3 defensive TDs power No. 1 Crusaders over Sabers

Saint Louis linebacker Jordan Botelho (12) celebrated a defensive touchdown with safety Junior Wily (20) and linebacker Nick Herbig (19) in the first quarter against Campbell last season. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

The top-ranked Saint Louis Crusaders are nearly impeccable.

Offense. Defense. Special teams. Offseason reps. Video. It was more of the same quest for perfection in a first-time meeting with Campbell on Friday night. Saint Louis left with a 55-7 runaway, a game that was in running-clock, mercy-rule mode for the entire second half.

“We focused on taking their run game. In film study, they did the same run blocking, downfield blocking, as Waianae,” said linebacker Lawai Brown, who had the first of Saint Louis’ four first-half sacks. “We took away their strength.”

Just about every game is a road trip for the Crusaders, who were often dominant in the trenches, and altogether cohesive and focused as one unit. Defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele racked up two sacks on the same Campbell possession, and fellow trenchman Gino Quinones posted a sack of his own.

“We just did our jobs and that’s all we can ask. Just do your best,” said linebacker Jordan Botelho, who hustled for a fumble in the end zone, scoring a touchdown. “We all work hard. It starts at practice and we listen to our coaches.”

Botelho also hustled to force a fumble by Campbell QB Kaniala Kalaola that was recovered by Kamo‘i Latu.

Brown and his cohorts limited the Sabers to 23 rushing yards on 28 attempts, taking some of the fizz out of an otherwise spirited homecoming crowd. Saint Louis improved to 6-0 (5-0 ILH Open). Campbell (4-3, 1-1 OIA Open) entered the game ranked No. 5 in the Star-Advertiser Football Top 10, using a balanced offense and sticky defense.

But linebacker Tyrese Tafai is done for the year with a shoulder injury. The Sabers’ defense managed to record two sacks — 1 1/2 by Brandon Frysinger and a half-takedown by Pookela Piilani — but generally couldn’t disrupt the rhythm of Crusaders gunslinger Jayden de Laura. Returning from an injury, the junior was sacked just once, rushing for 62 yards on seven attempts. Oh, and he passed for 243 yards on 13-for-17 work with two TDs. In one half.

Saint Louis did just about anything it wanted, not because of Campbell, but mostly because of its fine-tuned machinery. It doesn’t help any opposing defense that tall Matthew Sykes is back from injury. de Laura hoisted a 64-yard bomb to Sykes to set up a 5-yard TD run by Robbie Paikai.

The sheer numbers — 476 yards in total offense by Saint Louis and 64 by Campbell — were stunning.

“We wanted better results. We’re going to work until we get it,” Sabers coach Darren Johnson said. “If you want to be elite, you have to compete with the elite. Straight assignment execution. They did exactly what we thought they’d do, then we went to fumbling the ball. We didn’t make plays. We helped the other team score.”

For all of the yardage disparity, the hidden yardage came with three defensive TDs by the visitors: Botelho’s fumble recovery began as Campbell’s ball at its 20-yard line; Kila Kamakawiwo‘ole’s 25-yard interception return; and Junior Wily’s 29-yard pick-six.

For a maturing Campbell program, the road from contender to champion has its bumps. Big speed bumps. The Sabers opened the year with lopsided wins over Hilo, Farrington and, on the road, O’Connor (Ariz.). Then came a 26-22 thriller over Kamehameha. Since then, three defeats at the hands of Top 5 teams: Mililani (52-14), Punahou (43-14) and Saint Louis.

Up next is a home game against Kahuku. The losses to Punahou and Saint Louis don’t count in the OIA standings, but the effect is just the same. Growing pains are still growing pains.

“It’s mental. They need to soul search for these next two days,” Johnson said. “Because it’s not going to get easier.”

Saint Louis defensive lineman Faatui Tuitele (91) sacked Campbell quarterback Kaniala Kalaola in the first quarter on Friday. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.


  1. Notes September 29, 2018 7:17 am

    This merger was a bad idea, St. Louis continues to BLOWOUT the top OIA teams with their Hawaii-All star team. This game wasnt even competitive.

    That QB for St. Louis that got recruited from Damien last year is the real deal.

