The time for talk is over.
No. 1 Saint Louis and No. 2 Kahuku take the field tonight at 7:30 p.m. to determine the Division I champion of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships.
Saint Louis is looking for its first title since 2010 while the Red Raiders haven’t won since repeating in 2011 and ’12.
Kahuku is 22-5 all-time in the state tournament while Saint Louis is 17-5. The Red Raiders’ seven state titles are the most in Division I, followed by Saint Louis with three.
EDIT: Kickoff is scheduled for just after 8 p.m.
Saint Louis: Tanielu Evaimalo, Nate Herbig, Tytus Timoteo, Jon Manalo
Kahuku: Keala Santiago, Hirkley Latu, Manaia Atuaia, Jed Heffernan
During the coin toss, Kahuku comes out near midfield and the entire team does the haka staring at Saint Louis, which came out to the numbers on its side. I don’t even know if that should be allowed. Saint Louis won the toss and defers. Kahuku will get the ball first.
Kahuku is given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for doing the haka during the coin toss. Saint Louis will kick from the Kahuku 45.
Touchback. Red Raiders start from their 20. Cameron Renaud starts at QB and Saint Louis’ Tainalu Evaimalo stops Kesi Ah-Hoy for a loss of 2. Renaud sprints out to his left and is absolutely crushed on the throw and he’s down. Pass is incomplete as the receiver gets hits twice by Saint Louis. Renaud injured. Looked perfectly clean from here. Renaud is up and walks off under his own power. It’ll be third-and-12. Handoff is to Ah-Hoy. DB Dylan Toilolo is there first with the stop. 2-yard gain. Kahuku three-and-out. No yards of offense.
Kainalulaakea Paikai scoops up the punt blocked by Iosefa Noga and returns it 10 yards for a Saint Louis touchdown just 52 seconds in. 7-0 Crusaders.
Kekaula Kaniho with a 31-yard kick return. Meanwhile, three different helmets have come off Saint Louis players in the first five plays.
Jordan Mariterangi in at QB for the Red Raiders. He hasn’t played since early in the season when he broke his collarbone. Ah-Hoy rushes twice for 4 yards and it’s third-and-6. Ah-Hoy at QB and he’s stuffed on the QB run for no gain. Looked like Noa Purcell with the tackle. Second consecutive three-and-out for Kahuku.
Kahuku punts but Kekoa Sasaoka falls down as he runs into a defender. It’s only a 5-yard penalty. Kahuku will take the penalty and rekick from the 40. Saint Louis will start from its 32.
First pass by QB Tua Tagovailoa is low and incomplete. Tagovailoa’s pass is complete to Ronson Young, who picks up 23 yards but fumbles. Keala Santiago recovers for Kahuku.
Ah-Hoy passes to Lafa Thompson for 30 yards. First catch for Thompson this season. Mariterangi in at QB and his pass is broken up. Saint Louis hit with an illegal substitution and the incomplete pass doesn’t count. First-and-5. Harmon Brown gets his first carry and picks up 4. Ah-Hoy runs from the QB spot to the 16 for 5 yards and a first down. Toilolo with the tackle. Ah-Hoy runs for 5 down to the 11. Ah-Hoy runs for an 11-yard TD but it looked like he fumbled just before crossing the goal line. It’s ruled a TD and the extra point is good. 7-7, 6:29, Q1.
Enoch Kamalani with a 32-yard return. Crusaders start on their 33. False start. Tagovailoa scrambles for 13 yards and is drilled by Kaniho. He fumbles and Jess Kanongataa recovers for Kahuku. Turnovers on back-to-back plays for Crusaders.
Kahuku starts first-and-10 on the Saint Louis 38. Delay of game on Kahuku. Browns gets the yardage back on a 6-yard run up the backs of his O-line that is pushing Saint Louis back. Man down for Kahuku and we stop the action. Fullback LeRod Tongi hurt on the play and he has to be carried off the field by two teammates. Second-and-9 at the 37. Noga with the saving tackle on Brown or he might have housed that. 10 yards for a first down. Brown picks up 2. Tackle by Tevita Finau. Brown again finds room for about 5 yards. Third-and-2 from the 20. Same play again and Brown pushes forward after initial contact and winds up with 5 yards and a first down to the 15. Kahuku had a harder time running on Waianae last week. Brown stopped finally for no gain as LB Jordan Iosefa charges in to make the tackle. Brown gets 4 yards and it’s third-and-6. Renaud back in the game and he sprints out to his left and tries to run for it but is NAILED by Toilolo at the 6. It’ll be fourth-and-1. No way Kahuku doesn’t go for this. Ah-Hoy at QB and he keeps it up the middle. TOUCHDOWN KAHUKU. 6-yard TD run. Kahuku 13, Saint Louis 7, 1:48, Q1. Extra-point try hit the upright.
