Farrington (10-0, 8-0 OIA) vs. Kahuku (9-1, 7-1)
On paper: Their last meeting, a 14-13 win by Farrington before a full house, had as much to do with Farrington’s defensive prowess as Kahuku’s kicking game. Bad long snaps led to a botched field-goal opportunity in the first half, and a blown PAT in the second.
Despite the loss, that game marked the comeback of Aofaga Wily, who rushed for 136 yards on 24 carries after enduring injury issues through the first half of the season.
Though Wily was an All-State first-team pick last year, his counterpart in maroon has garnered more headlines this fall. Tyler Taumua is on pace for a 2,000-yard season. The junior, who had injury issues of his own last season, has accumulated 1,605 yards and 16 touchdowns. His one-cut-and-explode ability is a perfect fit for the Govs’ offensive line, a.k.a. the “Bamboolas,” who specialize in power blocking with rarely a toss sweep or screen pass to meddle with.
Farrington averages an eye-popping 275 rushing yards per game, but the connection between first-year starting quarterback Travis Tamapua and receiver Toma Barrett has only gotten better since midseason.
The skinny: Barrett is practically the lone target in Farrington’s West Coast offense and play-action schemes, going up against a talented Kahuku secondary that limited explosive Leilehua to seven points last week.
Kahuku’s devotion to smashmouth football worked well against the rest of the OIA Red East, but it may have come at the cost of developing the passing game. Viliami Livai was 3-for-14 with two picks in the loss to Farrington, but there is a wealth of athletic receivers to work with.
As for the kicking-game issues, Torres believes they’re a thing of the past.
“Our snapper took it hard. I told him, ‘You can finish your career only thinking of that snap or work hard on it. Get back on the saddle.’
“He hasn’t had a bad snap since.”
X factor: Kawehena Johnson scored on a 92-yard pick-6, and on a 2-yard bootleg in the first meeting.
“No. 7, they had him on both sides of the ball,” Okimoto recalle
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser