KALIHI — No. 10 Farrington used a strong defensive effort to topple No. 3 Kapolei, 28-7, in an Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I Red Conference game at Edward ‘Skippa' Diaz Stadium at Henry Kusunoki Field on Saturday night.
The Governors improve to 2-2 overall, 2-1 league, but more importantly won on their new field in front of their fans and the Kalihi community.
"We were on our edge. That's how we were feeling. We know we are a better team than we have shown in the two losses. We had guests from out of town and a beautiful crowd. For me personally, I was very emotional because I wanted to get that win. Not for me, but for all these people who want us to get that win too," said Farrington coach Randall Okimoto.
"We worked hard during practice and we deserved this. This is a sign where our pastor said, ‘If you play together and stick together as a team, you can beat anybody' and he was right about that," said defensive back Wendell Alob.
Farrington hung its hat on defense as six different players sacked Kaniala Kalaola and held the Hurricanes to minus 36 rushing yards. Kalaola was picked off three times, twice by Chasen Castilliano and another by Wendell Alob, who returned it for a touchdown.
"It was beautiful," said Okimoto, on the defense. "They are getting better every week."
On the flip side, it was a night of frustration for the Hurricanes.
"We didn't help our cause by not being able to engineer much on offense and we had a lot of turnovers and gave up a lot of sacks," said Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez.
The time of possession favored the Govs, who grinded out drives for 28 minutes compared to the Hurricanes, who only had the ball for 19 minutes.
"They controlled the game and controlled the clock and kept our offense off the field and we could not get any type of rhythm," said Hernandez.
Farrington's offense stalled on their opening drive, but the Govs forced the Hurricanes to go three and out. Thane Tanuvasa provided the spark to block the punt and scooped it up for 32 yards for the first score of the game for the Govs.
The Govs were in prime field position after a Kapolei personal foul and Farrington coaching staff decided to call a trick play where Chris Afe-Alaivanu lateraled it to Stephen Eter, who threw it to Malik Lokeni for a 30-yard score and Eter's run made it 15-0.
"I thought it was the time to do and I guess it was the perfect time. I give credit to the kids and coaches for being prepared. It's one of those things where it was hit or miss," said Okimoto.
"It's hard to come back when a team scores on a blocked punt, a trick play, and a pick-six. Not only in the same play, but in a same half. That had never happened to me in my 27 year career until tonight," said Hernandez.
Following a personal foul on the punt return, Kapolei answered with Kaniala Kalaola's 49-yard score to Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala seven seconds before the first quarter ended. Kalaola finished with 163 passing yards.
The Govs' defense applied the pressure and forced Kalaola to throw an interception to Wendell Alob, who jumped the route and returned it 60 yards for another score to make it, 22-7.
"I was looking at the receivers and their routes. I baited the first receiver. Credit goes to the D-line too, without them I don't think I would have got that pick six," said Alob, on the pick.
Castilliano's interceptions came at crucial times when Kapolei found some momentum. He intercepted a pass in the end zone late in the third quarter and midway through the fourth quarter.
After the Hurricanes turned it over on downs, Samsen Tanuvasa burst up the middle for a 43-yard touchdown late in fourth quarter to put the nail in the coffin.
Farrington goes to Alex Kane Stadium to take on No. 9 Kailua (3-0 overall, 2-0) in a pivotal matchup with standing implications on Sept. 1. Kapolei hosts Leilehua (1-2 overall, 0-2 league on Sept. 2.
"It's a good win, but we have to move on," said Okimoto.
Note: Prior to the game, Farrington held a moment of silence for student Dominic Jay Dagami, who passed away from Leukemia.
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