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Rivalry renewed: Kahuku vs. Saint Louis


Saint Louis QB John Hao outran a Kahuku defender in the 1989 Prep Bowl. Hao threw for a career-high 329 yards in a 35-18 win. Star-Bulletin photo by Dennis Oda.

Saint Louis’ historic run of Prep Bowl titles ended only because of a format change.

The Crusaders had won their 13th consecutive Prep Bowl in 1998, sliding past Kahuku, 28-20. A year later, the first Hawaii high school state tournament was put together by the HHSAA and featured eight teams. It didn’t slow Saint Louis down as the Crusaders won the first official “state championship” shutting out the Red Raiders in the final, 19-0.

From then on, things quickly began to change. Saint Louis’ dominant run at the top as Hawaii’s best high school football program ended, and that title made its way to the North Shore.

Kahuku, which won states the next two years, is in a class by itself in the state championship era. The Red Raiders have won almost half (eight) of the 17 state titles handed out to non-Division II teams. Saint Louis is next with three state titles, followed by two each for Punahou and Kamehameha and one by Leilehua and Mililani.

Overall, the OIA has won 10 and the ILH has won seven state titles, unlike the Prep Bowl in which the ILH went 19-6-1 against its OIA counterpart.

Kahuku and Saint Louis went 14 years from the first Prep Bowl season of 1973 before playing each other. The Crusaders won the first nine meetings before Kahuku stunned the Crusaders in the 2000 state final. With that win, the Red Raiders have won seven of the last nine meetings. Here’s a look at every Kahuku-Saint Louis game in the state championship era. The teams have met three times over the last eight years.

November 20, 2015 Kahuku 39, Saint Louis 14 (subscriber content)

Kahuku’s Kesi Ah-Hoy fumbled the ball at the goal line but the Red Raiders still scored as everything went right for Kahuku in the 2015 state title game. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

Saint Louis entered the game as the No. 1-ranked team but left humbled after getting whitewashed by Kahuku. Saint Louis only scored on a blocked punt return and a 5-yard drive. Otherwise, Kahuku dominated every phase of the game. The Red Raiders intercepted Saint Louis QB Tua Tagovailoathree times and Kahuku QB Kesi Ah-Hoy rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns to give Kahuku its eighth state title.

August 17, 2013 Saint Louis 45, Kahuku 24 (subscriber content)

Kahuku’s Taliauli sacked Saint Louis QB Ryder Kuhns. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Saint Louis QB Ryder Kuhns put up 370 passing yards and four touchdowns to help the Crusaders score the final 22 points to pull away for the win. Receiver Devan Stubblefield added six catches for 117 yards and a touchdown as Saint Louis handed Kahuku its first loss in a season opener since 2008. The 45 points given up by Kahuku are its most in the Prep Bowl/state championship era. Saint Louis went on to lose to Kamehameha the next game and finished 0-3 against ILH D-I teams.

August 27, 2010 Kahuku 49, Saint Louis 27 (subscriber content)

Saint Louis RB Keanu Mook-Garcia is taken down by the Kahuku defense. Photo by Scott Morifuji/Star-Advertiser.

The Red Raiders put up 49 points on the Crusaders and handed Saint Louis QB Marcus Mariota his only loss in high school. RB Tyrone Brown carries nine times for 84 yards and three touchdowns for Kahuku and quarterback Evan Moe was 9-for-13 for 166 yards for a touchdown. Kahuku led 21-0 and then put it away with a 21-0 third quarter burst that included a blocked punt return for a TD. Mariota finished 25-for-43 for 277 yards and a touchdown and rushed seven times for 82 yards and another score. Saint Louis went on to win the state title while Kahuku had to forfeit all of its wins prior to the OIA title game for using an ineligible player.

August 18, 2007 Saint Louis 21, Kahuku 6

Saint Louis’ Lucas Gonsalves tried to elude Kahuku’s Triton Oto. Photo by Richard Walker/Star-Bulletin.

Saint Louis QB Micah Mamiya missed the 2006 state final against Kahuku with a shoulder injury. He came back to start the 2007 opener against the Red Raiders and threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Lucas Gonsalves on the fourth play from scrimmage. Kahuku’s Jray Galeai threw a 16-yard TD pass to Junior Mataafa in the second quarter but Kahuku never scored again. Saint Louis LB Joseph Lacadan put the game away in the fourth quarter when he returned a fumble 37 yards for a TD. Saint Louis forced three Kahuku turnovers.

Dec. 1, 2006 Kahuku 7, Saint Louis 6

Kahuku quarterback Richard Torres hugged his dad, Kahuku coach Reggie Torres, after winning the 2006 state title in dramatic fashion. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Bulletin.

The 2006 state final featured an 11-0 Saint Louis team against a Kahuku squad that had lost twice that season. The Crusaders lost QB Micah Mamiya in the state semifinals against Waianae and had to go with backup Tamatoa Demello. The game was scoreless in the fourth quarter when Keani Nishigaya found the end zone on a 9-yard run with 6:52 remaining in the game for the Crusaders, but Saint Louis missed the extra point. A 62-yard run by Lehi Aumua changed field position for the Red Raiders, who got the ball back with 2:26 remaining on the 49. First-year Kahuku head coach Reggie Torres watched his son, Richard, throw a 14-yard TD pass to Jordan Kapu with 23 seconds remaining. Kaika Sasaoka made the extra point. Torres completed only two passes all game but finished with 108 rushing yards.

