The matchup: Kahuku (9-0) vs. Farrington (7-2)
Date: Friday, Oct. 23, 5 p.m., Aloha Stadium
Head-to-head: Kahuku leads 35-16 (Since 1966)
Last meeting: Kahuku 21-14 (Oct. 23, 2014)
Biggest margin of victory: Kahuku 47-0 (Sept. 1, 2001)
Smallest margin of victory: Farrington 15-14 (Oct. 2, 1971); Farrington 14-13 (Oct. 1, 1977); Farrington 14-13 (Aug. 29, 1986); Farrington 14-13 (Oct. 1, 2011)
Kahuku’s offensive leadersUpdated: Nov. 21, 2015
Farrington’s offensive leadersUpdated: Oct. 31, 2015
Quick, name the only school to beat Kahuku three separate times since the turn of the century?
Saint Louis? Nope. Punahou? Try again. Kamehameha? Forget about the ILH.
That honor belongs to the OIA’s Farrington Governors, who knocked off the Red Raiders in 2002, 2011 and 2013. Kahuku has lost only 25 games (excluding forfeits) since the start of the 2000 season and has won 10 OIA titles and seven state championships. There is no questioning the Red Raiders’ status as the No. 1 program during the state championship era.
After winning back-to-back state titles in 2011 and ’12, the Red Raiders didn’t look like world beaters for the next two years, losing eight games and going through two different head coaches.
Now, with Vavae Tata running the show, the Red Raiders are back to their dominant form, punctuated by a 30-0 victory over Waianae and a 56-10 throttling of Kapolei in their last two games.
Kahuku has risen to No. 2 in the latest Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10 but now faces an old rival in the Govs, who have won two of the last six meetings. The Red Raiders seem to be peaking at the right time of the season while the Govs have had some trouble late.
Farrington is 2-2 after starting the year 5-0 and only one of its last five wins have been by more than eight points. That was last week in a 28-0 shutout of Campbell in which senior running back Challen Faamatau was held to a season-low 53 yards rushing.
That won’t cut it against the Red Raiders. In Farrington’s last two wins over Kahuku, Sanele Lavatai rushed for 118 yards and Tyler Taumua ran for 100. The Govs have to move the chains and establish some type of presence on the ground to run the clock, take the air out of the ball, and not allow the Red Raiders offense to cash in on good field position.
That will be easier said than done against a Kahuku team that finally gave up double digits in points in a game. Kapolei’s 10 points scored were a season-high allowed by the Red Raiders, who still average allowing just 3.6 points per game.
Kahuku pounded Kapolei’s defense for 441 yards, which is cause for concern for the Govs, who managed only 144 yards on the ground against the same Hurricanes team that beat Farrington, 23-6.
By simple comparison, Kahuku dropped 56 points on a Kapolei team Farrington only managed to score six against.
QB Bishop Rapoza was supposed to bring a new aerial attack to the Govs offense and he’s thrown for 14 touchdowns in nine games, but has been held to an average of 102.8 yards in his last five games.
To pull off the upset, Farrington has to find a way to score at least a few points against this high-energy Kahuku defense. Either Faamatau and the offensive line has to create running room and churn up yardage, or Rapoza is going to have to deliver big in the passing game. If neither happen, then it might be 10 wins and counting for a Red Raiders team that is without question a legitimate contender to win yet another state title, continuing their dominance of the state championship era in the state of Hawaii.