Farrington’s last stand came up just a bit short.
But not before the Governors defense put forth an effort that earned the admiration of head coach Randall Okimoto.
The Governors held a prolific Mililani offense to its lowest point total of the season to stay within striking distance of the Trojans throughout Saturday’s semifinal game in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Division I Championship at Aloha Stadium.
Mililani held on for the 17-14 win to advance to the state final for the second straight year while Farrington’s season ended in the state semifinals for the third year in a row.
“They were peaking at the right time,” Okimoto said of the Govs’ defense. “Defensively, the last three games we were playing at our peak.
“Of course, there’s always room for improvement but they got better.”
The Governors made another deep run in the postseason with a defense that contained a potent Campbell offense in the OIA Division I third-place game then stifled Maui in the first round of the state tournament.
In the semifinal, Farrington posted eight tackles for losses totaling 58 yards in holding Mililani, which entered the game averaging more than 43 points per game, to 43 net rushing yards. The Governors sacked Mililani quarterback McKenzie Milton three times for 45 yards in losses.
In their final high school games, defensive linemen Breiden Fehoko and Taoipu Faitele both had two tackles for losses and linebacker Bryce Tatupu-Leopoldo posted six tackles, one for loss, and recovered a fumble. William Prescott, a junior, led Farrington with 7 1/2 stops.
“I thought 77 (Faitele) played a hell of a game,” Okimoto said. “He played out of his mind.”
Saturday’s loss also ended the high school career of running back Ranan Mamiya, who finished his lone season at Farrington with 1,246 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. A week after suffering a knee injury against Maui, Mamiya scored Farrington’s final touchdown of the season on a 60-yard reception from Montana Liana.
The Governors offense will be under new leadership next season with Liana’s graduation, but the running game will have a proven back in Challen Faamatau, who finished the season with 798 yards and 10 touchdowns.