August 28, 2004 Kahuku 37, Saint Louis 17

Kahuku’s Spencer Hafoka caught two passes and rushed one time for a total of 164 yards against Saint Louis. Photo by Richard Walker/Star-Bulletin.

Kahuku had won its third state title in four years, beating Saint Louis all three times in the final, and taken over as the top high school football program in the state the previous year. The dominance continued in the second game of the 2004 season for both team as Kahuku’s Spencer Hafoka tore up the Crusaders defense. Hafoka scored on a 59-yard touchdown run and caught TD passes of 41 and 64 yards from Bronson Ponciano-Ahue, who threw for 196 yards on only 6-for-7 passing. Saint Louis had a chance to make it close, but Tomasi Fuller‘s 85-yard interception return for a TD broke the Crusaders. It was the only pick thrown by Saint Louis QB Stanley Nihipali, who was 17-for-37 for 208 yards and a TD.

Dec. 5, 2003 Kahuku 27, Saint Louis 26

Kahuku’s Darren Magalogo, shown scoring a TD against Farrington in the semifinals, scored the game-winning TD in the final vs. Saint Louis. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Bulletin.

The 2006 final is tough to beat in terms of excitement, but this one probably did it. Kahuku trailed 23-7 in the third quarter and won the game on Darren Magalogo‘s 3-yard TD run with 19 seconds remaining. Saint Louis forced Kahuku to turn the ball over on downs on the Crusaders’ 32-yard line with 2:17 left, but went three-and-out. Toriano Taulogo returned the punt 62 yards before Stephen Lei made the touchdown-saving tackle at the 3. Four seconds later, Magalogo scored on the run to win it. The game wasn’t over, however, as BJ Batts returned the ensuing kickoff to the Kahuku 38, giving Saint Louis kicker CJ Santiago a 55-yard try. He missed it short, but Kahuku was called for roughing the kicker, giving the Crusaders another attempt. This time, Santiago’s 40-yard field goal went wide right. Santiago had made four field goals earlier in the game. Saint Louis receiver Desmond Hanohano had six catches for 116 yards but the Crusaders were held without a passing TD.

Nov. 30, 2001 Kahuku 21, Saint Louis 14

Kahuku QB Inoke Funaki led the Red Raiders past Saint Louis in the 2001 state title game. Photo by George F. Lee/Star-Bulletin.

The Crusaders came in undefeated but were held to just 214 total yards. QB Bobby George was hit 11 times and finished 15-for-37 for 145 yards and one touchdown. Backup Chris Sokugawa threw the other Crusaders’ TD pass, a 34-yarder to Jason Rivers, after George left the game temporarily following a big hit. Jonathan Mapu was Kahuku’s stud on defense with six hurries and a sack while Mulivai Pula carried the offensive load for the Red Raiders, rushing for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Pula scored on runs of 3 and 82 yards and QB Inoke Funaki found the end zone on a 76-yard TD run. Rivers had six catches for 98 yards and both Saint Louis TDs.

Dec. 1, 2000 Kahuku 26, Saint Louis 20

Kahuku’s Mulivai Pula rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns against Saint Louis to help the Red Raiders win their first state championship. (AP Photo/Ronen Zilberman)

Cal Lee‘s 2000 team has the fourth-highest scoring average to this day at 48.5 points per game. In fact, the only team to average more points a game since is the 2015 Mililani Trojans, who averaged 51.1 points. Saint Louis was held to seven points in the first three quarters before tying the game 14-14 early in the fourth on a 22-yard TD run by Pesefea Fiaseu, who went over 3,500 career rushing yards in this game. Kahuku answered with back-to-back touchdowns on a 1-yard run by Robert-Marcus Salanoa and a 25-yard scoring scamper by Mulivai Pula, who finished with 112 yards and two touchdowns. Kahuku had 270 of its 315 total yards on the ground with fullback Chris Kemoeatuleading the way. Kemoeatu also recovered two fumbles in the game and Kahuku sacked Saint Louis QB Kelika Higa four times. Higa was 13-for-19 for 165 yards and Ross Dickerson caught eight balls for 130 yards, but Saint Louis was held without a passing TD.

Dec. 3, 1999 Saint Louis 19, Kahuku 0

Kahuku defensive back, Leonard Peters, robbed St. Louis receiver Gerald Welch of a touchdown. Photo by Barry Markowitz.

After winning the final 13 Prep Bowls, Saint Louis thought it was beginning a new streak of consecutive state championships. The Crusaders were held to only 19 points to finish the season averaging 51.5 points per game. Only the 1998 Crusaders (52.7 per game) scored more. However, Kahuku couldn’t capitalize on offense. The Red Raiders rushed for only 45 yards and had 126 yards of total offense. QBs Vai and Inoke Funaki were a combined 5-for-22 throwing the ball. Timmy Chang was held to a career-low 88 passing yards in his final game but managed to finish with a record 8,001 yards and 113 TD passes in his career, which still remains the most all-time today. Chang threw three TD passes in the game with two going to Gerald Welch, who finished his career as the state’s all-time career receiving leader with 3,490 yards. That mark lasted 15 years until it was broken in 2014 by Punahou’s Kanawai Noa (3,510 yards). welch still holds the single-season receiving marks of 1,689 yards and 23 touchdowns.

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