POSTED: 10:17 p.m. HST, Nov 26, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 12:15 a.m. HST, Nov 27, 2010
After a seven-year absence, Saint Louis returned to the summit of Hawaii high school football with a 36-13 win over Waianae tonight in the HHSAA Division I state championship game at Aloha Stadium.
Saint Louis quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 17 of 23 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Crusaders to their first state title since 2002.
Waianae trailed 23-13 at halftime, but the Saint Louis defense came up with four turnovers in the second half and the Crusaders pulled away to secure the program's third state championship to add to its 14 Prep Bowl titles.
Saint Louis took the game's opening kickoff and needed just 1 minute and 6 seconds to take the lead, driving 60 yards in four plays with Mariota completing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Tupua.
The Crusaders' lead grew to 13-0 when Jeremy Tabuyo took a pass and outrunning the Waianae defense for a 79-yard touchdown.
Waianae cut into the lead when James Wilson took a pass from twin brother Puletua Wilson and somersaulted into the end zone at the end of a 14-yard completion.
But Saint Louis scored 1:25 later on Keanu Mook-Garcia's 1-yard run and Aaron Goo's 40-yard field goal gave Saint Louis a 23-7 advantage with 30 seconds left before halftime.
But Waianae's Jaylen Mitchell answered by taking the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to cut the Seariders' deficit to 23-13 going into halftime.
Waianae moved into Saint Louis territory on both of its first two possessions of the second half. But the first resulted in a fumble and Leland Gomez intercepted a pass from Puletua Wilson late in the third quarter.
The Crusaders then added to their cushion on a 4-yard run by Elijah McShane on the first play of the fourth quarter to cap a 68-yard drive.
Another pick by Saint Louis' Lee-Jun Kalawaia set up Mariota's third touchdown pass of the night.
Gomez came up with his second interception at the goal line to turn the Seariders away again and the Crusaders were able to drive to the Waianae 8 to run out the clock.