Posted: October 26, 2012 - 9:27pm
Morikawa, Mililani turn lights out on Farrington, 42-21
Mililani wide receiver Erren Jean-Pierre caught this pass for a 55 yard score against Farrington. Greg Yamamoto | SL
HALAWA - It was another lights out performance by Jarin Morikawa and company Friday night.
The senior quarterback threw for 356 yards on 21-of-34 passing and five touchdowns to lead Mililani to a 42-21 win over Farrington in an Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference Tournament semifinal before 5,000 fans at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
The Trojans, ranked third in this week's ScoringLive/OC16 Power Rankings, advanced into next week's Red title game and qualified for next month's First Hawaiian Bank/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I Football State Championships with their sixth straight win. Mililani, the Red West champion, improved to 9-1 on the year and will try for its second league crown in three seasons against Kahuku next Friday. The Red Raiders beat Leilehua, 14-7, in the other semifinal.
"There's always room for improvement, but we're happy to be in the championship game," said Morikawa, who completed passes to seven different receivers.
Despite 219 rushing yards by Tyler Taumua and another 101 from Amo Silva, the fourth-ranked Govenors, allowed a season-high in points and fell to 8-2. Farrington, the Red East runner-up, must now beat Leilehua in the third-place game next Saturday to claim the OIA's final state-tournament berth.
The game was a display of contrasting styles in Mililani's aerial attack versus Farrington's punishing ground game.
The Trojans picked up 13 of their 16 first downs on passes and attempted just 22 rushes for 33 yards, while the Governors kept it on the ground 54 times for 302 yards. Farrington threw just 15 times - six of them completed - for 66 yards.
"Hats off to Farrington, they're a well-coached team and shoot, people were right, we didn't see a run-attack like they brought, but credit to our kids, you know, they adjusted, they regrouped and the coaching staff did a good job taking over in the second half," Mililani coach Rod York said.
Morikawa struggled early - completing just one of his first five pass attempts - and was intercepted twice in the game, but benefitted from several short passes that his receivers broke for long gains.
"It might have been some nerves, we were a little sloppy at first, but once we got on the same page we started rolling from there," Morikawa said.
Farrington scored on its opening possession to seize an early 6-0 lead. Abraham Silva hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Montana Liana on the seventh play of the drive, but the extra point was no good.
Mililani took the lead at 7-6 late in the first quarter on Jarin Morikawa's 12-yard pass to Dakota Turner. The scoring play capped an eight-play, 94-yard that took just two minutes and 26 seconds off the clock.
A Farrington special teams miscue on its ensuing drive gave Mililani a short field. A low snap to Taumua, who is also the punter, was bobbled and he was taken down at the Govs' 3-yard line. Three plays later, Dayton Furuta plunged in for a 3-yard Trojan touchdown. After the Ryan Carlomany kick, Mililani led, 14-6, early in the second quarter.
Minutes later, a 29-yard punt return by Bronson Ramos set-up a 37-yard touchdown pass from Morikawa to Erren Jean-Pierre. Jean-Pierre was aligned wide left of the formation, beat his defender downfield and Morikawa threw it over the top for his second TD pass. That made the score, 21-6, with 8:12 to play until halftime.
Farrington got two late second-quarter scores off a pair of Mililani turnovers. Tre Boyd intercepted Morikawa to set-up Taumua's 2-yard touchdown run to make it 21-12 with 1:50 to play. The two-point conversion pass was no good, but Austin Faumui forced and recovered a Mililani fumble on the very next play from scrimmage and Justin Tamashiro nailed a 30-yard field goal in the closing seconds to cut the deficit to 21-15 at the intermission.
Taumua had 168 rushing yards by halftime, however, any momentum the Govs had going into the second half was thwarted by a successfully-converted onside kick by the Trojans to open the third quarter.
Blaze Cosner recovered the loose ball at the Farrington 41 and Mililani extended its lead to 28-15, just 38 seconds into the second half on a 20-yard Morikawa-to-Turner touchdown pass.
"There's always four to five plays that make the difference in the game and that was definitely one of them," York said.
However, the Govs drove 80 yards on 12 plays, capped by Taumua's 5-yard scoring run, on their next possession to make the score 28-21 after another failed extra point attempt.
Before the ensuing Farrington kickoff, the game was delayed for about 30 minutes when most of the stadium lights went out, leaving both players on the field and fans in the stands in darkness.
"That didn't help at all," Govs' coach Randall Okimoto said of the game stoppage. "It's an emotional game and you don't want to deflate people by making them wait for half an hour or so, but it happened and (Mililani) had to deal with it as well."
Morikawa's fourth touchdown pass, with 2:11 left in the third qurter, was a 55-yarder to Erren-Jean Pierre that made the score 34-21.
Jean-Pierre finished with three catches for 98 yards and Ekolu Ramos added four grabs for 92 yards.
The Trojans added a late score on a 55-yard touchdown pass from Morikawa to Preston Sinn, who recorded four receptions for 79 yards.
"It starts with the O-line," York said. "Jarin was hardly touched and credit to the team. It was a team win; Special teams and defense did a great job, too."
Farrington entered the game allowing an average of just 165 offensive yards by its opponents, including 108 passing.
"We allowed too many big plays and we did have a few key starters out, but it's no excuse, other guys should have stepped up and they did actually, but Mililani just made plays," Okimoto said. "Their quarterback is very accurate and they know how to finish their plays."
Taumua carried 30 times and Silva 18 times to lead the Govs, who were 6-of-16 on third downs.
Mililani avenged a quarterfinal loss to Farrington in the quarterfinal round of last year's OIA tournament. The Trojans last won the OIA title in 2010, when Kahuku forfeited a day before the championship game was to be played due to the use of an eligible player.
October 26, 2012
Erren Jean-Pierre, 55 yard touchdown pass from Jarin Morikawa.
Preston Sinn, 55 yard touchdown pass from Jarin Morikawa.
> more video highlights
Mililani's Dakota Turner celebrates after catching his second touchdown pass of the night against Farrington. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Mililani quarterback Jarin Morikawa gets off a pass attempt against Farrington. Sean Nakamura | SL
Mililani WR Erren Jean-Pierre makes a pass reception for a touchdown against Farrington. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Farrington running back Tyler Taumua rushed for a game-high 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sean Nakamura | SL
Farrington's Tre Boyd tries to maintain his balance following an interception against Mililani. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium went dark for nearly 30 minutes following a brief power outage. Evan Asato | Special to SL