Saint Louis will start on its 28 after a 32-yard return by Chandler Washington-Villanueva. Tagovailoa’s first pass is complete to Drew Kobayashi for 10. Kobayashi drops the next pass. DL Bradlee Anae comes off the end and sacks Tagovailoa for a loss of 2 yards. Tagovailoa dances around in the backfield and then is sacked by Aaron Tapusoa. Crusaders will punt after back-to-back Kahuku sacks.
Anae is going to get flagged for a blindside block and that will back up Kahuku. Red Raiders will start on their 15. There will be on untimed down to end the quarter. Kahuku tries a trick play as Renaud pitches back to Ah-Hoy who goes deep but it’s incomplete. Quarter ends.
Ah-Hoy cuts back and breaks off a run of about 26 yards but it’s going to come back as a flag is on the field. Holding on Kahuku. Second-and-16 from the 9. Renaud hands off to Tongi, who is back in the game, for 4 yards. Third-and-12. Kahuku has two wide to the right. Renaud rolls that way and throws behind the receiver. Decent throw but it’s broken up and Kahuku will punt.
Crusaders fair catch at midfield. Quick throw to Noah Alejado for 2 yards. Kahuku fans scolded by the head ref for playing the horns during the game. Second-and-8. Saint Louis tried the inside screen it had been running so well this season but Kahuku’s rush get to Tagovailoa too fast and he throws it into the ground. Third down. High throw from Tagovailoa but Kaniho grabbed the receiver with the ball in the air and will be flagged. Easy call. Pass interference moves the ball to the 33. Pass to Jahvin Spear for 7. Tagovailoa rolls to his right, nobody open, he evades Tapusoa and goes back the other way for 6 yards and a first down. Tua being Tua. First-and-10 at the 20. Saint Louis called for a hold. First-and-28 from the 38. Another flag down. Another hold, this one on Timoteo. First-and-42 from the Saint Louis 48. Tapusoa comes flying off the edge and sacks Tagovailoa for a loss of 13. Second-and-54 from the 36. Pass to Spear goes for 14 yards to get back to midfield. Long pass to a receiver who isn’t looking is picked off by Stokes Botelho. Botelho returns it 67 yards to the Crusaders 8.
Kahuku starts on the 23 after an unsportsmanlike penalty after the INT. Ah-Hoy at QB and he’s brought down for a loss of 1. Iosefa with the tackle for loss. Ah-Hoy up the middle to the 20. Third-and-7. Ah-Hoy tackled for a 5-yard loss by Toilolo and it’s fourth down. Sasaoka will try the field goal from 42. It’s WAY short and Saint Louis takes over on its 20. 5:25 left in first half.
Saitaua Lefau with his first carry, picking up 4 yards. Tagovailoa’s second pass is high off the fingertips of the receiver as Kahuku brought guys again. Tapusoa coming in almost every play. Third-and-6. Handoff to Lefau for 3 as Pesa Lefau makes the tackle. Crusaders three-and-out. High snap goes out of bounds and it’s a Kahuku safety. 15-7, 4:04, Q2.
Saint Louis whistled for a personal foul after the short kick and all of a sudden, Kahuku has the ball to start a drive on the Saint Louis 36 already up 8 with 3:57 left in the half.
Ah-Hoy picks up 7 to the 29. Ah-Hoy with 4 more to the 25 for a first down. Ah-Hoy with 3 more as Isaac Slade-Matautia is in on the tackle. Brown stopped for a big loss and Iosefa gets a tackle for loss. It’ll be third-and-12. Ah-Hoy fakes the run and lobs one over the middle that winds up in the hands of tight end Pua Falemalu for a 27-yard TD. 22-7, 2:03, Q2.
Crusaders have 2 minutes to get something back. They start from the 20 and Tagovailoa barely avoids a sack, getting back to the line of scrimmage before Tapusoa gets the tackle. Tagovailoa has a man down the middle but it’s just underthrown enough that Manaia Atuaia can break it up. Crusaders convert a third down as Tagovailoa finds Lanakila Wilson for 11. Saint Louis in no hurry though. Screen to Lefau and Atuaia just blows it up for a loss. OIA first-team THAT. Second-and-15 with 36 seconds. Timeout Saint Louis. Tagovailoa forces a deep out to Alejado near the 50 but he’s late on it and Latu ALMOST picks it off. Off his fingertips. Third-and-long. Tagovailoa forces one deep and Keala Santiago picks it off with 20 seconds left.
