HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Govs keep No. 7 ranking after comeback vs. Tigers
The difference between winning and losing, especially late in the season, often comes down to a handful of plays.
Sometimes it comes down to just one. Though Farrington's 35-21 comeback win over McKinley was built on a broad 22-point fourth quarter, few plays stood out as clearly as a 2-point conversion that gave the Governors the lead for good.
Down 21-20 after Hercules Sula's touchdown run, Farrington set up for a regular 1-point kick. Before the offensive line shifted from the left side to the ball, holder Alefesio Iu took a quick snap and threw a perfect out-pattern pass to Trendt Marsom to give the Govs the lead with 11:44 remaining. Both coaches pointed to that play as a key swing in momentum.
The Govs retained their No. 7 ranking in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, and the Tigers slid to No. 10.
Iu was a junior-varsity quarterback, Farrington coach Randall Okimoto said. In fact, if not for Maeli Siliga's experience the past two seasons, Iu would have been the No. 2 signal-caller for Farrington when Elijah Filifili was sidelined by a hand injury.
The value of a bankable PAT play is often a one-and-done deal. Too many teams use video to break down opponents and prepare for gadget sets and trick plays. Iu's poised throw and Marsom's clean catch were a small part of the win, but the result for Farrington is a 4-1 mark in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red East. McKinley fell to 3-2 and is in line to get a lower seeding for the playoffs.
The Tigers came away with a heart-breaking loss, but the Iuta brothers showed their mettle. Isaac Iuta, starting in place of injured Tilton Kaluna, was formidable. Normally a starting inside linebacker, Iuta threw for 148 yards and guided the Tigers to three touchdowns against one of the league's best defensive units.
Younger brother Isaiah, however, was stellar at linebacker. Called up from the JV team recently, he came up with an acrobatic interception, and also had a sack that led to a turnover. On the play, he simply stripped the ball away to give his team possession deep in Farrington territory.