It took nearly an entire half for Trent McKinney and Hassan Richardson to get into gear.
But once Mililani’s pass-catch duo finally found its rhythm, there wasn’t much Waianae could do to slow it down.
The combination of McKinney to Richardson produced 162 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Trojans to a 38-28 win over Waianae in the semifinals of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference yesterday at Aloha Stadium.
All told, McKinney passed for 317 yards and five scores and rushed for 96 yards as the Trojans overcame a 14-0 first-half deficit, then held off a Waianae rally to give themselves a shot at the school’s first OIA championship.
"It was tough," Mililani coach Rod York said. "We rested it on the shoulder pads, the helmets and the hearts of our kids. The coaching staff did a great job of not panicking and our playmakers made plays."
Mililani (9-1) also secured a spot in the Division I state tournament after missing out last year by avenging its lone loss of the season.
"Last year coming up short, we put it in our hearts that this was our goal," McKinney said.
Waianae (4-6) defeated Mililani 42-28 on Sept. 4 to turn its season around and will try to earn the OIA’s final state tournament berth in the third-place game.
Waianae forced Mililani to punt on its first four possessions, holding the Trojans to 46 yards on those drives, while quarterback Puletua Wilson led the Seariders to two second-quarter scores, a 1-yard quarterback sneak and a 35-yard pass to Lawrence Akana.
But Mililani ended the half with McKinney connecting with Richardson on a 40-yard touchdown pass with 30 seconds left to tilt the momentum the Trojans’ way.
"At first it was like, ‘not again,’ " Richardson said of facing the early deficit. "We scored that touchdown at halftime, so it gave us a little momentum for our defense. The defense did their thing and we did our thing."
Mililani had a field goal blocked to open the third quarter, then scored twice in a span of 6 seconds to take the lead for good.
After the defense stopped Waianae on downs, McKinney connected with Richardson on a third and 19 for a 37-yard touchdown pass. The Trojans then recovered a squib kick, and a personal foul penalty gave the Trojans possession at the Waianae 14.
One play later, McKinney hit Colby Lum over the middle for the go-ahead score and Zachary Payomo stretched Mililani’s lead to 21-14 by running in the 2-point conversion.
The Trojans spread the field with five receivers for much of the second half, giving McKinney open running lanes when he was forced to keep the ball as Mililani outgained Waianae 176 yards to 68 in the third quarter.
"Trent understands where to go with the ball," York said. "He’s a very intelligent quarterback; he doesn’t get enough credit for that. He didn’t throw any picks and didn’t fumble the ball."
Waianae produced several big plays of its own to stay in the game as James Wilson scored on a 36-yard run and Puletua Wilson hit Akana for a 63-yard score in the fourth quarter.
But Mililani answered both times with Richardson touchdown catches, a 40-yarder on a third and 26, and a 4-yard score on fourth and goal with 17 seconds left to seal the outcome.
"Third and whatever it is, it’s look for the open guy," McKinney said.
"That’s all we do in practice," Richardson said. "We keep working at it and get the timing down and that’s how we do it during the game."
Puletua Wilson completed 14 of 23 passes for 201 yards to lead Waianae, which needed a win in the last week of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs and will try to extend its season again next week.
"We just look forward to another practice week and hopefully get the momentum back," Waianae coach Daniel Matsumoto said.
"I know it’s tough, but knowing we still have a chance to get in the state tournament, hopefully it’s not that hard to motivate them."
|Wain–Puletua Wilson 1 run (kick failed)|
Wain–Lawrence Akana 35 pass from P. Wilson (Mailei Suiaunoa pass from P. Wilson)
Mil–Hassan Richardson 40 pass from Trent McKinney (Jarin Morikawa kick)
Mil–Richardson 37 pass from McKinney (kick failed)
Mil–Colby Lum 14 pass from McKinney (Zachary Payomo run)
Mil–FG Morikawa 32
Wain–James Wilson 36 run (kick failed)
Mil–Richardson 40 pass from McKinney (Morikawa kick)
Wain–Akana 63 pass from P. Wilson (P. Wilson pass from Keola Bradley)
Mil–Richardson 4 pass from McKinney (Morikawa kick)
RUSHING—Mil: McKinney 19-96, Payomo 7-7, Reid Watanabe 1-2, Kaimi Andres-Kamikau 1-(-1). Wain: Bryson Panui 8-85, J. Wilson 3-41, P. Wilson 14-24, Jaylen Mitchell 4-21, Keola Bradley 3-18, .
PASSING—Mil: McKinney 22-37-0-317. Waianae: P. Wilson 14-23-0-201.
RECEIVING—Mil: Richardson 9-162, Lum 7-88, Nainoa Pihana 2-25, Ervan Jean-Pierre 2-20, Payomo 1-16, Andres-Kamikau 1-6. Wain: J. Wilson 4-30, Hookena Kamana 3-24, Akana 2-98, Panui 2-20, Brian Paul Manuel 2-15, Suiaunoa 1-14.
‘IOLANI 42, DAMIEN 7
Senior running back Ammon Baldomero rushed for 97 yards and four touchdowns to power the Raiders past the winless Monarchs at ‘Iolani.
Baldomero opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the first quarter and added two more TDs in the second quarter as ‘Iolani built a 35-7 halftime lead.
The Raiders, 7-3 overall, finished first in ILH Division II with a 5-2 record, while the Monarchs finished 0-10 and 0-7.
|Damien (0-10, 0-7)||0||7||0||0||—||7|
|‘Iolani (7-3, 5-2)||14||21||7||0||—||42|
‘Iol–Ammon Baldomero 1 run (Jordan Lee kick)
‘Iol–Josiah Sukumaran 15 pass from Reece Foy (Lee kick)
‘Iol–Baldomero 12 run (Lee kick)
‘Dam–Shayvis Wilson 2 run (Lyle Alloy-Glover kick)
‘Iol–Lee 8 run (Lee kick)
‘Iol–Baldomero 1 run (Lee kick)
‘Iol–Baldomero 1 run (Logan Watanabe kick)
RUSHING—Dam: Dylan Yonamine-Baysa 6-39, Dustin Lungay 1-0, Shayvis Wilson 5-0, Rusty Kauahikaua 1-(minus 2). ‘Iol: Baldomero 20-97, Foy 6-69, Lee 8-27, Sheldon Gallarde 3-13, Kevin Barayuga 1-3.
PASSING—Dam: Yonamine-Baysa 13-30-1-116. Iol: Foy 15-22-1-168, Barayuga 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Dam: Kauahikaua 5-57, Lungay 4-21, Austyn Flores 1-18, Daylan Demello 1-7, Ariya Ameripour 1-7, Wilson 1-6. Iol: Gallarde 4-48, Kasey Takahashi 3-40, Sukumaran 2-25, Dane Arakawa 2-17, Bret Christman 1-14, Trevyn Tulonghari 1-10, Lee 1-10, Barayuga 1-4.