Over his two-plus years as Farrington’s starting quarterback, Montana Liana spent most of his time handing the ball to a series of productive Governor running backs.
And why not?
Liana shared the backfield with All-State running backs Abraham Silva and Tyler Taumua as a sophomore and gave the ball to Sanele Lavatai with regularity last year. The Governors’ running game continued to churn through four games this fall with Ranan Mamiya and Challen Faamatau powering the offense.
Liana took a turn as the headliner on Friday in Farrington’s 38-7 win over Kailua, throwing for a career-high 216 yards and two touchdowns. His 16 completions and 23 pass attempts were also season highs.
“That was our mind-set, get that passing game going,” Farrington coach Randall Okimoto said. “That was a goal of ours knowing we can run it.”
Friday’s game was No. 5 Farrington’s last chance to work on balancing the offense under game conditions before facing second-ranked Mililani in two weeks. The Governors (5-0) close the regular season against No. 6 Campbell on Oct. 4 at Aloha Stadium before heading into the OIA’s Division I playoffs.
In the meantime, the Governors have a bye next week to “prepare, heal up and take care of school work,” Okimoto said.
Friday marked the third time Liana passed for more than 200 yards in his career. He threw for 206 against Roosevelt last year and 211 against Kapolei later in the season.
Liana arrived at Kailua’s Alex Kane Stadium with 268 yards and one touchdown four games into his senior season. His previous season highs came in a shootout win against Moanalua when he completed 11 of 21 throws for 117 yards.
Liana completed his first five throws on Friday, including a 35-yard touchdown to younger brother C.J. Liana, and went into halftime 10-for-13 for 162 yards.
He cooled a bit in the second half but connected on four of his last five attempts and extended Farrington’s final scoring drive with a 20-yard completion to Faamatau on third-and-13.
Prior to Friday’s game, defensive lineman Seufagafaga Luafatasaga had accounted for as many touchdowns as the Governors passing game. The 6-foot-2, 213-pound junior returned fumbles for touchdowns against Waipahu and Moanalua and added third against Kailua with a 70-yard return on the game’s opening possession.
Liana finally matched Luafatasaga with touchdown passes to C.J. Liana and Faamatau.