Crusaders turn back Word of Life, 39-18
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
Marcus Mariota passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead No. 3 Saint Louis to a 39-18 win over Word of Life in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu game yesterday.
The Crusaders (5-1, 2-1 ILH) rebounded from a 23-21 loss to Punahou last week in front of a home crowd of about 500 on the Kalaepohaku campus. It was the first varsity football game held on campus, according to Saint Louis athletic director Ulima Afoa.
The Division II Firebrands (0-5, 0-3 ILH) put forth their best effort of the season, said WOLA head coach Joe Onosai.
"We knew we were playing one of the best teams in the state in Saint Louis, but I'm totally elated by our effort," Onosai said. "Hopefully we can gain some momentum from this now that we know we can compete with top teams."
The Firebrands were able to pound out 212 yards rushing through their double-wing formation, led by Awa Poggi's 107 yards on 19 carries and two scores. However, they could not overcome an early 20-0 deficit.
After forcing WOLA to a three-and-out on its opening drive, Saint Louis scored on Kaeo Aliviado's 80-yard punt return.
"I had some really nice blocking on that return, everybody worked together to open up the hole," said Aliviado, a 5-foot-4, 135-pound junior slotback.
Saint Louis extended the lead on its next drive, capped by a 34-yard fade-stop from Jeremy Higgins to Joshua Tupua.
Higgins, who played less than two quarters, finished 6-of-6 passing for 100 yards.
Backup Mariota led the Crusaders on their next possession. A 40-yard pitch-and-catch from Mariota to Duke Bukoski was negated by a holding penalty, but Mariota found Bukoski again on the next play for a 17-yard gain and a first down. Two plays later, Mariota hit Jordan Fukumoto for an 18-yard pass and another first down. Facing fourth-and-6, Mariota scrambled away from pressure, and ran down the left sideline before cutting back to the middle of the field for a 36-yard TD run.
The Firebrands put together a 14-play drive (all rushes) with Poggi scoring on a 6-yard run to cut the Saint Louis lead to 20-6.
The Crusaders had an immediate answer. After a 33-yard kickoff return to the Saints' 48 by Shaun Ahlo, Mariota tossed a screen pass to Aliviado to his left, who cut through defenders on his way for a 52-yard score.
WORD OF LIFE (0-5, 0-3) 0 6 6 6 18
SAINT LOUIS (5-1, 2-1) 7 20 6 6 39
SL Kaeo Aliviado 80 punt return (Jesse Correa kick)
SL Joshua Tupua 34 pass from Jeremy Higgins (Correa kick)
SL Marcus Mariota 36 run (kick blocked)
WOLA Awa Poggi 6 run (kick failed)
SL Aliviado 52 pass from Mariota (Correa kick)
SL Emmett McShane 6 pass from Mariota (kick blocked)
WOLA Poggi 1 run (pass failed)
WOLA Jordon Manaba 1 run (pass failed)
SL McShane 1 run (kick failed)
RUSHING WOLA: Alex Bodine 10-21, TJ Russell 11-63, Poggi 19-107, Manaba 2-7, Ryan Alvarado 3-8, Joshua Ramos 1-2, team 2-4. SL: McShane 8-38, Mariota 2-34, Jason Nagai 2-1, Shawn Valente 2-16, Keanu Mook 3-5.
PASSING WOLA: Cobey Young-Bailey 2-5-018. SL: Higgins 6-6-0100, Mariota 10-15-0166.
RECEIVING WOLA: Isaac Iwamoto 1-4, Poggi 1-14. SL: Duke Bukoski 3-67, Jordan Fukumoto 2-33, Tupua 2-49, Aliviado 1-52, Acen Cabral 1-13, Sean Kaui 1-11, McShane 1-6, Jaris Falefa 1-9, Shaun Ahlo 2-26.