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(Fri) November 16, 2012

HHSAA Division I FOOTBALL: #2 Punahou defeats Mililani, 49-19

By Wes Nakama

Tui Tuileta completed 24 of 35 passes for 420 yards and five touchdowns and Kanawai Noa had 11 receptions for 229 yards and one TD Friday night as Punahou blew past Mililani, 49-19, in the First Hawaiian Bank/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Division I Football State Championship semifinals.

The Buffanblu improved to 8-2 and will face Kahuku (11-0) at 7 p.m. on Nov. 22 in a rematch of last year's title game.

Mililani led, 13-7, after Jarin Morikawa's 18-yard touchdown pass to Erren Jean-Pierre with 2:22 remaining in the first quarter. But Ryan Tuiasoa's 1-yard TD plunge with 8:52 left in the half and Kainoa McDonald's extra point gave Punahou the lead for good at 14-13 and started the Buffanblu on a 35-0 run that was capped by another 1-yard scoring run by Tuiasoa that helped push the lead to 42-13 with 9:26 remaining in the game.

The Trojans (10-3) closed it to 42-19 on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Morikawa to Jean-Pierre with 8:44 left and KK Padello recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Mililani lost the ball on downs at the Punahou 13 and the Buffanblu sealed the victory on the very next play when Tuileta hit Tuiasoa on a swing pass and Tuiasoa ran 87 yards down the right sideline for a TD.

Tuileta's 420 yards passing is the second-highest total for a Division I State Tournament game; Leilehua's Keenan Sadanaga set the record with 478 in 2010.

Tuileta's 6-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Sekona helped give Punahou a 7-0 lead with 8:35 remaining in the first quarter; the score was set up by Dayson Watanabe's interception at the 10-yard line.

The Trojans responded with an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by Morikawa's 19-yard TD pass to Ekolu Ramos. Ryan Carlomany's PAT tied it at 7-7, and Mililani later took the lead at 13-7 on Morikawa's touchdown throw to Jean-Pierre.

Morikawa was 23 of 49 for 295 yards and three touchdowns.