Mililani's offense ready for Kahuku


POSTED: Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's a good thing No. 8 Mililani played its final game at John Kauinana Stadium on Friday night.

The scoreboard probably needs a break.

A prolific offense and a struggling defense have made for some crazy games, and that trend continued for Mililani in the first round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red playoffs.

Trent McKinney threw four touchdown passes in the first half and Mililani scored 40-plus points for the second straight game in a 47-35 victory over Kaimuki.

A week earlier, Mililani (7-2) scored 41 points, but it wasn't enough in a 54-41 loss to Waianae. In back-to-back games to close their home schedule, the Trojans have scored 88 points, but given up 89.

“;These kids always make it interesting, but they always pull together,”; Mililani coach Darnell Arceneaux said. “;When it's time to get down and dirty, these kids get down and dirty and the fans who buy a ticket get their money's worth.”;






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Mililani's success on offense has come with the maturation of McKinney, a dual-threat junior who can make plays with his arm and his feet.

He carved up the Bulldogs (2-7) for 174 yards in the air and another 96 on the ground, averaging 12 yards every time he tucked the ball away and ran.

“;Just doing what the defense gives me,”; McKinney said.

After consecutive losses to Kapolei and Waianae bounced the Trojans from the ranks of the unbeaten, Mililani bounced back with a closer-than-expected win over the Bulldogs.

The Trojans did whatever they wanted in amassing a 34-6 halftime lead, but defensive breakdowns that hurt them in previous weeks again became a problem as Kaimuki rolled off 29 second-half points.

“;We've just got to finish,”; Arceneaux said. “;It's how you start and it's how you finish and we didn't do that.”;

Two-way starter Taz Stevenson played very little on offense in the second half as Arceneaux admitted “;not wanting to show too much”; in advance of next week's quarterfinal game at Kahuku.

But when Viliami Fonokalafi plunged into the end zone to make it a 41-28 game, Arceneaux had to go back to his starters.

“;We played a lot of our guys, but that's not an excuse,”; he said. “;We had to get some of our guys back in.”;

For a team that has given up 130 points in its last three games, Mililani still has confidence it can travel to the North Shore and beat an undefeated Red Raiders team thanks to its offense.

“;We've just got to step up and keep clicking,”; said Bryson Calma, who caught three first-half touchdown passes against Kaimuki. “;Play together and execute.”;