No. 1 Saint Louis runs past No. 2 Kahuku in convincing fashion
Roman Wilson was about to have a breakout season, perhaps, in 2017.
An injury derailed his hopes, and he watched his Saint Louis brothers capture their second state title in a row. This season, he’s back with a vengeance. The blazing wide receiver hauled in six passes for 136 yards, including touchdowns of 80 and 13 yards, as No. 1 Saint Louis overwhelmed No. 2 Kahuku 30-14 on Friday night at Aloha Stadium.
Quarterback Jayden de Laura played beyond halftime for the first time in his varsity career. The junior was 17-for-26 for 194 yards with one interception along with the two scoring strikes.
Saint Louis improved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in ILH Open Division play with the showdown victory. They did it with their cornerstone: defensive dominance. Saint Louis limited Kahuku to 8 yards in total offense before halftime. The Crusaders racked up six of their eight sacks by then. They got three sacks from linebacker Nick Herbig, two by linebacker Jordan Botelho, and one apiece from Kila Kamakawiwo‘ole and defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele. Timothy Timoteo and Isaiah Filisi combined for another takedown.
“It’s a good first half, but how many teams play four quarters? We’ve got to play four quarters, not two. That’s part of growing up and getting better,” Saint Louis coach Cal Lee said.
The Crusaders, ranked No. 10 nationally by MaxPreps, had trouble with their long snaps on offense and special teams, an unusual problem.
“There’s a lot of work to do. We’re starting tomorrow (Saturday),” Lee said.
Kahuku took no chances with injuries to linebacker Miki Ah You and left tackle Enokk Vimahi. With the game having no bearing on the OIA standings, both players stayed out after suffering what they considered fairly minor injuries. It was minor enough that Ah You said he would have played if this had been a playoff game.
“Oh yeah, definitely. But we have lots of games to play,” he said.
The opening quarter was a tight battle. Garyn Napuunoa’s 29-yard field goal was the only scoring, but the Crusaders got a 10-yard run for a touchdown by running back Dayton Sam. His diving effort over the right pylon gave the Crusaders a 9-0 lead with 7:20 left in the first half.
Kahuku’s best drive of the first half stalled near midfield. After taking over at their own 20, the Crusaders struck instantly on an 80-yard bomb from de Laura to Wilson, a play that they missed on during the game’s opening series. That pushed the margin to 16 points with 2:26 to go before intermission.
After safety Kamo‘i Latu intercepted a Thorton Alapa pass, the Crusaders drove 52 yards in nine plays, scoring on de Laura’s pass to Wilson on a post route for a 23-0 lead with 7:03 to go in the third.
Alapa guided Kahuku downfield, but suffered an injury and was replaced by Robbie Sauvao, who spiraled a 20-yard TD pass to Mason Paulo to get the Red Raiders on the board with 2:38 left in the third.
Kahuku had momentum after a deflection by Kaonohi Kaniho led to an interception by Elijah Latu. They drove to the Saint Louis 20, but Korvin Feagins intercepted a Sauvao pass and returned it 85 yards for a pick-6. Saint Louis led 30-7 with 8:33 remaining.
Kahuku tacked on a late TD on a 20-yard pass from Sauvao to Duke Heffernan on a nice post-corner route with 1:49 to go.
No. 1. Saint Louis 30, No. 2 Kahuku 14 At Aloha Stadium
>> Kahuku (3-1, 2-0) 0 0 7 7 — 14 >> Saint Louis (3-0, 2-0) 3 13 7 7 — 30
Saint Louis — FG Garyn Napuunoa 29
Saint Louis — Dayton Sam 10 run (run failed)
Saint Louis — Roman Wilson 80 pass from Jayden de Laura (Napuunoa kick)
Saint Louis — Wilson 13 pass from de Laura (Napuunoa kick)
Kahuku — Mason Paulo 15 pass from Robbie Sauvao (Duke Heffernan kick)
Saint Louis — Korvin Feagins 85 interception return (Napuunoa kick)
Kahuku — Heffernan 20 pass from Sauvao (Heffernan kick)
RUSHING — Kahuku: Toalei Lefau 5-17, Sauvao 3-7, Wes Alo-Maiava 4-5, Zealand Matagi 1-(minus-3), Thorton Alapa 14-(minus-13). Saint Louis: de Laura 5-47, Sam 10-31, Robbie Paikai 4-13, Ka‘ohu Kamakawiwo‘ole 3-8, Alema Scanlan 1-2, Connor Apo 2-(minus-3), Team 2-(minus-18).
PASSING — Kahuku: Alapa 7-11-1-58, Sauvao 11-24-0-125. Saint Louis: de Laura 17-26-1-194, Apo 0-1-1-0.
RECEIVING — Kahuku: Duke Heffernan 6-72, Mason Paulo 4-49, Lefau 3-20, Alo-Maiava 2-13, Ethan Erickson 2-18, Lokana Enos 1-11. Saint Louis: Wilson 6-136, Makoa Close 4-34, Koali Nishigaya 4-19, Chance Beyer 3-5.