Saint Louis pulled through in gut-check time

Saint Louis' Ronson Timbreza, pictured breaking up a Punahou pass, came down with an late-game interception that was the final blow to Punahou's comeback attempt.  The Crusaders won the ILH Division I championship game, 27-23, at Aloha Stadium. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Saint Louis’ Ronson Timbreza, pictured breaking up a Punahou pass, came down with an late-game interception that was the final blow to Punahou’s comeback attempt. The Crusaders won the ILH Division I championship game, 27-23, at Aloha Stadium. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

If you happened to glance up at the Aloha Stadium scoreboard at the end of the third quarter Saturday, you noticed the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I championship football game was knotted at 20-all.

Gut-check time.

Players and coaches from both sides doing everything they can to not give in. To keep the season going. To win the coveted title.


But only one team could, and it was Saint Louis edging Punahou 27-23 for its first league championship since 2010. The Buffanblu’s four-year reign is over.

Heading into the fourth quarter, you knew someone was going to make a huge play or several people would make a series of plays that would account for the final difference.

With 9:37 left, Jet Toner — who told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Paul Honda after the game that he committed to play college football at Stanford — calmly drilled a 50-yard field goal for a 23-20 Punahou lead.

Toner has been known for making long field goals in critical situations. Ask Kahuku about last year. His effort was right down the middle, with plenty of room to spare.

That heroic field goal, however, didn’t hold up in the end.

So, who would be the person (or people) to get this thing done?

Well, Saint Louis quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is one of a handful of players who dealt the final blow. He drove the Crusaders (8-1) for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:50 left and gave words of encouragement to running back Saitaua Lefau, who ran home the final 4 yards around left end.

This particular sweep that Tagovailoa called for Lefau worked a few times during the night, but other times it failed with yardage lost.

“At first, I thought Tua was going to keep it, but he told me he believed in me and that I could do what I had to do,” Lefau said.


The extra point by Jacob Tobias looked like it was going down the middle, but it hooked and hit the top of the left upright. It appeared to bounce off to the right and through, but two referees conferred for about 10 seconds before giving it the “good” signal for Saint Louis’ 27-23 lead.

“I wondered why they waited so long to make the call,” Punahou coach Kale Ane said after the game. “It looked good to me.”

Ane knew that with Toner in the game, the difference between a 3-point and a 4-point lead was major. Instead of trying to get into field-goal range for the sure-footed Toner, the Buffanblu would have to go all the way to keep their season alive.

It didn’t happen. Saint Louis defensive end Tanielu Evaimalu batted down a pass and then he sacked Punahou quarterback Nick Kapule.

That sack set up the final dagger. Kapule put up a high-arcing wobbler that Saint Louis’ Ronson Timbreza intercepted to effectively end the game.

“When I saw the ball in the air, I knew I had to get to it and get to it at its highest point so he (the receiver) wouldn’t get it,” Timbreza said.

It’s an early season-ender for Punahou (8-2), which is used to playing well into November.

“It was two good teams battling,” Paulo Soa, the Buffanblu’s 310-pound sophomore guard said after the game. “It was a very good game and pretty exciting and it came down to the team that made the least mistakes. This loss will stick with us and we’ll be thinking maybe we should have done more, maybe we should have taken that extra rep. But it was a good season overall.”

The Crusaders were sky high after bringing coach Cal Lee his first championship in his return to the team after many years coaching elsewhere. He won 14 Oahu Prep Bowl titles (the precursor to the state tournament) and one state championship with Saint Louis between 1983 and 1999 before returning to a second-place finish behind Punahou in 2014.


Saint Louis’ quest for its first state Division I title since 2010 continues. The Crusaders will likely get a bye in the first round and begin play in the state semifinals the weekend of Nov. 13-14.

“It’s amazing,” Evaimalu said. “Four years I play for Saint Louis and not once did we beat Punahou or come close to beating Punahou until now. Now we can bring the Koa (trophy) home.”

COMMENTS

  1. Good Story October 27, 2015 8:09 am

    @Football Fan 68
    If you’re gonna take a shot, let’s talk football. I’ll be more than happy to engage you in a lively debate.


  2. Realistic October 27, 2015 10:59 am

    HAHA


  3. Good Story October 27, 2015 2:05 pm

    @Realistic
    All that education and that’s all you can say…at least throw some punctuations in there. BTW, just in case you were wondering. It was the Reggie thing that gave you away. Come up with some new material.


  4. Good Story October 27, 2015 2:07 pm

    …why did you change your name anyways, cause you know the backlash you got the last time you started this nonsense. Cowardly, if you ask me.


  5. Good Story October 27, 2015 2:10 pm

    …I’m still that same Good Story.


  6. Football Fan 68 October 27, 2015 3:38 pm

    Good Story, I find it very peculiar that you call someone a coward yet you hide behind a screen name. My name is David Vasconcellos and I am from Kaimuki in case you are wondering. I understand being ignorant, but know you are a hypocrite too. There is nothing more disturbing than a hypocrite.


  7. Realistic October 27, 2015 3:39 pm

    HAHA. You are begging! I don’t need to change anything. But you still lack decent test scores, lol.


