It’s OIA championship night at Aloha Stadium as Kahuku and Mililani face off in a rematch of the 2012 D-I final. Both schools have combined to win the last six OIA titles as noted in our list of every OIA title game.
The battle in the trenches should be a real treat to watch as Mililani’s offensive line will try to protect quarterback McKenzie Milton against a talented Red Raiders defense.
In this episode of Trench Warfare, we will highlight the expected matchup between Mililani’s right guard, Andru Tovi, against Kahuku’s talented nose tackle, Salanoa-Alo Wily. Tovi, a junior, checks in at 6-foot-2, 290 pounds while Wily, who committed to UH over offers from Colorado, BYU and Oregon State, is listed at 6-2, 270.
UPDATE: Tovi isn’t listed in Mililani’s starting lineup. Instead it’s senior Chester Leoso as the announced starter. Tovi is suited up but standing behind his Mililani teammates on the sideline.
Nick Abramo reports after the game that Tovi tweaked his knee against Campbell last week.
Nick Abramo reports after the game that Tovi tweaked his knee against Campbell last week.
“We’re all (linemen) mad,” Tovi said, despite the title-game win. I’m grateful for the win, but it didn’t happen up front. We beat ourselves (up front), thinking too much. This game is pau. We’ll move on to the next one.”
As always, each series is scored like a boxing round with a 10-point must system. This is purely for fun meant to shine the spotlight on the horses doing the dirty work up front for both teams.
While we wait for kickoff, here’s a look at other Trench Warfare matchups we have done this season.
Oct. 4: Farrington’s Breiden Fehoko vs. Campbell’s Boss Tafai
Oct. 23: Mililani’s Rex Manu vs. Campbell’s Amosa brothers
Oct. 23: Campbell’s Josiah Mageo vs. Mililani’s Jordan Agasiva
Oct. 24: Punahou’s Canton Kaumatule vs. Saint Louis’ Fred Ulu-Perry
Oct. 24: Saint Louis’ Tanielu Evaimalo vs. Punahou’s Semisi Uluave
Kickoff will follow the Nanakuli/Pearl City OIA D-II game. Approximately a 9:25 p.m. start.
It’s Wily against Leoso to start the game. Mililani tries to run behind Leoso on the first play but Wily stuffs it up and helps on the tackle. Wily is double-teamed on the next play by Leoso and Jordan Agasiva. Wily moves outside and goes up against Agasiva on third down and pushes him away with a nice punch move but the pass goes to the other side. Mililani punts. 10-9 Wily.
Leoso is back out for the second series. Tovi is standing close to the field on the 33-yard line. He looks itching to play. Wily goes up against Agasiva who opens up a nice hole with a great run block on Wily. Wily ducks inside on the next play but is bottled up by a double team as Milton scrambles. 15-yard penalty on Kahuku. A lot of talking between Leoso and Agasiva as the double Wily again on a quick pass to the right. Wily beats Agasiva to the outside on that play but again it’s a quick pass, this time to the left. Wily out on third down and junior Lerod Tongi helps draw a holding call up the middle on center Brett D’amato. Trojans punt after a long incompletion. 10-10.
Wily is matched up one-on-one on Agasiva. Agasiva locks up Wily who still manages to make the tackle six yards down field. Agasiva run blocks Wily as Mililani runs middle. Another 15-yard penalty on Kahuku. Wily doubled effectively on another quick pass to the outside. Tovi has entered the game for the first time. First-and-goal at the 3 and Agasiva tries to streamroll Wily but Wily throws him off and makes a tackle to hold Malepeai out of the end zone. Big time play by Wily. Tovi comes in and immediately blows up Wily to help open up a huge hole as Mililani scores. One huge play each by both sides and again it’s got to be a 10-10 round.
Tovi out and Leoso in. WIly out after scoring the TD. Tongi in and gets run blocked by Leoso. Tongi beats Leoso on next play but it’s a screen. Kahuku matches up senior Roman Salanoa on Leoso and Salanoa bets him inside for a sack. Salanoa is triple-teamed on the next play and Milton is intercepted on a deep ball. 10-9 Kahuku (Salanoa).
Leoso still in there but it’s Agasiva who gets a pancake on Wily on a Milton run. Wily draws a double team by Agasiva and Leoso on the next play and it’s a big completion. Agasiva does a nice job again blocking Wily inside on a run. Wily stands up a double team forcing Malepeai to run right into the backs of his two OL. He’s eventually tackles for a very short gain. Big third down. Third down and Wily drops back into coverage. Mililani TD. 10-9 Mililani (Agasiva).
