Let your soul stand cool and composed in front of a million universes. — Walt Whitman “Song Of Myself, 48”
Turnovers came early and often for No. 4 Mililani on Saturday night.
The Trojans (4-1) intercepted five passes, including three that led directly to early touchdowns, in a 48-14 victory over No. 5 Campbell in OIA football in Ewa Beach.
Gavin Hunter and Tykea Johnson after Mililani’s 48-14 victory over Campbell on Saturday night.
Mililani’s first TD, however, came thanks to Ikona Kanealii’s fumble recovery. A few plays later, Gavin Hunter was in the end zone on a 1-yard scoring pass from Emana Tarape.
Hunter was at it again a little later, but this time it was on defense. He intercepted a pass by Campbell’s Chayne Kuboyama-Hayashi to set up Makanalea Meyer‘s 5-yard TD run.
“This came down to the work we’ve been putting in as a team,” Hunter said. “We’ve been scheming for them throughout the week. The coaches did a great job preparing us for all the looks. I was pretty pumped up after my interception and touchdown, yes sir. It got things going, and give the glory to God and my teammates.”
Later in the first half, Mililani struck twice with interception return TDs — Aiden Manutai from 47 yards and Tye Barbour from 34 yards. Manutai finished the night with two picks, and Jordan Fetu also added a pick in the game.
The win was extra sweet for Mililani, which wanted to move beyond a 55-20 loss to Kahuku a week ago.
“We just look at this (the loss to Kahuku) as Round 1,” Hunter added. “We know we’re going to see them again, so we just gotta prepare for the next time. We know they’re gonna be better next time as well.”
After taking a 28-0 halftime lead, the Trojans got three second-half TDs — Nehemiah Timoteo‘s 1-yard run, Jase Ellamar‘s 11-yard TD catch on a pass from Tarape, and Tykea Johnson‘s 3-yard run.
“It felt good because it’s my first touchdown of my high school career,” Johnson said afterward. “It was a bounce-back win because we didn’t do too good against Kahuku. This will get our motivation back up.”
Tarape finished with 223 yards passing, including two TD throws. Timoteo churns out 61 rushing yards.
Both the Trojans and Sabers have clinched spots in the OIA Open semifinals in two weeks. Chances are high that they’ll meet again.
Campbell (4-1), which came into the game undefeated, got some lightning of its own in the second half on Kama Espinda catch-and-run TDs of 65 and 80 yards on short Kuboyama-Hayashi passes.
The Sabers have a huge home game next Saturday against undefeated and No. 1 Kahuku (5-0). If Campbell can win, it could create a three-way tie for the OIA Open regular-season title. If the Red Raiders win, they will be the regular-season champs and the top seed the following week in the semifinals.
Against the Trojans, Espinda wound up catching six passes for 179 yards and those two TDs. Kuboyama-Hayashi passed for 242 yards.
Kama Espinda had two TD catch and runs for Campbell on Saturday.
“We just got to come back together as a team,” said Espinda, who was busy all night making plays in the defensive. backfield as well. “We come back on Monday and practice hard and just got to fix what we did wrong. I did’t expect to break off both of those times for touchdowns. It was just five yards out and stop and I just turned and no one was there so I took off.
Other Sabers highlights on the night were Blessyng Alualu-Tuiolemotu‘s fumble recovery and Chaunee Lopez’s hard first-half up-the-middle running.
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