The two teams have played multiple times in four of the last five years, but will have to make a stand against a tough West team to meet each other in the playoffs.
It is a familiar refrain this time around, as the Govs and the Red Raiders represent the top two teams in the East. It has been like that in the runup to the game year after year, and year after year Kahuku has used its rival to let the OIA know who rules the division.
And that defense has always started with a strong defense and a persistent running game. The Red Raiders have put a running back over 100 yards in three of the last five games against Farrington, thanks to Aofaga Wily. Fullback Polikapo Liua and Hiapo McCandless have taken over for Wily (after taking over for injured Soli Afalava).
Farrington isn’t a slouch running the ball, either. Tyler Taumua put more than 100 on Kahuku twice in the last three meetings, but he graduated. Sanele Lavatai has done a good impression of the speedster, leading the OIA Red East with 612 yards, more than 200 more than his nearest challenger.
Kahuku has won 16 of the last 17 meetings between the schools, losing only during the regular season in 2011 when the Governors took a close one 14-13 at Roosevelt. Kahuku avenged that loss 23-0 in the playoffs. Farrington’s last win before that was way back in 2002 with another one-point victory, 21-20.
Keeping it close might be Farrington’s only chance, since the Governors are 2-2 against the Red Raiders in games decided by three points or less since the state championship era began in 1999. Almost every loss has been a blowout, with Kahuku winning by more than three touchdowns 14 times in the 23 meetings and averaging 29.7 points to Farrington’s 6.3.
Kahuku holds a 32-13 edge in the series since 1972 with 12 shutouts to Farrington’s two.
Notable games in the Prep Bowl and state championship eras
Biggest blowout for Farrington: 29-0 in 1985 when Sim Tiatia ran over the Red Raiders for 144 yards and the defense did the rest, not allowing Kahuku to complete a single pass.
Biggest blowout for Kahuku: 47-0 in 2001 behind 135 passing yards from Inoke Funaki and 85 rushing yards on eight carries from Mulivai Pula. The Governors sat more than 20 players due to academic probation in the early-season matchup. Kahuku sat its starters in the second half.
Top passing performance for Kahuku: Alema Atuaia with 225 yards in a 35-6 win in 1992. Justin Young was his top target with 93 yards.
Top passing performance for Farrington: Corey Shippy with 262 yards in a 50-19 loss in 1995.
Top rushing performance for Kahuku: Mark Atuaia with 224 yards in a 26-14 win in 1990. Quarterback Daryl Stant only needed to throw for 80 yards in the win.
Top rushing performance for Farrington: Harry Tuimaseve with 185 yards in a 9-6 overtime win in 2009. Cameron Mercado kicked a field goal from 28 yards to send Kahuku to the state title game.
Top receiving performance for Kahuku: Spencer Hafoka with 133 yards from Waika Carvalho and Kurtney Silva in a 35-7 win in 2003 at Aloha Stadium.
Top receiving performance for Farrington: Paulson Leong with 181 yards in the 50-19 loss in 1995.