“The main thing we learned after two losses is that it has to be fun for the kids,” Tokuda said. “It wasn’t fun for the kids, and that was on us coaches. Now it seems like they are having fun.”
The Mules will certainly have fun this week. It’s rivalry week in Central Oahu, time for the (usually) annual rivalry between the Mules and the Mililani Trojans.
Other rivalries can claim to have gone on for longer, but no rivalry is better. Here are a few notable games in the series:
The rivalry took a while to get going. When Mililani started varsity football in 1975, Leilehua was at the height of its powers under Hugh Yoshida. The Mules won the first five meetings handily, never allowing the Trojans closer than two touchdowns.
November 1, 1975:
The first meeting between the schools was a non-event, with Leilehua’s 35-0 wipeout relegated to a capsule in the Sunday Star-Bulletin and Advertiser. James Laguana rushed for 84 yards and Claude Calabrese threw for two touchdowns, eight yards to John Sublousky and 37 yards to Larry Bradley. The Mules finished the season 9-1 and the Trojans were 2-8.
November 7, 1980:
Jonathan Pascua ran for 109 yards and the Trojans beat the Mules 15-14 to finish 5-5 after going winless the year before. But it wasn’t about Mililani’s win that shook Central Oahu as much as it was Leilehua’s loss. The Mules went into the game unbeaten at 9-0 and Mililani exposed enough flaws for Waianae to end Leilehua’s season the next week.
The Mules eventually learned from that loss, though, dominating the Trojans for the rest of the decade, winning eight in a row and not letting it get close.
The Trojans won only once from 1982-2000, but the schools didn’t play every year. The Trojans beat the Mules in 1990 and the teams tied in 1999, the only tie in the series. It still wasn’t a rivalry, though, Leilehua held a 16-3 edge until the state championship era began.
Mililani finally grew into a power in 2000, and beat Leilehua every year from 2000-2005. They more than atoned for a loss later in 2006 when the Trojans beat the Mules in the OIA third-place game to earn a trip to the state tournament.
November 12, 2006:
Jordan Torres ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and ends the prep career of future University of Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz in a 23-21 win.
Mililani won the rivalry game the next year but they met in the OIA playoffs again later and the Mules ended Rustin Funakoshi’s run as a Mililani standout. Funakoshi is the only quarterback in the series to win the bowl three times.
Here are links to every meeting since 2000 (some of the recent ones are premium content):
Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda is 4-5 in the rivalry and Mililani’s Rod York is 1-2 after the Mules have take the last two.
Leilehua leads the series 21-13-1.
Some memorable milestones:
Biggest blowout for Leilehua: 1988, Leilehua 42, Mililani 0
Biggest blowout for Mililani: 2000, Mililani 41, Leilehua 0
Closest game: 1999, Mililani 7, Leilehua 7
Most yards passing, Leilehua: Kenan Sadanaga with 365 in a 42-35 loss in 2010.
Most yards rushing, Leilahua: Adrian Murrell with 246 in a 22-6 win in 1987.
Most yards receiving, Leilehua: Darrien Shealy with 217 in a 42-35 loss in 2010.
Pass yards, Mililani: Jarin Morikawa in a 40-33 loss in 2011.
Rush yards, Mililani: Kekoa Perbera, 185 yards in 35-14 win in 2004.
Receiving yards, Mililani: Erren Jean Pierre, 158 in 40-33 loss in 2011.