Division II St. Francis heads out West to face Division I Leilehua and new head coach Mark Kurisu, who takes over for Nolan Tokuda. The Saints are coming off their first winning season since starting the football program in 2013.
Live blog below
Leilehua 13, St. Francis 9 FINAL
St. Francis (0-1) 0 0 0 9 — 9
Leilehua (1-0) 0 6 7 0 — 13
LEI—Jaeden Chow 90 fumble return (kick failed)
LEI—Jeremy Ramos 19 pass from Kona Andres (Tom-Makue Akoni kick)
STF—Bubba Akana 1 run (Makana Poole kick)
RUSHING—St.F: Bubba Aina-Chaves 11-41, Wembley Mailei 3-20, Matt Dacuycuy 11-19, Akana 2-3, Dayton Leong 1-(minus 4), Scott McLeod 2-(minus 8), Team 1-(minus 20), Jonah Aina-Chaves 4-(minus 25). Lei: Coltyn Cruse-Gombio 6-21, Kalika Anderson Seumanutafa-Bryant 1-14, Kevin Ioane 2-0, Anthony Flucas 1-(minus 1), James McGary 1-(minus 6), Team 1-(minus 28), Kona Andres 7-(minus 30).
PASSING—St.F. 13-30-1-136. Akana 1-2-0-8. Lei: Andres 16-31-2-139. .
RECEIVING—St.F. McLeod 4-15, Sammy Kaleikau 3-87, Shepard Kekahuna 2-30, Alek Miyasato 2-10, Leong 1-6, Bubba Aina-Chaves 1-(minus 2), Ope Laloulu 1-(minus 2). Lei: McGary 6-47, Ulai Serafi 3-23, Chad Dilay 3-15, Ramos 2-32, Warren Lagaaia 2-22.
Five seconds left. Leilehua in victory formation. That’s it. What a game.
CRAZY FINISH ALERT. Aina-Chaves hits Scott McLeod, who appeared to fumble at about the 2 and Leilehua recovers it in the end zone. Officials confer, and it’s a touchback. Heartbreak for the Saints.
Tipped ball incomplete to the endzone on third down. It’s fourth and 3 with 14 seconds left from the 10. High drama at the Hugh.
McLeod with a 7-yard pickup on first down, then an incompletion to the end zone. 20 seconds left.
NEW LIFE FOR SAINT FRANCIS … again. Holding is called after a long wait. First down at the 17.
After a timeout by the Saints … Aina-Chaves drops back … AND GOES DOWN. Leilehua’s Jaeden Chow — who had the fumble return TD in the first half — and Charles Vierra combine for the sack. However, refs conferring and we might have a penalty.
Incomplete to Shepard Kekahuna on third down. This is it.
Saints go incomplete on first two balls from the 27. Aina-Chaves had some miscommunication with McLeod on that last one.
Yup. Automatic first down from the 27. 1:42 to go.
Aina-Chaves incomplete on a desperate heave deep, BUT we have a late flag, helmet contact on the defense. Looks like there’s an ejection too. Saints will have it up at the 27. Automatic first down? Maybe not. It’s showing 4th and 2 now.
Big-time third-down sack of Aina-Chaves from behind by Leilehua linebacker Richard Shimasaki. It’s fourth and 17 for Saints from the 43 with 1:51 to go.
A couple of HUGE throws by Aina-Chaves, including a 28-yard haul by Samson Kaleikau just now to get to the Leilehua 36 with 2:42 to play. Kaleikau limps off with a cramp after the play.
However, Leilehua with a booming kick to get the touchback. Saints must go the full way with 3:42 to play. Jonah Aina-Chaves back in at QB for the Saints.
Leilehua 13, St. Francis 9 3:424Q
SAFETY. Kona Andres is brought down in the end zone when he dallies. We could have a compelling finish coming here at Hugh Yoshida Stadium. Fia Mafua Jr. with the sack.
No onside. It’s pooch kicked and Leilehua is pinned back within its own 5. However, MORE penalties coming. Yikes.
Huge play here as Leilehua was assessed multiple penalties on the extra point, meaning St. Francis kicks off from the LEILEHUA 30. Onside kick coming.
Leilehua 13, St. Francis 7 3:57 4Q
Touchdown Saints! St. Francis was denied on its first two attempts from close range but Akana beats two defenders to the far pylon. 3:57 to play and Saints within a score. Kick is good.
