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Prep Football Preview Special
Michael Lasquero | ScoringLiveNovember 18, 2023, 1:05am
Fri, Nov 17, 2023 @ Mililani [ 4:00 pm ]
MILILANI — Less points, same result.
No. 1 Mililani pitched a shutout after the opening quarter to overwhelm No. 3 Campbell, 44-7, in the first Open Division semifinal at John Kauinana Stadium Friday night.
The Trojans advance to next Friday's First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championship at the T.C. Ching Athletics Complex against No. 2 Kahuku in a rematch of this year's OIA title game. They will be trying for their first crown in the Open Division and their third state title overall in their first championship appearance since 2018.
It was Mililani's 11th straight win of the year and its second win over the Sabers this season. The Trojans (11-1) bested Campbell (9-4) in the OIA semifinals, 55-37.
Kayden Anzaldo's pick-6 late in the third quarter highlighted a dominating defensive performance by Mililani as the seven points scored by Campbell tied a season-low.
"We're just so thankful that they got seven, but it's the most stressful seven points that we gave up because they're so dangerous," Mililani coach Rod York said. "We got lucky a couple of times, got a turnover on downs and the big one was the pick-6. It was a game of momentum."
The lone score for the Sabers came at the 3:55 mark of the first quarter on a Jaron-Keawe Sagapolutele 20-yard touchdown pass to Tainoa Lave, but it was sandwiched between two first-quarter TDs by Mililani receiver Onosai Salanoa.
Salanoa's scoring grabs helped the Trojans take a 14-7 lead into the second quarter as he finished with five receptions for 65 yards and was named the impact player by the Spectrum OC16 television broadcast.
"Me and that guy go way back, he's just such a hard worker," said Mililani quarterback Kini McMillan, who completed 33 of 45 passes for 272 yards and three TDs against one interception. "I'm just so proud of him. I was so happy once I heard he was getting impact player I was like a happy puppy.
Mililani extended its lead just before the half on Nakoa Kahana-Travis' 6-yard TD run to give the Trojans a 21-7 advantage at the break.
Davyn Joseph hauled in an 8-yard TD pass from McMillan midway through the third quarter for a 28-7 lead before Anzaldo's defensive score.
A fumble that went out of the back of the end zone notched a safety for the Trojans early in the fourth quarter while another scoring run by Kahana-Travis capped the game's scoring to turn on the mercy-rule running clock with 4:13 left in the game.
Linebacker Elijah Nua led the Trojans in tackles with eight (two solo). He also notched a sack and finished with two tackles for loss. Aizik Mahuka and Chevy Robinson also had sacks for Mililani.
Six different Mililani players had three receptions or more. Makel Paiva led the way with eight catches for 66 yards.
Lave led all Campbell receivers with seven receptions for 61 yards.
Diamond Hanohano-Pastushin and Antonio Castro were the leading defenders for the Sabers in their season-ending loss with six solo tackles each.
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