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Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveSeptember 2, 2017, 12:46am
Fri, Sep 1, 2017 @ Kailua [ 7:00 pm ]
KAILUA — The right foot of Blessing Umaga provided all the offense Farrington needed Friday night.
Umaga's 32-yard field goal in the second quarter, backed by a stout defensive effort, was enough to lift the eighth-ranked Governors to a 3-0 win over No. 9 Kailua before a crowd of about 600 fans on a balmy evening at Alex Kane Stadium.
Farrington has won its last three games and improved to 3-1 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I Red Conference and 3-2 overall.
Kailua (3-1 overall, 2-1 league) suffered its first loss of the season and saw its three-game win streak snapped.
The defenses shined for both teams Friday night. There were a total of four interceptions — two by each team — just 15 combined first downs and 13 punts between them.
Sophomore running back Bobby Alualu-Alo carried a career-high 15 times for 159 yards — all but 40 yards of Farrington's total offense. His 86-yard run — one play after a 47-yard punt by Kailua's Alika Teramoto pinned the Govs at their own 5-yard line — helped set-up Umaga's field goal four plays later.
"All I seen was blockers and I had to do was read my blockers and do what I gotta do to gain those extra yards," Alualu-Alo said.
Umaga, who also plays linebacker and spot duty at running back, had kicked seven PATs before Friday, but had yet to make a field goal. He also averaged 36.2 yards on six punts, including a long of 47 yards.
"We stress special teams," Govs coach Randall Okimoto said. "My whole time here at Farrington it's been about defense and special teams, so we practice it, we expect Blessing to do those things and it was a no-brainer for us to call that field goal and we had confidence in Blessing to hit it."
Umaga's field goal from the right hash split the uprights with 4:59 left in the first half.
Kailua was once again plagued by penalties. One week after being flagged 19 times for 216 yards, it drew 18 penalties for 131 yards. Eight of those infractions were for false starts — three of them coming back-to-back-to-back in the second quarter.
Of the Surfriders 12 possessions, seven ended in punts, two were turned over on downs and two resulted in turnovers — both coming on interceptions by Farrington safety Chasen Castilliano.
Kailua entered the game averaging better than 250 rushing yards per game. It was held to just 57 yards on 24 attempts (2.4 yards per rush) and struggled to sustain drives. Quarterback Aaron Mejia finished 11-of-29 passing for 133 yards with the two picks.
"Our guys were pressuring them a lot, so we kind of forced them to throw," Okimoto said.
The Govs registered six tackles for loss, including five sacks. Cameron Faletufuga had 2 1/2 sacks, Foi Sila 1 1/2, and Joshua Matagi one. Sila finished with a team-high six tackles.
"We put most of our guys that can run around on defense. They were called to duty and they stepped up again, so we've got to keep it up," Okimoto said.
Late in the game, Kailua penetrated as deep as the Farrington 31-yard line, but Mejia threw three consecutive incompletions to turn it over on downs with 1:22 left in the game before the Govs ran out the clock.
"All thanks to God," Alualu-Alo said. "If it wasn't for God, we wouldn't have been able to take this win, but our defense worked hard, our offense worked hard and our offense is improving."
Kailua quarterback Aaron Mejia (2) was sacked five times and tossed interceptions on the night.
Kealoha Hanawahine-Wong posted a team-high seven tackles, Leighton Russell registered six tackles and an interception and Dakota Kadooka had four stops and a pick to lead the Surfriders defensively.
The teams combined to convert just 4 of 23 third downs and were 0 for 4 on fourth downs.
Farrington was flagged 13 times for 112 yards.
"We would rather put on a better performance offensively — and then I know we had a lot of penalties — but, you know, a win is a win," Okimoto said. "We're one step closer to our goal. We talk about playoff position, so that's the positive we can pull out of this tonight."
The Govs avoided the proverbial letdown game after coming away with a 28-7 upset over then-No. 3 Kapolei last week.
"What we find out is sometimes kids do their own thing and your heads are still in the clouds and it's hard to focus after a big win — everybody is talking about it — so you've got to rebound and you've got to focus," Okimoto said. "It was a hard week for me as a coach. It wasn't easy, but I'm glad we came through tonight."
Farrington will try to make it four straight wins when it hosts No. 3 Mililani Friday at Edward ‘Skippa' Diaz Stadium at Kusunoki Field Friday.
Kailua will host No. 6 Kapolei next Saturday.
Rams win their fifth straight game to pull into a tie for first place in the OIA West.
The defending state champs are on a four-game winning streak.
Kamehameha has not lost a game since its season opener on Feb. 28.
Waianae is 5-0 atop of the OIA Western Division standings midway through the season.
Warriors managed only four hits, but cashed in on 13 walks and five wild pitches to win.
The senior right-hander tossed six shutout innings and drove in three runs in the win.