Akana with a big first down on a play-action throw on fourth and 2 to Scott McLeod to get it to the 3. 5:21 to play.
Bubba Akana in at QB for the Saints, at the 20.
Leilehua lines up for a 48-yard field goal but a bad snap results in a 28-yard loss. Saints with a chance to put some points on the board here starting at the Mules’ 41 with 8 minutes left.
St. Francis set to punt it away as the clock expires on the third.
Nothing doing for Leilehua, which is content to punt it away given the Saints’ offensive woes.
Saints go three-and-out again and Mules primed to extend their lead, taking over at the 50.
Leilehua 13, St. Francis 0 5:07 3Q
And there’s your first offensive TD of the night. Kona Andres lobs a perfect ball to the far pylon, caught in stride by Jeremy Ramos. Kick is good and the Saints must recover more mentally than anything.
A smattering of penalties on the punt resultes in a first down for Leilehua after a roughing the kicker penalty is accepted, at the 20.
Saints hold firm with a couple of nice defensive plays to go with a drop for the Mules, who must punt it right back.
Oh, man. St. Francis’ Dayton Leong lights up the deep man when no fair catch is made on a nice punt out of the endzone. Still, Leilehua with great position at the Saints’ 40.
Things getting a little chippy out there. A couple of recent personal fouls.
St. Francis fumbles it away near midfield on its first possession of the second half, but Leilehua can’t take advantage of it. However, they get a great punt and pin the Saints back on the 7.
HALFTIME: Leilehua 6, St. Francis 0
The quarterbacks are almost even in their struggles at half, with Jonah Aina-Chaves going 5-for-10 for 46 yards and a pick and Kona Andres 8-for-16 for 44 yards and two picks.
St. Francis does have two guys churning on the ground in Matt Dacuycuy and Bubba Aina-Chaves, combining for 57 yards at the break. Leilehua has only 6 yards total on the ground but did get that notable defensive play.
Short punt and Leilehua can’t do anything with it in the final seconds of the half.
Saints looking at 4th and 11 near midfield coming out of this timeout with 25 seconds left in the half. They’ll have the ball back to start the second half.
Field position battle continues as a short Mules punt means the Saints take over at their own 47.
Kalani Iman picks off Jonah Aina-Chaves on a deep attempt. Mules take over in their own territory.
Leilehua 6, St. Francis 0 9:07 2Q
Wow. Fortune swings violently for St. Francis, as the ball is fumbled on the snap at the 10 and Leilehua’s Jaeden Chow returns it 90 yards for the return TD. Kick is wide and fittingly it’s 6-0 Mules on a defensive score. Chow scooped and scored on his way to paydirt untouched.
Saints stymied and go to punt, then fake it! Bubba Aina-Chaves darts to his left and gets it on 4th and about 19. First down at the Mules’ 10.
Bubba Aina-Chaves nabs the second pick of Kona Andres tonight. Saints ion the march in Mules territory.
First quarter comes to an end with blanks on the scoreboard. Kaleo Neves is the latest to record a sack for St. Francis.
Saints go three-and-out. They get the punt off this time, though, and Leilehua takes over at its own 38.
Shepard Kekahuna picks off Andres and returns it 21 yards to near midfield. Both teams’ defenses pretty stout so far.
St. Francis QB Jonah Aina-Chaves lofts a 34-yard pass off his back foot to Samson Kaleikau, getting the Saints in Mules territory for the first time. However, they are forced to punt at the 41. It’s a bad snap and Aina-Chaves is brought down at the Saints’ 40. Great field position for Leilehua again.
Leilehua takes over on a short field but a 39-yard field-goal attempt tumbles short by the Mules.
Tuitopou Tapena sacks Kona Andres on third down to end Leilehua’s first drive. The Saints take over on their 19 after fumbling the ball on the punt return but recovering. They go three-and-out after three rushes that went nowhere.
Little bit of a delay as Leilehua brings it out to the 34 but there’s nobody to man the down markers.
Jonah Aina-Chaves will get the start for St. Francis at quarterback the stead of returnee Bubba Akana, who may or may not play tonight after a recent trip to the mainland. But it’s Leilehua who will receive to start the game, setting up returning signal-caller Kona Andres. Mark Kurisu makes his official debut as head coach, with notable Mules alum Andrew “The Manchild” Manley is his new offensive coordinator.