Mililani had the blueprint, and even with the scoring fireworks of the first several minutes, all seemed possible.
The rematch of last year’s Open Division state championship game started as a rumble with grandeur, eye-popping big plays back and forth. It was not sustainable. After combining for 27 points in the first 6 minutes, 11 seconds, defenses started to step up. Saint Louis, which committed eight penalties in the first quarter alone, settled in and went on to a 54-21 win over No. 3 Mililani.
While the offense went into fireworks mode, the Crusaders defense wore down a potent Mililani offense. The Crusaders allowed two big plays, touchdown passes of 51 and 32 yards, in the first quarter. After that, they contained Mililani’s talented junior, Brendyn Agbayani, to short and medium completions. He didn’t have a completion of more than 18 yards until the final minutes, when Mililani tacked on a 32-yard TD.
Mililani’s offensive game plan was simple and effective for a good stretch. The Trojans fed Malosi Sam and Jasiah Alcover, and they combined for 88 yards on 20 carries in the first half. Saint Louis, however, came up with three crucial stops in a row during the second quarter to open a 34-14 lead by the break.
“I thought the defense made adjustments to stop them. Mililani is a good offensive team. We have to be able to stop anybody who tries to run against us,” Crusaders coach Cal Lee said.
Sam, who had 15 carries for 65 yards by halftime, was visibly banged up by the third quarter after taking on two, three, sometimes four big hits on each carry. As a former Crusader, he got the royal treatment.
“He’s a hard runner. We know from experience what he can do. All the kudos go to him, what he’s done,” Lee said.
Sam finished with 72 hard-earned yards on 16 carries. Once the ground attack slowed for Mililani, Saint Louis’ pass rush dominated. Three of the Crusaders’ four sacks came in the second half. Two were by Nick Herbig, and Jordan Botelho and Jonathan Alualu got their paws on Agbayani, as well.
“Coach was trying to get pressure on the quarterback because they throw really fast,” said Herbig, who blitzed a bit more than usual.
Saint Louis also forced two fumbles out of the young slinger, and picked him off twice after intermission — including Harvey Welch’s 46-yard pick-6.
“This is a big-time win for us. We knew it was going to be a dog fight,” Herbig said.
Seventeen penalties for 147 yards did not make any sense to Lee.
“We’re not teaching debating and talking. We just want to play football. As coaches, we just want to play football, not hit people after. Stupid stuff,” Lee said. “We have to change the behavior. We always have to make sure they control their emotions.”
Herbig, a Wisconsin commit, agreed with his head coach.
“It’s all about discipline and keeping your cool. This game comes with a lot of emotions so you really got to keep your emotions in check,” Herbig said. “Just be a great team player and play the game.”
Still the best Defense and Offense team in the State, Crusaders Strong.
*RECRUITERSTRONG. there, i fixed it for you. so much biased officiating in this game. hard for milville to not only try to beat a stacked semi-pro super team but the refs too. auwe
Note, you gotta stop already with the hating! Just be happy we got a Hawaii team representing on a national scale! They’ll be a time when they will fall, and someone will replace them. Untill then let’s just keep competing. Kahuku has done with before and we’ll do it again. Until then big props to the crusaders. Even with a stacked them like Mililani it shows that the coaching is way above par. Mililani with all its recruits couldn’t make an adjustment to make it competitive.
Notes is a loser who never played high school football and wants to tell everyone his inner feelings now that he’s older. He had everything bottled in all these years. Thanks for being a St Louis hater and us crusaders will keep going. Btw notes, where did you even grad from?
EVERYONE PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS INDIVIDUAL “NOTES” DOES NOT SPEAK FOR EVERYONE WITHIN THE KAHUKU RED RAIDER COMMUNITY.
braddah Notes, you commenting on every post talking about recruiting this, recruiting that. you sound like one mahu. Private Schools have who they have. Public Schools have who they have. Work with what you have and make the best of it. That’s life. Blaming the ILH for recruiting is just an excuse.
To the St Louis hater double check where all the Mililani football players live lemme help you, NOT IN MILILANI!!! That’s what you call RECRUITING!!!
Well let me also note, all of the St.Louis players, don’t even live in St.Louis.
funny how everybody was talking about Mililani’s D would shut the crusaders down lol. Mililani’s D got man handled from the crusader O linemen. Not to mention, playing man to man and at times no safety help lol . Cmon Mililani coaches , you guys supposed to smarter than that. play back , play zone with mix blitz’s, let them jab you and march down the field instead giving you heavy upper cuts left and right lol.