Posted: August 24, 2012 - 3:05pm
No. 5 Mililani rolls to 35-7 win over Waianae
The Mililani defense came up big, holding Waianae to just seven points in the victory. Joshua Lopez | Mililani HS
MILILANI - Another solid defensive effort and a one-sided second quarter lifted Mililani to a 35-7 win over Waianae Friday in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West Conference opener for both teams.
A crowd of nearly 2,500 at John Kauinana Stadium saw the Trojans (3-0, 1-0), ranked fifth in the ScoringLive/OC16 Power Rankings, limit the Seariders (1-2, 0-1) to just one score in a game televised live statewide on OC16.
Mililani got seven takeaways from its defense (four fumbles and three interceptions) and cashed in on three of them for scores.
"Our defense held them and gave us a lot of opportunities and we kept plugging away and our kids made plays, we got some scores, but definitely our defense and special teams led the way," York said.
Offensively, Jarin Morikawa threw for three scores - to three different receivers - to overcome a slow start for the Trojans. Mililani finished with 319 yards of total offense, including 123 on the ground.
"We needed that from our running game," Trojans coach Rod York said. "We've been trying to establish our run-game and it was nice to finally see some production tonight."
Mililani got its first score via the ground-game on the opening drive of the contest. Dayton Furuta capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive with his 6-yard jaunt to paydirt less than three minutes in. Mark Matas tacked on the extra point to give Mililani a quick 7-0 lead.
Midway through the second quarter, Furuta - who also plays linebacker - forced a Waianae fumble that was recovered by Beau Winchester and six plays later, Morikawa hit Ekolu Ramos for a 36-yard touchdown pass with 7:14 on the clock. On the scoring play, Morikawa rolled out of the pocket to his left and found Ramos, who got open despite three defenders in the area.
The Trojan defense came up big a few minutes later when defensive lineman Dakota Turner stripped the ball after a short Waianae completion and ran it back 59 yards for a Mililani touchdown. After the Matas kick, the score was 21-0 with 4:03 until halftime.
"I was watching film and they went to it, I felt the short pass coming right there and I came in, ripped it out and sprinted as hard as I could," said Turner, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior. "I've never sprinted that fast in my life."
York was pleased, but not surprised by the athleticism Turner displayed on the return.
"That's why he's got a scholarship to San Diego State," York said. "Why UH isn't offering him nothing ... I don't know."
Waianae turned it over again on its next drive when Winchester picked off quarterback Kekoa Kaluhiokalani with 2:12 left on a third-down pass. Winchester returned the pick 19 yards to the Trojans 48-yard line.
After a 39-yard run by Antonio Boies - and a 15-yard personal foul against the Seariders - Mililani had goal-to-go from the Waianae 7. A holding penalty on Mililani's next play, pushed the ball back to the 25, but Morikawa found Erren Jean-Pierre for a 14-yard scoring strike two plays later to put his team up, 28-0. Jean-Pierre was lined up wide right of the formation and Morikawa threw a back-shoulder pass away from two defenders on the touchdown.
Mililani led, 28-0, at halftime.
"We had success on our first drive and after that I think we got a little complacent, but we persevered through our troubles and we were able to put up some points later," said Morikawa, who finished 19-of-39 passing for 193 yards. "Our defense put us in great field position all night, so I have to give it up to them."
On the first offensive play of the third quarter, fullback Alakai Kealoha busted through a hole at the line of scrimmage and rumbled 80 yards for Waianae's lone touchdown. The extra point was good by Jacoby Cid to make the score 28-7 early in the third.
The score held until midway through the fourth quarter, when the Trojans culminated a 10-play, 61-yard drive with Morikawa's third touchdown pass - a 6-yarder to Dustin Camarillo. Just one play prior, Mililani had an apparent touchdown called back when a 1-yard leap into the end zone by Furuta was negated by a chop block penalty. However, Morikawa connected with Camarillo, who ran a skinny post from the left slot position, on the next play to make it 35-7 with 6:01 to play.
Waianae coach Dan Matsumoto pointed at the second quarter and the seven turnovers as the difference, but gave credit to the Trojans defense.
"We've got to take care of the ball better than we did tonight. The turnovers really killed us, but then again, we didn't execute well enough," Matsumoto said. "Bad things just kept happening over and over, but the kids didn't give up and I'm proud of them for staying in the game. Mililani has such a tough defense, they play such hard-nosed defense."
The Trojans got four sacks on Waianae quarterbacks, including two by defensive lineman Mene Perese. Linebacker Jacob Afele picked off a pass and forced a fumble.
Despite the one-sided score, York said he felt fortunate to open a tough Red West regular-season schedule with a win over the Seariders.
"Waianae's a tough team, they're well-coached, hard-nosed, very physical and we're fortunate to have made enough plays to get some scores," York said.
Kealoha finished with a game-high 118 rushing yards on seven carries for Waianae.
August 24, 2012
Dakota Turner, 59 yard fumble return for touchdown.
> more video highlights
Mililani WR Ekolu Ramos makes a leaping grab over a Waianae defender. Joshua Lopez | Mililani HS
Mililani SB Dustin Camarillo attempts to evade the tackle of a Waianae defender. Joshua Lopez | Mililani HS
Waianae receiver Noa Nakamoto looks for running room against Mililani. Joshua Lopez | Mililani HS