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Farrington has Castle's number


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POSTED: Saturday, November 07, 2009

There isn't a team the Castle Knights haven't beaten, it seems, at least in recent years.

But there's at least one exception: Farrington.

The two teams meet tonight with third place in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference—and a state-tourney berth—on the line.

Here's a look at tonight's matchups:

 

No. 7 Castle vs. No. 4 Farrington, Kaiser Stadium

The Knights (6-4) and their run-and-shoot offense have been successful more often than not, but against the Governors, it's been all about defense.

The Govs (7-2) have permitted only 26 points in three games against Castle dating back to 2007. Part of that had to do with great athleticism in the Farrington defensive unit. Just two months ago, the Govs shackled Castle's play-making wide receiver, Shaydon Kehano, who had season lows of three receptions and 27 yards in a 19-8 Farrington win.

The other key ingredient for Farrington has been its ball-control, West Coast offense, led by the front five, or “;Bamboolas.”;

“;That '75' is a tenacious blocker,”; Castle coach Nelson Maeda said of Farrington guard Joseph Siliga. “;Just nasty.”;

» 2009: Farrington's win in early September featured 131 rushing yards on 26 carries by Harry Tuimaseve. The Govs also limited Castle to 34 total yards.

“;We're expecting a lot of smashmouth football,”; Maeda said. “;They'll have 25 or 30 carries for Tuimaseve. We'd like to get a lead early, if we can, and change the tempo.”;

» 2008: The Govs had a combined 160 rushing yards on 38 attempts. Castle's passing game was wrapped up and managed just 74 yards in a 24-6 home loss.

» 2007: The Govs rushed for “;only”; 113 yards on 29 carries, but Castle passed for just 102 yards. Farrington won 25-12.

» 2006: Farrington's Hercules Sula amassed 230 rushing yards on 20 carries in a 31-21 win. Castle passed for just 72 yards.

Farrington has found ways to slow down Castle, even though the Govs don't practice the shotgun and four-wide sets regularly. This year's defense, with athletic bruisers like V.J. Fehoko (6-foot, 210 pounds), Justin Vele (6-0, 206), Seth Ilae (5-11, 225) and Charles Tauaefa (5-9, 210), has not allowed more than 17 points in any game this season.

“;We couldn't block Fehoko or the other defensive end,”; Maeda said. “;Protection-wise, we've got to figure out schemes to deal with their rush.”;

Farrington is probably anticipating more screen passes from Castle quarterback Jaymason Lee to versatile running back/linebacker Garrett Paredes, but the Knights might have some new wrinkles.

The Governors won't look past Castle if they look back just one week. Castle had a lead in the second half before Kahuku pulled out a 19-14 win with a late touchdown. Farrington, which lost to Leilehua 9-7 last week, is in survival mode.

“;We're ecstatic to be here, to have two more (playoff) games,”; Maeda said. “;We like the chance to redeem ourselves against Farrington.”;

 

Damien at No. 5 'Iolani

The Raiders (9-2, 7-1) have the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II crown locked up, as well as a top seed in the upcoming state championships. So why risk injury in a game that has no effect on the standings?

It's a good question, but a better one would be whether it would be wise to have key starters virtually inactive for four weeks. That would be the scenario if 'Iolani benched quarterback Jarrett Arakawa and defensive stalwarts like Seali'i Epenesa and Kaena Moose.

With a first-round bye in the state tourney, the Raiders won't play again until Nov. 27.

Damien (1-9, 1-7) may be a bit testy today. The Monarchs are coming off losses to Word of Life (50-42, overtime) and Pac-Five (45-27).