Q&A: Mililani’s record-breaking QB, Dillon Gabriel

No quarterback in the history of Hawaii has thrown for more yards than Mililani's Dillon Gabriel, who has also won a state championship. Photo by Dennis Oda/Star-Advertiser.

The Mililani Trojans are unbeaten in OIA Open Division play, and Dillon Gabriel would be perfectly fine if he hadn’t broken a record along the way.

Gabriel is the new all-time career passing yards leader after a 362-yard, five-TD performance against Waianae. His game-day routine is basic and rich with family time.

On a warm Saturday morning, the routine of game day begins. Gabriel wakes up around 7 a.m. He goes to church before breakfast. Mom (Dori) makes a spinach and bacon omelette. Then he’ll stretch out and throw a football with his dad.


“We’ll soft toss and talk about the game for about an hour,” Dillon said. “We’ll stop throwing and talk about what I should be looking for. Just quarterback stuff, going over reads. It’s just really basic stuff, try to get loose before the game.”

Dad is Garrett Gabriel, a household name in the islands as a Hawaii quarterback, not long after sparking Pac-Five to an Oahu Prep Bowl win.

He played in a run-and-shoot offense at Pac-Five. It was a system not entirely different from what the Wolfpack run today. Then he operated in the spread option at Hawaii with Paul Johnson as the offensive coordinator.

If anyone has lived and seen the evolution of offense in football, it would be… both father and son. Dillon Gabriel has learned extensively from his dad, but the pace at which football offensive play continues to evolve is warp speed compared to a generation ago.

In Mililani’s offense, Gabriel was already equipped to handle the basic mechanical aspects of the read-pass option (RPO). It was a matter of reps on the field as an eighth grader with Mill Vill that harnessed his physical ability and polished his timing.

By freshman year, Gabriel was pressed into varsity action when starter McKenzie Milton suffered a shoulder injury. Milton has gone on to higher heights at Central Florida, a candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

Gabriel has manned the controls for Mililani as Coach Rod York implements new ideas and wrinkles each season.

“In ninth grade, I wish he hadn’t gotten hurt,” York said of Gabriel, whose season ended prematurely with a shoulder injury of his own. “I had full confidence in him. He could throw all the throws. The speed-out and the most difficult, over the middle ‘backers and under the safeties. If you can make those two throws, you can make any throw. You’re one hell of a quarterback.”

There are four regular-season games remaining, and a chance at many more in the post-season. There are other individual records in reach.

>> Completions. Gabriel has 619 for his career. Ahead of him are Tai-John Mizutani of ‘Iolani with 660 and Andrew Manley of Leilehua (640).

>> Attempts. With 1,057 passes, Gabriel is only behind Mizutani (1,135) and Manley (1,077).

>> TD passes. Gabriel is at 92, trailing only Chang (113).

Even with all his aerial work, interceptions is not another record Gabriel is threatening to break. Of the top 16 passers in career yardage, all but six have more picks thrown than Gabriel.

The Trojan QB chatted with Hawaii Prep World on Saturday morning, before breaking the passing yardage record.

He was also featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today, which you can read by clicking here. See his interview, the follow-up chat to his Q&A, on video below.

Name: Dillon Gabriel
School sport: Football
Class: 2019

Q&A / Favorites

Athlete: Lebron James

Team: Los Angeles Rams

Food (at home): Any kind of pasta

Food (eating out): CPK Pizza

Hobby outside of sports: Relaxing, Going to the Golfing Range

Movie: The Notebook

TV show: ESPN


Video game: Madden

Music artist: Lil Skies

Teacher (elementary through high school): Mr Wagner, Ms Dixon, Senora HB, Mr Monette

GPA: 3.8

Class: Math

Place to relax: Bedroom

Motto/scripture: Luke 10:27

What your dad (name) says that you can’t forget: Pick up your feet

How does your sport affect your daily life during the season and offseason? : It doesn’t affect my life at all. Been doing this since I was very young so the routine is something I am used to.

What middle and elementary schools did you attend? Elementary- Holy Family Catholic Academy, Middle School- Punahou

What youth teams did you play for? What club do you play for and what are the daily commitments like year-round? Pearl City Chargers, Manoa Paniolos

Where have you travelled for your sport(s)? California, Oregon, Florida, New York, Boise, Las Vegas

What is the history and background of your name? I was named after Corey Dillon. The running back from the Patriots.


COMMENTS

  1. Hawaii born September 25, 2018 11:03 am

    Awesome…blessed to see a young man chase after his dreams and be the best he can be…may he continue to grow and be able to accomplish more and more.


  2. Notes September 25, 2018 1:17 pm

    Nice! Keep adding those yards.


  3. Falcon Future September 26, 2018 8:36 am

    Mililani at Kahuku this Saturday. Let’s go DG! This is your year to shine and pull off the shocker.


  4. ??? September 27, 2018 11:44 am

    Continued success young man, I love that he doesn’t care about individual records only TEAM!

    Taulia Tagovailoa would have put the passing record out of reach if he stayed at Kapolei..
    Just Saying!


  5. Kane C-A September 27, 2018 1:09 pm

    Not taking anything away from him, but Mililani pulled him up his freshman year. So technically it took him four years to do what Timmy Chang did in two years!!!


  6. 123 September 28, 2018 7:41 pm

    Humble young man! He deserves all the success and accolades regardless of when he was brought up to vars. Congrats Dillon!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.

*