  2. Not really September 29, 2018 7:45 am

    Not really

  3. HSFootball September 29, 2018 8:45 am

    Total mismatch…St.louis is on top of their game..While Cambell is playing their best ball as well,but just in a whole different league..Hard to compete..Mililani and Kahuku is probably the only teams in the OIA that can compete with the private schools…Its Obvious that Private schools have more money which equates to better coaching ,facilities and a large reason why a parent would send them their…So, as you can see with this new format ..Its a mismatch..

  4. Dafun September 29, 2018 9:59 am

    Haha stop complaining. At least this time you couldn’t use your excuse of “he was recruited and taken from an OIA community”. What a joke.

  5. ??? September 29, 2018 10:22 am


  6. ??? September 29, 2018 10:28 am

    Can u imagine if Tupu Alualu didn’t transfer to Moanalua? Whewwwwwww

  7. Broken Spoke September 29, 2018 12:14 pm

    Was Tupu Alualu from Moanalua at St. Louis HS too? Is he related to Tupu Alualu the Great RB from SLH? Wow

  8. anywaaaays!! September 29, 2018 3:55 pm

    now maybe you guys understand why the ILH agenda and cal lee destroyed high school football. their win at all costs and recruiting destroyed entire communities. just look at mckinley high school, a hot bed of talent! or what about the kalihi area? all these players get sucked into the saint lulu and ILH agenda pipeline. now this sham of a football alliance is here to complete the destruction. enough already! all they do is injure kids, use them, and destroy communities. DISBAND THE ILH. BRING CAL LEE ON CRIMINAL CHARGES. RRFL!

  9. 88 September 29, 2018 4:44 pm

    anywaaays should be banned. It’s like the SA like him to write. So much inconsistency on who is banned on here.


  10. skyhawks September 29, 2018 5:08 pm

    All I know is that saint louis center is probably one of the best in the state!!!

  11. Dafun September 29, 2018 5:19 pm

    All I know is that Paul Honda and Billy hull aren’t banning anyone on here. If that were the case all you kahuku fanboys would be banned.

  12. anywaaaays!! September 29, 2018 6:06 pm

    88/education first, the only person that should be banned here is you and your multiple user names. You are part of the ILH agenda as a punahou grad. it’s okay though. your hate only makes red raider nation even stronger. see you in the playoffs. oh never mind. Punahou will never get past saint lulu! RRFL!

  13. Realtalk808 September 29, 2018 6:20 pm

    @anywaaaays you should be concerned about Mililani tonight instead. They’re the best team in the OIA.

  14. sparky September 29, 2018 7:34 pm

    For those un-believers of Kalaepohaku, go to the football field one day and look for the run down shack that was once a temporary toilets and showers for Crusader Football players. You might find Cal Lee there since that is his office. Now, talk about who has all the money that’s flowing from heaven. This is where “BROTHERHOOD’ comes from.Make sure you wear a hard hat cause sometimes the drywall falls from the ceilings.

  15. 88 September 29, 2018 9:54 pm

    anywaaays is a disgrace. He pretends to be from Kahuku. Everyone on here knows he is from Waialua. No uce would ever talk like him.

  16. Ramona Smith September 29, 2018 10:39 pm

    anywaaays I’ve been around St. Louis for many years and as Friends, Cousins, Nephews and sons attended and played Football for that school I have heard many bitter, sad, angry people just like you complaining grumbling etc etc! They are just exceptionally good! They lost some but won more! Just let it go already! Nothing you say is going to affect anyone anytime soon like I said over the last 30+ years I’ve seen so many just like you come and go! St.Louis is a Brotherhood and a Class Act with a huge Dedicated Following! Parents Teachers Family and Friends!

  17. Hammer September 29, 2018 10:40 pm

    All you guys that still talking shit about coach cal why don’t kahuku beg him to coach over there I’ll grantees kahuku will be states champs never ever forget when coach cal and coach ron went to the worst team in the state kalani high school and turn that program around they were making the playoffs and finally all you cry babies talk about coach cal playing the top mainland teams and which the team he had now you guys find every excuse in the book about how he coach stop being haters and be more supported he’s the only coach that’s has a chance to beat the top mainland teams

  18. Cane September 30, 2018 4:20 pm

    Ramona Lee St. Louis is exceptionally good because exceptionally good kids go there not the other way around. The brotherhood is what parents are willing to pay for because it certainly ain’t the education. Until parents stop wanting to pay for an over priced valued education and for new facilities while their kids ride the bench, St. Louis will always be good. Oh and I’m sure no one would say St. Louis fans are a class act. Class acts don’t drink in the parking structure and the filed while JV games are being played.

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