hold off the Searider rushing attack? Good luck to both squads. RRFL

  4. Mill96789 October 22, 2015 9:32 am

    I believe Coach Rod will have the Trojans ready for this test. Too many weapons on the Mililani side. Just load up the box on Waianae and they can be held down. Expect a big game from the big 2! Vae and Timoteo. Can’t wait.

  5. Lee Boy October 22, 2015 10:38 am

    This game will not be close no matter who starts for the Trojans. Waianae’s secondary is suspect and the Mililani’s receiving corps is way to deep. It’s not just about holding Timoteo in check they have 3 or more capable receivers. Like everyone already know Malepeai is going to get his. It will be Waianae vs Govs for third place

  6. call like it is October 22, 2015 11:35 am

    Mililani needs to change up the defense secondary it was said/seen from the beginning of season. With Kenzie out, not giving Mililani the wide lead the defense need to step it up way up. Waianae will not be a challenge but with Kahuku they need to change up the defense. FOR THE RECORD MILILANI LOSING TO LIBERTY HIGH WAS BECAUSE THEY PLAYED WITH NEVADA FOOTBALL RULES, HAWAII RULES DONT ALLOW HURDLING, ETC..

  7. 88 October 22, 2015 1:14 pm

    So hurdling is the secret to 70 points?

  8. RRFLbaby October 22, 2015 2:17 pm

    Lol. Really? Hurdling was why they lost?

  9. Lee Boy October 22, 2015 5:10 pm

    Interesting!!! all this time I thought Mililani lost because they couldn’t stop the run.

  10. oia#1 October 22, 2015 5:41 pm

    Waianae is going play mililani tough, just watch. How is the secodary suspect? Brame will be all over timoteo, and LBs will slow down malapeai. Best of luck to the remaining teams!!!

  11. red x October 22, 2015 5:46 pm

    @Lee boy liberty had over 400+ yards over mililani defense. Aside from that mililani should take care of waianae and they are still the team to beat in the state. RRFL

  12. 88 October 23, 2015 8:37 am

    If your life depended on this game who would you go with? Deep down inside we all know who is going to win this game.

  13. Manly October 23, 2015 3:32 pm

    Since Mackenzie went out, Milillani has play Moanalua twice. Not much of a test especially on defense. If Waianae can control the tempo, they have a chance. This would mean running the rock 70 % of the play calls.

  14. TGOD October 23, 2015 5:36 pm

    @Manly – Kenzie went out on the first drive of the Kailua game, so I would count them with Moanalua. Moanalua has offense with RB Feliciano and QB Yuen, but no defense. Either way Waianae is a better team than both and I agree they are going to have to run the ball to keep Mililani’s offense off the field. I’ll be at the game looking to see how Mililani’s D does against the “wing t” of Waianae. If they can run, Waianae can definitely win.

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