Farrington looks quite crisp considering it’s just one week into preseason.
Two scrimmages in — against ILH powerhouses Kamehameha and Punahou, no less — and it is clear the Governors are bent on expanding their offensive menu. Often, they’ve lined up in the spread to give Montana Liana more options in the aerial game. But they’ve also lined up in slot-I (or I-slot, whichever tickles your fancy) sets and gashed for yardage inside, too.
This morning at Alexander Field, new turf and all, it was a positive for both sides. Punahou used some key starters sparingly, if at all. Standout offensive lineman Semisi Uluave didn’t suit up, instead running the sideline as part of the chain gang. Canton Kaumatule, their heralded defensive end, played a series or two. Wayne Taulapapa was in midseason form, breaking off a touchdown run in the first series. Kanawai Noa showed why he is, stride for stride, route for route, probably the finest receiver in the state. He hauled in a long bomb from first-year starter Ephraim
Three QBs saw action for the Puns (PUNS is what the home team has on either goal post), and all three looked sharp. That includes third-stringer Jackson Farringer, a tall, quick-tossing, smart-running orchestrator. He had transferred to Kaiser a year ago, but returned to Punahou during the year.
Defensively, it’s tough to gauge the Buffanblu, especially when Farrington went to the I and blasted up the middle against mostly reserve players. Whatever the package, the Govs look pretty sharp at this early point of preseason.
Punahou’s hurry-up offense simply clicked, which is a feat considered it was the first scrimmage of the season for the Buffanblu. Farrington’s version is more of a simple no-huddle, not quite the pace that Punahou’s offensive unit is used to.
But for the 500 or so fans who turned out Saturday morning at Alexander Field, week 1 is a thumbs up. In the “olden days”, the first week was often about two- and three-a-days, with the regular season more than a month away (after Labor Day). There’s no such luxury of time now for coaches.
Still, Punahou coach Kale Ane was generally pleased by what he saw. His staff got just about everybody onto the field during the 2 1/2-hour scrimmage. Down the road, it remains to be seen how strong the pipeline to North Shore talent will remain. Saint Louis nabbed at least four potential varsity starters from Kahuku’s JV program in the offseason. Kahuku didn’t entirely lose out, gaining eight players who returned from other programs, including mainland schools, to play for the Red Raiders as seniors.
Farrington has made things that much more interesting by expanding its offensive arsenal. More later.