Mililani football head coach Rod York told Hawaii Prep World on Wednesday night that he brought up freshman Dillon Gabriel from the junior varsity team to the varsity this week.
The move was made after three-year starter and last year’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State first-team quarterback McKenzie Milton injured his right, throwing shoulder early in last Saturday’s 45-21 win over Kailua.
Backup Kaysen Higa‘s first 10 passes were incomplete against the Surfriders, but he settled down to finish 9-for-23 for 223 yards and four touchdowns with one interception.
York said both Gabriel and Higa will play for No. 3 Mililani (6-1, 6-0 Oahu Interscholastic Association Blue) on Friday in the regular-season finale at Moanalua. Higa is a 5-foot-9, 160-pound sophomore. Gabriel is 5-9 and 150.
York said a determination on the order in which they play Friday (No. 1 and No. 2) will be made when the team arrives at Moanalua for the game.
Higa is 15-for-36 for 274 yards and five touchdowns this season. Another backup, Maka Chun, is 4-for-6 for 43 yards. York said Chun, a 5-9, 155-pound senior, has been out the last two weeks with a concussion.
Gabriel, the son of former University of Hawaii star quarterback Garrett Gabriel, got a taste of the varsity level during a preseason scrimmage against Kamehameha on Aug. 1.
Milton, a senior and a University of Hawaii commit, is out an estimated 3-to-5 weeks with an acromioclavicular joint separation in his shoulder. He may be back as early as the OIA quarterfinals, which the Trojans have already qualified for, but a more realistic estimate, according to his father, Mark Milton, is the OIA semifinals or championship game if Mililani advances that far.