OIA FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Radford/Farrington

OIA D-I First Round

The matchup: Radford (1-7) vs. Farrington (4-4)
Location/Time: Farrington, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
Head-to-head (since 1973): Tied 3-3
Last meeting: Farrington 35, Radford 13, Aug. 30, 2002. Matt Bell (Far) 23 carries, 180 yards, 3 TD; 6 rec, 70 yards, TD.

The numbers are just numbers.

At Radford, 1-7 may be the football team’s win-loss mark, but they don’t reflect the sea change made in the second year of Coach Lon Passos. The Rams have a yeoman’s task ahead on Saturday as they visit the Farrington Governors, who will host their first playoff game on campus.

Farrington has come a ways since those early preseason battles, trying to figure out who would do what in the post-Challen Fa‘amatau, post-Kingston Moses-Sanchez era. Defense and special teams did most of the heavy lifting early in the season, and to a large extent, it’s still about those two phases for Coach Randall Okimoto’s team.

Each week, however, the Govs show a glimpse of what can be. Chris Afe, all 6-foot-1 and 273 pounds of him, has good accuracy on the short and intermediate passes asked of him, and also has arm strength matched by few downfield. Stephen Eter again showed incredible agility and elusiveness, leaving Leilehua defenders in his trail in the final minutes of last week’s blowout loss to the Mules.

Of course, the rub is that Farrington was scarcely in the game, losing 33-6 on the road. At times, the Govs’ youth and inexperience surface. They committed nine penalties in the first half at Hugh Yoshida Stadium, and though the lost yardage (51) doesn’t seem like much, those constant miscues stunted any potential momentum. Farrington finished with with 14 flags for 88 yards.

At the end of this dark tunnel: Farrington hasn’t played its best game yet. The pieces are there. The defense, which is sometimes elite with run stoppers (Fo‘i Sula, Blessing Umaga) and pass rushers (Cameron Faletufuga), has one of the top defensive players in the state with versatile Chasen Castilliano roving the secondary.

This is where Radford’s much-improved offense will have its toughest task. But first, a year-over-year comparison of these resilient Rams.

> QB Randy Wright
2016: Seven games, 36-for-136, no TD passes, 14 INT, 257 yards. Completion rate 26.5 percent. Passer rating: 21.76
2017: Six games, 54-130, 10 TDs, 9 INT, 786 yards. Completion rate: 41.5 percent. Passer rating: 102.70.

Most improved player in the OIA? Possibly. Whatever Wright and his coaches did in the offseason, don’t stop. WOW.

> RB Iovani Alatini Jr.
2016: Three games, 10 carries, 14 yards, no TDs.
2017: Six games, 85 carries, 398 yards, four TDs.

That’s 4.7 yards per rushing attempt in DIVISION I. There’s a case to be made that a smaller school like Radford should be in D-II, and there’s no question that Wright, Alatini and the rest of the Rams would find much more success there. But nearly 5 yards per carry in OIA D-I is something the O-line and Alatini can always be proud of.

> WR Cameron Copeland
2016: Seven games, 15 receptions, 184 yards, no TDs.
2017: Five games, 14 receptions, 249 yards, five TDs.

When I saw Copeland last year, before he even made his first catch, he passed the eye test. Tall (6-2, 175), good hands, just in need of a passing attack that could put it together. The Rams aren’t a pass-first unit, but the way they can utilize his length in the red zone is a major plus. He has major upside, the kind that has me blurting this into cyberspace: if Copeland were in Mililani’s offense, he would have at least 25 receptions for 400-plus yards and six to seven touchdowns. If this sounds mediocre, it is not. Mililani has five receivers with at least 10 receptions, and the catch leader (Ryan Chang) has 25 hauls for 505 yards and eight TDs.

In today’s world of route trees and progressions, few teams lock in on a single, big-play pass catcher. But let’s say Copeland was the deep-route runner for a more traditional offense like, hmm… Kahuku 2001 with Inoke Funaki at QB and Coach Siuaki Livai implementing four-wide packages imported from the UH coaching staff. In that scenario, Copeland nabs maybe 25 receptions for the entire season, but averages 21 yards per catch and finishes with eight TD grabs. Mulivai Pula at tailback draws eight in the box, and Funaki heaves corner and post passes to Copeland in 1-on-1 coverage against 5-6 cornerbacks all season long.

If, if, if…

Radford has come a long way, and numbers don’t always tell the whole story. They can tell us, however, about startling changes, and now, the Rams get their chance to surprise an entire league.

Farrington has won the last three meetings with Radford. The Rams last beat the Governors on Aug. 31, 1984, a 7-6 game at Aloha Stadium.

