The No. 1 Saint Louis Crusaders face their toughest test so far this season when they meet No. 4 Punahou tonight at Aloha Stadium.
The Crusaders have outscored their first three opponents 154-7 but are going up against Punahou and coach Kale Ane, who has beaten Saint Louis coach Cal Lee at least once in each of his three seasons since returning to coach.
Top performances in series
Punahou passing vs. Saint Louis: Nick Kapule with 495 yards last year
Punahou rushing vs. Saint Louis: Mosi Tatupu with 223 yards in 1973
Punahou receiving vs. Saint Louis: Kanawai Noa with 242 yards in 2014
Saint Louis passing vs. Punahou: Tua Tagovailoa with 447 yards last year
Saint Louis rushing vs. Punahou: Duane Silva with 207 yards in 1981
Saint Louis receiving vs. Punahou: Kainoa Fernandez with 196 yards in 2001
No. 1 Saint Louis 49, No. 4 Punahou 13, Final
No. 1 Saint Louis 49, No. 4 Punahou 13, :31, Q4
Adolpho to Falatea on a nice route to the corner for a 23-yard TD.
No. 1 Saint Louis 49, No. 4 Punahou 7, 8:53, Q4
Fourth and long, the snap to punter Timothy Horn is over his head. He gets a piece of it and hustles back into the end zone for the ball, tackled and it’s a safety. Two safeties against Punahou tonight.
Touchback by the Touchback Machine. Adolpho blasted LB Nicholas Herbig as he throws, pass floats and is almost picked off. Next two passes incomplete, way overthrown. He has to be feeling the effects of being decleated. Punahou’s O-line is one of the best in the islands, but this hasn’t been their night.
No. 1 Saint Louis 47, No. 4 Punahou 7, 11:25, Q4
Bonner keeps it simple and hits WR Keliam Brunn wide open for a first down. Cornerback was 10 yards off the line. First down, Bonner rolls, throws back to the middle and the LB drops the pick. Bonner on another QB draw, tucks it and barrels through two tacklers at the goal line for an 11-yard TD run. We’re in mercy-rule territory now.
THIRD QUARTER ENDS
Maika Bonner in the game at QB for Saint Louis. I’ve seen him a couple of times this season and he is GOOD. Probably one of the top 15 QBs in the state skill-wise. Maybe Top 10. Unless he gets hurt. He left the pocket and got flipped by a tackler. Third and short, he buys time in the pocket and hits Tumpap on a crossing route for a first down. Nice touch. But he misses his next two passes. Punahou whistled for roughing the passer. Break for STL, first down. Misses Kekahuna-Kalawe in the flat. Bonner’s feet not set, not sure if that’s by design. Now he takes off on a QB draw, good speed, picks up almost six yards as he goes out of bounds. Third and 4, quarter comes to an end
Touchback. Nui Adolpho remains in the game at QB, makes his first completion, 4-yard pickup. Two incompletions, punt.
No. 1 Saint Louis 40, No. 4 Punahou 7, 4:05, Q3
Saint Louis not slowing down here. Cordeiro putting on a clinic. He completes six passes in six attempts, Crusaders march downfield with no resistance. 5-yard TD pass to Kainalu Reyes-Hackney.
Barber is tackled by Isaiah Taliulu on a fumble and he is down. Holding his right shoulder. Now leaving the field and he can’t move that arm. On the replay, he landed on his left side, but this doesn’t look good at all for Punahou. On the sideline, a doctor or trainer is working on his right elbow. Meanwhile, two running plays are stonewalled by Saint Louis. Punt. Someone throws him a ball, but he can barely lift his right arm. I doubt he returns at this point.
