York: ‘I need to do a better job’

Mililani wide receiver Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi took a vicious hit after a catch during the first half of Saturday's OIA D-I title game at Aloha Stadium. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

It was a weekend of hypnotic, thrilling football.

There was mostly tight, down-to-the-wire play in the Division I and D-II state tournaments. But in the Oahu Interscholastic Association D-I championship game, Mililani came so, so close. A 21-7 lead dissipated. A 31-28 lead vanished. Kahuku (10-1) won its third league title in a row with a dramatic 35-31 victory on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.

Rod York, the Trojans’ coach, was stoked by his team’s effort. He was less than happy with his own performance, even after Mililani (10-1) gave Kahuku its toughest challenge in OIA play.

“I need to do a better job of coaching. I didn’t do a good enough job,” York said.

The good

>> A fumble recovery that led to a 7-0 lead — Dillon Gabriel’s 15-yard TD pass to Josiah Sampaga

>> Power running between the tackles, especially by Jalen Tuivaiave-Olomua, who scored Mililani’s second TD.

>> Ryan Chang’s 49-yard TD haul from Gabriel gave the Trojans a 21-7 lead.

>> A swarming Mililani defense that limited Kahuku to 122 rushing yards.

The not-so-good

>> Kahuku took advantage of a short field after Gabriel’s third-and-15, quick-kick punt, scoring in the final minute of the first half to cut the margin to seven points (21-14). Kahuku then scored on its opening series of the second half.

>> After a number of non-calls regarding ineligible-man-downfield violations, York was seething when his team was whistled for one. It was enough to draw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, very rare for York, let alone any coach.

“The officials did a hell of a job. They caught some stuff and they didn’t catch some stuff. I thought the crew was really good,” York said. “I’m seeing some penalties and they’re not even calling it, guys eight, 10 yards down field and they didn’t call it, but that’s all part of the game. Credit Kahuku, man, they played a helluva game. They showed heart. They earned it, and we made too many mistakes, and that’s on me.”

Gabriel, a junior, passed for 297 yards and three TDs with one pick. He completed 60 percent of his 45 pass attempts. Kahuku limited Mililani to 73 rushing yards (22 attempts).

“You go back to what kind of defense Kahuku has,” York said. “We didn’t just play a defense. We played a defense that gives up 4 points a game, gave up just 17 points to the No. 10-ranked team in the nation, Bingham. Coach Makoa (Freitas) did a great job getting his boys ready. We’ll be back.”

Conversely, Kahuku ran the ball 29 times at 4.2 yards per rush. Mililani’s physicality was apparent in the first half, which activated the Kahuku passing attack. Sol-Jay Maiava finished with 248 passing yards and two TD tosses.

“I didn’t get my boys ready. We’ll get the team ready, regroup, get back to the lockerroom and set our minds right,” York said.

By finishing second, the Trojans are slotted into a matchup with Saint Louis in next weekend’s Division I-Open semifinals of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships.

“It’s playoff time. It’s crunch time. That’s why we love it and wanted to be in it,” York said. “Even though we lost, our kids left it on the field and gave it everything they had. When you play a team like Kahuku, you’ve got to play good. I’ve got to do a better job.”

The top-ranked Crusaders, who have been idle since sealing the ILH crown two weeks ago, have some doubters. Can the defending state champions be effective without having a dominant ground attack? Maybe it’s a question that has no substance in an era of spread formations and accurate QBs like Gabriel and Maiava, who are more than willing to fire seven-yard strikes on third-and-6.

“Saint Louis, they’re strong as ever. They’re ranked No. 1 for a reason,” York said. “I would love to see them play Bishop Gorman this year. They’re doing a helluva job. They’re smashing everybody.”


  1. 88 November 5, 2017 7:51 am

    Did he see the HOLDING on his Left Tackle that allowed his RB to score? Or the touchback, when his QB lost the ball diving for the pile on, that rolled out of the end zone. I am happy that the State got to see the crap these kids got to go up against every game. If the Kahuku JV game was televised the State would of witnessed the same thing too. 5 straight penalties placing the ball inside the 5 yard line. Refs should never aid to the outcome of a game.

