Q&A: Mililani QB Dillon Gabriel

Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel has thrown 12 touchdown passes without an interception this season. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

On a wet night at John Kauinana Stadium, Dillon Gabriel is stoked about Mililani’s 31-24 thriller of a win over Kamehameha.

He’s less than thrilled about his own performance. Gabriel was crucial, once again, with 304 passing yards and four touchdown passes. Maybe it was the wet surface and football that had him 18-for-34, but he didn’t turn the ball over.

All Gabriel cares about, though, is the team win. Mililani, ranked No. 3 in the Star-Advertiser Football Top 10, is now 3-0 overall (1-0 in OIA Open Division play). He chatted with Hawaii Prep World after the stirring win.

HPW: Was this game an instant classic?

Gabriel: That game was crazy fun. Seeing the ILH and OIA going at it is just a great atmosphere.

HPW: Did the game plan and the actual game match up, or did you and your coaches make some tweaks?

Gabriel: Overall, I didn’t play up to par. Everything was there. I just didn’t play well. Period.

HPW: What was the last TD drive like? And who is Maka Hill? (Note: Gabriel’s 43-yard TD pass to Hill gave Mililani the lead for good, 31-24, with 7:33 left in the game.)

Gabriel: That last TD was all Maka Hill and the O-line’s execution. Maka Hill is only a junior and probably our biggest wideout.

HPW: He got major separation.

Gabriel: Yes, he did.

HPW: Was he in there because Reichel (Vegas) got hurt?

Gabriel: We just thought he was the best fit for personnel at the time.

HPW: How are your guys who got injured during the game? Reichel, Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi, Mykah Tuiolemotu. And Darius Muasau just returned from injury in time for tonight’s game.

Gabriel: They’re going to be all right. It’s just precautionary.

HPW: Did anything within the offensive unit improve or evolve tonight?

Gabriel: Experience in big games and how to make big plays in big-time moments.

HPW: It was wet and slick all game, but you had 304 passing yards and four TDs, zero turnovers. Winning numbers.

Gabriel: The only stat we truly care about is the ‘W’.

HPW: How good is Kamehameha’s defense?

Gabriel: Kamehameha’s defense was very physical, but I truly think I didn’t do my part. If I completed some passes and just stayed patient, I think we wouldn’t have been in the position we were in. If I played better, a lot of things would have been better.

HPW: What’s Sunday after a game like for you? Is it rest time and forget about football for 24 hours, or is it study video and get some throws in at the park?

Gabriel: Me and my dad (former UH and Pac-Five quarterback Garrett Gabriel) usually go to the park and get some throws in to get the body loose, and get a light lift in. Then some film before I sleep on the game and the future opponent.

HPW: During NFL season, do you guys watch a lot of guys on TV? Who’s your favorite quarterback to watch?

Gabriel: Honestly, any quarterback, just being able to piece a bunch of quarterback (traits) together and make it my own.

HPW: I think you’re part Kenny Stabler and part Steve Young. Composed, but also ready to improvise without taking too many chances. Final question: Saint Louis — what does that name mean for you and your Trojan brothers? (Note: Mililani plays No. 1 Saint Louis next weekend.)

Gabriel: State champs. Great group of guys. Excited for the challenge.


  1. ??? August 19, 2018 7:20 pm

    Humble and Talented QB; Good luck against STL🤙🏽

  2. Aiea 7 August 19, 2018 9:24 pm

    he is a good passer, though he can run some. however, not sur if the army offense (option) is best for him. he is better to go to a passing offense where he can be more successful, similar to M. Milton. Milton could run and had some speed too, but his is better as a passing qb, and so would Gabriel. he should go to a mid-major passing offense where he can shine. it would be a waste of his passing talent running a option offense.

  3. Dafun August 20, 2018 10:05 am

    He is good I admit that. But struggling against kamehameha is unacceptable. If you want to be at the top your team can’t struggle against a team that barely beat kapolei. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this week as St Louis goes there. If St Louis wins the only bad part is we wont stop hearing toomeke aka anyways aka awrite say how much St Louis recruits which is stupid as I am an alumni and have played football for them. But that’s what the kahuky crybabies do

  4. Knation August 20, 2018 2:21 pm

    @dafun I have to admit we do have kahuku crybaby’s but I’m not the one to complain or make excuses when we lose and there alot of kahuku supporters feel the same way. The way I see it whoever wins is clearly the best team in the state period! As for Gabriel he is example of a great student athlete. Very humble and hard working. Good luck to him and the Trojans of mililani.

  5. HIFan August 20, 2018 4:33 pm

    Gabriel struggling??!! He passed for over 300 yards and was 18-36 with 0 interceptions, 73 rushing yards. Pulled out the W. Struggling? I think not! Stats aside, Mililani won. Enough said!

  6. Hawaii five 0 August 20, 2018 9:36 pm

    That small spunky slot receiver who transferred from St. Louis is gabriel go to guy.once he got hurt, thats when Mililani offense struggled. Its easy to double ryan chang on the outside and not have to worry about that slot receiver exploiting the LBS.

  7. Recruit dis August 21, 2018 10:35 am

    Gabriel did struggle in the second half. Most of his yards came from bombs. He seems to struggle throwing the ball in the middle of the field. Stl front seven will be too strong for mililani o line. I see Gabriel running all game and mililani D too weak for stl offense.

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