[ OIA RED WEST ]
Mililani slogs to 21-0
win over Nanakuli
The Mililani Trojans are unofficial masters of the mud bog.
Just don't expect them to forget the power of an aerial attack when they're standing in 4 inches of the sludgy stuff.
Maka Kahoano connected with Jon Santos for touchdown passes of 85 and 15 yards as fourth-ranked Mililani stifled Nanakuli 21-0 last night.
The victory before a homecoming crowd of about 3,000 lifted Mililani to 2-0 in Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West play (4-0 overall). Nanakuli slipped to 1-1 in league (2-2 overall).
"Jon Santos came up big for us tonight," said Mililani coach James Millwood, who had reason to be concerned before kickoff. "I don't know if it's because it's a Saturday, but before the game our guys seemed very flat."
Nanakuli coach Al Beaver gave Santos a thumb's up. "That No. 4 made some great catches. We tried to double-cover him," Beaver said.
The Trojans entrusted sure-handed junior Jordan Apduhan, who led all rushers with 94 yards in 10 attempts. In all, Mililani rushed for 173 yards in 32 attempts.
"We've been practicing in the rain, so we're used to the conditions," Apduhan said. "Everything was a team effort. It's a good win for our seniors."
Kahoano was 9-for-18 for 211 yards passing without an interception. Santos finished with seven receptions for 169 yards.
Nanakuli tallied 119 yards rushing in 28 carries. Jaycee Alapai completed eight of 20 attempts for 76 yards. He struggled to get a decent grip on the slick, muddy ball, and was intercepted twice.
Beaver was far from satisfied.
"We gave them too many breaks and had too many penalties. Give Mililani credit. They played good on a rainy night," Beaver said. "Right now, my team isn't mentally tough."
In the first half, the visiting Golden Hawks did as expected, using a veer attack to grind out yardage and time. Alapai, a senior, directed the option, leaving Mililani with only three first-half possessions.
The Trojans, who went to a wishbone set last week, returned to their I slot formation. Mililani got on the board early in the second quarter on Kekoa Perbera's 4-yard burst through the middle. That capped a six-play, 61-yard drive -- aided by four Nanakuli penalties worth 36 yards.
Mililani led 7-0 with 11:56 to play in the opening half.
Sparked by fullback Alex Maiava's 28-yard jaunt up the middle, Nanakuli got as deep as the Mililani 15-yard line in the third quarter. However, Mililani's swarming defense suffocated the Golden Hawks, and Nanakuli turned the ball over on downs.
Kahoano struck immediately, connecting with Santos, who juggled a tipped pass and raced untouched for an 85-yard TD.