Farrington opens high school football season with win over Waialua

·3 min read

Aug. 5—Chansen Smith will always be the answer to a fun trivia question.

The Farrington sophomore can say he's the first player in the country to score a touchdown in the 2022 season as the first prep football game in the United States was played Thursday night at Skippa Diaz Stadium.

The host Governors won for the first time since 2019, as Smith's 59-yard touchdown catch from quarterback MJ Moreno opened the scoring in a 42-7 victory.

Moreno finished 6-for-8 for 200 yards and two touchdowns and senior Zechariah Molitau scored twice for the Govs, who dropped down to Division I this season and earned their first win since September 2019 against Waianae.

"It was huge just to come out here and play again, " Farrington coach Daniel Sanchez said. "We've been here from January working hard and this is what they live for—to come out here and play for their community. It's very rewarding."

The Govs will play some new teams with the move down in divisions, beginning with Waialua. The two teams hadn't played since 1976.

Smith's opening touchdown came on a third-and-21 play as he got loose down the middle of the field and hauled in the perfect throw from Moreno, who missed on just one of his seven attempts in the first half.

"It felt pretty good to have that moment because it's my first year on varsity, " Smith said. "I just saw the safety in the middle of the field and they were playing man and I just ran straight and tried to burn him."

The Govs' success on the ground came from running behind left guard Iapani Laloulu, a 6-foot-2, 350-pound senior who holds offers from schools including Miami, Florida, Oregon and Tennessee.

Molitau scored on a 13-yard touchdown run with Laloulu pulling out in front and added a 28-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass that saw Laloulu blocking all the way down the field and into end zone as Molitau crossed the plane.

Laloulu transferred back to Farrington for his senior season after competing at Saint Louis to play with his childhood friends.

"Coming out of the locker room and seeing the community showing some love means a lot, " Laloulu said. "Hopefully it's the first (win ) of many, but as I told the boys, 0-0 every week. We have to play hungry every week."

Farrington played many of its starters into the fourth quarter after building a 35-point lead in the third quarter to initiate running clock.

Waialua, which had two wins in OIA Division II play last season, scored on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Tyson Apau to Jayvie Arellano late in the second quarter to make it 21-7.

Apau showed a lot of promise at quarterback, finishing 16-for-28 for 132 yards against a much more physical Farrington squad.

Receivers James Zara and Ryz Miranda Perreira combined for 124 receiving yards on 10 catches as the Bulldogs showed they have weapons to compete in their division this year.

"We came out here and competed with a Division I team that just dropped down out of the Open (Division ), " Waialua coach Gary Wirtz said. "I'd say we held our own against them."