Lights-out effort lifts No. 1 Saint Louis over No. 4 Kahuku
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
Saint Louis quarterback Jayden de Laura dove for the pylon but was stopped just short of the goal line by Kahuku defensive back Kaonohi Kaniho during the first half at Aloha Stadium on Saturday.
The only thing in Hawaii that could stop the force of Saint Louis was a force of nature.
The No. 1 Crusaders led No. 4 Kahuku 28-0 at halftime in the nightcap of an Aloha Stadium tripleheader on Saturday. A 15-minute delay occurred when a portion of the lights in the stadium bleachers went out, slightly dimming the field during the intermission.
After an additional 10-minute warm-up period, Saint Louis coach Cal Lee and Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho met at midfield to confer. It was mutually agreed upon that the game would be called right then and there.
“Mother Nature. You cannot control the elements. Coach Lee and I were saying what’s first and foremost — the safety of the kids,” Carvalho said. “That’s what the discussion was about. The bottom line was the what’s best for our players. It’s out of our control and we don’t know. We just want our kids to be safe, go home and be safe for the rest of the year as well.”
Lee and Carvalho couldn’t receive confirmation that the lights wouldn’t go out at some point during the second half. About 20 minutes after the game was called, the stadium became even dimmer as more lights went dark.
“As coaches, we agreed that if we’re talking the safety of our players and everything, to make a decision,” Lee said. “And we agreed (to call it off). It was mutual.”
For the two quarters that Saint Louis and Kahuku actually got to play, the Crusaders were lights out from the get-go.
Mason Taliulu got the scoring started for the Crusaders with a 1-yard rushing touchdown with 7:37 left in the first quarter. Offensive lineman Rod Dupont was ejected for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the play, but the Crusaders kept humming offensively.
Michigan commit Roman Wilson used his sheer speed to break free from the Kahuku secondary to haul in a 22-yard touchdown from Jayden de Laura on the team’s next possession.
The Crusaders stretched the lead to 21-0 with 10:46 remaining in the second quarter after Jason Cruz’s 2-yard rushing score. De Laura’s second touchdown was a 9-yard score with 2:19 left in the second quarter to the shifty Koali Nishigaya, who beat two Kahuku defenders the last 5 yards to pay dirt.
De Laura had a stellar night, adding another performance to a resume that puts him in contention for state Offensive Player of the Year like so many Crusaders quarterbacks before him. He completed 14 of his 19 passes for 156 yards and added 47 yards rushing on six carries, including some impressive escapes on multiple would-be sacks.
“Yeah, I’m bummed, but we live to play another day,” he said. “That’s good. We can go back, practice tomorrow, everyone’s kind of healthy, so we can go back and work on our mistakes.”
No. 1 Saint Louis 28, No. 4 Kahuku 0
At Aloha Stadium
>> Kahuku (4-2, 2-1) 0 0 x x — 0
>> Saint Louis (5-0, 4-0) 14 14 x x — 28
Saint Louis — Mason Taliulu 1 rush (Lason Napuunoa kick)
Saint Louis — Roman Wilson 22 pass from Jayden de Laura (Napuunoa kick)
Saint Louis — Jason Cruz 2 rush (Napuunoa kick)
Saint Louis — Koali Nishigaya 9 pass from de Laura (Napuunoa kick)
RUSHING — Kahuku: Zealand Matagi 11-45, Lailo Kaluna 1-2, Tiger Adolpho 3-(minus-15). Saint Louis: de Laura 6-47, Cruz 2-5, Taliulu 3-3, Kaohu Kamakawiwo’ole 2-1.
PASSING — Kahuku: Adolpho 5-12-0-24. Saint Louis: de Laura 14-19-0-156.
RECEIVING — Kahuku: Kaluna 3-13, Isaac Vaka 1-10, Cole Pruett 1-1. Saint Louis: Isaac Silva 6-46, Nishigaya 4-44, Matt Sykes 3-44, Wilson 1-22.