Wily is out and it’s a one-play touchdown for Mililani. Tongi lined up on the right side and forced Milton to move a little to his left but no rush from Agasiva’s side. 10-9 Mililani.
Wily in to start the next drive. Trojans run away. Next play the snap surprises everyone. Wily gets by unblocked but Milton throws a deep ball in plenty of time. Third-and-12. Wily goes with the stutter move and gets past Agasiva. Only problem is Tongi blows up his guy on the other side and beats Wily to the QB for a sack. 10-9 Wily.
Tovi is in to start the second half and pancakes Kahuku’s Jess Kanongataa as Wily takes a breather on the sideline. Mililani fumbles. Another one-play drive. 10-9 Kahuku for forcing fumble.
Tovi looks pretty amped up as he gets a little extra in on Wily on the first play. Wily crashes inside and actually gets through a triple team but Milton gets the pass away. Wily goes inside leaving Tovi alone to block nobody. Quick pass outside. Fourth down. 10-10. Stalemate.
Wily in to go head-to-head with Mililani’s two-headed monster of Agasiva and Tovi. Wily goes outside and has three moves for Agasiva, who thwarts all of them. Agasiva doing work. Kahuku went with two down linemen there and Mililani runs it straight ahead. Wily comes flying down the line of scrimmage to make the tackle. Now they put Agasiva on guard on a long TD run. Agasiva pancakes Wily and Tovi pancakes another guy but one of them is going to get whistled for a hold. Not sure which one. Must have been Tovi. I was focused on Agasiva and it looked like Wily just got shoved straight down. Flag is indeed on Tovi. Wily goes unblocked as Agasiva picks up the inside guy and Wily crashes down and blasts Malepeai for another tackle. Quick screen on next play after a Kahuku personal foul. Wily tries a straight rush up the middle and Agasiva stands him up. Agasiva throws Wily down as Wily tries to spin and they throw a flag. They sat it’s on Agasiva but Kahuku declines. Not sure I saw that. Anyway, epic battles on that drive. Mililani takes it 10-9.
Wily out on first play as it’s a quick pass to the left. Salanoa gives Agasiva a shot but Agasiva shoves him back. Kanongataa just made an unreal play for Kahuku. He actually beats Agasiva (one of the few times I’ve ever seen Agasiva get beat) but Milton takes off. Kanongataa keeps going all the bay around the line and then gets all the way to the Mililani sideline and helps on the tackle as Milton came all the way back to the other side. Good thing the quarter is over. He will need a breather after running that far on one play. Fourth quarter starts as Agasiva blocks Wily who went with the speed rush outside. No go. Agasiva holds Wily away again but Tovi lets Bradlee Anae beat him to his right. Milton gets the ball away. Solid run block from both on the next play. Agasiva again dominates Wily as Tovi also with the perfect pass block to give Milton plenty of time to throw. Now they run block effectively as Wily, who has to play both ways, looks like he’s wearing down. Hands on hips time for Wily, but hard to blame him. He does so much for this Kahuku team. Milton is picked off on the next play but a dominant effort from the Mililani O-line on that drives. 10-9 Trojans.
Milton has all day to throw as Agasiva is just dominating his matchup with Wily at this point. Tovu doesn’t even need to worry about help. Third-and-14 and Wily jumps. Mental errors when you get tired. No rush on the next two downs but Mililani turns it over. I’d be running right behind Tovu and Agasiva at this point. 10-9 Mililani.
Less than four minutes remaining. Wily out and Agasiva with two solid blocks but Mililani keeps running left with little success. Extremely surprised to see them continue to go away from the two horses on the right side who are doing a great job blocking. Agasiva has just taken over. Mililani sets up a screen on third down but Agasiva misses the block on Braxton Medeiros allowing Medeiros to make the tackle and force a punt. 10-9 Kahuku. On the play that mattered to Mililani’s right side, Kahuku made the play.
Third-and-2 and Mililani punctuates the win running behind Tovi, who snapped the ball, and Agasiva next to him. Trojans run out the clock and win 20-7.
Final tally: 5-5-3.
A bit hectic as Tovi was held out for the first half. When it turned into a one-on-one battle between the two UH commits, Agasiva and Wily, Agasiva impressed once again. Tovi really made a difference in the second half. Would have liked to see Mililani run more to that side as the Trojans were held scoreless in the second half. Kahuku did have some success in the first half with Tovi out but that changed once he entered the game.
Congratulations to Mililani on its second straight OIA title with a win over a game Kahuku squad. It’s too bad Wily-Matagi got hurt. That could have been a game down to the wire.