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Star-Bulletin Sports


Saturday, October 27, 2001


[ PREP FOOTBALL ]




FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
St.Louis' Josh Gora-Aina just misses intercepting a
Damien pass. The Crusaders won 69-0.



St. Louis, Damien play;
Crusaders win 69-0

To Damien, just playing this game was important


By Jason Kaneshiro
jkaneshiro@starbulletin.com

The result was similar, but the feeling on the Damien sideline last night after the Monarchs' 69-0 loss to St. Louis was a complete reversal compared to that following last year's blowout against the Crusaders.

Twelve months ago, the Monarchs suffered an 84-0 defeat against St. Louis in a beating that prompted the Damien administration to forfeit this year's contest.

But after a tumultuous summer, the game was reinstated. And while the Monarchs were still at the short end of a lopsided score, they left Kaiser Stadium with optimism rather than dejection.

"Our main thing was we don't quit, and I'm very proud of my young men tonight," Damien coach Chris Bisho said. "They played with all they had and they never gave up. ... They stuck together no matter what and they kept playing hard. That's all I can ask for."

St. Louis improved to 5-0-1 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and remained in first place in Division I. Damien fell to 0-6 in ILH Division II.

"Nobody got hurt, everybody played, the spirits are up so I think it's a plus," St. Louis coach Cal Lee said. Lee, who will step down at the end of the season, finished his St. Louis tenure with a 36-4 record against the Monarchs.

St. Louis racked up 405 total yards while holding Damien to 13 and was the third consecutive team to shutout the Monarchs. But Damien president Brother Gregory O'Donnell, who announced the planned forfeits last June, was also pleased with the effort of the team.

"It was a whole different game from last year," O'Donnell said. "I saw a real gentlemanly game tonight. I did not have a same sort of feeling as last year, I thought it was a fine display of sportsmanship.

"I had two kids come up to me and tell me 'I'm really glad we played.' "

While the attitude on the Damien bench was vastly different over a year ago, the result on the field wasn't.

St. Louis outgained Damien 297 to minus-2 in the first 24 minutes en route to taking a 48-0 halftime lead.

The Crusaders opened the floodgates early as Kainoa Fernandez returned a Gaison Ganiko punt 59 yards for a touchdown less than two minutes into the game.

The Monarch defense forced the Crusaders to lose the ball on downs on St. Louis' first offensive possession and recovered a fumble on the next. But the Crusaders turned it on by scoring five touchdowns on their next 11 plays. Another was called back by a holding penalty.

St. Louis held the ball for just 3 minutes, 17 seconds in the first quarter, but scored 27 points in that span.

St. Louis quarterback Bobby George was on the bench midway through the second quarter after completing 6 of 8 passes for 183 yards and four touchdowns. Jason Rivers racked up 142 yards on three receptions, all going for touchdowns. George's fourth score went to Tito Sallas on a 15-yard strike.

B.J. Batts and Prince Brown added touchdown runs late in the second quarter.

The game was played with a running clock from the 9:02 mark of the second quarter. St. Louis added three more scores in the fourth quarter. Justin Cabansag scored on a 1-yard dive, Brian Rafeal caught a 7-yard scoring pass from Andy Kubic and Guy Rodrigues returned a punt 48 yards for a touchdown.

Ganiko was the workhorse for the Monarchs. The senior started on the defensive line, rushed for 13 yards on offense and handled the kicking chores.

"I talked to (St. Louis president) Father (Allen) DeLong both before and after the game and said, 'See you next year,' " O'Donnell said.

Kamehameha 28, Iolani 14: Caleb Spencer turned Kamehameha quarterbacks coach Vince Acohido into a prophet by leading the Warriors to the winning score against the Raiders.

After Iolani rallied to tie the game at 14, Spencer guided the Warriors 55 yards on five plays and scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard sneak with 1:49 left in the game.

"Before that series, my coach told me, 'This game is going to be 14-14 and you're going to lead the team to the winning touchdown," Spencer said.

Kamehameha improved to 5-0-1 in ILH Division I with the win at Kaiser Stadium. Iolani fell to 4-2 in Division II. The result sets up a winner-take-all showdown for the ILH championship between Kamehameha and St. Louis Friday at Aloha Stadium.

