The matchup: Saint Louis (8-1) vs. Mililani (10-2)
Date: Friday, Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m., Aloha Stadium
Head-to-head: Saint Louis leads 4-1
Last meeting: Mililani 63, Saint Louis 47 (Aug. 16, 2014)
Biggest margin of victory: Saint Louis 47-12 (Nov. 21, 2003) and Saint Louis 55-20 (Aug. 27, 2011)
Smallest margin of victory: Mililani 63, Saint Louis 47 (Aug. 16, 2014)
SAINT LOUIS’ SINGLE-GAME LEADERS VS. MILILANI
Passing: Jeremy Higgins, 291 yards (Saint Louis 48-20, Aug. 23, 2008)
Rushing: Kamana Pimental, 175 yards (Saint Louis 55-20, Aug. 27, 2011)
Receiving Desmond Hanohano, 307 yards (Saint Louis 47-12, Nov. 21, 2003)
MILILANI’S SINGLE-GAME LEADERS VS. SAINT LOUIS
Passing: McKenzie Milton, 369 yards (Mililani 63-47, Aug. 16, 2014)
Rushing: McKenzie Milton, 204 yards (Mililani 63-47, Aug. 16, 2014)
Receiving: Deshawn Duncan-Benson, 189 yards (Saint Louis 55-20, Aug. 27, 2011)
Saint Louis’ offensive leadersUpdated: Nov. 21, 2015
Mililani’s offensive leadersUpdated: Nov. 14, 2015
It might be the most memorable August high school football game in history.
Mililani was coming off a loss in the state final to Punahou the year before while Saint Louis was welcoming back Cal Lee for his third stint as Crusaders’ head coach. It was the first game for both teams after a potential Hurricane wiped out opening weekend.
Mililani QB McKenzie Milton absolutely thrashed the Crusaders defense to the tune of 369 passing yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 204 yards and three more TDs. Running back Vavae Malepeai rushed for 112 yards and receiver Kalakaua Timoteo caught nine passes for 167 yards and a touchdown as the Trojans put up the most points a Saint Louis team had ever allowed in a 63-47 win.
It was also the first time fans were made aware of a then-sophomore quarterback named Tua Tagovailoa, who played in relief of starter Ryder Kuhns and threw for six touchdowns.
It was the first of 22 consecutive wins against Hawaii teams by the Trojans, who went on to win the 2014 state title. Saint Louis lost in an ILH playoff game to eventual state-runner up Punahou, but is now back in the state tournament for the first time since Marcus Mariota led the Crusaders to the 2010 title.
Friday night’s second semifinal game in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships at Aloha Stadium has a lot to live up to compared to the previous meeting.
And it just very well might.
Mililani is healthy with Milton back after missing four games with a shoulder injury. Tagovailoa has dealt with a calf issue all season but looked his best since suffering the injury in a winner-take-all ILH clinching win over Punahou. That was three weeks ago and Tagovailoa has had 21 days to rest up even further.
The Trojans are averaging 52.8 points per game, which puts them just ahead of Lee’s 1998 Saint Louis team that averaged 52.7 points a contest for the most in the Prep Bowl/state championship era. Saint Louis is averaging 37.8 points per game but has put up 51 against Kamehameha and 45 against Punahou — two pretty good defenses.
The teams do have one common opponent this season in Liberty High in Nevada. The Patriots came to Hawaii and lost 43-16 to the Crusaders before pounding the Trojans 76-53 a week later at their own place.
Talent wise, the game has players committed to Hawaii (Milton, Timoteo), USC (Saint Louis LB Jordan Iosefa), Oregon (Malepeai), Stanford (Saint Louis OL Nate Herbig) and Cal (Saint Louis WR Drew Kobayashi). That doesn’t include Crusaders juniors Tagovailoa and LB Isaac Slade-Matautia, who are both ranked in Scout.com’s Top 300 overall for the Class of 2017, and others with legitimate D-I offers (Saint Louis DB Luca Vartic, Mililani OL Andru Tovi).
(UPDATE: Iosefa will not play due to suspension)
They started the year holding the top two spots in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10. One of them will have to watch the state final from home. The Crusaders and Trojans, powered by two of the best quarterbacks Hawaii has seen in recent memory, meet Friday night in the second D-I semifinal at Aloha Stadium. Is Saint Louis ready to move on and reclaim the throne it held for so long under Lee in the Prep Bowl days? Or does Mililani’s threesome of Milton, Malepeai and Timoteo lead the Trojans back to a third straight appearance in the state final?
Kickoff is 7:50 p.m.