HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Waianae's Bronson Panui broke up a pass play to Mililani's Geoffrey Badua last night.
Ben McQuown had his ups and downs last night, but it's safe to say he's smiling today.
McQuown overcame a few miscues to score on a 65-yard touchdown, and his clutch fourth-down run set up Justin Kauwalu's 15-yard scoring jaunt with 6:02 remaining as No. 5 Waianae rallied past seventh-ranked Mililani 13-9 last night.
"Seventy-five percent of this win goes to the defense, and 25 percent goes to the O-line and our running backs," McQuown said.
A raucous crowd at Raymond Torii Field saw the Seariders win their Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West opener. The defending divisional champions are 2-0 overall and breathing a bit easier after their young defense came through over and over again.
Mililani's last-chance drive ended at the Waianae 25-yard line when linebacker Nalo Hauhio deflected a fourth-down pass by Rustin Funakoshi. Waianae then ran out the clock with a pair of big first-down runs by Kauwalu and B.J. Jelf.
The Seariders' defense, with major personnel adjustments, shut out the explosive Trojans in the second half and permitted a paltry 72 yards. Defensive back Matt Ibanez was a key part of the adjustment, moving to outside linebacker. Ibanez had played linebacker before, but only at practice.
"Coach wanted somebody faster to cover the field," the senior said of defensive coordinator Jason Hussey.
The modification allowed the Seariders to get closer to Mililani's speedy sophomore, Dalaunte Stevenson. He finished with five receptions for 72 yards. Wideout Trent Tamate, who had five catches for 88 yards in the first half, was shut down after the break.
"We played together, played with heart and as a team, we came out banging," Ibanez said.
Waianae's defensive prowess is a continuation from last year's OIA runner-up squad despite the fact that a ton of newcomers are starting. They forced two second-half turnovers and gave McQuown and the offense a chance to find themselves. McQuown, a senior quarterback, ran for 89 yards on 11 carries. Kauwalu tallied 73 hard-earned yards on 17 carries, and Jelf added 58 yards as the Seariders offensive line wore down the tough Trojans.
Mililani dropped to 0-1 in league play, 1-1 overall.
"We've gotta do a better job. I've gotta do a better job as a coach," first-year guru Darnell Arceneaux said. "Waianae made really good adjustments, and our turnovers hurt us, but I'm very proud of our team. We came to Waianae and had a great test. Our guys need to understand it's very early and this is a long season."
Funakoshi passed for 145 yards in the first half, but was 4-for-12 for just 54 yards after the break.
"Our under coverage changed. We moved some of our faster DBs to linebacker spots," Hussey said. "We had to match speed for speed."
Waipahu 28, Waialua 0
Troy Maupautia rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown and passed for two more scores to lead the Marauders over the Bulldogs. Keo Palimoo added 104 yards rushing and a touchdown for Waipahu.
Roosevelt 40, Kalani 0
Ranson Tuitama ran for two touchdowns and 132 yards and caught a 79-yard touchdown pass from Lowen Kahooilihala, as the Rough Riders steamrolled the visiting Falcons in an OIA White game.
Pearl City 35, Nanakuli 14
Antoin DeWalt rushed for 96 yards and scored two touchdowns and Joe Moe added two touchdown runs as the Chargers knocked off the Golden Hawks.
Pearl City quarterback Kawika Borden finished 10 of 12 for 223 yards and a touchdown.
No. 5 Baldwin 29 , Kamehameha-Hawaii 0
Layson Hoewaa started the Bears' scoring with a 42-yard interception return. While Jordan Helle passed for 200 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bears to a shutout win over the Warriors.