LIVE BLOG: Saint Louis 28, ‘Iolani 17, F

FIRST QUARTER
The cushion is big for Keoni-Kordell Makekau on the opening series. The college prospect caught four passes for 58 yards, including a 15-yard TD strike from Tai-John Mizutani. Raiders miss the PAT. IOL 6, STL 0, 8:30.

Chevan Cordeiro, in for Tua Tagovailoa, guides the Crusaders on an 11-play, 80-yard drive. Nice and smooth. RB Jimmy Gonsalves scores on an option pitch right for a 3-yard TD. Cordeiro was 3-for-3 for 27 yards in that drive. STL 7, IOL 6, 5:03

STL stops IOL on fourth-and-1 with a hurry in the backfield by LB Anson Levi. IOL couldn’t run so well this series.


SECOND QUARTER
The teams exchanged punts before Cordeiro led another scoring drive. This one is 81 yards in eight plays, with Cordeiro passing to Jahvin Spear on a deep post rote for a 28-yard TD. STL 14, IOL 6, 10:03.

Key series for ‘Iolani, which gets good field position at the STL 49 after a stop — and a sack by Christian Naeole. Mizutani finds Tamatane Aga on a seam route, 19-yard. He spikes the ball after the TD, but the penalty won’t be assessed until the kickoff, big break for IOL. Raiders go for 2 and Mizutani runs in, or falls over the goal line, for the points. His knees seemed to hit the ground before he scored, judgment call. IOL 14, STL 14, 4:11.

Cordeiro is in a groove. The Crusaders go 60 yards in seven plays despite a personal foul call. The speed option pitch right is killing IOL. Gonsalves scores on a 1-yard blast. STL 21, IOL 14, 1:39.

HALFTIME
At Aloha Stadium
Saint Louis 7 14 — 21
‘Iolani 6 8 — 14
IOL—Keoni-Kordell Makekau 15 pass from Tai-John Mizutani (kick failed)
STL—Jimmy Gonsalves 3 run (Jacob Tobias kick)
STL—Jahvin Spear 28 pass from Chevan Cordeiro (Tobias kick)
IOL—Tamatane Aga 19 pass from Mizutani (Mizutani run)
STL—Gonsalves 1 run (Tobias kick)

At Aloha Stadium
Saint Louis 7 14 — 21
‘Iolani 6 8 — 14
IOL—Keoni-Kordell Makekau 15 pass from Tai-John Mizutani (kick failed)
STL—Jimmy Gonsalves 3 run (Jacob Tobias kick)
STL—Jahvin Spear 28 pass from Chevan Cordeiro (Tobias kick)
IOL—Tamatane Aga 19 pass from Mizutani (Mizutani run)
STL—Gonsalves 1 run (Tobias kick)

RUSHING—STL:
#24 Gonsalves 10-68
#23 Jahred Silofau 2-5
#8 Spear 1-7
#12 Cordeiro 2-(-17)

IOL:
#27 K.J. Pascua 9-34
#23 Gafoaleata Fetui-Salavea 3-4
#6 Mizutani 2-(-3)

PASSING—STL:
#12 Cordeiro 13-19-0-171

IOL:
#6 Mizutani 16-22-0-163

RECEIVING—STL:
#28 Ronson Young 1-6
#8 Spear 4-75
#10 Drew Kobayashi 3-42
#80 Chandler Washington-Villanueva 2-21
#5 Leelan Oasay 1-17
#24 Gonsalves 1-2

IOL:
#21 Makekau 7-89
#9 Brent Nagami 2-15
#11 Nicholas Kennedy 5-34
#27 Pascua 1-6
#20 Aga 1-19

Interesting numbers at the break: Gonsalves is running hard, hard, hard on every touch. Not sure if Silofau is hurt, but Gonsalves is getting most of the carries. … Spear has emerged as a weapon (four receptions, 75 yards). … Cordeiro spreading the ball around and taking what the IOL defense gives. He has been sacked twice by Christian Naeole. … The Raiders are getting a good game from Mizutani (16-for-22, 163 yards, no picks. Cordeiro solid, too, at 13-for-19, 171 yards, no picks. … Oasay quiet so far and Kobayashi has three catches for 42 yards. Not sure if he’s 100 percent back from that hamstring injury. Doesn’t seem to have his normal burst, but he’s contributing and his 6-foot-3 frame is a huge target for Cordeiro on the intermediate and deep routes. … Haven’t seen IOL in awhile so I’m wondering where Conor Hannum is. … Makekau has seven hauls for 89 yards already.

THIRD QUARTER
Defensive stalemate as both defensive lines get fierce. Naeole is in on his third sack. Late in the third, STL now has six punts. Don’t think they’ve come close to that in some time.


IOL defense has three sacks (2.5 by Naeole) and STL now has four by four different pass rushers. IOL ball at the STL 34, third and 5. Coach Wendell Look calls time out with 2:15 left in the quarter.

Raiders pick up a couple of big first downs and put 3 more points up on a 37-yard field goal by Makekau, high and easy. STL 21, IOL 17, 1:09.

Makekau’s kickoff goes deep for a touchback, but STL whistled for another personal foul. At one point, maybe around the start of the second quarter, STL had just one flag and I thought this would be a very smooth night for them. Now they have 116 yards in penalties as we enter the final quarter. STL ball at its 35.

FOURTH QUARTER
Raiders got their chance to take the lead, marching into STL territory, but WR Brent Nagami took a big hit after a catch and fumbled. Crusaders with a deliberate, patient ground attack here, eating off more than 5 minutes. Ball at the 2, third and goal

Gonsalves scores up the gut for a 2-yard TD and that probably should seal the win for the Crusaders. That was textbook Lee Brothers. Yes, they love the four-wide (run and shoot), but they always have a belief in a balanced offense. STL 28, IOL 17, 2:50.

Raiders are moving the ball as STL gives more cushion with a two-possession lead, but after getting to the STL 27, Mizutani’s pass ricochets off the hands of Nagami and is intercepted by safety Ahonui Kalama with 1:24 left. That should do it. Great effort by IOL. They’ve improved a ton in the past few weeks. STL just a stronger, deeper team right now. Cordeiro got the job done.

Crusaders run out the final 1:24 to post a win, albeit a spooky one as Tagovailoa sits out.

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PRE-GAME
Sunny skies and a nice breeze here at Aloha Stadium for the opening game of today’s ILH football doubleheader. No. 1 Saint Louis faces D-I newcomer ‘Iolani, 5:15 p.m. kickoff.

Certainly there are a generation of keiki who might not know that the ILH, as well as the rest of the state, played in one division, period, not so long ago. So ‘Iolani is historically not a stranger to playing the ILH’s powerhouses. My hunch is that the Raiders’ best chance to stay in this game against a deeper, bigger and more skilled team (at some key positions, though not all) is to keep the ball out of Tua Tagovailoa’s hands.

The previous two seasons, Austin Jim On was a master at controlling the pace, using his wisdom and skills at QB to push the tempo or slow things down. No huddle, yes, but not necessarily hurry-up all day or night.

Doing this against Saint Louis? Easier said than done, of course. Tagovailoa dinged up his knee last week in the win over Kamehameha. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Crusaders would really like to get a comfortable lead early and get their ace out of harm’s way.


UPDATE: Nick Abramo reported very, very recently on our blog that Tagovailoa will sit out. Coach Cal Lee said the junior will play only if absolutely necessary.

The Crusaders already lost RB Jon Manalo for the season. Tagovailoa is warming up, more as a formality than anything, it seems. Big opportunity for the Raiders.

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