No. 1 Saint Louis 33, No. 4 Punahou 7, 7:39, Q3
First and 25 for STL. Cordeiro has a receiver open on a deep post, but goes to Panoke in double coverage. Ball is off target, but the Punahou DB commits pass interference. Ball doesn’t have to be catchable at the prep level. Crusaders not in a rush, but looks like Coach Ron is content to churn on the ground. Kekahuna-Kalawe gains about eight yards, and then an incompletion deep for Panoke. Lots of cushion for WR Matthew Sykes on second and 10, and Cordeiro goes to him for a first down completion. Punahou content to stay back between the 20s. Short pass to Quinn, eight yards. Second and 2, Tumpap on the right side extra effort and fumbles. STL recovers, three-yard loss. Third and 5 at the 30. Four-man rush, Cordeiro has time, lofts it to the sky down the left sideline, and Quinn pulls it in for a 30-yard TD. Tobias blasts the PAT kick and there’s barely a sound here by either team’s fans.
Kickoff by Punahou to start the second half is deep corner, touchback. Crusaders ball, 20-yard line. Four wide, single back. Tumpap up the middle, three yards. Sideline pass to Panoke, seven yards, first down. Tumpap on the right side, five yards. Still no-huddle mode. Give to Dominic Tominiko for eight yards and a first down on the left. Give to Kekahuna-Kalawe, who cuts back and races for a long gain, but holding penalty nullifies it. Ball is back to the STL 27.
No. 1 Saint Louis 26, No. 4 Punahou 7, Half
BOXSCORE (courtesy of Jason Kaneshiro)
At Aloha Stadium
Saint Louis (3-0, 1-0) 0 26
Punahou (4-0, 1-0) 0 7
Saint Louis—Safety, sack in end zone
Saint Louis—Mitchell Quinn 9 pass from Chevan Cordeiro (Jacob Tobias kick)
Saint Louis—Cordeiro 1 run (Tobias kick)
Saint Louis—FG Tobias 22
Punahou—Koa Eldredge 5 pass from Stephen Barber (Tim Horn kick)
RUSHING—Saint Louis: Chevan Cordeiro 6-32, Tosh Kekahuna-Kalawe 3-10, Kainalu Tumpap 5-1, Tamarick Hallums 2-8, Chance Beyer 1-3.
Punahou: Antonio Cortez Feria 1-(-1), Barber 12-(-10), Ola Aina 1-(-8), Team 1-(-23).
PASSING—Saint Louis: Cordeiro 9-17-0-222.
Punahou: Barber 11-20-0-123.
RECEIVING—Saint Louis: Kekahuna-Kalawe 2-10, Beyer 1-39, Quinn 4-104, Matthew Sykes 1-(-1), Koali Nishigaya 1-70.
Punahou: Andrei Iosivas 2-48, Eldredge 3-20, Tamatoa Falatea 3-25, Hunter Hosoda 1-7, Vincent Terrell 2-23.
Tobias’ kickoff doesn’t reach the end zone on the fly this time, but it bounces through and crosses the goal line for another touchback. He is a touchback machine. Punahou in attack mode. Completion to Eldredge by Barber for 8 yards. Offsides by Saint Louis, :18. Barber’s pass on a post route to Iosivas is just a step too far. Four-man rush, Barber has time, but he takes off and is corralled for a 1-yard gain. Time out by PUN with :01 left in the half. Screen pass to Falatea is a loss of 2 yards and the half ends.
No. 1 Saint Louis 26, No. 4 Punahou 7, :26, Q2
Punahou with the kickoff after the penalty, squib kick returned to the 15 by Saint Louis. Empty backfield, Ron Lee knows no limits. Cordeiro eludes a rusher off the edge, launches a spiral down the right sideline. Koali Nishigaya hauls it in, in perfect stride, for a 65-yard pickup before he is tackled. WOW. Cordeiro sacked, ball moves back to the 25. Second and 20, Cordeiro chased out of the pocket and throws it out of bounds. :34 left in the first half, third and 20. Four-man rush, Cordeiro has time, hurls a pass to the back of the end zone and it’s Quinn in blanket coverage with an insane diving catch for a 25-yard TD. WOW.
