Mililani thinking positive


POSTED: Sunday, October 04, 2009

The hope of an unbeaten season for the Mililani Trojans football squad came to an end Friday night when Kapolei utilized a pressuring defensive presence to shut down Mililani 41-24 before a jam-packed crowd of more than 4,000 at the Trojans' John Kauinana Stadium.

With the loss, the second-ranked Trojans fall to 6-1 overall. More importantly for Mililani coach Darnell Arceneaux, however, is the comfort that his team stays in contention to capture the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West Division crown with a 4-1 mark.

“;This is the wild, wild West, where anything can happen,”; Arceneaux said. “;Our team understood the importance of winning in this league, but even with this loss we gain because we know we must work harder to win. This will be an experience we will learn from.”;






Kapolei 41
No. 2 Mililani 24



Playing top-notch defense, Kapolei (5-2 overall, 4-2) stopped Mililani by slowing down quarterback Trent McKinney, who transferred from Kapolei, whenever he tried to run the option. Generally known for his foot speed, McKinney was forced into hurrying several of his pass attempts, which resulted in three interceptions. Kapolei picked off a fourth pass by Nainoa Pihana.

While McKinney played the whole game, all-purpose player Taz Stevenson saw limited playing time due to an injury suffered in the second quarter. But he did manage to catch one pass for 12 yards and secured Mililani's first TD late in the opening quarter by pounding the ball into the end zone on a 5-yard run.

Coming up big for Kapolei were seniors John Carter and Nick Ulu. Both excelled on the front line in Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez's 4-3 defensive formation.

The pair worked in harmony in containing Mililani's explosive running game, especially in the second quarter, when the Hurricanes took control to lead 20-10 at intermission.

“;We worked extremely hard this week preparing for this game,”; Carter said. “;We knew that we had to stop Trent and Taz if we wanted to win. Hopefully, this victory will strengthen our bond and help us realize that we can play great together.”;

Ulu echoed Carter's views.

“;The team played united tonight,”; he said. “;Everyone gave a great effort. This will help us in future games.”;

With its defensive success, Kapolei gained excellent field position, which allowed its offense to score with ease.

“;Our victory proves that we can play with anyone,”; Hernandez said. “;The defense played brilliant and provided us with a special win.”;

Fans of Hurricane football steadily cheered on Kapolei's defensive unit as it repeatedly forced McKinney to make adjustments. Long-time supporter David Asuncion of Wahiawa was happy to see Kapolei's defense come alive.

“;I've watched Kapolei play every football game since its first (ever) game against Kailua back in 2000, and this is the best I've seen the defense play,”; Asuncion said.