A calculated risk by York on the opening series pays off. Milton came through with a first-down pass on fourth-and-6, and then hit Timoteo for a 42-yard touchdown strike to give the Trojans a 6-0 lead.
Farrington wasted no time. On the next play from scrimmage, Mamiya lined up at tailback, went in motion to the slot and reeled in a quick slant pass for an 80-yard touchdown. Sasaoka’s PAT kick gave the Govs a 7-6 lead with 8:40 to go in the first quarter.
Mililani went right down the field again on the ensuing series: 70 yards in three plays. Malepeai broke off left tackle for a nice gain, got bottled up by several Govs, then slipped away and ran to the right pylon for a 41-yard TD run. Mililani led 13-7 with 7:38 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Govs went three and out on the next series. Malepeai returned a 50-yard punt by Sasaoka 22 yards, setting up a five-play, 52-yard Trojans drive. Malepeai finished it off with a 9-yard blast up the gut and over the goal line, giving Mililani a 20-7 lead with 5:22 left in the first quarter.
The Govs’ defense finally kept Mililani out of the end zone on the next series, and Farrington then went 55 yards in just three plays. Mamiya’s 43-yard run, complete with a bobbling act halfway through, set up a 3-yard TD run by Challen Faamatau. That brought the visitors within 20-14 with 10:35 left in the first half.
The Trojans drove 68 yards in just 2 minutes and 12 seconds, squeezing in eight plays during another hurry-up drive. Milton kept the ball on a read option, followed Malepeai left and then cut back right for a scintillating 40-yard TD, giving his team a 27-14 lead with 8:12 to go in the half.
The Govs drove to the Mililani 15-yard line, where Liana fumbled the snap and Mililani’s Pekelo Lee recovered. Mililani drove 85 yards in 11 plays, scoring on an 8-yard run by Malepeai. The Trojans led 34-14 with 3:09 to go in the half.
Quiet third quarter. Liana ejected and the automatic one-game suspension (Farrington plays Campbell next week) is in place. Mililani has the ball on the Farrington 3-yard line as the fourth quarter begins.
Malepeai caps a 47-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run around right end, which puts him near the 200-yard mark for the night. MIL 41, FAR 14, 11:50.
I CAAAN’T WAAAAIT FOR THIS TO START. Even the warmups for the JV game are getting me pumped. It’s not often we get a Top 3 matchup in prep football. I heard about the pre-game anticipation, the HUGE crowd that will show up. The pluses of keeping the game here at John Kauinana Stadium? 1) Lots of parking (normally), 2) lots of seating (with great views), 3) easy access to restrooms, 4) lots of good food at the concession booth.
When a crowd of 5,000 or so is coming to your house, it’s always wise to have excellent facilities. The alternative might have been to rent Aloha Stadium, but that involves a cost that nobody really can afford to pay, and I’m sure Mililani was not interested in losing a valuable home game. The concession revenue alone is going to be enormous.
Plenty has been said and written about tonight’s battle. So here are a few Pupule pupus. Small stuff to think about. If you’re not at this game live, you can catch it on TV. Or you can do both (replay is on after the game is over).
• There is NO WAY Mililani will kick or punt the ball to Ranan Mamiya. Why bother? He could return one to the house and those 7 points could make the difference between a win or loss.
• There is NO WAY Mililani will let Mamiya beat them at the line of scrimmage. Look for him to be spied upon from start to finish, even at the risk of leaving receivers open downfield. The Trojans took everything Campbell’s vaunted pass attack could offer last week, and still, they allowed “only” 28 points in a comeback win.
• Reversion to the mean. Farrington has aired it out from time to time this season, fully trusting senior Montana Liana. But when push comes to shove, don’t be surprised to see the Governors employ maximum, bone-crunching, primal smashmouth football at 100 percent levels. In other words, Bugsy Tui and Freedom Alualu cracking back or lead blocking could be a bread-and-butter operation tonight. If you like fullbacks who can pummel linebackers and safeties over and over, this is might be your kind of game.
• M*A*S*H* unit. No word yet if Kalakaua Timoteo, Mililani’s leading WR, is playing tonight after taking that hard shot to the right shoulder from Campbell LB Abiel Taito last week. Without him, it’s a tough challenge, and yet, their WR corps has such a good chemistry with QB McKenzie Milton that it may not matter. My guess is that it does matter. We just don’t know to what extent, especially with WR Kainoa Wilson still out (collarbone).
• Once a Trojan, now Governor. The player who could make the biggest difference is former Trojan, current Gov defensive tackle Tamatoa Silva. He’s #99 in the white jersey tonight. But my gut tells me another white jersey wearing #14, monster boomer Kekoa Sasaoka, plays a vital role in a defensive battle.