Due to No. 3 Mililani’s potent offense that is averaging 59.2 points in five games, the Trojans’ defense gets a bit overlooked.
The biggest question for the unit — after giving up 76 points in a loss to Liberty in Henderson, Nev., two weeks ago — is how will it hold up against Thursday night’s opponent, Oahu Interscholastic Association Blue rival and sixth-ranked Farrington at 7:30 p.m. at Aloha Stadium.
Certainly not as imposing as last season’s defense, which included Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State senior defensive tackle Rex Manu, this year’s squad has a bunch of playmakers on defense and special teams
And those playmakers made some huge plays in Saturday’s 54-6 homecoming win over Aiea.
Defensive end Isaac Liva, who had not played football before this year, had two and a half sacks and a another tackle for loss. Linebacker Keli Clemente was all over the field making tackles, breaking up passes and being a sheer menace.
The Trojans’ defense also put points on the board, when speedy defensive end Kaimana Padello caused an Aiea running back to fumble and Elias Pritchard took it home for a 30-yard score.
On special teams, Mililani got a boost from Jarod Alama, who recovered an onside kick that led to a scoring drive to start the second half.
As noted earlier, it should be interesting to see how the Trojans defense stacks up against Farrington’s formidable offense. Governors running back Challen Faamatau rushed for 236 yards in a 19-13 win over No. 7 Kailua last weekend.
In addition, the Govs are more balanced (passing and rushing) than in years past, when their damage was done mostly with a power running game. They have three capable quarterbacks with lots of varsity experience — starter Bishop Rapoza and backups Joziah Anakalea and Justin Uahinui and a strong receiver corps led by Kingston Moses-Sanchez.