Farrington’s Breiden Fehoko vs. Kahuku’s Keala Mapuhi
The third installment of Trench Warfare looks like a mismatch. On one side, Farrington’s Breiden Fehoko holds court among his teammates, getting them pumped up for the clash. On the other, Kahuku’s Keala Mapuhi quietly goes about his preparations.
This matchup looks very much like Akebono vs. Konishiki, with Fehoko’s athleticism packed into a 6-foot-3, 280-pound package trying to maneuver around Mapuhi’s 300-plus pounds on a 6-foot frame. Fehoko, a junior, is one of the state’s top upcoming recruits with offers from Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma. Mapuhi is only a sophomore and has the recruiting process ahead of him.
Here is what YouTube has on Fehoko:
All scoring is on the 10-point must system and completely subjective.
The Red Raiders threw the house at Fehoko on the first drive, equalizing him with Mapuhi on the first play, then double-teaming him with Herman Kanoa and Kai Kubera on the next. Siotame Uluave gets a shot at Fehoko on the third play. Kahuku wins each exchange, but the attention they give Fehoko gives the Governor the round. Fehoko, 10-9
The Red Raiders play it straight in the second series, leaving Mapuhi alone with the beast and Mapuhi accounts well for himself. The sophomore takes advantage of his bulk and knowledge of the snap count to swallow Fehoko up by himself on two plays and does it again with the help of Kubera. Mapuhi bulldozes Fehoko on a run block on the next play, but Fehoko takes on Uluave after that and blasts past that sophomore to arrive at the quarterback in enough time to support his teammates on a sack. That result doesn’t give Fehoko the round, though, as he wasn’t called on to engage Mapuhi on the play. Mapuhi, 10-9 (19-19)
Mapuhi spent the early part of the season rotating in and out because of stamina concerns, but he looks like a different player now. Mapuhi gets into Fehoko off the snap on Kahuku’s first play of the drive and swallows him up. As if that wasn’t enough, he rubs it in with a late shove of Fehoko after the whistle that the referees don’t see. but Fehoko ignores it. Fehoko goes after Uluave on the next play but returns to Mapuhi on the third and finds that no matter how much hand control he has, getting around Mapuhi is a long trip. The Red Raider adds another jab at the whistle, but Fehoko isn’t taking the bait. Mapuhi, 10-9
“Farrington’s good; they are big and strong and we knew that,” Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said. “Look how many points we scored the last couple of weeks, they held us to seven. They did a great job and played great football for four quarters.”
An uneventful round, Fehoko got one shot at Mapuhi and shot the gap before making Kahuku fullback Polikapo Liua whiff in support. Fehoko gets free rein on a screen pass, but it plays right into Kahuku’s hands. Fehoko, 10-9
The best series so far begins with Mapuhi getting into Fehoko’s collar and dominating him with a headlock while the running play goes the other way. Mapuhi gives it all back, though, when he pounds Fehoko to the turf on a crackback block 15 yards behind the play right in front of an official. The zebra throws his flag at Mapuhi’s feet, negating Kahuku’s play and sending them backward. Rising from the turf inspired Fehoko, who stunts on the next play but follows that by blowing up Henry Tonga and Liua while Mapuhi is on the sideline regretting his penalty. Fehoko, 10-9
“Kahuku’s a tough team, but we had to learn to be tougher,” Fehoko said. “When you come out against teams like this you have to learn to play tough, and when you play tough, teams start to back down.”
Fehoko stays matched up with Tonga on the next series, beating a double team before Tonga puts him to the ground. Although the principals didn’t engage on this series, Fehoko gets the round because the attention he is drawing is freeing up fellow defensive tackle Motu Heimuli to dominate the line of scrimmage. Fehoko, 10-9
The attention on Fehoko grows even further on this drive after the Governor gets 1-on-1 with Mapuhi on the first play and chips him before chasing down a running play. Fehoko gets doubled on every play after that, with Kubera and tight end Douglas Napaa taking turns in support. Fehoko, 10-9 (68-65)
Kahuku moves Mapuhi to the other side of the line to play left tackle and Uluave has some success with Fehoko on Mapuhi’s spot at right guard. Mapuhi moves back on the third play of the series and eats up Fehoko after getting his hands under his chin. Narrow win for Mapuhi for that play, but Kahuku is shuffling things around just to be able to contain Fehoko. Mapuhi, 10-9
It is safe to say that conditioning is no longer a problem for Mapuhi as he enjoys his best series yet. After holding Fehoko up enough for Kahuku to get a pass off on a flea-flicker, Mapuhi bulldozes Fehoko on a run play then neutralizes him with superior hand control on a pass play. The activity after the whistle has died down, both of these guys are just going to work. Mapuhi, 10-9
With Farrington’s defense dominating, there have not been any long drives until now. Mapuhi starts as the left tackle, so he is away from Fehoko and the Governor takes advantage of it by smacking Kahuku’s quarterback on the chin on a completed pass despite a double team. Mapuhi returns to his normal spot at guard after that and restores order by swallowing Fehoko on successive plays. Fehoko blows up the next play with a speed rush past the mountain, and hits the QB when Mapuhi pulls. Farrington’s defense is dominating, but Mapuhi is accounting well for himself whenever he matches up with Fehoko. Mapuhi, 10-9
“The defense came out with a mind-set tonight ready to roll,” Fehoko said. “From the first snap to the last snap we made sure we were going to bring it. This whole week in practice Coach went over tempo — all we do is go hard every play.”
Farrington is going to win this game, and nothing gets Fehoko pumped up more than that. Mapuhi tries to bulldoze Fehoko on a run block to start the series but needs help just to contain him. Mapuhi moves to the other side after that, so Fehoko wins the only confrontation. Fehoko, 10-9
When Mapuhi gets his hands under Fehoko’s pads, there is nothing the strongman can do about it. The Red Raider wins the first exchange that way, but Fehoko dominates after that, knocking Mapuhi back with a head butt on his way to the quarterback and pushing both Mapuhi and Kubera into the backfield on the next snap. Fehoko ends the series by dominating Uluave. This is the closest thing we have had to a 10-8 round, but Fehoko never got to the ball. The single coverage he is giving his teammates is the tale of this game, though. Fehoko, 10-9
“They shut us down,” Kahuku coach Reggie Torres said. “They controlled the line of scrimmage with that seven-man box and controlled our run, which is usually our bread and butter. They did a great job.”
Championship round and Fehoko has to step up to squash Kahuku’s revolt. The series begins with a false start on the other side of the line, but the feeling on the sideline is that Kahuku is on its heels. All four defensive linemen for Farrington have won their matchups, and Kahuku’s offensive line seems willing to do anything to slow down the rush but is unable to stop it. Fehoko gets swallowed up in traffic early in the drive but dominates late with two hurries sandwiched around his first zone read of the game. Fehoko, 10-9
Fehoko 125, Mapuhi 122
Kahuku spends a lot of resources slowing Fehoko down, and that frees up his mates to win the game. Still, on the occasions when the combatants locked up, Mapuhi more than held his own both pass and run blocking. His stamina was good and he was very effecitve when he got his hands on the quicker Fehoko.
Both players showed a lot of maturity, Mapuhi for shaking off his penalty early in the game and Fehoko for shrugging off all of the late hits he took early.