Scrappers on Mililani defense step up again

Mililani coach Rod York is getting more out of his defense in the last two games. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Mililani coach Rod York is getting more out of his defense in the last two games. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

The Mililani defense has been called a lot of things this year — from one side of the spectrum, weak, to far on the other side, unsung.

Whether the unit is weak or unsung or, one could argue, solid, one thing is for sure — it can scrap.

Linebacker Ma’a Tanuvasa was out there putting the hits on left and right again on Thursday in a 71-28 win over Farrington, and he added an interception that led to a TD. Defensive end Kaimana Padello never stopped coming at quarterback Bishop Rapoza (even on the many times Padello was pushed outside, Rapoza probably still saw the buzzsaw on its way) and finished with two sacks. Kaydin Benemerito added another sack late in the game.

Three Trojans players, however, epitomized the trademark scrappiness — defensive backs Ramsey Tacadena and Kainalu Wong and special teams warrior Jarod Alama.

Tacadena recovered two fumbles that led to scores, one in each half.

“Ramsey is a four-year starter, two on JV and two on varsity,” Mililani head coach Rod York said after the win. “He’s the kind of guy who never misses a practice. He’s a team guy and he’s one of our captains.”

Wong intercepted a pass for the second week in a row.

“There’s a battle going on at cornerback and he’s one of the guys in there,” York said. “He’s growing every time we play.”

Alama, for the second game in a row, recovered an onside kick that led to a score. That’s one thing he’ll be able to tell his grandchildren. Alama is also a receiver and punter.

“He does whatever he can to help the team,” York said about Alama. “He’s hungry and I’m very proud of him.”

The Mililani defense gave up 76 points to Liberty of Henderson, Nev., two weeks ago. That opened people’s eyes to the Trojans’ susceptibility, but they’ve fared OK in the last two weeks, giving up 6 points to Aiea and holding Farrington to 28.

It will get tougher. And the defenses the potent Mililani faces will get tougher as well, putting more pressure on the the Trojans defenders. It may get to the point where stops will be critical.

Asked to comment on the perception by some that the Mililani defense is weak, York didn’t really give his own definition of the unit. Instead, he talked about the opponents that were just vanquished.

“That’s a really good offense,” he said.


  1. zero September 18, 2015 6:26 am

    what was the reasoning behind having a thursday night game that starts late? sure, high school football is good and all, but this isn’t college or the pros. these kids need to get their sleep to be in class the next day. what are the priorities here in the OIA and in the two schools?

  2. hossana September 18, 2015 6:40 am

    I concur with zero’s comments as the game didn’t get over till11:30 p.m. plus and by the time the teams returned to their respective schools, took a shower, ate etc..and had to have their adrenalin cool down, it would probably be around 2-3 a.m. and this goes for the band, cheerleaders, and spectators….what a ridiculous decision by the OIA to have the game scheduled that late as it didn’t start till after 8:30 p..m. due to the JV game which is more insensible….the administrators of the OIA certainly are provincial in their thinking and outlook and should definitely be replaced. LACK OF COMMON SENSE = STUPIDITY. Nothing more and nothing less.

  3. hiro September 18, 2015 8:39 am

    The one player on defense who’s name was not mentioned but is being overloked here is the middle linebacker Jalen Olomua. As a coach we watch the game different, and this kid was taking on Freedom Alualu the whole night everytime he would lead block for Faamatau freeing up the others to make a tackle. I was wondering why the newspapers would mention Olomua not makin the vegas trip and I saw why last night. This kid filled everytime Alulu came full speed to block Olomua was right the to meet him and clog up the inside forcing Faamatau to bounce outside to the other backers. Hopefully Olomua is doing good he was the one leaving the field in the ambulance after a dirty helmet to helmet hit from the back by Farrington. So I just want the writer of this article to know these kids were making good plays on D but Olomua deserves most of the credit for basically taking away the entire middle of the field from Farrington on the run and pass. If you notice everything went around after a while….. hence the outcome was different form the Vegas game.

  4. Big Mauka September 18, 2015 9:28 am

    Good Job Millilani redemption on the defense they did good! We’re looking at a Repeat!

  5. supboss September 18, 2015 10:53 am

    Unfortunate for the LB… I hope he’s okay. After watching the play, I don’t think it was a helmet to helmet. It looked more like helmet to the middle backside of the shoulder pad. It was late last night…. dozing off, so I would need to review the film to get a better look.

    What I’m surprised is that how nowadays, running up the score is a norm. Back in the day, coaches would have respect for one another and try not to embarrass the other. I guess times have changed and it’s about pure competiveness with no mercy. Like I mentioned, back in the day we wouldn’t be passing the ball in the later half when we knew we had the game in the bag. The second and third string O would come in just to run the ball and clock out. Would be nice to see this type of camaraderie back in the game.

