Mililani beats Kahuku to earn OIA Open title
Kahuku 's Mason Paulo makes his way down field for a touchdown.
Three years of frustration in the OIA playoffs finally faded away for Mililani. A year after watching Kahuku celebrate a comeback victory in the OIA Open Division championship game, the Trojans pulled away from the Red Raiders and claimed the league title with a 27-7 win Friday at Aloha Stadium. After winning back-to-back OIA championships in 2013 and ’14, Mililani fell short each of the past three seasons. Kahuku, meanwhile, added three more OIA plaques to its collection in that span, the latest coming after a 35-31 battle in last year’s OIA Open final. This time, Mililani quarterback Dillon Gabriel left no doubt in completing 26 of 39 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns and the Trojans became the first team to beat Kahuku twice in a season since 1973, when Leilehua posted two wins over the Red Raiders. “I didn’t do my part, but luckily we came out with the win,” Gabriel said, downplaying his performance. “Kahuku is a great team, but I think we had less mistakes and kind of took advantage of theirs, but at the same time, they played a helluva game.” Mililani will face OIA third seed Campbell in the semifinals of the Open Division state tournament on Nov. 16. Campbell claimed the final berth in the four-team bracket with a 42-26 win over Farrington in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader. “For sure, we have (a) big game coming up. I’m excited to play Campbell,” Gabriel said. “They’re a great team as well. I’m just trying to enjoy this ride.” As the OIA runner-up, Kahuku takes on two-time defending state champion and top-ranked Saint Louis in the semifinal round. Gabriel, who went 31-for-47 and threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns in Mililani’s 38-10 win at Kahuku on Sept. 29, became the 11th Oahu quarterback — and the third from Mililani — to pass for at least 3,000 yards in a season. He entered Friday’s rematch with 2,994 yards this season and went over the 3,000-yard mark with a 13-yard completion to Ryan Chang on his second throw of the night. He went to Chang again on his next throw for a 67-yard touchdown 62 seconds into the game. Chang finished the night with six catches for 133 yards. The Red Raiders tied the game in the second quarter when Mason Paulo took a quick slant from Robert Sauvao, slipped past a defender and raced to the end zone for a 60-yard score. Gabriel completed seven of his first eight passes, then scuffled through a 1-for-6 stretch with two interceptions. He got back on track late in the half with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi. The Trojans got the ball back quickly and Reichel Vegas’ 29-yard catch-and-run set up Kilifi Malepeai’s 11-yard touchdown burst to push the Trojans ahead 21-7 at the break. The Trojans extended the lead when Gabriel went deep to Vegas for a 47-yard score in the third quarter and the Mililani defense suffocated the Red Raiders in the second half, allowing just three first downs to secure the title. GAME SUMMARY OIA Open championship game
Mililani 27, Kahuku 7 At Aloha Stadium >> Kahuku (7-4) 0 7 0 0 — 7 >> Mililani (9-2) 7 14 6 0 — 27 Mililani — Ryan Chang 67 pass from Dillon Gabriel (Liam McGehee kick) Kahuku — Mason Paulo 60 pass from Robert Sauvao (Duke Heffernan kick) Mililani — Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi 29 pass from Gabriel (McGehee kick) Mililani — Kilifi Malepeai 11 run (McGehee kick) Mililani — Reichel Vegas 47 pass from Gabriel (kick blocked) RUSHING — Kahuku: Wes Alo-Maiava 6-10, Toalei Lefau 4-9, Sauvao 10-(-54), Zealand Matagi 3-1, Thorton Alapa 4-(-10). Mililani: Malepeai 11-40, Raysen Motoyama 6-19, Gabriel 2-9, Javon Miller 1-2, RJ Javar 1-(-8), Team 2-(-5).
PASSING — Kahuku: Sauvao 9-21-0-127, Alapa 1-1-0-(-1). Mililani: Gabriel 26–39-2-375. RECEIVING — Kahuku: Heffernan 3-15, Paulo 4-89, Lefau 1-2, Kainoa Crismon 1-4, Alo-Maiava 1-16. Mililani: Chang 6-133, Vegas 5-86, Malepeai 3-27, Maka Hill 2-33, Mystik Sampaga 2-26, Kuboyama-Hayashi 5-57, Keola Lanias 1-5, Kai Banks 1-11, Motoyama 1-(-3).