No. 1 Saint Louis 19, No. 4 Punahou 7, 1:20, Q2
Kickoff by STL is another touchback. Weaponry. Barber with the speed option right, Purcell penetrates early and Barber shakes him off for a 7-yard gain. Barber stands in, takes a wallop and delivers a 30-yard strike. I think that’s Iosivas, plus a personal foul on STL. Now it’s a pass across the middle to Vincent Terrell for another big gain. Flag down again, hands to the face, and it’s a second penalty in a row against sophomore Jordan Botelho of Saint Louis. Ball now at the STL 6. First and goal, Barber’s pass dropped in the end zone by Hunter Hosoda. Second down, incomplete pass. Third down, a strike over the middle from Barber to Koa Eldredge, who makes a sliding catch for a TD. Also, another roughing the passer call, penalty enforced on the kickoff.
No. 1 Saint Louis 19, No. 4 Punahou 0, 2:35, Q2
Time out is over. Tobias lines up on the right hashmark for a 22-yard field-goal attempt. BOOM. Easy and good. That makes it 19 unanswered points by the Crusaders in the second quarter.
First and goal for STL. Tumpap cuts back and gains 2 yards to the 4. Next snap, he tries to run wide right and loses one yard. Saint Louis coaches upstairs are hollering for someone who can “run downhill right now!” Third and goal, empty backfield. Cordeiro can’t find anyone on the right side, scrambles left, lofts it to Kekahuna-Kalawe near the left pylon, way short. Fourth down. Saint Louis offense still on the field, sideline calls time out, 2:40 left first half.
Saint Louis is the first team this season that has more or less solved the puzzle, how to stop Punahou’s offense. How to contain one of the country’s best QB scramblers. Kickoff is another touchback. Punahou ball at its 20. Second and 1, Barber throws short, receiver goes deep, miscommunication. Third down, receiver leaves the field, Kale Ane has to call time out, 4:17 left in the first half. Here we go, goal-line formation and the snap sails over Barber’s head, recovered by Saint Louis LB Isaiah Taliulu at the Punahou 6-yard line. HUGE.
No. 1 Saint Louis 16, No. 4 Punahou 0, 4:29, Q2
First and goal at the 1, Tumpap stopped for no gain. Second down, Tumpap cuts left and is just barely short of the goal line. Post-whistle, flag is thrown. Unsportsmanlike conduct on PUN for kicking the ball, half the distance. Nose of the football now inches from the goal line and Cordeiro follows his line surge for a TD. Jacob Tobias nails the PAT kick.
Short return on the punt, STL ball at the PUN 49, 6:31 left in the first half. Cordeiro eludes a pass rusher and unloads to Jonah Panoke deep downfield, too deep. Flag on STL, holding. Ball back to the STL 30. Screen pass to Panoke, but the defense is ready and it’s a 1-yard loss. Third and long, Cordeiro steps up and launches a 55-yard bomb to Quinn, who is immediately tackled at the Punahou 1-yard line. Injury time out for Punahou, 5:30 left in the first half.
Touchback on the kickoff, Punahou ball at its 20. Buffanblu go to a power formation, 1-yard loss on the run right. Second and 11, they offer a pre-snap motion look, similar to a spread option, and Barber fakes to the fullback, follows him for a 3-yard gain. Third and 8, pre-snap, sideline warning on STL. Empty backfield, four receivers left, procedure call (false start) on Punahou and it’s now third and 13. Barber sacked by a pack of Crusaders. Punahou punts.
No. 1 Saint Louis 9, No. 4 Punahou 0, 9:00, Q2
After Punahou’s free kick (they opted to do it off the tee), nice return sets up STL at its 44. Second down, Cordeiro drops in a pretty pass down the seam to Chance Beyer for a 39-yard gain to the PUN 17. Second and 7, Cordeiro’s pass is deflected, but a flag is down. Pass interference on Punahou. Half the distance pushes the ball to the 7, first and goal. The slot, more like a wing, Tamarick Hallums, runs left, out at the 4. Second and goal, procedure call on STL, ball back to the 9. Cordeiro looks across the middle, but Punahou LB Maninoa Tufono deflects the ball. Third and goal, Cordeiro has Mitchell Quinn one on one on the left, throws a strike on the out pattern and it’s a TD, 9-yard pass.
No. 1 Saint Louis 2, No. 4 Punahou 0, 11:41, Q2
First down at its 4, Punahou will pass. Barber is rushed by Tuitele, who pushes him to the back of the end zone. Referee says Barber is out of the playing field, safety. Looked like Barber escaped but it’s done. Saint Louis has the first lead of the game, only fitting that it’s a safety.
