Darren Johnson and the Campbell Sabers certainly didn’t want to play on the undercard of OIA Open championship night, but since they are here there is a matter of redemption to take care of.
The Sabers lost to Waianae in overtime in the OIA’s third-place game last year, robbing them a trip to the state tournament in Johnson’s first year in Ewa. Should Campbell lose to Farrington this time, the Sabers would be the first program to lose the game in successive seasons.
Farrington is in the game for the first time since 2015 after winning a coin flip between it and Kapolei and Waianae. The Govs haven’t won the OIA’s most desperate contest since 2014 when they beat Campbell.
The Governors are decided underdogs this time, losing 34-7 to the Sabers way back in September. The win was Campbell’s first over the Kalihi crew since 2001 and Campbell has never beat them twice in the same season.
If Daniel Sanchez can pull off the surprise and beat Campbell, he would follow in Randall Okimoto‘s footsteps by taking the Governors to the state tournament in his first year at the helm.
A win by Campbell would make Johnson the first coach to take teams to the state tournament in all three divisions.
Here’s a look at all of the third place games that meant a trip to states:
2003: Farrington 14, Mililani 6
2004: Leilehua 14, Castle 10
2005: Waianae 17, Farrington 7
2006: Mililani 23, Leilehua 21
2007: Farrington 37, Kapolei 19
2008: Leilehua 32, Waianae 0
2009: Farrington 42, Castle 26
2010: Leilehua 28, Waianae 20 (both made it to states due to Kahuku’s ineligibility)
2011: Leilehua 34, Campbell 14
2012: Farrington 52, Leilehua 26
2013: Campbell 28, Kahuku 7
2014: Farrington 31, Campbell 19
2015: Waianae 20, Farrington 19
2016: Kapolei 27, Waianae 15 (Not for state berth)
2017: Waianae 29, Campbell 21, OT