  2. Eyeswideshut November 5, 2017 8:13 am

    He should have been ejected from the game…Poor example of a Head Coach…The way the refs were so one sided, Coach Frietas should’ve been the one throwing a Baby tantrum….Worst officiating Championship Game ever…!!!

  3. 808 sports fan November 5, 2017 8:38 am

    How does the QB punt the ball into his own lineman and throw the ball down field and there’s no illegal forward pass. Mean that’s backyard hawaiian style football. Lol.. rod york better hope this officiating crew is there against the crusaders bc his Trojans squad is battered and bruised. Crusaders is fresh off a 2 week rest. Perfect recipe for destruction against the trojans

  4. Bbb November 5, 2017 8:42 am

    Everyone one always talking about the refs. Welcome to pearl city’s world!

  5. anywaaaays!! November 5, 2017 9:11 am

    Rod York: “I need to do a better job….. recruiting.”

    Gotta hand it to you, Rod, you and your team of recruits stolen from other communities played a great game, and you somehow managed to get the refs, the media, and the HHSAA conspiring to bring us down, but BETTER LUCK NEXT YEAR. RRFL!

  6. ahinalu November 5, 2017 9:48 am

    Coach York,
    Your Staff, Players and Fans did a Great Job !
    Too bad there has to be a loser.
    This Game will go down as one of the Greatest Play Off Games in Hawaii History.
    Just Beat St. Louis and Hope for a Rematch with Dem Red Raiders !
    EPIC Game !
    Kahuku Red Raiders The Pride if The North Shore .

  7. "UNITY=STRENGTH" November 5, 2017 10:25 am

    Happy and proud for both programs what a Game anybody could have won on any given night Great job from both staff’s but that’s the nature of the game and like the old saying goes “We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.” Vince Lombardi Now Guy’s the Koa is bigger It’s for STATES!!!:)

  8. Toomeke November 5, 2017 1:27 pm

    York is a good coach and recruiter. Good for him and good for Mililani. And he really cares about his players and he’s obviously passionate about his team. Hope they roll over St. Louis. They are better balanced on offense so I’m looking forward to another great game this coming weekend. Good luck Milz.



  9. Oline52 November 5, 2017 2:48 pm

    OIA wants nothing of the ILH in a mixed league. It’s ILH and States till Cal Lee retires. Took 2 yrs till build his dynasty. About 100 varsity players on the squad all stolen away from the OIA and other ILH schools. I’m good with pride but if you a bettin man gotta go with Cal. Sorry everybody for the comments.

  10. TARHEELS November 5, 2017 4:17 pm

    Why does RedRaiders always complain about officials ?
    You guys sounds like a bunch of crybabies just play the game.
    I was there the officials did not have a good game but they were bad for both sides.
    Plus it’s out a bad name to your community when some donkey throws a water bottle on the field show some class

  11. Lisa Vaimoui November 5, 2017 5:37 pm

    Both communities have great pride in their teams.

    Rod Yorks is a great coach, very passionate, knows and loves the sport of gridiron with all his heart.

    Good luck to all teams who are still in the State tournament. But, gotta go with my Kahuku Red Raiders for the Championship!

    One Love & Peace All Around!!!

  12. Dafun November 5, 2017 6:28 pm

    The red raider fans always say that everyone is recruiting like no damn soles and Tongans move frome elsewhere to go to kahuku…

  13. Jason Keuma November 5, 2017 6:58 pm

    Tarheals. Please site an example of the refs doing a bad call against mililani.
    I can give you five that were called, and several that was not called.

    Thank you for your response.

  14. Jason Keuma November 5, 2017 7:01 pm

    I just read my comment, Those five
    Calls were against Kahuku, and at least three that were not called against them.

    I am asking for bad calls called
    Against mililani, during last nights game.

    Were you at the jv championship? Final drive is still fresh in red raider fans minds.

    Thank you for your response.

