Farrington coach Randall Okimoto has positioned the Govs near the top of the OIA for a long time.
Farrington has finished with a winning record in each of the last 10 years and has advanced to the state tournament in four of the last five seasons.
The Govs have yet to break through to win an OIA championship under Okimoto thanks in large part to the two teams that have combined to win the last eight OIA titles.
Farrington is just 3-19 against Mililani and Kahuku since the start of the 2006 season. The Govs did knock off the Red Raiders, who had been No. 1 in 19 of 24 weeks since the debut of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10 poll, in a memorable No. 1 vs. No. 2 regular-season game in 2011, but were shut out by Kahuku in the OIA title game that year.
Farrington’s record is actually worse (1-7) against the Trojans than the Red Raiders (2-12). The most recent meeting between the two schools ended with the Govs allowing a program-record 71 points to Mililani in a 71-28 loss at Aloha Stadium last September.
The teams meet again on Saturday night at Mililani with the sixth-ranked Trojans positioned one spot ahead of No. 7 Farrington in the latest Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top-10 rankings.
The Govs have a lot going for them heading into this game. Seniors Bishop Rapoza (11-18, 177 yds, 3 TD) and Justin Uahinui (9-17, 175 yds, 3 TD) give Okimoto two perfectly capable quarterbacks who combined have yet to throw an interception. They have studs at both running back in Challen Faamatau (44 carries, 155 yds, 3 TD) and wide receiver in Kingston Moses-Sanchez (11 rec, 204 yds (leads OIA), 3 TD).
The other side of the ball is where the Govs have to improve against the Trojans. In the last five losses, Farrington has given up a total of 208 points (41.6 per game). The number will almost surely come down with Mililani no longer running its star trio of McKenzie Milton, Vavae Malepeai and Kalakaua Timoteo out on the field. However, the Trojans did run out converted linebacker Jalen Olomua as a running back last week and Olomua responded with 126 yards and a touchdown on only six carries in a 42-0 win over Castle.
When evaluating the OIA race, Waianae has stolen most of the early-season headlines with wins over Kamehameha and Kapolei. Its game against Kahuku on Friday night will determine the top dog in the OIA this early in the season. It’s also overshadowed Saturday’s tilt between Mililani and Farrington. The Trojans won the state title just two years ago and have won three of the last six OIA titles, so nobody has forgotten about them.
But if there’s a team lying in the weeds just waiting to explode onto the scene, it’s the Govs, who didn’t get as much credit for a 42-7 thumping of Kailua as they probably deserved. The story of that game was the Surfriders losing starting QB Keoni Serikawa to a broken collarbone.
Farrington has always been right there in the OIA chase but hasn’t been able to break through against Kahuku and Mililani. The Govs have a pretty good opportunity to do just that on Saturday night, and a victory would not only put Farrington in prime position to win the OIA Red, but prove the Govs are indeed a team worth taking very seriously this season.