St. Louis turned to its defense to take home another ILH title
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
St. Louis' Delbert Tengan was the Crusaders' defensive coordinator for four years before taking over as head coach this season.
He is a defensive perfectionist and even he could appreciate the Crusaders' effort last night in a 27-12 victory over Kamehameha for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu football championship at Aloha Stadium.
The Crusaders' defense forced seven turnovers and shut out the Warriors in the second half.
"They just played a hell of a game," Tengan said. "We came up with seven turnovers and that helps anytime when you're in this kind of a situation."
St. Louis was led by defensive back Keao Monteilh, who had four of St. Louis' five interceptions, and Wilson Afoa, who scored on a 3-yard fumble return and also made two critical fourth-down stops in the second half.
"We always tell our kids defense wins championships and they proved me a prophet tonight," Tengan said.
Monteilh intercepted a Caleb Spencer pass on Kamehameha's second possession, and the Crusaders cashed it in on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Bobby George to Jason Rivers with 4:01 left in the first quarter.
Monteilh intercepted three more passes in the second half, but St. Louis couldn't convert any of them into points.
"I was in the right place at the right time," Monteilh said. "They just kept throwing the ball to my side and I kept coming up with it."
Late in the third quarter, Kamehameha went for it on fourth-and-1 from its 29. Afoa deflected a pass from Kawai Akina and St. Louis scored three plays later on an 11-yard run by Justin Cabansag to make it 27-12 with 3:12 left.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Kamehameha went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Travis Beyer was tackled for a 1-yard loss by Dylan Moss and Afoa.
"This week he couldn't practice because of a leg injury, but he came out banging," Monteilh said of Afoa.
Akina twice let pass attempts slip from his hand and the fumbles were recovered by St. Louis and turned into 10 points.
Afoa scored on a 3-yard fumble return with 10:08 left in the third quarter.
Akina wore a glove on his throwing hand because of a hand injury suffered last week.
"He threw a little on Thursday but doctors advised us not to throw it too much (in practice)," Kamehameha coach Kanani Souza said.