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Sabers Hope To End Farrington’s Win Streak Saturday

There are some things you guess at, some you assume and others you just know. A breakdown of Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. matchup between Campbell and Farrington at Aloha Stadium is below.

Setting the stage — why watch: Pending the outcomes of both teams’ games last weekend, this matchup, which is the season finale, could decide the newly formed OIA Blue Conference champion. Farrington, at 5-0 in league games at press time, was to play Mililani on the road last weekend, while Campbell (4-1) was to face Aiea on the road. The Sabers were a game behind leaders Farrington and Mililani before last weekend.

The Series: Farrington has won the last two games between the teams, including a 7-0 win last October in the OIA Red semifinals. The Governors also prevailed 27-24 in the semifinals of the 2011 Red tournament.

Defensive keys to victory for Farrington: The Sabers may be the most balanced team the Governors have faced to date, as Campbell averages 219 yards a game through the air and 202 on the ground. For Farrington’s part, it all begins with shutting down the Saber run game, especially on first down, so Campbell will find itself in second-and-long situations. While over-committing to stopping the run also means being vulnerable to giving up big plays in the passing game, this is a chance Farrington will want to take. It needs another huge game up front from its defensive line as well as an active pass rush.

Offensive keys to victory for Farrington: Control the ball and the clock with long scoring drives. One way to keep the fast-striking Campbell offense out of the end zone is to keep the ball away from them. That is not just the way for the Govs this week, but every week. While Farrington always can depend on quarterback Montana Liana to make plays on the passing game, it wants to pound the ball on the ground first and foremost.

Its veteran offensive line has enabled the team to average 7.4 yards per running play, and it will need to come up huge for Farrington.

Offensive keys to victory for Campbell: Play turnover-free and stay balanced. Balanced is the word that best describes the Sabers, who do as much damage on the ground as in the air. They need to continue that trend this week to have a chance against the Govs. Saber quarterback Ezra Savea and his group of play-makers will likely need to make some plays in the passing game to keep drives alive. First down will be a huge down for its offense. The Govs’ defense is at its best when the opposition is in obvious passing situations, when they can rely on their pass rush to take over.

Defensive keys to victory for Campbell: The Sabers need to commit to stopping the Govs’ run game, which is the driving force behind their offense. Farrington is best as a downhill team, which sets up play action by way of its run game. If Campbell can hold the Govs to less than three yards per running play, especially on first down, it could go a long way toward the Sabers’ cause.

Key matchup: Campbell’s defensive front versus the Farrington offensive line.