By Paul Honda
The Saints are back.
Jeremy Higgins fired three touchdown passes and Saint Louis limited ‘Iolani to only 190 yards in a 28-0 win last night at Aloha Stadium.
Saint Louis improved to 3-2 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu (6-2 overall) and remained a step behind first-place Kamehameha in the Division I race.
‘Iolani (7-2 overall) fell to 5-1 in league play but has a significant lead in the D-II battle. It was the Raiders’ first defeat since a nonconference loss at Castle.
Higgins started strong with a 60-yard bomb to Duke Bukoski, but threw two of his team’s three interceptions in the first half. He came back to finish with a solid 285 yards passing on 15-for-20 accuracy.
“After that first drive, we knew how they would cover us,” Higgins said of ‘Iolani’s man-to-man coverage.
Bukoski finished with four catches for 145 yards, which helped sixth-ranked Saint Louis overcome 144 yards in penalties.
Linebacker Isaac Ava, Keali‘i Poomaihealani and Moses Samia had sacks for Saint Louis, which kept a lid on ‘Iolani’s Jarrett Arakawa (13-for-49, 184 yards).
The Crusaders were almost air-tight defensively in the first half, allowing only five first downs to take a 14-0 lead. The Raiders were scoreless even after coming up with three interceptions (by Reid Saito, Sean Nada and Matt Padaca) in Saint Louis territory. Those three possessions, which began at the Crusaders’ 30-, 46- and 42-yard lines, netted only one first down.
Higgins found Bukoski for a 60-yard bomb to give Saint Louis a 7-0 lead with 6:33 left in the first quarter. Then came consecutive interceptions on out routes, and Higgins was replaced temporarily by Marcus Mariota, who also threw a pick.
The Raiders drove to the Saint Louis 6-yard line on a pair of long passes from Arakawa to Matt Talavera and Trevyn Tulonghari, but a sweep toss from Arakawa to running back Ammon Baldomero was botched. Saint Louis defensive end Marcus Rodrigues recovered at the 11-yard line to end the threat.
The Crusaders then drove 89 yards in less than 2 minutes for another score. A 68-yard catch-and-run by Bukoski set up Higgins’ 9-yard keeper on an option play, and they led 14-0 with 48 seconds left in the half.
An interception by Saint Louis defensive back Chris Santiago late in the third quarter came on a flurry of quick changes. The teams combined for three turnovers, a missed field goal (by Saint Louis placekicker Aaron Goo) and a punt in a span of less than 4 minutes.
Santiago’s pick, however, led to a 36-yard scoring strike from Higgins to Shaun Ahlo — one play after Ahlo had been jarred out of a catch by ‘Iolani safety Andrew Skalman. That touchdown gave the Saints a 21-0 lead with 7 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Santiago later tipped an Arakawa pass and Marcus Umu returned the pick nearly 50 yards to the ‘Iolani 24-yard line. Four plays later, Higgins connected with Jordan Fukumoto on a 29-yard pass to the corner of the end zone for a 28-0 Saint Louis lead with 3:26 remaining.
No. 2 Kamehameha 44, Pac-Five 20
T.C. Campbell fired three touchdown passes and Kamehameha’s defense sacked Pac-Five quarterback P.J. Minaya seven times to remain in first place.
The Warriors improved to 4-1 in ILH play (7-1 overall) despite Minaya’s three touchdown passes and 356 passing yards.
After stopping Pac-Five’s opening drive near the red zone, the Warriors needed just two plays to get on the scoreboard. Ryan Ho, who rushed for 115 yards on just 12 carries, scored on a 71-yard sweep.
The Warriors’ goal-line stand stopped the Wolfpack on the next series, and later Campbell fired a 5-yard touchdown pass to Blaise Cuban for a 14-0 lead.
Pac-Five got within 14-6 on Minaya’s 1-yard scoring toss to London Amorin with 8:12 left in the second quarter, but Kamehameha scored the next 17 points.
Pac-Five junior Everett Kim, who scored on a 65-yard touchdown pass in the first half, suffered an injury with less than 2 minutes to play in the game. He was transported by ambulance to a hospital as a precaution.
“He was out for a little while, but he came out of it and was talking. He was moving all his extremities,” Wolfpack coach Kip Botelho said. “I’m praying he’ll be OK.”
Kim actually held on to the pass, a 16-yard gain, despite being sandwiched by two tacklers. One of the defenders who made the hard tackle, Mikei Thomas Morita, offered his apologies to the Wolfpack during the 20-minute delay.
“When the Kamehameha kid came over, that was classy on his part,” Botelho said. “Sportsmanship, that’s why we play the game.”
Radford 56, Kalani 6
Phil Hogan rushed for 147 yards as the Rams ran over the Falcons.
Ikaika Kamaka scored on a 41-yard interception return, and added a 61-yard touchdown run to lead the rout for Radford.
Angelo Berardy caught a 14-yard pass from Chancen Schutter for Kalani’s only score.
No. 8 Waianae 54, No. 5 Mililani 41
Three different Seariders rushed for more than 100 yards as Waianae earned a share of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West division title.
James Wilson led the way with 148 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Quarterback Puletua Wilson added 116 rushing yards and three touchdowns and Keoni Napierala-Rose ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Waianae racked up 521 yards of total offense, with 456 coming by way of the triple-option running attack that confused the Trojans defense.
Mililani’s Trent McKinney finished 21-for-32 for 320 yards and four touchdowns and Taz Stevenson had eight receptions for 125 yards and scored twice.
The Seariders finished tied with Leilehua in league play, but will receive the West’s second seed in the playoffs since the Mules own the tiebreaker.
Moanalua 32, Kaiser 20
The Menehune ran down the Cougars in an OIA White match-up with 343 yards on the ground.
Kaiser had a 14-7 lead in the second quarter but after Menehune running back Tahje Canyon punched in his second touchdown the team never looked back, scoring 25 unanswered points.
Canyon finished with 279 yards on 30 carries with four touchdowns.
Aiea 32, Waialua 6
Anae Vaa returned a kick 82 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to help Na Alii turn a 3-0 halftime lead into a blowout of the Bulldogs.
Matt Faalele ran for 64 yards on only three carries for Na Alii while quarterback Freddy Taliulu completed seven of his 10 pass attempts for 56 yards.
Travis Deuz scored on a 14-yard run to put Waialua on the board.
Campbell 48, Nanakuli 0
Samson Anguay rushed for 70 yards and three touchdowns — one of them a punt return — as the Sabers dominated the Golden Hawks.
Campbell’s defense held Nanakuli’s offense to 57 total yards in the win.
No. 7 Leilehua 38, Waipahu 8
Andrew Manley threw for four touchdowns, the first two to Kamana Akagi, as the Mules routed the Marauders.
Manley finished 17-for-23 for 279 yards.
No. 9 Punahou 44, Word of Life 14
Roosevelt 31, McKinley 24