  15. Kaimi Haiola November 5, 2017 8:25 pm

    #9 Cry babies & donkey name calling is okay? Hmmm

  16. Kaimi Haiola November 5, 2017 8:29 pm

    So name calling is okay here? Crybabies…donkey?

  17. Gone Fishing November 5, 2017 9:42 pm

    Shout out to Kahuku coaching staff and head coach Makoa Freitas. Offense been developing all year and thank goodness because wee needed all of it last night. Defense was great late when we needed it to be. Blitzing at the end of game was briliant and gutsy.

    Worst referee job ive seen since the 95′ prep bowl. The ref crew will watch the film Of the game and will agree among themselves that the oofed the pooch on this one. Very bad…very, very bad.

    On another note, Couple parents complained this week about the intensity and aggressiveness at Red Raider practice and how they didnt feel safe for their kids. Dear Mr. & Mrs. Notsafe, Please pull you son off the team and stay safe with him at your home while the rest of the team and staff go on and try to win a STATE TITLE!!!!! Unreal……frickin unreal…….

  18. Awrite!! November 5, 2017 10:31 pm

    Dafun – Why do the soles and tongans move to Kahuku/Waimanalo/Kalihi instead of other parts of the island? answer: Because of their roots. Mililani needs to import or recruit the Polys, although to the Trojans credit they do breed some really good soccer players.

    I enjoyed the program Rod York created at Mililani the past 5 years, someone gotta step up and compete with Kahuku and the ILH, its really good for everyone. Yorks rant was selfish, its all about him and his assistant coaches, not the players.

    ps- The Kahuku fans throwing stuff on the field was classless too but between York, the bottle throwing and the refs…the refs take the cake.

  19. Awrite!! November 5, 2017 10:33 pm

    Anywaaaays!! is the bitter Punahou alum making trouble for Kahuku. LOL! no life!

  20. Happy November 5, 2017 11:46 pm

    That was a really good game, so intense. Hats off to Millilani and their valiant effort! You guys gave it your all… gr8 job. Keep ur head up.

    Remember people this is High School football, no need for name calling and asinine comments!

    RR4L. ~Peace be the journey~

  21. Fa tae November 6, 2017 1:21 am

    Coach York we don’t want to hear your personal problems, Braddah man look like the biggest cry baby on TV.

  22. Period November 6, 2017 3:57 am

    Mililani is a town of mostly affluent people. That’s why their kids are good soccer players rather than American football players. You can’t tell me the Motoyamas, Changs, Gabriels, Kuboyamas, will do the same with other players like them in the defensive and offensive lines and running back. C’mon man! They’d probably be in division II. York showed his true colors and should’ve been ejected.Period! The ball is dead after their kicker hit it up that lineman’s butt. Correct me if I’m wrong, when the ball is touched first by the same team that punted, the ball is dead. Case closed! Now as for doing a better job, York needs to consult with St.Louis and go to where they recruit because they’re not up to par with the talent or they can get with the refs and conspire to do everything they can to prevent their opponents victory. Hernandez should also watch the game over and see how he called it because it was so Mililani dominated, in fact, he thought it was over halfway through the first quarter. Look out scrub, Mililani will take away more of your players because you don’t know how to coach. Your team should have done way better had there been a smart coach leading them. Sorry for this rant, but Rory is way more even keeled when doing the color, he doesn’t have a favorite beforehand. It seems that everyone is against the people who have less, are not prettier, or have long last names but they cannot take away their hearts, their mana. Period!

  23. rrforlifebaby November 6, 2017 10:25 am

    I’m not sure why you calling out Coach Hernandez. Even he said during the broadcast that if it had been him instead of York, he(Hernandez) would’ve been tossed. And even though I don’t really care for Ojastro, both he and Hernandez BOTH called out the officials for some of the calls that didn’t go Kahuku’s way…ie the touchdown that wasn’t a touch down, the ball out of the endzone that should’ve been a touchback, the phantom illegal block on the return, the blatant non-holding against Mililani.

