Skippa Diaz Stadium open for business

Skippa Diaz Stadium will host its first varsity game on Friday. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

Kamehameha and Farrington haven’t played a meaningful game since Onosai Tanuvasa toted the rock for the Governors more than 40 years ago, but Friday’s clash means more than most.

The neighborhood rivals have met 19 times since the Governors left the ILH way back in 1969, but always in August or September.

This time, though, they will christen brand new Skippa Diaz Stadium on the Farrington campus, and that will mean plenty to fans who are lucky enough to find parking.

The Warriors hold the edge since the split, winning 14 of the 19 games including six in a row twice. Farrington rose up to beat Kamehameha back-to-back only once, in 2010 and 2011 at Kaiser High School.

They last met in 2013, when Kamehameha throttled Farrington 38-3 behind 200 rushing yards from Brandon Kahookele. It is the Governors’ worst preseason loss since coach Randall Okimoto endured a 59-0 defeat to Cameron Higgins and Saint Louis in 2005.

Okimoto has made the neighborhood rivalry less of a one-sided affair, going 2-2 against the team from up the hill. He played for Diaz in the 1990s and will want to get the edge in the opener of the stadium named after his mentor.

Okimoto has already won as many games against Kamehameha as Diaz, who went 2-12 against the Warriors. The current Farrington boss sits just two wins away from matching Al Espinda for the most in school history.

Espinda went 113-52-5 for Farrington from 1966-91 and Okimoto is 111-62-3. Diaz has an OIA championship that those do not, though, to go with Tom Kiyosaki‘s ILH title in 1965.

Farrington’s 16-6 win over Kamehameha in front of 25,000 fans that year will never be beat by a preseason game. It was Farrington’s first title since 1944 and was the subject of Jim Becker’s famous Star-Bulletin story, “The day the Govs won it all.”

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2005/Nov/16/sp/FP511160334.html

Here is a look at the top single-game performances in the series. A lot of the games were preseason and stats were not recorded, and if you go to before the split matchups like Harry Kahuanui vs. Donald Hue (1945), Skippa Diaz vs. Agenhart Ellis (1961) and Ambrose Costa vs. Clarence Dias would certainly pop up:

Farrington vs. Kamehameha
Passing: Elijah Filifili with 122 yards in 2006
The Governors have not thrown the ball much in the early season contests against Kamehameha, but Filifili was up to the task in a 7-6 loss at Kunuiakea Stadium. That small number doesn’t sound like much, but Filifili was sacked 10 times against the Warriors, seven in the first half, and still managed to complete 12 of his 24 passes. Kamehameha defensive end Taylor Hibbs tallied three sacks in Farrington’s first four plays. The Govs never quite fixed the pass blocking issue and won only six games, ending its season with a 33-6 loss to Mililani.

Rushing: Joshua White with 185 yards in 1994
White had the benefit of a game under his belt, coming into Aloha Stadium with a 124-yard game to his credit in a 12-0 win the week before against Bonita Vista, Calif. He improved upon it against Kamehameha, burning up the turf for 185 yards in a 33-15 win. He put together six more 100-yard games that year before being stopped for 57 by Kahuku in a 21-7 loss in the OIA championship.

Receiving: Toma Barrett with 70 yards in 2011.
Farrington has never had a receiver pass the century mark against the Warriors, but Barrett hooked up with quarterback Travis Tamapua for 70 of his 85 yards in a season-opening 26-21 win at Kaiser. Barrett was Farrington’s biggest receiving threat all season, leading the team in the state in 10 of 12 games. Barrett’s Governors won nine more games in a row after beating Kamehameha to reach the state tournament before falling to Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium.

Kamehameha vs. Farrington
Passing: Shane Chan with 222 yards in 1995.
No Warrior has ever filled the air with footballs against Farrington more than Chan, who also has a 212-yard effort to his credit the next year as a senior. His effort as a junior in a 35-8 win at Aloha Stadium is tops, though, and he never matched the yardage in another game that year. Two of Chan’s three 200-plus yard games in his career came against Farrington.

Rushing: Brandon Kahookele with 200 yards in 2013.
Kahookele ran all over Okimoto’s Governors in this previously-mentioned contest, becoming the eighth Warrior to reach 200 yards since 1973 despite leaving the game with cramps after 22 carries. That Warriors team rode Kahookele and Kainoa Simao to a 9-2 record, with both losses coming to Punahou to rob them of a place in states.

Receiving: Brock Ruelke with 89 yards in 2010.
Just like Farrington, Kamehameha doesn’t have a 100-yard receiver in the recorded history of the rivalry. Ruelke came close, though, latching on to three catches for 89 yards for the defending state champs. Ruelke’s biggest catch was good for 34 yards from Christian Akana on a third and 14 play but he was tackled at the 1-yard line. The upset loss stung the Warriors, who lost two more games in a row after that and fell to both Punahou and Saint Louis to end the season.

COMMENTS

  1. Darleen October 15, 2017 1:48 pm

    Should be named after Al Espinda Whose idea was it to name this field after Dias ?


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.

*