The Govs and Trojans had their share of wrinkles to start the game on Friday night.
Mililani put tight end Tyler Santos in motion and used him as a blocker on the interior for one snap, looking much like Farrington’s Freedom Alualu when he lines up as a slotback before going in motion. Maybe the Trojans used Santos in Alualu’s role during practice?
But the Mamiya wrinkle was craftier. On Farrington’s first play from scrimmage, he lined up in the I, a tight end (C.J. Liana) went in motion from left to right. Then Mamiya went in motion to the left slot, and Montana Liana fired a dart to Mamiya on a slant route. The secondary was bare and the speedy senior went 80 yards for a TD.
Mamiya spent much of the game running the ball between the tackles, not exactly his strength, and he also lined up wide as a receiver. But the Govs didn’t go back to him as a pass catcher much. After the TD, Mamiya had three targets and one reception for 1 yard. He finished with 93 hard-earned yards on 12 carries, and two receptions for 81 yards. He also returned a punt late in the game for 17 yards, but all in all, Mililani did a mostly superb job of containing one of the state’s premier all-purprose playmakers.
It’s not a knock on the Govs’ passing game. Liana had a prolific — by Farrington standards — first half with 188 passing yards at more than 15 yards per attempt. But once he got ejected, the offense came to a standstill. It shows that even though Liana’s stats to date aren’t gaudy by any means, the threat of his passing skills is enough to keep defenses honest.
>> Mamiya as QB, the sequel? With Liana out for the next game, Farrington has possibilities ahead. Backup QB Joziah Anakalea was serviceable, 4-for-8, 0 yards. Jathen Chaffin got in a few snaps late in the game. But it’s Mamiya who may be most intriguing as Liana’s fill-in.
Mamiya was a running back at St. Francis a year ago before being moved to QB after the starter got hurt. The Saints used him mostly as a wildcat-style playmaker. The notion of Mamiya running out of the shotgun and pistol isn’t bad as long as defenses have seven or less in the box. But at St. Francis, he found eight, nine and even 10 in the box when he had to play QB.
That wouldn’t be fun or healthy for Mamiya and the Govs’ long-term title hopes.
>> Up to the challenge? Challen Faamatau was springy and explosive in a backup role to Mamiya. He had 49 yards on just six carries. His workload was slightly below the norm. Coming into the game, he averaged more than 9 carries per game. The sophomore had 115 yards on 16 carries three weeks ago against Moanalua, but since has had seven carries against Aiea (86 yards, two TDs) and five attempts (30 yards) against Kailua.
Coming into the game, he had 327 rushing yards at 6.8 per carry. He also had seven receptions at 13 yards per catch. The Govs could be at their most dangerous with Faamatau and Mamiya on the field together, but right now, Faamatau is more of a relief guy than anything. It worked for five games — five wins — before the loss at Mililani.
It could be that the Govs want to bring the sophomore along gradually, but lining him up as a slotback, sending RB Mamiya in motion to the other slot and bringing Faamatau to the backfield as the tailback or fly-sweep motion man would be a painful headache for DCs to deal with.
Or how about lining up Mamiya and Faamatau as slots with Alualu or Bugsy Tui as the ace/single RB? Just for fun, of course.