MIL Champion Bears Will Host Kahuku-Mililani Loser
By Rodney S. Yap
The Hawaii High School Athletic Association’s Division I State Tournament Bracket has the Maui Interscholastic League champion hosting the loser of the Oahu Interscholastic Association’s Red Championship game between No. 1 Kahuku and No. 4 Mililani.
MIL D-I champion Baldwin will host the Kahuku-Mililani loser on Friday, Nov. 9 at War Memorial Stadium. The winner will be awarded the state’s top seed, followed by No. 2 seed Punahou, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion. The top two seeds are awarded first-round byes.
The Bears figure to be awarded the No. 3 seed and the Big Island champion the No. 4 seed. Since the MIL champion is seeded higher than the BIIF champion, we assumed Baldwin would play the easier of the two possible OIA opponents, which in this case would be the third-place winner, rather than the OIA runner-up.
No. 1 Kahuku advanced to the championship game by beating No. 6 Leilehua 14-7 in the second OIA semifinal on Friday at Aloha Stadium. Aofaga Wily had a career-high 41 carries for 190 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning score on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Kahuku (9-0) beat Leilehua (7-3) for the fourth straight year in the OIA playoffs to advance to the final for the OIA’s seeded berth.
Mililani senior quarterback Jarin Morikawa threw for 356 yards on 21-of-34 passing and five touchdowns to lead the Trojans to a 42-21 upset win over No. 3 Farrington in the first semifinal Friday at Aloha Stadium.
Mililani, the Red West champion, improved to 9-1 on the year with its sixth straight win and will try for its second league crown in three seasons. The Trojans were supposed to play Kahuku in the 2010 title game but was awarded the championship after Kahuku had to forfeit the game for using an ineligible player earlier in the season.
Leilehua will play Farrington for third place and the final state berth on Saturday at site to be determined.
The eighth-ranked Iolani Raiders (4-3 ILH, 7-3 overall) defeated Pac-5 on Saturday, 28-10, on the Eddie Hamada Field to win the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II crown for the ninth straight year and will return to the state tournament for a shot at a sixth consecutive state title.
Iolani will be seeded No. 1 when the Division II state tournament seedings are awarded Sunday, Nov. 4.
The question is who will be given the No. 2 seed?
Ninth-ranked Konawaena (7-4) — the Big Island Division II champion — needed an offensive boost in the second half to overcome a 28-21 deficit with 9:29 in the third quarter against Hawaii Preparatory Academy (5-5) on Friday at Julian Yates Field in Kealakehua. Turns out the Wildcats’ 56-49 comeback win over Ka Makani was the highest scoring game in Big Island Interscholastic Federation history.
The final score is shocking to Big Island prep football fans as the Wildcats were pushed to the limit on their home field by the league’s fourth-place team that suffered a 43-0 shutout in their first meeting in Waimea.
Meanwhile, on the Valley Isle, Lahainaluna — the MIL Division II champion — made fast work of Maui High, posting an unprecedented sixth shutout in eight games. The 31-0 victory improved the unranked Lunas’ record to 7-1 and 8-1 overall.
The top two seeds are awarded first-round byes. The No. 2 seed will go to either Konawaena or Lahainaluna, with the seeding committee deciding on Sunday, Nov. 4, after the OIA playoffs.
In head-to-head competition, Lahainaluna routed Konawaena in last year’s quarterfinals 23-6.
Since the D-II tournament was formed nine years ago, HPA is the only Big Island team to win a state tournament game, winning in the quarterfinals in 2004 and 2009.
In 11 years of the Neighbor Island Football Championships — from 1986 to 1997 — the BIIF champion won one semifinal game. Waiakea beat Maui High at Wong Stadium in 1996, but was defeated in the NIFC title game against Waimea the following week. Meanwhile, the MIL champion won the other 10 titles, including nine in a row.
The Wildcats’ John Kamoku, a former quarterback at Kealakehe, rushed for three touchdowns and 200 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Lii Karratti threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns on 16 of 29 passing.
Karratti’s touchdown passes were for 66, 25, and 60 yards, respectively.