Farrington defensive lineman Foi Sila made life difficult for Campbell’s offense on Friday night.
The 5-foot-11, 241-pound junior was in the face of Sabers quarterback Kawika Ulufale all night, sacking him three times, and he broke through for another tackle for loss on Campbell running Tasi Faumui.
Sila was part of an immense defensive effort that kept the Sabers off the scoreboard in a 25-7 win. Campbell’s only touchdown came on a punt return.
“Foi Sila is a reliable guy,” Farrington coach Randall Okimoto said. “He gets good grades, has a good work ethic, gives a good team effort. I’m not surprised by his effort today. He did a great job.”
The Govs want to take their mojo with them into the highly anticipated inaugural state Open division tournament, but that is way down the road. The Oahu Interscholastic Association semifinals and finals are ahead. They have a huge test next week in the semis against Kapolei, a team they lost to 28-7 on Sept. 24.
Other than that loss, the only other time the Govs (7-2) went down was a slim 31-28 decision to Mililani. Both games were on the road as will be the semifinal contest against the Hurricanes (8-1).
“This is great opportunity for us as a small team, a small unit,” said Govs running back Challen Faamatau, who rushed for 119 yards and scored three touchdowns against Campbell. “We always set the bar high. In order to be the best, you gotta play with the best. That’s including Saint Louis, Kapolei, Mililani, all those elite teams. We’ve gotta prepare well for all of those teams and take care of business.”
Sila’s outstanding defensive performance was not lost on Faamatau.
“He’s a terrific guy,” said the running back who now has 3,125 career rushing yards. “He’s from Utah and I know the standards there are real high for a player like him. He’s an animal, a great athlete. He’s humble.”
TJ Tautolo (interception), Freedom Alualu (interception), Samsen Tanuvasa (fumble recovery, sack), Iosefo Ah Ching (fumble recovery) and Chasen Castilliano (strip leading to Tanuvasa’s recovery) were among the other Govs’ defensive standouts in the loss.
It’s not a given, but it is a good bet that Farrington’s ball-control offense can chug along against the elite teams they’re going up against soon. It’s also a good bet that the Governors’ defense will determines how far it goes in the OIA playoffs and the Open division states.
Why? Because it’s highly likely the Govs will be competing against high-powered offenses (Kahuku, Punahou, Saint Louis, Mililani, Waianae, etc.) and stopping them will be the ultimate key.