That’s two fumbles, two picks and a safety by Saint Louis. Kahuku’s defense solidifying its case as the best, not just this season, but ever.
Saint Louis’ 1st half possessions — fumble, fumble, punt, interception, safety, interception.
at Aloha Stadium
Saint Louis (9-1) 7 0
Kahuku (12-0) 13 9
StL—Nalu Paikai 10 blocked punt return (Jacob Tobias kick)
Kah—Kesi Ah-Hoy 11 run (Kekoa Sasaoka kick)
Kah—Ah-Hoy 6 run (Sasaoka kick)
Kah—Safety, ball snapped out of end zone
Kah—Pua Falemalu 27 pass from Ah-Hoy (Sasaoka kick)
RUSHING—Saint Louis: Saitaua Lefau 2-7, Tua Tagovailoa 6-7. Kahuku: Ah-Hoy 15-42, Harmon Brown 10-37, Cameron Renaud 1-5, LeRod Tongi 1-4.
PASSING—Saint Louis: Tagovailoa 7-15-2-68. Kahuku: Ah-Hoy 2-3-0-57, Renaud 1-3-0-1.
RECEIVING—Saint Louis: Jahvin Spear 2-21, Ronson Young 1-29, Lanakila Wilson 1-10, Drew Kobayashi 1-10. Kahuku: Laga Thompson 1-30, Falemalu 1-27, Keala Santiago 1-1.
Touchback. Saint Louis will start on its 20. Tagovailoa starts with a quick throw to Wilson for 6 yards. Kaniho right on him for the tackle. Tagovailoa short to Spear who turns it upfield for 14 yards. Back to Wilson for 14 yards and Saint Louis is into Kahuku territory. Lefau picks up a yard on the run as Tapusoa with another tackle. Dangerous throw from Tagovailoa as it goes just over the fingertips of Latu. Almost another pick. Third-and-9. Pass is late and behind the receiver. Close to a flag but I think good call. Bad throw by Tagovailoa and Saint Louis will punt from the Kahuku 45.
Another bad punt snap and it goes way over the punter’s head. Kekaula Kaniho picks it up at the 17 and runs it in. Touchdown Kahuku on the fumble return. 29-7, 10:04, Q3.
Crusaders start on their 29. Tagovailoa with three straight passes that were all over the place. Tua and the Crusaders are clearly rattled as Kahuku almost came up with another pick.
Ah-Hoy starts off with a run for a loss of 1 as Toilolo makes another play for the Crusaders. Injured Kahuku player on the field is Jed Heffernan. Heffernan able to walk off on his own. Ah-Hoy picks up 2 to the 35 to make it third-and-9. Screen pass to Brown is sniffed out by Toilolo and Kahuku will punt.
Bad snap that goes over Kahuku’s head and this time Saint Louis pounces, taking over on the Kahuku 5. Signs of life from the Saint Louis faithful in the crowd for the first time tonight. 7:56, Q3.
Lefau takes the handoff up the middle and avoids the first wave of defenders but is stopped by the second wave for no gain. Pitch to Lefau for a yard to the 3. Atuaia so quick to the ball for the tackle. Third-and-goal from the 3. Tagovailoa fakes the handoff and keeps it to the outside. 3-yard TD run. First TD run Kahuku has allowed in its last 15 games. 29-14, 6:29, Q3.
Braeden Meyer slow to get up on the kick return for Saint Louis but he looks like he will be OK. Kahuku starts on its 19. Ah-Hoy rushes for 1 yard. Heffernan back in the game for Kahuku. Evaimalo on that tackle. Ah-Hoy with the carry out to the 25. It’s third-and-4. Ah-Hoy off tackle to his right and he’s blasted for a loss of 1. Slade-Matautia was there first and comes up with a huge stop. Kahuku three-and-out. Momentum shifting.
Line-drive kick is returned 10 yards and Saint Louis starts on its 46. Tagovailoa back to work. Spear goes high to make a catch for 5 yards across midfield. Lefau makes some guys miss and picks up 9 on the catch-and-run. Ball down to the 40. Ronson Young on a catch to the 27. Tagovailoa runs one out of bounds after a hold on Saint Louis I’m sure will be called. Hold is on Michael Minihan, who had a hold and false started earlier in the game. Second-and-23 after an incomplete pass. Tagovailoa goes deep over the middle to Kobayashi and it’s overthrown a tad. Looked like Kobayashi stopped running and even Tagovailoa motioned for him to keep going. Kobayashi drops another pass on third down knowing he was going to get hit and Saint Louis will punt.
