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Saturday, October 26, 2002


[ HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL ]



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GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mililani's Sean Fujimoto congratulated Nate Adams following Adams' game-winning reception against Nanakuli.




Trojans advance
on last-minute TD



By Nick Abramo
nabramo@starbulletin.com

Mililani's Sean Fujimoto worked the 2-minute drill to perfection last night, guiding the Trojans on a 14-play, 80-yard scoring drive to dump Nanakuli 19-15 in the first round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association football playoffs at Aloha Stadium.

Nate Adams latched on to Fujimoto's 15-yard fade in the right corner of the end zone for the winning points with 8 seconds left.

"Sean threw it up and I caught it, concentrating to get my foot inbounds as much as possible," said Adams, still buzzing from the adrenaline rush of the victory. "Other than that, it was just a blur. He put it where it was supposed to be. I looked up, saw them call 'touchdown' and it took a while to figure out what happened. I couldn't think for a while."

Adams said he got both feet inbounds. It appeared he had only one foot down on the close play, but that's good enough in high school.

In the winning march, Fujimoto completed 4 of 10 passes for 59 yards, including a 34-yard strike to Jose Santos. Billy Barbour's 10-yard run on a fourth-and-2 situation at the Nanakuli 26 with less than a minute left also gave the Trojans a big boost.

Mililani could have tried for the go-ahead points from accurate kicker Whitney Shimatsu, but with less than 15 seconds remaining, Fujimoto brought his team to the line.

"We kind of rushed the play in," Fujimoto said, "and I knew I had to hurry to get the ball off. I took a one-step drop, just like in practice, and Nate came up with a big play. We didn't have any timeouts, but we thought we had a shot at the end zone and then go for the field goal if it didn't work out."

The winning drive, aided by a pass interference penalty, wiped out what looked like Nanakuli's relatively safe 15-13 lead that the Golden Hawks held through most of the second half. They took up a mega-chunk of time in the final quarter -- 7:56 to be exact -- and drove 60 yards to the Mililani 16, but the Trojans stiffened and Kyle Beck missed a 33-yard field-goal attempt.

Mililani (5-3), which finished in the middle of the pack in the OIA East Red Conference, moves on to play OIA West Red power Kailua next week. Nanakuli (6-2), the OIA White champion, will move up to the Red Conference next year.

As soon as the final second ticked away to end the season, the Golden Hawks headed directly to the stadium's north tunnel, boarded the bus and drove home.

"We did no overlooking of Nanakuli at all just because they're in the White Conference," Mililani coach James Millwood said. "We knew exactly what kind of team they were. They did a great job and came out fighting and inspired in the second half."

Nanakuli's Ikaika Asinsin had a whale of a game on the ground, carrying the ball 20 times for 185 yards and a touchdown.

At Aloha Stadium

Nanakuli (6-2, 6-3) 7 8 0 0 -- 15

Mililani (5-3, 6-3) 7 6 0 6 -- 19

Nan -- Kyle Beck 94 kickoff return (Ikaika Asinsin kick)
Mil -- Billy Barbour 3 run (Whitney Shimatsu kick)
Mil -- Barbour 71 run (kick failed)
Nan -- Asinsin 70 run (Asinsin run)
Mil -- Nate Adams 15 pass from Sean Fujimoto (run failed)

RUSHING -- Nanakuli: Asinsin 20-185, Beck 14-22, Albert Distajo 10-45, Laga Savea 1-5. Nanakuli: Barbour 19-156, Peter Raneses 5-10, Jose Santos 2-4, Peter Enomoto-Han 1-3, Fujimoto 5-(-32), Carlo Raneses 1-(-3), Aran Bisho 1-(-5).

PASSING -- Nanakuli: Distajo 1-8-0-16. Mililani: 8-15-1-131, Barbour 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING -- Nanakuli: Dominic Gomes 1-16. Mililani: Adams 4-55, Enomoto-Han 1-33, Barbour 1-0, Bisho 1-9, Santos 1-34.



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