Saint Louis captured its fourth straight state crown with a 45-6 rout of Kahuku in the Open Division final of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships tonight at Aloha Stadium.
The Crusaders (12-0), a unanimous No. 1 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 throughout the season, extended their winning streak to 38 in claiming the program’s seventh state championship since 1999 to go along with 14 Prep Bowl titles from 1983 to 1998.
Saint Louis quarterback Jayden de Laura passed for 280 yards and a touchdown and ran for 75 yards and two scores to close his high school career 22-0 as a starter. He connected with senior receiver Roman Wilson for an 86-yard touchdown 22 seconds into the game to ignite a Saint Louis attack that outgained Kahuku 317-76 in the first half while building a 31-6 lead.
De Laura completed 17 of 26 pass attempts in less than three quarters of action. Wilson finished with eight receptions for 171 yards.
Koali Nishigaya rushed for two touchdowns in the first half on runs of 6 and 3 yards for Saint Louis, ranked sixth in the country in two major polls.
Kahuku running back Zealand Matagi led the Red Raiders (9-4) with 79 yards on 23 carries. He scored on a 38-yard touchdown run with eight seconds left in the first quarter to bring the Red Raiders within 14-6.
Kahuku appeared to cut deeper into the deficit when Peter John Mataira returned an interception for a score in the second quarter. But his 84-yard return was called back due to a penalty and Saint Louis scored the next 17 points on touchdown runs by Nishigaya and de Laura and a 35-yard field goal by Lason Napuunoa on the final play of the first half.
De Laura added a 13-yard TD run in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 38-6. Saint Louis linebacker Nick Herbig returned an interception 96 yards for a score with 5:09 left in the game.