Fouls all over the place on the punt and there might be a targeting ejection. LB Anson Levi got blindsided and is down for a moment but gets up. Sai Siufanua with the blindside hit and he’s ejected after refs originally said Codie Sauvao was the one who was out.
Kahuku starts on its 4-yard line. Saint Louis bottles up Kahuku twice for short gains but then Nalu Paikai, who had the blocked punt return in the first quarter, whistled for a personal foul to give up a first down and field position. Now Vaka Fale is whistled for a personal foul on Kahuku. This wasn’t unexpected tonight. Personal foul face-mask on Fale on the next play. It’s first-and-27 on the 7. 1:39 left in the third quarter. Ah-Hoy with a run and then Saint Louis DL Darcy Freitas is handed a 15-yard penalty for taunting an official. Booing from both sides. Second-and-7 at the 27. Ah-Hoy gets 3 and then Tamatoa Neher is whistled for roughness after the play. That’s the fifth 15-yard penalty on this drive alone. Ah-Hoy keeps for maybe a yard and Kahuku will punt from its 16 to start the fourth quarter.
ALERT: Refs had the wrong guy kicked out of the game. It is LB Manaia Atuaia, which would mean his high school career is over. Atuaia is sitting in a chair in the Kahuku tunnel.
Saint Louis runs into the punter on the kick. Will it be 5 or 15? It’s 5 and Kahuku declines the penalty.
Crusaders with three straight completions, the last to Wilson, to get to the Kahuku 37. Lefau with a 9-yard run to make it second-and-1. Pass complete to Young to the 24 for a first down. 24-yard TD pass to Alejado wiped out because of a hold. Third holding penalty on Minihan. Ball back on the 39. Tagovailoa to Kobayashi for 17 to the 22. Second-and-8. Kanongataa comes up with a HUGE SACK of Tagovailoa, driving him back to the 33. Third-and-19. Tagovailoa tries to throw to the back running a go route out of the backfield but Botelho reads it. Interception by Stokes Botelho and he returns it 47 yards to the Saint Louis 40. Kahuku ball with 8:38 remaining.
Third-and-2 and Ah-Hoy keeps for 4 yards and a first down to the 28. Fourth-and-1 on the 19 and Ah-Hoy busts through for a 19-yard TD run. 4:56 remaining. Kahuku 36, Saint Louis 14, 4:54, Q4.
Saint Louis goes three-and-out with two drops. Crusaders punt. This one is over. 4:08 remaining.
Ted Kenese rips off a long run to the 15. Sasaoka adds a 31-yard field goal with 7 seconds left for good measure.
Kahuku defeats Saint Louis 39-14 to win its eight state football title.
Kahuku 39, Saint Louis 14
Saint Louis (9-2) 7 0 7 0 — 14
Kahuku (13-0) 13 9 7 10 — 39
Stl—Kainalulaakea Paikai 10 blocked punt return (Jacob Tobias kick), 11:08
Kah—Kesi Ah-Hoy 11 run (Kekoa Sasaoka kick), 6:29
Kah—Ah-Hoy 6 run (kick failed), 1:48
Kah—Safety, snap out of end zone
Kah—Pua Falemalu 27 pass from Ah-Hoy (Sasaoka kick), 2:03
Kah—Kekaula Kaniho 17 fumble return (Sasaoka kick), 9:52
StL—Tua Tagovailoa 3 run (Tobias kick), 6:29
Kah—Ah-Hoy 19 run (Sasaoka kick), 4:54
Kah—FG Sasaoka 31, 0:07
First downs 12 12
Total Net Yards 139 228
Rushes-yards 16-(-52) 51-165
Passing 191 63
Punt Returns 2-30 1-(-1)
Kickoff Returns 3-79 3-67
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 3-113
Comp-Att-Int 21-40-3 4-7-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 4-26 0-0
Punts 4-31.8 5-31.8
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 1-1
Penalties-Yards 11-122 12-131
Time of Possession 19:20 28:40
RUSHING—Saint Louis, Saitaua Lefau 5-16, Tua Tagovailoa 8-(minus 1), Team 3-(minus 67).
Kahuku, Ah-Hoy 30-103, Ted Kenese 4-48, Harmon Brown 13-38, LeRod Tongi 2-6, Cameron Renaud 1-5, Team 1-(minus 35).
PASSING—Saint Louis, Tagovailoa 21-40-3-191. Kahuku, Ah-Hoy 2-3-0-57, Jordan Mariterangi 1-1-0-5, Cameron Renaud 1-3-0-1.
