POSTED: 7:04 p.m. HST, Nov 19, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 10:35 p.m. HST, Nov 19, 2010
In a game full of offense, it was defense at the end that propelled Waianae past Mililani in a state football tournament semifinal on Friday and into its first state championship game.
The Seariders beat the Trojans 48-41, with Mililani knocking on the door in the final minute, with the ball on the Waianae 7 with a first down and less than a minute left.
Mililani's Zachary Payomo rushed for 3 yards on first down, but the Trojans got just 1 more yard on three more tries, with linebacker Chavez Kauwalu making the final tackle.
The Seariders (7-6 overall) will face undefeated Saint Louis (11-0) in next Friday's championship game. The Crusaders defeated Leilehua, 42-28, behind three touchdowns from Marcus Mariota.
Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Mililani ended its season at 10-2, both losses to Waianae.
Before the last minute, the game was dominated by offense. The teams combined for 931 yards.
Waianae's Jaylen Mitchell rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Payomo rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Mililani's Trent McKinney passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns and the Trojans' Hassan Richardson caught five passes for 103 yards.
Waianae was 1-4 before turning things around this season. The Seariders only got into the state tournament because undefeated Kahuku was displaced because it forfeited games for using an ineligible player.
"This team, we thought from the get-go we had the skill positions and the linemen," Waianae coach Daniel Matsumoto said. "It was just a matter of getting the mental aspect and believing in themselves."
While this is Waianae's first state tournament final, the Seariders did play in 14 Oahu Prep Bowls, winning three. Waianae and Saint Louis have met in eight Prep Bowls, with Saint Louis winning seven.
The Crusaders will apear in their eighth state final, but first since 2007. They are 2-5 in those games, with their wins coming in 1999 and 2002.
Mariota completed 17-of-19 passing for 349 yards, with touchdown passes of 14 yards to Duke Bukoski and 40 to Jeremy Tabuyo.
Leilehua quarterback Kenan Sadanaga finished 38-for-58 for 420 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions.
Fred Padrones had 14 catches for 145 yards and three scores and Darrien Shealy hauled in nine receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown.