McLeod saves St. Francis’ season with 1 play

St. Francis’ Scott McLeod hauled in the game-winning 48-yard touchdown pass with 1:10 remaining and Damien’s Kellen Robins-Beers defending on the play. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Time stood still for a few seconds at Aloha Stadium with St. Francis’ season hanging in the balance.

Down by six points to Damien with 1:10 left, Saints junior quarterback Bubba Akana lofted a deep ball to Scott McLeod, who had a one-on-one matchup down the left sideline. The physically imposing McLeod, who stands at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, streaked down the field and simply snatched the ball at the 10-yard line, where he eased his way to pay dirt.

Lachmann Atoa’s extra point was good after the initial extra point was blocked, but a flag was thrown, and the St. Francis defense held on for an enthralling 15-14 win, setting up a winner-take-all rematch on Friday for the ILH Division II title and state Division I berth.


As the top seed in the ILH playoffs, Damien needed just one win to advance while St. Francis had to win twice. Any hope St. Francis had of continuing its season started to fade before their top playmaker was summoned.

“I was just thinking ‘throw it to my best receiver’ and he’ll probably catch it and score,” Akana said of McLeod. “He means a lot. You can just throw it up and he’ll catch anything. That’s why we trust him the most. That’s why we went to him.”

McLeod finished with 87 receiving yards on three receptions, but he made them count. His 39-yard reception to end the third quarter put the Saints in the red zone to start the fourth quarter before Akana was intercepted.

But on that fateful play in the fourth quarter, MeLeod sensed that an opportunity to change the game — and his team’s season — was coming his way.


“I wasn’t getting the ball so I was kind of anxious to get it,” he said. “Once they said to me it was guaranteed coming to me, I had to make it happen.”

The touchdown marked the ninth consecutive game for McLeod with a receiving score. Through 11 games, he has 51 receptions for 730 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Despite his college-ready frame and physicality, McLeod, who is a senior, admitted that he has “no idea” about his prospects for the next level.

“Just proving people wrong and representing for my family and my team,” McLeod described as his motivation. “I haven’t been able to shine for the past three years. They gave me a chance, so I might as well shine with it.”


McLeod overcame a thumb injury to play on Saturday, but there was no mention of it until St. Francis coach Kip Akana pointed it out to the Star-Advertiser’s Paul Honda afterwards.

“He’s a tough kid. I believe he’s one of the best in the state,” Akana said. “Hopefully he showed the state why we believe he is one of the best receivers in the state.”

COMMENTS

  1. PlayaHatersAnonymous October 21, 2017 8:49 pm

    Damien was a whole other team then the squad who got goosed egg earlier matchup with Saint Francis. This next game should be another barn burner, but I got my money on the Saints, Damien is going home beaten back to back, they don’t have anymore tricks up their sleave, they should just forfeit if Eddie is smart and want to save face because you get beaten 3 times by the same team is just retire already! I hate that they have to play again!


  2. Allaction October 21, 2017 10:18 pm

    @playahatersanonymous learn how to spell first and then give your opinion. A blocked kick, is a blocked kick. Saints get some good actors on their squad.


  3. Sione Uiki October 22, 2017 2:49 am

    Allaction we no more actors jus raw ass poly kids who go out and play their ass off, don’t discredit nobody’s game


  4. Jus Saying October 22, 2017 9:44 am

    Regardless of the outcome, these two teams played their hearts out. Yes there was some controversy regarding the blocked kick which affected the outcome but what was done is done. Now it’s all or nothing and I will be there to watch the fireworks!


  5. Cheerleaders October 22, 2017 8:29 pm

    We caught all of it on video. Roughing the kicker is ROUGHING the kicker☺ and I was glad the ref saw it and called it (finally)


  6. reading between the lines October 24, 2017 8:20 am

    Allaction, What actors? From the video, it looks like anyone would be hurt when someone flies into their leg, especially when they have all their weight on it and have no way of protecting themselves in that position. even if it may not be a serious injury, just the impact would be painful.


  7. Tutukane October 26, 2017 9:50 am

    The young men of St. Francis won because of their own intrinsic values – that which is within – their determination & desire.

    To the young men of St. Francis: the naysayers are entitled to their opinions, this is part of your life experiences, along with weaknesses & failings. However, achieving this win comes with the realization that you can do 20X more than
    you ever thought possible. It is a defining moment that each of you can reach back to when encountering difficulties in life as you go forward. Be proud of your win, this is your uniqueness!


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