RECEIVING—Saint Louis, Jahvin Spear 6-45, Ronson Young 4-52, Lanakila Wilson 4-46, Drew Kobayashi 3-33, Noah Alejado 2-16, Saitaua Lefau 2-(minus 1).
Kahuku, Draeton Thompson 1-30, Falemalu 1-27, Brown 1-5, Louis Santiago 1-1.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Kahuku: Sasaoka 42 (short).
To get you ready for the game, we took a look at all of the meetings between Kahuku and Saint Louis dating back to the 1999 state final. See why the number ‘5’ is the magic number for the Kahuku defense and why the brotherhood is alive well at Kalaepohaku.
Also, Jerry Campany tried to put together an all-time Kahuku vs. all-time Saint Louis matchup.
For now, here are the starting lineups for both teams:
POS. NO. PLAYER HT. WT. CL.
QB 26 Kesi Ah-Hoy 6-0 215 Jr.
RB 8 Harmon Brown 5-11 185 Jr.
RB 45 Steveni Lombard 5-11 250 Jr.
TE 90 Noah Magalei 6-2 280 Sr.
TE 11 Laga Thompson 6-3 200 So.
OL 54 Jed Heffernan 6-0 262 Sr.
OL 55 Vili Fisiiahi 5-10 260 Jr.
OL 56 Ra Elkington 6-5 300 Jr.
OL 72 Tamatoa Neher 6-3 290 Sr.
OL 75 Vaka Fale 5-11 300 Jr.
OL 76 Ezra Tupuola 6-2 290 Sr.
POS. NO. PLAYER HT. WT. CL.
DL 32 Lono Kanongataa 5-11 210 Sr.
DL 91 Aleki Vimahi 6-4 250 Jr.
DL 99 Bradlee Anae 6-4 220 Sr.
LB 5 Pesa Lefau, Jr. 6-0 215 Sr.
LB 17 Aaron Tapusoa 5-8 208 Sr.
LB 21 Hirkley Latu 6-4 205 Sr.
LB 31 Manaia Atuaia 6-1 220 Sr.
DB 23 Codie Sauvao 5-11 180 Jr.
DB 1 Kaula Kaniho 6-0 170 Jr.
DB 3 Keala Santiago 6-0 185 Sr.
DB 20 Stokes Botelho 5-8 140 Jr.
POS. NO. PLAYER HT. WT. CL.
P/PK 16 Kekoa Sasaoka 5-11 205 Sr.
LS 30 Cameron Renaud 5-11 200 Jr.
H/P-KR 1 Kaula Kaniho 6-0 170 Jr.
PR/KR 3 Keala Santiago 6-0 185 Sr.
PR/KR 20 Stokes Botelho 5-8 140 Jr.
Saint Louis (9-1)
POS. NO. PLAYER HT. WT. CL.
QB 13 Tua Tagovailoa 6-1 210 Jr.
RB 20 Saitaua Lefau 5-10 170 Sr.
LWR 11 Lanakila Wilson 5-9 160 Sr.
SB 28 Ronson Young 5-11 190 Jr.
SB 8 Jahvin Spear 5-7 140 Sr.
RWR 10 Drew Kobayashi 6-2 195 Sr.
LT 67 Mike Minihan 6-2 250 Jr.
LG 64 Aperaamo Augafa 6-2 290 Sr.
C 70 Tytus Timoteo 6-0 335 Sr.
RG 65 Nate Herbig 6-4 335 Sr.
RT 60 Aaron Miller 6-3 270 Sr.
POS. NO. PLAYER HT. WT. CL.
LE 58 Tanielu Evaimalo 6-2 240 Sr.
DT 95 Samuela Mafua 6-0 280 Sr.
DT 9 Tristan Nichols 6-3 270 Sr.
RE 53 Kaeo Freitas 6-1 190 Jr.
LB 14 Isaac Slade-Matautia 6-0 220 Jr.
LB 41 Noa Purcell 5-10 220 So.
LB 26 Dylan Toilolo 5-8 190 So.
LB 4 Jordan Loveni Iosefa 6-2 220 Sr.
LCB 21 Jalen Saole 6-0 165 Jr.
RCB 27 Ronson Timbreza 5-10 160 Sr.
DB 2 Nalu Paikai 5-10 155 Sr.
POS. NO. PLAYER HT. WT. CL.
P 85 Ikaia Bernadino 6-1 165 Jr.
PK 73 Jacob Tobias 5-9 180 So.
LS 78 Peyton Yanagi 5-9 180 So.
H 12 Chevan Cordeiro 5-10 145 So.
PR/KR 80 Chandler Washington-Villanueva 6-0 170 Jr.