Crusaders drop Warriors into three-way tie atop ILH
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Saint Louis' defense held Kamehameha to 89 yards of offense in a 17-7 win last night to send the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I into a three-way logjam before 7,491 at Aloha Stadium.
The second-ranked Warriors (8-3, 5-2) needed to win to clinch the ILH title, but could generate no offense against the attacking Crusader defense. With Punahou's 35-0 win against Pac-Five yesterday, the Warriors, No. 4 Crusaders (7-3, 5-2) and No. 3 Buffanblu (8-2, 5-2) are even in the standings. Moreover, each team swept one, but not the other, in the tightest ILH season ever.
The ILH will determine how to break the tie — the league champion gets a state Division I berth — this afternoon after the Hawai'i High School Athletic Association, which sponsors the state tournaments, finalizes the tournament scheduling.
A key issue is whether the ILH will get the bye week in the six-team tournament. Last year, the ILH and OIA champions had the byes. But Baldwin (11-0) won the Maui Interscholastic League title last night with a 21-0 win against Lahainaluna. The Bears are the only unbeaten team in the state and has a legitimate case for the bye. The bye week would be critical for the ILH because it could use that extra week as part of a playoff. Otherwise, the league would have to develop some kind scenario to break the deadlock. Next week is the designated open week for at least one playoff.
One thing is certain: Kamehameha coach Doss Tannehill and Saint Louis coach Delbert Tengan agreed that the decision should be decided on the field and not by luck of a draw.
"I definitely want to see it done on the field," Tengan said.
"I'd like to see a format where all three teams have a chance," Tannehill said.
However it is decided, the shame is two of the top four ranked teams will not advance.
"To pull cards shortchanges these guys," Tengan said. "Kamehameha had a wonderful season, as well as Punahou."
The logjam happened because of an incredible performance by Saint Louis' defense last night. It contained the Warriors running backs tandem of Jeremiah Dela Pena and Bryson Vivas to a combined 43 yards rushing. It also limited receiver Aaron Nichols to six catches for 76 yards. He had a 9-yard TD reception, but that was set up by Warriors' defensive back Kamuela Brito's 21-yard interception return to the CRusaders' 19. A personal foul by the Crusaders put the ball at the 9. Kamehameha scored before it earned its first first down.
"To shut down their running game, I can't say enough about our defense," Tengan said.
The Warriors punted in eight of their first 10 series of the game. Kamehameha had only six first downs, two in the first half.
Still, Kamehameha was in the game, but two crucial turnovers in the fourth quarter stalled any shot at a rally.
Early in the fourth, a high snap from center on third-and-7 at the Crusaders' 41 was recovered by the Crusaders' Elliott Purcell at the Kamehameha 35.
On the Warriors' next series, Scott Smith broke through the Warriors' line on first-and-10 at the Warriors' 44, forcing quarterback George Ka'ai to lose the ball, which was recovered by Kamalu Umu at the Warriors' 36 with 6:27 left in the game. Saint Louis got insurance with Matthew Terry's 25-yard field goal with 2:33 left.
"I feel like we're going all the way," Purcell said. "Nothing can stop us."
The Crusaders took the opening kickoff and scored on their first series, which was aided by a pass interference penalty that nullified a Rykin Enos' interception. After getting the automatic first down, the Crusaders continued to drive with Cameron Higgins hitting Cameron Bayne on a fade to the left corner of the end zone for a 17-yard TD pass with 8:13 left in the first quarter to give Saint Louis a 7-0 lead.
After the Nichols' TD tied the game with 3:07 left in the first quarter, the Crusaders regained the lead on a 2-yard option keeper run to the left by Higgins. The 66-yard drive was extended by a personal foul against Kamehameha after Crusader quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was tackled for a 1-yard loss. The penalty led to a first down to keep the drive alive.
The Warriors were not heard from for the rest of the game.
"They were well-prepared," Tannehill said of Saint Louis. "We just couldn't get anything done offensively."
SAINT LOUIS (7-3, 5-2) 7 7 0 3 — 17
KAMEHAMEHA (8-3, 5-2) 7 0 0 0 — 7
StL—Cameron Bayne 17 pass from Cameron Higgins (Matthew Terry kick)
Kam—Aaron Nichols 9 pass from George Ka'ai (Kamakana Osorio)
StL—Higgins 2 run (Terry kick)
StL—FG Terry 25
RUSHING—Saint Louis: Higgins 5-15, Cody Wells 23-91, Shane Ahlo Jr. 2-8 , Jeremiah Masoli 2-(minus 2), Chase Alcott 1-5, Preston Lynch 1-5, Lene Auelua 3-9, Team 4-(minus 11). Kamehameha: George Ka'ai 1-(minus 20), Jeremiah Dela Pena 8-19, Bryson Vivas 10-24 , Team 1-(minus 26)., Justin Saniatan 1-2.
PASSING—Saint Louis: Higgins 13-26-2—172. Kamehameha: Ka'ai 10-24-0—90.
RECEIVING—Saint Louis: Jordan Paty-Miner 1-19, Preston Lynch 2-6, Kulia Aiona 1-5 , Bayne 4-87, Chase Alcott 1-21, Ahlo Jr. 3-34 , Wells 1-0. Kamehameha: Kaleo Perez 4-14, Nichols 6-76.
PUNAHOU 35, PAC-FIVE 0
Quarterback Brett Kan passed for 239 yards and three touchdowns for the No. 5 Buffanblu in a game at Aloha Stadium that went to the running clock in the second half because of the 35-point differential mercy rule.
Wide receiver River Kim had six receptions for 100 yards, including TD grabs of 15 and 18 yards from Kan.
The Wolfpack is 2-8, 0-7.
PAC-FIVE (2-8, 0-7) 0 0 0 0 — 0
PUNAHOU (8-2, 5-2) 7 28 0 0 — 35
Pun—River Kim 15 pass from Brett Kan (Kim kick)
Pun —Kainoa Carlson 20 run (Kim kick)
Pun—Carlson 2 run (Kim kick)
Pun—Colin Viloria 42 pass from Kan (Kim kick)
Pun—Kim 18 pass from Kan (Kim kick)
RUSHING—Pac-Five: Jon-Ray Rodrigues 7-(minus 39), Royce Alvarado 10-53, Phillip Sarubbi 1-4, Team 1-(minus 2), Jordan Ho-Ching 1-(minus 5), Liko Satelo 1-7. Punahou: Viloria 2-6, Carlson 5-28, Christopher Wong 8-50, Reid Nakahara 3-1, Matt Solomona 1-2, Pono Akina 1-2, David White 1-0.
PASSING—Pac-Five: Rodrigues 12-23-1—111. Punahou: Kan 13-18-1—239, Akina 8-14-0—84.
RECEIVING—Pac-Five: Ho-Ching 7-72, Chris Hsia 2-14, Matthew Bayan 1-2, Royce Alvarado 2-23. Punahou: Lokahi Lunn 1-14, Kim 6-100, Miah Ostrowski 4-58, Kyle Whitford 3-32, Viloria 1-42, Carlson 1-17, Justin Ingalls 2-27, Richard Kim 1-7, Solomona 2-26.
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at email@example.com.