POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 05, 2010
Just 11 months ago, sixth-ranked Kamehameha met No. 3 Saint Louis and pulled off a victory that helped boost the Warriors' run to a state title.
This time, the two storied programs met with the same rankings, but the result was quite different. A revitalized Crusaders defense limited Kamehameha to 37 total yards in the second half as Saint Louis rallied from a 17-13 halftime deficit for a 41-17 win last night at Aloha Stadium.
It was the Interscholastic League of Honolulu opener for both teams.
Kamehameha (2-2 overall) moved the ball on the ground for a half, but Saint Louis (3-1 overall) tweaked its defense just enough to make a staggering difference the rest of the night.
"The best thing is our defense. We did our assignments and we trusted each other," said linebacker Starr Sua-Passi, who returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown to seal the win. "Coach gave us the plays and told us to do our jobs."
Kamehameha running backs D.J. Kawewehi and Tyler Meditz combined for 137 rushing yards in the first half, but finished with just 12 more yards after halftime.
"I've got to give props to my defensive staff," Saint Louis coach Darnell Arceneaux said. "They re-gapped guys and had guys stunt to different gaps. Guys were trying to do too much and it's always about trust, trusting their technique, trusting their family."
Crusaders quarterback Marcus Mariota was steady, with no turnovers, and passed for 216 yards and two touchdowns. The reads and one-on-one coverage gave him the go-ahead to launch several bombs through the night, most of which fell incomplete against a solid Warriors secondary.
"We had to execute (in the second half). I missed a couple of throws and we had a couple of drops, but we felt we could play on one side of the corners," Mariota said, giving kudos to Kamehameha cornerback Walter Santiago Jr. "Walt had a good game."
Santiago focused often on Saint Louis burner Duke Bukoski, who had a 59-yard grab, but on the other side of the field Joshua Tupua finished with six catches for 99 yards.
The first half was a seesaw battle after Saint Louis defensive end Marcus Rodrigues picked off a shovel pass by Kamehameha quarterback Christian Akana and raced 26 yards to the left pylon for a touchdown with 10:37 left in the first half.
After Saint Louis' Jesse Correa missed a 36-yard field goal try in a strong crosswind, the Warriors found success during their third series. Akana found Charley Bollig IV open over the middle and the senior split the secondary for a 70-yard touchdown. Drew Honda's PAT kick gave Kamehameha a 7-6 lead.
Honda added a 26-yard field goal early in the second quarter to increase the lead for the Warriors.
Saint Louis answered with a nine-play, 55-yard scoring drive. A 33-yard pass from Mariota to Tupua set up a 6-yard touchdown pass. The Crusaders led 13-10 with 6:57 remaining in the second quarter.
Kamehameha went almost exclusively to the ground attack on its ensuing series. The nine-play, 80-yard march, which included one incomplete pass, was a show of might up front by the Warriors, who went ahead 17-13 on Tyler Meditz's 20-yard run up the gut. Meditz, who broke three tackles along the way, had 72 rushing yards in the first half.
The Crusaders didn't cross midfield again until the second half. Derek Nakasato's 1-yard touchdown run capped a dynamic drive by the Crusaders, who went ahead 20-17 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Mariota completed five of his six pass attempts during the march.
After a four and out by Kamehameha, the Saints drove 59 yards in six plays for another touchdown. Mariota found Tupua again on a 25-yard strike for a 26-17 Saints lead with 5:12 remaining in the third.
The Warriors' ensuing drive went backward, and Honda, who is also the punter, inadvertently kneeled to grab a low snap in the end zone, resulting in a safety.
Saint Louis then drove 47 yards and scored on a 3-yard keeper by Mariota for a 35-17 lead with 11:52 remaining.
The fumble return for a score by Sua-Passi with 7:35 left put the icing on the cake.
"Na'Alii (Robins) popped the ball out," Sua-Passi said of the scramble that ensued when Akana lost control of the shotgun snap.
StL--Marcus Rodrigues 26 interception return (kick failed)
KS--Charley Bollig IV 70 pass from Christian Akana (Drew Honda kick)
KS--FG Honda 26
StL--Joshua Tupua 6 pass from Marcus Mariota (Jesse Correa kick)
KS--Tyler Meditz 20 run (Honda kick)
StL--Derek Nakasato 1 run (Correa kick)
StL--Tupua 25 pass from Mariota (kick failed)
StL--Safety, punter downed low snap in end zone
StL--Mariota 3 run (Correa kick)
StL--Starr Sua-Passi 66 fumble return (kick failed)
RUSHING--StL: Keanu Mook-Garcia 7-25, Mariota 8-17, Nakasato 14-57, Kala McShane 3-12, Kamana Pimental 2-8. KS: D.J. Kawewehi 14-64, Meditz 13-85, Micah Choy 1-4, Keanu Haina 1-9, Akana 5-(-1).
PASSING--StL: Mariota 14-29-0-216. KS: Akana 5-17-1-119, Cid Camanse-Stevens 0-4-1-0.
RECEIVING--StL: Tupua 6-99, Duke Bukoski 1-59, Jared Tomaszek 1-18, Kaeo Aliviado 5-32, McShane 1-18. KS: Bollig 4-106, Brandon Akiona 1-13.
No. 8 Iolani 23, Damien 0