Top performances in series
Farrington passing vs. Radford: Raymond Haynes with 131 yards in 1973
Farrington rushing vs. Radford: Matt Bell with 180 yards in 2002
Farrington receiving vs. Radford: Robert Souza with 112 yards in 1973
Radford passing vs. Farrington: Stephen Baughn with 145 yards in 2002
Radford rushing vs. Farrington: Armand Kalani with 103 yards in 1980
Radford receiving vs. Farrington: Samuela Manoa with 65 yards in 2002

Radford’s offensive statistics


Updated: Oct. 9, 2017
(Missing stats from Centennial game)

PASSINGGC-A-IYdsTD
Randy Wright764-158-1087611
Austin Antoni21-6-0190
Matai Suitonu30-2-000
RUSHINGGAttYdsTD
Iovani Alatini7903944
Randy Wright7441770
Davon Tauai419410
Marcell Williams24200
Taias Savea5250
Carson Dean5220
Aldrich Pasual11-10
Matai Suitonu34-30
Joshua Ala11-40
TEAM73-250
RECEIVINGGRecYdsTD
Cameron Copeland5142495
Taias Savea5101580
Robert Garrison5101553
Matai Suitonu371171
Iovani Alatini7111070
Carson Dean510920
Michael Pritchard12182
Davon Tauai11-10

Farrington’s offensive statistics


PASSINGGC-A-IYdsTD
Stephen Eter1059-121-976613
Chris Afe945-87-44474
Bobby Alualu-Alo90-1-000
Samsen Tanuvasa80-1-000
RUSHINGGAttYdsTD
Samsen Tanuvasa8794092
Bobby Alualu-Alo9592590
Stephen Eter10381231
Chris Afe937891
Reginald Faamatau1020881
Chasen Castilliano810751
Zion Lista39470
Malik Lokeni218360
Blessing Umaga615320
Tymon Paleafei32130
Wendell Alob65110
Chad Silva9480
TEAM109-500
RECEIVINGGRecYdsTD
Chad Silva9243473
Stephen Eter10252572
Bobby Alualu-Alo9121531
Reginald Faamatau10141394
Tymon Paleafei32641
Tre Barrett46631
Chris Afe94622
Samsen Tanuvasa86410
Malik Lokeni21311
Chasen Castilliano82200
Jace Ehia12180
Manaia Sevao22111
Wendell Alob6180
Blessing Umaga6241
Zion Lista31-50

COMMENTS

  1. Choloropicrin October 6, 2017 7:51 am

    I think Radford has a shot to upset the Govs. Their offense might be the what keeps them in the game, if they can score early and get some stops on defense I feel that they have a shot. They’ve played a brutal schedule, Kahuku, Campbell and Waianae, so seeing a physical team should not be an eye opener. They have athletes that can do it, so we’ll see.


  2. Education First October 6, 2017 11:05 am

    Here is some information for the nitwits that didn’t believe me. This just illustrates that more people are aware of the risks of playing football and how important academics is.

    You think it’s a coincidence that Punahou could barely field an intermediate and jv team? You think there’s no correlation between the low turnout at Iolani and the risk of CTE? Kaiser, traditionally a community with middle class and higher citizens have kids who are not interested in football (and this was prior to the new coach coming 1 year ago).

    Here is the full story – http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/10/06/sports/sports-breaking/footballs-decline-has-some-high-schools-disbanding-teams/

    I will highlight parts of the story below. I know many of our Kahuku Fans cannot read the entire article, so I will help you guys out.

    “The situation at Centennial — where a long history of losing has dampened students’ enthusiasm for football — is unique to this part of central Maryland, but there are plenty of similar examples around the U.S. Participation in high school football is down 3.5 percent over the past five years, according to the annual survey by the National Association of State High School Federations, or NFHS. The decline would be much steeper if not for a handful of states in the South and the West. Throughout the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast, in communities urban and rural, wealthy and working-class, fewer kids are playing football.”

    “The risks of football have never been more apparent. This summer, researchers at Boston University said they’d found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of the 202 former football players they studied. The athletes whose brains were donated to the study had played football in the National Football League, college and even high school.”

    “A study published last month in the medical journal Translational Psychiatry showed that kids who played football before age 12 were more than twice as likely to have mood and behavior problems.”

    “Maryland is one of 14 states where participation in football was down 10 percent or more over the past five years, according to NFHS data. In all, 41 states saw a decline between the 2011-12 and 2016-17 school years, and just nine states and the District of Columbia saw increases.”

    “In West Windsor Township, New Jersey, which borders Princeton University and has a median household income of $137,000, one of the two public high schools dropped varsity football this year, and the other might have to do the same next year.

    “Trinity High School in Manchester, New Hampshire, also disbanded its varsity team, with hopes that it could return in a lower division next year.”

    “In Ventura County, California, northeast of Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks High School disbanded its junior-varsity team this season because it needed sophomores and juniors to fill out the varsity roster. In Marin County, north of San Francisco, Novato High School announced that it wouldn’t field a varsity team this year, but the program got a last-minute reprieve when more athletes than expected showed up for practice.”

    “The decline in participation isn’t just limited to wealthy, coastal communities. Among the states where participation is down more than 10 percent are Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Population in Illinois has also declined over that period, while in Michigan and Wisconsin it has only grown slightly.’

    “While participation in tackle football is down, flag football is becoming more popular. Participation in the NFL Flag program run by USA Football for kids ages 6-17 increased by 66 percent from 2013 to 2016, with 385,000 kids playing last year.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiprepworld@staradvertiser.com.

*