Recent history repeated itself in Saint Louis’ shortened 28-0 victory over Kahuku at Aloha Stadium on Saturday night.
The No. 1 Crusaders, winners of the last three state championships in the Open Division, dominated despite playing just a half of football. Before last year’s meeting in the state semifinals, Saint Louis and Kahuku had never played in mercy rule conditions.
Saturday night’s game certainly appeared to be heading in that direction before a 15-minute delay occurred at halftime. A handful of the lights in the stadium bleachers went out, and after an extra 10-minute warm-up period, Saint Louis coach Cal Lee and Kahuku coach Sterling Carvalho met at the middle of the field with officials and decided to call the game.
Unfortunately for Lee, he isn’t new to this. His team’s 2016 season opener at Mililani was cut short when a transformer blew at John Kauinana Stadium.
“As coaches, we agreed that if we’re talking the safety of our players and everything, to make a decision,” Lee said of the matchup against the Red Raiders on Saturday night. “And we agreed (to call it off). It was mutual.”
Lee and Carvalho were told there were no guarantees that the lights wouldn’t go out at some point during the second half.
“Mother nature. You cannot control the elements. Coach Lee and I were saying what’s first and foremost — the safety of the kids,” Carvalho said. “That’s what the discussion was about. The bottom line was what’s best for our players. It’s out of our control and we don’t know. We just want our kids to be safe, go home and be safe for the rest of the year as well.”
As for the two quarters where the two teams were able to compete against each other, what Carvalho saw was straightforward.
“Saint Louis is the defending champions. They are a top-10 team in the nation,” Carvalho said. “There’s a lot we can do better and a lot we can learn from this game even though it was a half.”
For two quarters, the Crusaders were in full control on both sides of the ball. Mason Taliulu and Jason Cruz each had short rushing touchdowns, while speedsters Roman Wilson and Koali Nishigaya hauled in touchdown passes from Jayden de Laura.
De Laura in particular had another impressive showing in a senior year full of them. He completed 14 of his 19 passes for 156 yards and added 47 yards rushing on six carries, showing impressive escapability on multiple would-be sacks. His first half produced a full game’s worth of highlights, placing himself even more prominently in the state offensive player of the year discussion like many noteworthy Crusader quarterbacks who have come before him.
“Yeah, I’m bummed, but we live to play another day,” de Laura said. “That’s good. We can go back, practice tomorrow, everyone’s kind of healthy so we can go back and work on our mistakes.”
Saint Louis’ defense was equally dominant. Star linebackers Jordan Botelho and Nick Herbig each had a sack, and the unit as a whole held the Red Raiders to 56 yards of total offense.
“We’re all hungry. We were waiting in that locker room to come out after halftime and just bring it again,” Herbig said. “It is what it is. We’re just happy with our first half play and we’re ready to go back.”
FBF: Punahou looks good. But what did MillVill just do to Kam. That defense dominated. So for you to say only those two are playing at a higher level. It’s overlooking Mililani. Trojans defense looks better than St. Louis in my opinion. But St. Louis O looks unstoppable. Just saying.
well said. No blaming, no complaining bout recruiting, other teams just got to work harder. This is the Kahuku people that makes Kahuku look good as a community and as a fan. @Notes, its people like notes who make Kahuku look really bad and makes other people hate them. Kahuku will be back, just gotta get better coaching straight up. They have the talent year in and year out. They need to get over beating up on the little guys and start practicing the air game. nuff said
I say St.Louis, Punahou and Mililani in new open division. The rest of schools can go back to Red OIA till they can booster up their recruiting game. Many posters say they on another level so let’s separate the elites. Oh we will except Kamehameha. Mahalo.
taking it the wrong way …… Stl and Pun as a whole right now top 2 in the state , team speed both on o and D step ahead of other teams . Not overlooking Mills at all great team my humble opinion just a little behind . Respect ur opinion but Stl D one of the best in the country . Mills dominated Kam yes but young rebuilding team this year , KAM will be back very soon but unfortunately hard to grade that game . The great thing is how many young men across the state getting college offers more and more every year that’s so awesome …..
Trojans defense better than St. Louis???? What planet are you on? Have you even seen St. Louis defense. Mililani had so many points scored on them from Campbell. Come on now. And their starters were in the entire game. Seriously man come on no ways that would even happen to both St. Louis or Punahou. Which is why Punahou is that much better than mililani
Hauula boy….st Louis doesn’t look bad you and Kahuku look bad lol. We are on top
Mililani and Punahou likes to leave there starters in almost till the end of the game, like to run up there scores and looking for Stats, Bad coaching.
Censor me and let DaFun talk smack. Haha. You guys are clowns HPW.
These guys talk mean bs about Kahuku, demeaning us and saying we from Kahuku are stupid and can only work in service jobs. But yet I call a guy an idiot for saying stupid bs and I get censored.
You are on top. DaFun is on top of the world. Don’t look down, you just might slip and fall. Haha. And when you do, no worry, you can always look back to better days.
PSA – St. Louis is ranked top in the nation, their fans pump them up they are fighting against all odds and overcoming some kind of adversity to beat teams like Kahuku. Get a life, they are fortunate and have very talented players in just about every position. If they didn’t they’d take an L just like everybody else in Hawaii. If the OIA put together an all-star team of players, and they had some practices to prepare… they would demo St. Louis… The issue becomes there just isn’t enough talent in every public school to be completely competitive all the time. Its not an issue of recruiting, its an issue of just not having enough kids the talent pool is only so big here. So, at the next St. Louis win, just walk out quietly and have some class.