  6. Homegrown September 18, 2015 11:43 am

    Mililani’s run defense still look suspect and Farrington missed some wide open receivers, multiple overthrows. Mililani offense is a machine. If everything plays out accordingly, Kahuku would be a very scary matchup for the Trojans in the OIA championship.

  7. kapoleistorm September 18, 2015 1:42 pm

    I think St. Louis will destroy Mililani like how Liberty did. The crusaders O will score at will on that trojan defense, Mililani’s O will get some scoring in there too but St. Louis’s defense will hold a few times enough to help their offense outscore and beat the trojans by multiple touchdowns maybe a 72-50 score in the state final.

    Farrington is not good and cant execute any kind of an offense, just like Kahuku they are both playing caveman football, all these years and they not teaching their kids to throw the ball and run routes.

    Im glad the ILH and Mililani have evolved the game of football the way it is supposed to be played with a balanced passing and running game.

    Its Mililani, St. Louis or Punahou playing for the title this year…..and the rest of the teams in the state should just hang it up now and go practice running routes, especially the govs and red raiders who are the main ones talking smack but cant back it up on the field. #eatYohumblePie!

  8. Nick Abramo September 18, 2015 1:51 pm

    Hiro, thanks for the input about Olomua. BTW, we just ran an update on his condition after the hit and York says he’s doing well. — Nick Abramo

  9. kapoleistorm September 18, 2015 2:00 pm

    @Hiro, are you saying the outcome of the Liberty game was based on a Kahuku LB that did not make the trip? Yes, Olomua is from Kahuku and is your best LB. Also your best DB and best DT is from waipahu, not to mention the RB and mulitple O-linemen from other districts.

    Be happy you guys are winning and have raised the bar for other public schools to reach but in all actuality I dont think it possible for any other public school to create an Oahu all-star team like how Mililani does it.

  10. Trojangangordie September 18, 2015 2:28 pm

    @kapoleistorm when has St Louis ever put up 70 on a team that wasn’t Pac-5??? Don’t worry Ill wait….keep drinking the kool-aid boo boo. Seasons not even halfway through and you’re making a score prediction to a championship game based on what???
    They still gotta make it out of the ILH bruh…were it not for a cheap shot on Kamehameha’s quarterback they probably lose to the Warriors of Kapalama.
    And the Kahuku Red Raiders are no slack.. ever…
    Pretty sure Kahuku has had both Kapolei, St. Louis, and Punahou”s number in the very near past. (Mililani prior to the recent success)Or do you not watch a minute of film???? Then again, ignorance is bliss right???
    The Hawaii state football tournament, is a gauntlet. Everything need’s to go right to win it.(players playing well, coaches coaching well, ill-timed injuries,and a bit of luck)…
    Many of you writing on these blogs apparantly dont know very much about football and cant fathom the efort that these kids (at all schools) put forth on a daily basis. From running to lifting to rehab. They bleed for their cities.(all sports) Remember that.

  11. Trojangangordie September 18, 2015 2:29 pm

    Get better Jaylyn!!!! We all praying for you!!

  12. 645 September 18, 2015 2:35 pm

    @kapoleistorm get your facts right, no one in there front 7 is from Waipahu and the LB roster goes deep with talent, St. Louis is rubbish and they were exposed in the beginning of the season by mililani in that scrimmage. Punahou is the only team that plays exceptional football in the ILH and they will prove that when they play St. Louis

  13. 88 September 18, 2015 3:17 pm

    Caveman football was good enough to get Kahuku to the State Championship game 9 times. Caveman football is also what got Kahuku 7 State Football Titles, winning back to back Titles 3 times. Its funny that the school that plays Caveman football is the same school with the most State football Titles and appearances. Caveman football must be pretty good

  14. Troy September 18, 2015 6:33 pm

    Doesn’t kapolei get players from other schools and can’t even make it to the championship game

  15. Supboss September 18, 2015 10:27 pm

    I’m not pro St. Louis…. But I think they had one of the longest championship winning streaks. Maybe just as long if not longer than Kahuku. Nothing against Kahuku either because I too believe they have an awesome system going on. But sorry to say though… I think the best hawaii team will still struggle against the best teams in like Cali or Texas. Just IMO…

  16. hawaiian September 20, 2015 12:04 am

    Mililani is the best. And they don’t have to talk crap to prove it. Just look at their record. All the haters are just gonna keep hating. Lets just wait and see who walks away with another championship! Sorry 88

  17. 88 September 20, 2015 9:19 am

    You mean the best 1 LOSS team. There are a few UNDEFEATED teams out there that might have somthing to say about that.

  18. Homegrown September 20, 2015 8:32 pm

    Where was all these Polynesian names in previous years for Mililani?

  19. 88 September 20, 2015 10:47 pm

    @Homegrown; Maybe the vanpool that brings the kids from Town to Mililani wasnt up and running yet.

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