OIA Football
No. 6 Waianae holds off No. 7 Farrington, 20-19 for state berth


Sat, Oct 31, 2015 @ Mililani [ 7:30 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
Waianae (9-4-0) 7 6 0 720
Farrington (7-4-0) 13 0 0 619
Bishop Rapoza 202 yd 2 TD
Jaren Ulu 105 yd 1 TD
Challen Faamatau 190 yd 1 TD
Javen Towne 48 yd 1 TD
Isaiah Freeney 143 yd 1 TD

MILILANI—The biggest treat for the Seariders on Halloween night was a coveted state tournament berth.

Waianae held off Farrington, 20-19 in the final minutes to clinch the Oahu Interscholastic Association's final state tournament berth to the First Hawaiian Bank/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I Football State Championships at Mililani's John Kauinana Stadium.

"It feels awesome, I want the kids to enjoy it, it's but back to the drawing board and we have to study some film and get ready for the task on hand," said Waianae coach Walter Young.

The Seariders return to the state tournament for the first time since 2010 and will play Maui Interscholastic League champion Baldwin on Friday, Nov. 6. Farrington ends the season at 7-4 overall.

After Farrington turned it over on downs, Waianae used a trick that turned into a touchdown: Jaren Ulu flipped it to Kade Ambrocio who threw a 69-yard touchdown to Isaiah Freeney for the first score of the game. Freeney led the team with 143 yards on three receptions.

Two plays later, the Govs answered back after Bishop Rapoza threw a 69-yard touchdown to Kingston Moses-Sanchez to tie the game at 7. Moses-Sanchez had a game-high 166 receiving yards.

"We started to put someone over the top and it helped. They stuck with what they do best and run the ball. We came up with one more play than them. They are well-coached and came ready to play and did what they had to do. We got one lucky play over them," said Young.

Kody Leiu intercepted Ulu's pass at the Waianae 49 and eight plays later, Rapoza capped it off with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Challen Faamatau, but the run failed to give the Govs a 13-7 lead.

Waianae received the ball on their own 34 and Ulu found Freeney for a 42-yard pass to the Farrington 23, but back-to-back sacks pushed the Seariders to the Farrington 37. Ulu found Freeney for a 32-yard pass to the 5 and with 1.6 seconds left, Ulu lobbed a 9-yard pass to Kanai Mauga. Farrington's Chippa Ulugalu-Sula blocked the kick to keep the game deadlocked at 13 going into halftime.

To start the third quarter, Towne had a 64 yard return to set up on the Farrington 26. They got all the way down to the 1-yard line, but a Govs goal line stand kept them out of the end zone.

"They were tough, they made us punt several times and turned over on downs a few times. These kids stepped up to the challenge and made plays when we had to," said Young.

The Waianae defense forced Rapoza to cough up the ball and four plays later, Javen Towne burst through for the go-ahead score and Tate Ebel's PAT made it 20-13.

"It was a critical down and the game was close and we needed to capitalize on every opportunity. My o-line opened up the holes for me and because of them, it was possible," said Towne.

Farrington's defense held tough and forced Waianae to turn it over on downs. The Govs turned to Faamatau for their last scoring drive that covered 69 yards. Faamatau scored on an 8-yard run, but Rapoza's kick was no good. Faamatau had 190 rushing yards for the game.

Again, the Govs defense bent but didn't break forcing the Seariders to punt giving Farrington another opportunity. They received the ball on their own 25 with 1:18 remaining. Rapoza passed it to Jathen Chaffin to convert a fourth-and-5, but the Govs were penalized for holding. Rapoza, who was flushed out of the pocket, ran but came up short of the first down.

Waianae was able to take a knee and run out the clock despite numerous Farrington penalties. The Govs committed 24 penalties for 190 yards, while the Seariders had 10 for 91 yards.

"We had a lot of opportunities and wasn't able to capitalize on it. Penalties killed us and that's the story of our season. If you look at the penalties and miscues, it's disappointing to have the same mistakes happen. It's too bad we have to learn it this way, sometimes you have to learn the hard way," said Farrington coach Randall Okimoto.

Reach Brandon Ching at [email protected].

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