    With that being said, York is doing a good job of building his program(recruiting or not, whatever), but his actions that night were unacceptable. He should’ve been tossed.

    The person who threw the water bottle should’ve have his azz kicked.

    I hope Mililani beats St Louis next week: 1) Cause it’s St Louis, 2) as usual, Crusader fans chirping alot. Red Raider fans do too, but I’m a Red Raider so screw the Crusaders…lol, 3) would be awesome to see an ALL OIA final, plus the fact that it would be a rematch.


  24. TooMeke November 6, 2017 10:50 am

    @Awrite!! – you would be bitter too if you was one Puns alum…

    All that talent = no ways they should lose to Kam…and should be right there with StL. Poor coaching by OC killed a lot of Seniors year.

    Oh well…I’m not one. 😀


  25. ChruchIsTRUE November 6, 2017 1:12 pm

    All I know is if this was in the parking lot. Coach York would SASA all the kahuku coaching staff 1by1. Haahaa

  26. Seku November 6, 2017 4:01 pm

    The way I see it, 1) is that York gotta put himself together before any tantrum. 2) Glad to have watched a game that made everyone here commenting squeezing their muli cheeks together. 3) find some officials that can make calls and keep it fair for both teams. 4) hats off to the Mililani Trojans for playing to the very end. 5) congrats to the Kahuku Red Raiders for being the OIA champs of 2017. 6) game is pau already. 7) let’s move on to states. 8) get ready to watch another great battle between the Trojans and the Saints. 9) RR4L!!!!. 10) Mahalo and ya ok Bye!!!

  27. Coach Les November 6, 2017 9:11 pm

    (808) no act up, easy to be a critic…the boy’s will play hard.

  28. KaaawaCountry November 7, 2017 7:26 am

    @churchistrue 😂 like bet ?

  29. RidgeRunnerE-5 November 7, 2017 2:39 pm

    “I need to do a better job”…nah, you’re alright coach, keep punting on 3rd. down.

  30. Pulefano Galeai November 7, 2017 3:59 pm

    I’m 73 years of age. I live in Laie but attrended Robert L. Stevenson Intermediate and grad from McKinley HS. All of my 7 kids grad from Kahuku and my wife taught there. Rod York is a distance cousin of mine and have great admiration for him. I also have great respect for Makoa Freitas Kahuku’s new coach. I’ve watched football games year in and year out even when the stadium was by Kaimuki side. The stories and complaints that went on those old long time ago still lingers on its the same old thing. Of all the good or unkind gestures and words we speak, we are speaking directly to our children. Coaches and raferees do their job and move on. Our God given children are ours to keep, cherish, teach and rear for a successful future even till eternity. When our sons and daughters are bruised (mind and heart) from the field through a vicious game, harshness of coaches and the unpredictable calls of the referees, they need love of a parent to hold and comfort. Parents and older brothers and sisters can’t take sides and say unkind words against anyone. By doing that we will bruise and hurt our ids perhaps for a life time. I am related to the many playing for Kahuku. I have grandsons playing for St. Louis and cousins in Waipahu, Ewa, Mililani, Waianae, Punahou, Kam, Farrington and more. I support and follow everyone of them. I have my own personal wishes and many times it’s the other way around. There is always two sides to all things the good and the bad. When we choose to follow the Spirit of the Lord we will prevail for the betterment of all aound. But when we choose to follow the adversary, we will hurt ourselves, our children, our family, our school, community and our Father in Heaven. Let’s hope for great games ahead and may the team that has fully prepared and study their homework, win. For we win some and lose some. Theres another season ahead but let us love all players for they are our children to. Forgive me if I went over my bounds. Alofa tele.

  31. ChurchIsTRUE November 8, 2017 4:06 am

    Kahuku fans

    1 of u guys come grab your unko. Pretty soon I going ask him if he was classmates wt my unko “SIATTA” or his Bradda “KITA”

    Don’t explain ur life!?!?! Lol

  32. Praise The Lord!!!! November 8, 2017 9:13 pm

    Praise the lord… well said Pulefano.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.