6 first-half sacks power Saint Louis over Kahuku, 30-14

Saint Louis defensive lineman Gino Quinones and the rest of the Crusaders' defense made it tough on Kahuku in a 30-14 win during the regular season at Aloha Stadium. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

There are no easy wins over a Goliath like Kahuku.

Not even for mighty Saint Louis. Yet, the Crusaders’ vaunted defense was stellar in a 30-14 win on Friday night in a clash between the state’s top two football teams. Saint Louis’ front seven wouldn’t let the Red Raiders move the ball. Kahuku had minus-22 rushing yards in the first half, including six Saint Louis sacks.

Linebackers Nick Herbig (three), Jordan Botelho (two) and Kila Kamakawiwo‘ole (one) were active. So was defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele (one), and Timothy Timoteo and Isaiah Filisi were in on yet another takedown.

Kahuku started Thorton Alapa at quarterback, and he couldn’t get into a rhythm with the pocket collapsing often. He finished 7-for-11 with 58 yards and one pick, but absorbed six sacks. He got better as the game went along, but on his best drive of the night, he left with an injury. Robbie Sauvao, who started earlier in the season, entered and fired a TD pass on his second attempt, cutting the lead to 23-7. His ability to feel pressure gave the Red Raiders more time and opportunities, but Saint Louis kept the heat on.

Korvin Feagins‘ pick-six, an 85-yard return down the right sideline, sapped Kahuku’s best chance to rally early in the final quarter.

Kahuku’s final TD came with less than 2 minutes to play while the Crusaders had reserves on the field.

After holding Kahuku to 8 yards of total offense in the first half, Saint Louis’ second-half defensive effort was still noteworthy. It wasn’t as satisfying as coach Cal Lee had hoped. What he, Tuitele and the unit really wants are shutouts, but no team had shut Kahuku out on Hawaii soil since 2008.

“That’s a good first half, but how many teams play four quarters. We’ve got to play four quarters, not two quarters. That’s part of growing up and getting better, when you play all four quarters,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of work to do. We’re starting tomorrow (Saturday). I’m looking for perfection, which we may never get, but we’re going to push harder for next week.”

With a 3-0 game going into the second quarter, it felt like a potential defensive struggle.

“You go in there thinking you’ve got to play good defense. If you play good defense, they don’t score, you know what I’m saying? Unfortunately, we didn’t play very well in the second half,” Lee said. “It’s a lot of work. They’re young. We’ve got to work.”

Kahuku tried an elephant formation on short-yardage, using bulldozing, 235-pound running back Toalei Lefau to pick up a first down. The Red Raiders tried it again a few times, but it didn’t last.

“They can do whatever they want. We’ve got to come back and be ready for whatever they show,” Lee said. “It was a good test, but we learned a lot from our competition. We’re not that good. We’re not that good.”

Kahuku finished with 13 rushing yards on 27 attempts. Saint Louis limited explosive ballcarrier Wes Alo-Maiava to 5 yards on four attempts, and Lefau had 17 yards on five carries. Alapa was 7-for-11 for 58 yards with one interception. Sauvao finished 11-for-24, 125 yards and two TDs.


  1. Dennis Tadio September 10, 2018 12:11 am

    Recruiting my ass, Show me how it’s done cause my son is at St. Louis and the only help we get is from Kamehameha and Tads.. All you people talking about Recruiting is dummies… Be happy that these 2 Teams make each other better and Better chance getting a College Scholarship for these kids. I wish you all had balls to use your real names cause some of you deserve a slap for real!!!

  2. I-coach September 10, 2018 5:09 am

    Red rooted I got one. How’s about Kahuku Basketball boys center last year? Let me guess, he chose to come home. Kids from Utah and Cali borrowing their 3rd cousins address and saying he coming back home lol. Recruiting is live and well out in the north shore. Don’t act like it don’t happen. Hawaii prep world posted an article about Kahuku basketball center last year lol. You guys still lost in the finals lol.

  3. For The Kids September 10, 2018 9:10 am

    Red-rooted, all ILH schools have students from all over the island. Yup your facts are accurate but mean very little. Most are better-off at private schools not so much for sports but for the academics and connections. If your child had the opportunity to go to any private school, would you do it, or would you reject it in spite? Rejecting THAT opportunity would be foolish! Most football players DESIRE to go to St Louis for the coaching and exposure to get to the next level (basically to get college scholarships) but should we fault them for that? As parents we’re all looking out for the best interest of our kids and if we have the opportunity to get that hard-to-get scholarship we should take it. Hey, high school is not the end, it’s the beginning so TAKE what you can from it and move ahead otherwise you’ll be forever complaining about one thing or another not being fair…Aloha!

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