After a year off, the OIA’s greatest desperation game is back.
Campbell and Waianae will clash in the league’s third-place game tonight at Aloha Stadium, the loser goes home and the winner plays in states.
Farrington coach Randall Okimoto has been involved in seven such games, way more than any other coach, and he won five of them. He lost to Waianae again two years ago.
Here’s a look at all of the third place games that meant a trip to states:
2003: Farrington 14, Mililani 6
Matt Bell caught eight passes for 81 yards, rushed for 50 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns as Farrington beat Mililani.
Two pivotal defensive plays made Bell’s scores possible.
Jerome Crisostomo’s interception late in the first quarter set up Bell’s 10-yard TD run for a 7-0 lead.
Farrington’s Jeffrey Ah-Ching Noga pushed through with a blocked punt in the third quarter, and it took three plays for Bell to go 5 yards into the end zone for what turned out to be the winning 1-yard TD.
2004: Leilehua 14, Castle 10
The Mules held off Castle in a defensive quagmire at Hugh Yoshida Stadium.
After taking a 14-0 lead, Leilehua gave up 10 straight second-quarter points before both defenses put the clamps down in the second half.
Castle had a major chance to take the lead when Corey Paredes intercepted Leilehua quarterback Bryant Moniz’s pass and returned it 75 yards to the Mules’ 9 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Two plays later, however, Knights quarterback Louis Mansanas Jr. gave it right back by throwing an interception to B.J. Fruean in the end zone.
2005: Waianae 17, Farrington 7
Waianae’s defense bent but rarely broke in a 17-7 win over Farrington last night at muddy Roosevelt Stadium to secure a state-tournament berth.
Waianae’s defense, facing a big offensive line led by Whitley Fehoko, forced four Farrington turnovers. The Searider offense overcame the loss of quarterback Henry Keomalu — who injured an ankle last week — and rode on the shoulders of Liko Manuel.
2006: Mililani 23, Leilehua 21
The No. 9-ranked Trojans rode on the legs of their two-headed monster at tailback. Jordan Torres, the league’s leading rusher, galloped for 116 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, while Isaiah Lawelawe tallied 65 tough yards and two touchdowns on 14 attempts.
Torres played defensive back, making a multitude of tackles, so Lawelawe got the start.
2007: Farrington 37, Kapolei 19
Apelu So’oalo, a transfer from Fagatua High School in American Samoa, turned out to be a gem for a Farrington squad diminished by academic and injury problems of late. So’oalo rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries at Waipahu’s field.
The Govs did it with a stellar defense led by James Smith, who had two interceptions, and relentless pursuit from Isaiah Iuta and Aaron Silva. Iuta had a team-high seven solo tackles and blocked a punt, while Silva had six tackles.
2008: Leilehua 32, Waianae 0
Andrew Manley picked apart Waianae, throwing for 352 yards and three touchdowns to bounce back from the previous week’s stunning semifinal loss to Farrington.
Leilehua jumped all over Waianae early and often, putting the game away in the first half. Manley hooked up with Cheves Aberilla-Ramento for touchdown passes of 6 and 95 yards in the first quarter, and then finished the half with a 75-yard screen pass to Matt Reyes for a touchdown that put the Mules up 22-0 at halftime.
2009: Farrington 42, Castle 26
Harry Tuimaseve rushed for 178 yards on a season-high 36 carries to power Farrington, which did not complete a pass in five attempts.
Castle (6-5) closed the season with an iron-man performance from several two-way starters, including Shaydon Kehano, who had 11 receptions for 150 yards. The senior scored on two touchdown passes and a 72-yard punt return, the latter bringing Castle within 28-20 with 2:20 left in the third quarter.
Farrington, which outlasted Castle 19-8 in early September, punted on its next two possessions before Faamausili had tight coverage on Kehano’s out route. The senior’s pick and return, with a vault over a tackler at the goal line, was a backbreaker that gave Farrington a 35-20 lead with 1:15 to play.
2011: Leilehua 34, Campbell 14
Kenan Sadanaga threw for 249 yards and the Mules won the third-place game for the second straight year.
Sadanaga had four touchdown throws in the first half and the Mules collected eight sacks, two by Chris Bell, in the rain at Hugh Yoshida Stadium for interim coach Mark Kurisu.
Leilehua scored on its first three possessions and eventually led 34-0.
2012: Farrington 52, Leilehua 26
Abraham Silva and Tyler Taumua combined for 351 rushing yards and the opportunistic Govs took advantage of an injury to Leilehua starting quarterback Justin Jenks in the rout.
Jenks was 9-for-13 for 132 yards and a touchdown before the injury.
Silva rushed for 178 yards and two second-half scores on 27 carries and Taumua covered 173 yards on 19 carried with three TDs.
2013: Campbell 28, Kahuku 7
Senior quarterback Isaac Hurd rushed for three touchdowns and threw for another to lead the Sabers over the surprised Red Raiders.
Kahuku, the back-to-back state champions, missed the state tournament for just the fourth time in 15 years.
The Sabers took over in the second half after receiver Kuuliko Carvalho was taken off the field on a stretcher after a hit by remorseful Jerney Tago-Sue.
Hurd finished with 169 yards passing and 40 yards rushing in the defensive battle.
2014: Farrington 31, Campbell 19
Farrington speedster Ranan Mamiya broke through for a 95-yard run to wipe out an early deficit to deny the Sabers.
The touchdown gave the Governors a 10-7 lead and they never looked back.
The Farrington defense, led by Breiden Fehoko, Bryce Tatupu-Leopoldo and Jeremiah Pritchard, finished with two fumble recoveries, an interception, four sacks and seven other tackles for loss.
2015: Waianae 20, Farrington 19
Isaiah Freeney exploded for 143 receiving yards and the Seariders survived Challen Faamatau and the Governors when Farrington kicker Bishop Rapoza misses an extra-point try with 3 minutes left.
2016: No elimination game due to change in format.