Star-Bulletin Sports


Wednesday, November 10, 1999


I L H _ F O O T B A L L



Kamehameha ready to
give Saints another go

By Ben Henry
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

The headlines were already written, the trophies were all but engraved and the festivities were about to begin.

Going into Saturday's regular season finale against Kamehameha, another St. Louis title was considered by many a foregone conclusion. It wasn't a matter of if the winner of the last 14 Prep Bowls was on its way to Hawaii's first state football championship, but who it would beat to do it.

Not so fast.

Kamehameha, (8-1 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu) shocked the Crusaders, 30-6.

The win bought the Warriors another week of action, prompting a playoff Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Aloha Stadium. The victory gives Kamehameha (5-0 second round) a shot at the league's lone spot in the state tournament.

"It was our best performance to date," Kamehameha head coach Kanani Souza said yesterday. "We feel fortunate to be here. We'll make the best of the opportunity."

Although grateful, Souza is not surprised to be in this position.

"I believed (going into the game) that if we played the type of game we're capable of playing that we would win," he said.

With St. Louis (9-1, 4-1) averaging 57 points an ILH contest, to call the Crusaders' six-point offensive performance Saturday sub-par would be an understatement. It was the first time St. Louis hadn't scored a touchdown in 118 games, since 1990.

"They were in a situation that they hadn't experienced," Souza said. "I don't know if it was our defense or if they weren't as sharp, or a little of both."

The St. Louis offense has breached the 80-point mark three times this season, breaking a school scoring record with 89 points against Pac-Five. But Kamehameha, which had given up just just 122 points in nine league games, found a way to stop the potent St. Louis offense.

"Our defense played very well," Souza said. "The assistant coaches did a good job preparing the kids. They were teaching the things they needed to know to be successful against this team, and it showed."

In their first meeting Oct. 2, the Crusaders, who won 28-9, limited Kamehameha to negative 45 yards rushing -- lethal to a team that depends so much on the run.

"(The running game) was the key," Souza said. "We felt if we were going to have a chance we had to establish the run."

That they did. Fullback Everett Hesia rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns, scoring more points than Kamehameha did in their first meeting.

The stakes for Friday's game are huge, considering that the ILH has only one spot in the state tournament.



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