Saint Louis blanks Kahuku in abbreviated game
Jayden de Laura (right) displayed his pocket escapability on several plays Saturday night as the senior threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns. CJ Caraang | SL
HALAWA — Jayden de Laura threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns to lead top-ranked Saint Louis to a 28-0 win over No. 4 Kahuku in the nightcap of an Open Division triple header at Aloha Stadium Saturday.
The game was called at halftime by mutual agreement between both coaches due to safety concerns stemming from lighting issues. Just after the teams went to the locker rooms to start the intermission, an apparent power surge knocked out several rows of lights.
The second half kickoff was delayed for about 15 minutes while the lights powered back up, but it was determined that the lighting was not adequate and the game was called at that point.
"I think when you mention the safety of the players, I mean, the official mentioned that the lighting and everything and it didn't improve for 20 minutes and the power surge could have gone off again, so as coaches we just felt that if you're talking safety of the players and everything, you make a decision and we agreed; It was mutual," Saint Louis coach Cal Lee said.
The Crusaders (5-0, 4-0 ILH) capped four of their six first-half drives with touchdowns and dominated the stat sheet. They posted 206 yards of total offense and 16 first downs and held the Red Raiders (4-2) to 56 net yards.
"I think we executed pretty good," said de Laura, a senior quarterback. "I think, I personally, missed on a couple things, but all in all I think our defense played well, o-line played well, we had our center step up, but we still got stuff to work on though."
Saint Louis took advantage of a 2-yard Kahuku punt to start its first possession at the Red Raiders' 38-yard line. Five plays later Mason Taliulu walked into the end zone from a yard out for the game's first score.
Kahuku went three-and-out on its ensuing possession and de Laura marched the Crusaders 72 yards in just six plays, capped by his 22-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson, who got free against one-on-one coverage down the right sideline.
Prior to the scoring play, it appeared that there was some confusion on getting the play in to de Laura from the sideline, but he said that was not the case.
"We had our play called, but I looked over to (Kahuku's) sideline and they were still trying to figure out their side — I think they were trying to do that all game, they didn't know what they were doing — so I saw that and I picked it up and I just snapped it as fast as I could," said de Laura, who completed six of his first seven pass attempts.
The Crusaders got another three-and-out from their defense and the offense took over at their own 39. They moved the chains on third-and-2 when de Laura scrambled out of the pocket to his right and threw across his body to Isaac Silva for an 11-yard completion. Jason Cruz's 2-yard TD run up the middle capped the 10-play drive.
The teams exchanged punts on their next drives, but Kahuku went three-and-out yet again and to make matters worse, Kenai Liua had his punt blocked by Sonny Masaniai to give Saint Louis possession at the Red Raiders' 28-yard line.
The Crusaders needed just four plays to find the end zone. De Laura eluded a sack on the first play of the drive to hit Silva for an 8-yard gain. One second down, he fended off three would-be tacklers in the backfield before scrambling for a 5-yard pick-up along the left sideline.
"Personally, I don't know how I got out of that, but the weight room does magical things. I've been in there all offseason and it pays off," said de Laura, who rushed for a game-high 46 yards on six carries.
Two plays after the scramble, de Laura fired a quick pass out to Koali Nishigaya in the right flat, who stopped on a dime and cut inside of two defenders before diving across the goal line for an 8-yard TD pass. Lason Napuunoa tacked on the extra point to close out the scoring.
Silva finished with six receptions for 40 yards, Nishigaya had four catches for 44 yards and Matthew Sykes added three grabs for 44 yards.
Saint Louis was a perfect 3 for 3 on red-zone chances. It averaged 6.4 yards per play offensively to just a 2.1-yard average for Kahuku, which was just 2 of 8 on third downs and managed only four first downs.
The Red Raiders' deepest penetration was the Saint Louis 35-yard line, but they turned it over on downs after quarterback Tiger Adolpho's pass on fourth-and-20 fell incomplete.
"I gotta be pleased. When you can score 28 points and play pretty good defense, you'll be happy, but what can I say, I mean, I don't know how many first downs they had and all that, but I thought we played pretty good defense and offense," said Lee, whose team notched its 31st consecutive win dating back to the 2016 season.
"When you score 28 points against a pretty good Kahuku team, how can you not feel good about yourselves, but again, the tape never lies, so we'll look at the film and we'll see where we can get better," Lee said.
Saint Louis next faces third-ranked Punahou at Aloha Stadium Friday, while Kahuku will visit No. 11 Kapolei that same night.