St. Louis takes ILH crown with win over Warriors
|||St. Louis turned to its defense to take home another ILH title|
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
The state's longest running consecutive high-school league football titles streak will have to die another day.
Eugene Tanner The Honolulu Advertiser
St. Louis receiver Jason Rivers leaves Kamehameha defender Tamatoa Silva behind en route to a touchdown in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu football championship game.
Eugene Tanner The Honolulu Advertiser
"About two months ago, everybody was about ready to bury us and put us in the pasture," St. Louis first-year coach Delbert Tengan said. "To the credit of these guys, they hung with it."
The Crusaders (8-2), ranked first in The Advertiser Top 10, will play Farrington, the O'ahu Interscholastic Association fourth-place team, in Friday's quarterfinals of the Chevron State Football Championships.
The No. 2-ranked Warriors (9-2) end their season having dropped consecutive games after winning nine in a row to start the season. St. Louis beat Kamehameha, 14-13, to end the regular season and force last night's playoff.
"This is the best feeling," St. Louis quarterback Bobby George said.
The Crusaders got five interceptions and recovered two fumbles. Defensive back Keao Monteihl had four interceptions. St. Louis capitalized on his first one by eventually scoring on a 37-yard TD pass from George to Jason Rivers. It was one of Rivers' career-high 12 catches that totaled 106 yards.
The Crusaders also cashed in on a Kamehameha fumble with a 29-yard field goal by Kaeo Adams in the second quarter that put St. Louis ahead, 13-12, a lead it would not relinquish. In the third quarter, defensive end Wilson Afoa returned a fumble three yards for a touchdown.
"Our defense stepped it up tonight," Tengan said. "Our secondary was much maligned all year long. But they stepped it up tonight."
Meanwhile, the Warriors came essentially with one arm tied behind their backs. Caleb Spencer started at quarterback after giving way to Kawai Akina because of a shoulder injury. Spencer was intercepted twice.
What wasn't known before the game was Akina himself injured his throwing hand in last week's game when his hand hit another player's helmet. He was intercepted three times and lost two fumbles when he appeared to lose control of the ball while trying to raise his arm to throw. One of the fumbles was returned for a TD by Afoa. He admitted it had an effect on his gripping the ball.
"Still, that's no excuse," Akina said. "I still gotta come through."
He wore a glove on his throwing hand, which he said actually helped him grip the football.
Kamehameha coach Kanani Souza said the injuries to both quarterbacks had an effect on their performance.
"I don't want to make excuses," he said. "You have to give all the credit to St. Louis and their defenders. But these kids never threw the ball (earlier in the week). They threw a little Thursday and yesterday. We got excited when they could throw in warmups today. We put 'em in and considering all that, they did a good job.
Akina still passed for 204 yards and TD passes of 3 and 19 yards to Keoni Ruth in the second quarter that gave the Warriors a momentary 12-10 lead.
But it came back to St. Louis' defense containing Kamehameha's running game. Travis Beyer was held to 41 yards on 12 carries. Defensive end Tolifili Liufau had five hurries and three tackles, while Afoa had four tackles, three hurries and a crucial pass deflection when Kamehameha gambled by passing on fourth-and-1 at its own 29. St. Louis took advantage of the field position and scored its final TD, an 11-yard run by Justin Cabansag.
KAMEHAMEHA (9-2) 0 12 0 0 12
ST. LOUIS (8-2) 7 6 14 0 27
StLJason Rivers 37 pass from Bobby George (Kaeo Adams kick)
StLFG Adams 34
KamKeoni Ruth 3 pass from Kawai Akina (kick failed)
KamRuth 19 pass from Akina (kick failed)
StLFG Adams 29
StLWilson Afoa 3 fumble return (Adams kick)
StLJustin Cabansag 11 run (Adams kick)
RUSHINGKamehameha: Caleb Spencer 3-22, Travis Beyer 12-41, Ruth 1-4, Akina 4-(minus 31), Sy Cullen 1-3. St. Louis: George 2-(minus 16), Cabansag 14-78, B.J. Batts 20-119, Timo Paepule 3-2, Rivers 1-1.
PASSINGKamehameha: Spencer 7-18-243, Akina 12-20-3204. St. Louis: George 19-32-0231.
RECEIVINGKamehameha: Josh Vierra 4-44, Ruth 12-135, Spencer 1-9, Dustin Grace 1-31, Kahe Santos 1-9. St. Louis: Rivers 12-106, Johnny Gentry 1-13, Shane Butcher 5-97, Makaala Kuewa 1-15.
OIA THIRD PLACE
McKinley 14, Farrington 10: Abel Werner passed for 207 yards, including touchdowns of 5 yards to Michael Vasconcellos and 34 yards to Isaiah Iaea to lift the Tigers past the Governors at Roosevelt field.
McKinley finished third in the O'ahu Interscholastic Association and will travel to Maui to face Maui Interscholastic League champion Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium on Friday in the first round of the state tournament.
Farrington (6-6) 0 7 3 010
McKinley (8-4) 7 0 0 714
McKMichael Vasconcellos 5 pass Abel Werner (John Mai kick)
FarrDeonte Nomaaea 40 pass from Royce Machado (Smith Lafaele kick)
Farr 22 FG Lafaele
McKIsaiah Iaea 34 pass from Werner (Mai kick)
RUSHINGFarrington: Matt Bell 16-84, Jostin Waialae 5-20, Machado 5-(minus 12). McKinley: Vasconcellos 20-68, Werner 10-4, Joshua Bumanglag 1-5, Lama Lauvao 1-(minus 4)
PASSINGFarrington: Machado 7-15-193. McKinley: Warner 18-28-1207
RECEIVINGFarrington: Bell 4-21, Waialae 1-11, Nomaaea 2-61. McKinley: Vasconcellos 4-20, Iaea 5-74, Bumanlag 7-100, Anapuni Coleman 1-4, Lauvao 1-9.
Reported by Amy Yamamoto