Bent but not broken: Asalemo brings heat

Farrington's Challen Faamatau (13) tries to get free from Kailua's Marlo Lagazo (10) during the third quarter on Saturday at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium. Jay Metzger/Special to Star-Advertiser
Farrington’s Challen Faamatau (13) tries to get free from Kailua’s Marlo Lagazo (10) during the third quarter on Saturday at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium. Jay Metzger/Special to Star-Advertiser

On paper, it was a phenomenal performance for two individuals in Saturday night’s Farrington-Kailua showdown.

Challen Faamatau‘s 236 yards and three rushing TDs on 30 carries were his single-game personal bests. The 236-yard total, No. 6 on the Farrington all-time best list, is right behind the 245 yards produced by current Govs coach Randall Okimoto against Kailua 25 years ago.

Kailua quarterback Noah Auld was scintillating at times with 23 completions in 31 attempts for 221 yards and a touchdown.


But when Farrington’s defense needed to buckle down one last time, the job got done. In a three-play span in the final 5 minutes, the Govs clung to a 19-13 lead. Auld was marching the Surfriders downfield for a potential go-ahead score.

That’s when Sila Asalemo became dominant. The 5-foot-10, 244-pound senior had been relatively quiet most of the night. First, he nearly got to Auld, who made a remarkable throw as he ran right to avoid the pass rusher, and passed left to Isaiah Damo-Agcaoili on a crossing route. That gave Kailua a key first down at the Govs’ 27-yard line.


The die was cast. Two plays later, Asalemo completely blew past his obstacle and was on the verge of sacking Auld, who managed to throw the ball away. But a holding penalty was called on Kailua. The spot foul meant Kailua was back to the Farrington 40-yard line. First and 31.

Ryota Kony‘s pick on the next snap basically ended Kailua’s final shot to stay unbeaten. Without recording a sack during the game’s most crucial stretch, Asalemo provided exactly what the Govs needed.


It was enough, on a night when Auld looked so comfortable in the pocket, to augment a superb ground attack by Farrington.

Defense. Ground game. Farrington remains unbeaten in the OIA Blue at 4-0 (5-0 overall). Kailua dropped to 4-1 (5-1 overall). Two teams destined to reach the OIA D-I semifinal round? Could be.

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