Fourth and goal, out route by Kekahuna-Kalawe is there, but the pass is broken up after a split-second of a jump ball. Punahou makes its goal-line stand.
STL lines up with a goal-line look, only one receiver, and Punahou calls time out. Empty backfield and Cordeiro overthrows Tuitele, who lined up at TE. Two flags down. Illegal formation, “only four players 50 through 79 on the line of scrimmage.” But Punahou declines and it’s fourth and goal for Saint Louis at the 4. STL will go for it. This time, the Crusaders call time out, 11:55 left in the second quarter.
FIRST QUARTER ENDS
First and goal, give to Kainalu Tumpap, runs right for 1 yard. Second down, pass to Kekahuna-Kalawe for 4 yards to the 4. Third and goal here. Quarter will run out with goose eggs on the scoreboard.
Third and long, Cordeiro spins out of a sack, runs one way, then the other, goes back to the middle of the hashmarks and runs for a 23-yard gain and his team’s first first down of the game. Two plays later, similar deal, right, then left, then cuts back right, great vision and gains 13 yards to the PUN 19. Six-yard pass to Kekahuna-Kalawe, then the next pass is deflected. Third and 4, this looks like a straight QB draw and Cordeiro gets just enough. First and goal at the 9.
Another heavy pass rush, Barber steps past the first guy, but #92 sacks him. No #92 on my roster. I’ll have to check around. Third and 10, Barber heaves it to Iosivas on a deep post, but the pass is broken up. This time, they will try a FG. 47-yard try, but the snap is a bit high and the holder decides to bail. He is brought down for a loss at the STL 38. Two opportunities, zero points for the Buffanblu.
First down, Barber to Iosivas for a 12-yard sideline pass. Next play, pass interference on Saint Louis though it looked like both players were shoving each other in stride. Ball advances to the STL 40. Barber without much time in the pocket, shakes off a tackler behind the line of scrimmage, sheer brute strength, then races down the left sideline for a big gain. Flag down: holding on the offense. Falatea. Spot foul means it’s still a first down, ball at the STL 30.
Crusaders take over for their first series with less than 8 minutes left in the opening quarter. Tosh Kekahuna-Kalawe runs the jet sweep right for a 3-yard gain, but Chevan Cordeiro’s two deep passes fall incomplete. Tight coverage by PUN. Saint Louis will punt from its 25. Visibility on the field a shade or two darker as the sun dips behind (Pearl Harbor) and the lights in the stadium slowly activate. Punt is downed at the Punahou 33.
Second and 10, Barber hops out of one sacker’s reach and then stiff-arms a defensive lineman as he sprints to the left sideline for a 3-yard gain. Third down, he tries a back-shoulder throw to Iosivas, incomplete. Fourth down, Punahou won’t try a FG. This time Barber is sacked by DT Faatui Tuitele. Saint Louis ball.
Deep route by Andrei Iosivas on the left sideline and Barber delivers for a huge gain past midfield. Third and long, pass interference called on the Crusaders on a post route. Barber misses Tamatoa Falatea twice on out routes near the right sideline, but he’s chipping away underneath to his other targets. Third and 4, he finds Falatea on an inside slant, 12-yard gain to the Saint Louis 17. Protection up front is there now.
Kick return to the PUN 27. First play, heavy rush is on, but Stephen Barber spins out of the grasp, rolls left and his deep pass under more duress is incomplete. Second down, busted play, Barber sacked by LB Noah Purcell for a 5-yard loss. Third and long, six in the box and a delayed blitz gets to Barber. Nice design and execution by the Crusaders. Fourth down, Saint Louis coming after it, but roughing the kicker gives Punahou a first down.
Weather is breezy, dry and basically perfect here at Aloha Stadium. Temps are around 80 and trades are 5-15 mph. Punahou will receive the opening kickoff. Punahou is the home team, navy blue from top to bottom. No grays tonight. Saint Louis in blue helmets with red cages, white top and white pants. Very clean look.