Mililani upsets Leilehua in rivalry game


POSTED: Sunday, August 23, 2009

Taz Stevenson spent most of the offseason practicing a switch to safety.

That doesn't mean he can't play offense, too.

Stevenson racked up 177 all-purpose yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run, and recovered a key fumble on defense late in the first half to spur No. 10 Mililani to a 21-18 victory over No. 4 Leilehua in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West season opener for the Central Oahu rivals last night at John Kauinana Stadium.

The 6-foot-2 Stevenson saw time at running back, receiver, return man and safety.

“;He's such a factor you can't take him out of our offense,”; Mililani coach Darnell Arceneaux said. “;You just get him the ball and hope for the best.”;

Trojans quarterback Trent McKinney was an efficient 13-for-17 passing for 143 yards, threw for a touchdown and ran for another.




No. 4 Leilehua21
No. 10 Mililani  18



Leilehua's Andrew Manley finished 20-for-38 for 226 yards and a touchdown.

Stevenson had a costly fumble in the fourth quarter, and Leilehua took advantage as Manley hit Kamana Akagi with a 5-yard touchdown pass. They connected again on the 2-point conversion to pull the Mules to 21-18 with 3:15 remaining.

However, the Mules didn't touch the ball again as McKinney hit Hassan Richardson for a 7-yard gain on third and 6 for an extra set of downs to run out the clock.

“;If we made the plays we needed to make it would have been enough to win this game,”; Leilehua coach Nolan Tokuda said. “;Once you get down (in the red zone), you need to score points and we didn't.”;

The Trojans did just about everything on their first drive. Showing a multitude of looks, including the option and a double-pass play, the drive ended with a basic quarterback sneak as McKinney plowed up the middle behind his center for a 1-yard score. The Trojans never trailed and led 21-3 at halftime.

“;This is the biggest game,”; McKinney said. “;It sets the pace for us to take it all the way.”;

The Mules had the ball in the Mililani red zone twice in the first half, but came up empty both times. Stevenson recovered a fumble on the first attempt and Manley had four straight incompletions in the final 30 seconds of the half.