You know those movies. The ones with the warrior hero, fighting until the very end, dying on his sword in the heat of battle.
Farrington senior Challen Faamatau, who finishes his career with 3,306 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns, battled to the bitter end of a 14-8 loss to Waianae in the first round of the Open Division in the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championships on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
Faamatau, who scored Farrington’s only touchdown on a 2-yard TD run, took a hit near the Waianae sideline with less than two minutes remaining. Favoring his right shoulder, he had to be helped up and carried off — first by the training staff, and then by teammates Joaniamas Tefaga and TitanAlii Pesamino, who ran across the field from the Farrington sideline.
It was the final play in the storied career of Faamatau, who leads the state with 1,219 rushing yards this season. It’s his second straight season of at least 1,200 rushing yards for the Govs, who made the OIA title game for the first time in four years.
Govs coach Randall Okimoto said he thought Faamatau was OK after the game. He also said he hopes to see his prized running back getting a chance to play at the next level.
“I just pray that he can get an opportunity to go to college and continue playing so we can follow him,” Okimoto said. “(Challen) is the one guy that has always believed — always believed in us, believed in Farrington, believed in what we’re doing, believed in not only football but off the field doing the right thing.
“That’s what I’ll remember about Challen. He told the team that it’s not only about football, but it’s about life skills and life lessons. Not only is he a good player, but he’s a good person.”
Farrington finished 24-11 over the last three years and Faamatau never missed a game. Despite splitting time with Ranan Mamiya as a sophomore, Faamatau finished with 16 100-yard rushing games and two 200-yard games, including a career-high 236 yards in a 19-13 win over Kailua in 2015.