  8. Jerry Campany October 27, 2015 4:02 pm

    Same IP address: Realistic, Football fan 68, Really?, JaShaun, Balla, Old Timer, ILH fan, Ho Hum, National Coach, Hawaii Fan, 808 fan, a fan, 8080 fan, Jim Swick, Recruiter 808, Education first (one of like five people claiming to be Education first, all from different IP addresses), Red Raider, an Observer, Lady Hoopster, Parent, Pun Spectator.

    anyway, here are the last 10 posts from that computer:

    1. (As Realistic) HAHA. You are begging! I don’t need to change anything. But you still lack decent test scores, lol.

    2. (As football fan 68) Good Story, I find it very peculiar that you call someone a coward yet you hide behind a screen name. My name is David Vasconcellos and I am from Kaimuki in case you are wondering. I understand being ignorant, but know you are a hypocrite too. There is nothing more disturbing than a hypocrite.

    3. (As football fan 68) Maybe working on her stand-up?

    4. (as Really?)Haha that was such a good one GOOD STORY!

    Originality – 10
    Creativity – 10
    Humor – 10

    How do you come up with such zingers! You are wasting your talents on this blog! “Not Possible?” HAHAHA! How ever did you come up with something like that. I never heard of that before.

    5. (as Really?) Could you have the same passion for academics as you do with football? You do know the smart play is academics right?

    6. (As Really?) Nah that’s your job coward. You showed the entire blooging community just how much of a coward you are. Hide behind a name and call out a good person like Brandi Higa.

    7. (as Really?) 88 do you know anything? The amount of teams that are represented in the state tournament has to do with the total teams in a league. As for choosing the preseason, each school can choose who they want to play against. What are you talking about it’s out of their control. The league does not dictate who the schools can or have to play before league games start.

    8. (as Really?) @Rok888, you say, “Why do Kahuku loyalist always say that Punahou and St. Louis use the phrase”stealing our kids”? Why can’t they see that their kids want to go to a better school.”

    They have to say that because the alternative is what happened to either themselves, their children, or their family that is these prestigious schools didn’t come wanting them. That is the real source of bitterness, anger, and jealousy.

    Don’t worry some will keep coming with the attacks, insults, excuses, or whatever they can come up with.

    9. (As football fan 68) At Go Big Red even though there are zones, like many others said no one owns these kids. Parents have the option to go to send their kids to private school, get a GE to go to another school, or stay at their “home” school. I don’t know where this thinking has started where a kid belongs to a community and if they leave then another school did something wrong. It’s that kind of “selfish” and “slave mentality” that burns my skin. You talk about STATE TITLES, but I hear no mention about academic achievements. I am reading a lot of excuses. I call this the AL BUNDY syndrome, when the high point of your life is High School Football, lol. All extra-curricular activities are just as important as each other, whether it is football, baseball, track, art, music, dance, or playing in the band.

    And truth be told, I’d rather have my kid play the violin or piano than play football. We all know how much those two things help cognitive development.

    I wonder if the St. Louis’, Punahous, Iolanis and other private schools offered financial aid to be in the band if GOBIGRED would be as offended? I am guessing not since like Realistic said above it seems football is the only thing they can attach their success to.

    Let me ask you this GOBIGRED, after winning so many State Titles, (other than a select few and I mean very few), how many of these State Title Winners go on to college?

    10. (as Really?) Funny fact, who cares! That is like saying Alabama needs to recruit to be better than UH. I mean seriously do you guys think before you write? Your comments are so asinine REDX.


  9. 88 October 27, 2015 4:07 pm

    You making a joke about these kids test scores now? How did this go from you being concerned about kids test scores to you now using their test scores as some kind of punch line to your childish beef with Good Story? Keep it about football.


  10. Lee Boy October 27, 2015 5:20 pm

    Wow dude had ten different names!! way too much time if you ask me.


  11. Good Story October 27, 2015 5:37 pm

    Education is a serious issue and it’s morons like this that hurt everyone. Pretending to care but only want to tear down.


  12. Good Story October 27, 2015 6:15 pm

    So…I counted 20 different names. Is Lee Boy the only other REAL person out there? Aside from Red Raider fans.


  13. Lee Boy October 27, 2015 7:13 pm

    I guess so!!!!! can’t believe some people come out here to act a fool. It’s a shame you can’t act civilized in a sport forum.


  14. GoBigRed October 27, 2015 10:05 pm

    HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!! MEEEAAAAAANNNNN!!!

    His new name = Schizo

    Except da ONE time I used Toomeke (my email) by accident, I’ve always just been GoBigRed.

    Listen, I’m all for education just as much as the next person…if not more…at least I HOPE das what my PhD would indicate.

    BUT…this is a high school SPORTS website – so when in Rome…

    When I want to discuss academics, I do so in an academic setting, or at least a setting in which said conversations will elicit a lively exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences on the chosen academic topic. No offense, but IMO this is not one of those settings.

    So – let’s talk FOOTBALL! LOVE IT!

    pssst…whatever you wanna call yourself… get plenny shrinks in Hawaii nei… spend your money wisely.


  15. Homegrown October 28, 2015 10:07 am

    Wowww. Is that the same “realistic” that continuously posts about low test scores and success in life???


  16. Good Story October 28, 2015 12:36 pm

    @Homegrown
    Das the one. What a fraud.


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