Kamehameha's winning drive provided Spencer's redemption after a costly mistake allowed Iolani to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

With his team leading 14-6, Spencer threw an interception to Kala Ka'aihue, who returned it 40 yards for a touchdown. Kila Ka'aihue then connected with Raynold Stowers for the two-point conversion.

Kamehameha tight end Noah Peterson recovered an on-side kick, giving the Warriors the ball at their 45. Spencer then hooked up with Josh Vierra with 21- and 12-yard completions, and hit Keoni Ruth on a 21-yard strike to put the ball on the Iolani 1. Spencer then finished the job with a quarterback sneak.

"My line had faith in me and the receivers caught whatever I threw up there," Spencer said. He completed 17 of 27 passes for 205 yards, while Kelena Ho'okano rushed for 101.

Ho'okano opened the scoring with a 2-yard run in the first quarter. The Warriors added another score in the second period on Spencer's 17-yard strike to Ruth as Kamehameha led 14-0 at halftime.

The Kamehameha defense dominated the first half, holding the Raiders to minus-17 yards.

Iolani's halftime adjustments paid off as the Raiders marched 63 yards in 14 plays for their first score, a 1-yard touchdown run by Teo Bennett.

After Spencer scored the go-ahead touchdown, the Warriors tacked on an insurance score on the next play from scrimmage. Defensive lineman Nikolas Soo scooped up an errant shotgun snap over the head of Kila Ka'aihue and returned it 2 yards for a touchdown to give Kamehameha a 28-14 lead.

Kekoa Smith intercepted Ka'aihue's next pass to seal the outcome.

OIA Red

Castle 41, Leilehua 0: The Knights ruined theMules' homecoming festivities by scoring 27 points in the second quarter.

Playing only in the first half, Castle quarterback Joel Botelho accumulated 243 total yards and threw for two touchdowns.

Botelho could have been responsible for three scores but he fumbled the ball away on his way to the end zone in the first quarter. The bouncing ball was picked up and carried the rest of the way by Treston Kaneao for the games first score.

On the defensive side, Kawika Sebay returned a second quarter fumble 63 yards for a touchdown. The Knights were able to rest most of their starters in preparation for the OIA quarterfinals.

Castle will face Waipahu, the OIA White's second place finisher. Leilehua ends its season winless and will drop down to the White Conference next season.

Campbell 14, McKinley 6: Aliikea Basham caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Jonah Canionero in the third quarter and William Ishikawa added an insurance score in the fourth by recovering a fumble in the endzone as the Sabers finsihed the OIA season at 4-4.

Lorgan Pau gave McKinley the lead in the first half with a 1-yard touchdown run. Pau finished the year with 519 rushing yards, one of only a handful of players in the Red to top the 500-yard mark.

Bashman caught five passes on the day for 104 yards and Canionero threw for 160 yards.

OIA White

Moanalua 61, Kalani 0: Rik Fukushima threw for 441 yards and 6 touchdowns as the Menehunes routed the Falcons.

James Strombach caught 4 TD passes and finished the game with 8 receptions for 197 yards.

Brian Bertulfo had two receptions, both for touchdowns. Moanalua's defense totaled 4 interceptions.

Strombach closed out the year as the conference's leading receiver, with 54 catches for 1,003 yards and 14 touchdowns.


To Damien, just playing
this game was important


By Marc Dixon
mdixon@starbulletin.com

Damien football is equal to St. Louis football.

Well, at least in drive, determination and fan support. In the game that almost wasn't, the Monarchs demonstrated why some players, coaches and parents took up arms to overturn an administrative decision to forfeit the game.

Perhaps one play characterized the spirit of Monarch football. On the final one of the first half, Damien wide receiver/defensive back Mike Lau, in Vince Carter-like fashion, rose above the intended Crusader receiver and another defensive back for a spectacular interception. Lau tucked the ball and returned the pick into a wall of white and after fighting for a few more yards was finally forced out of bounds at midfield.

The score at the time was 48-0 St. Louis.

"These kids are showing why they needed to play this game," said Carter Busfield, a Hawaii Kai resident with no ties to either team. Busfield attended the game, won by St. Louis 69-0, merely out of curiosity. "I played ball in California and every year we got run over by the big boys, but we always came back strong." Busfield pointed out that every team has a chance no matter what the odds. "Look at what the UH basketball team did to Kansas a few years back," he said.

Many agreed with Busfield.

"I'm always concerned about injury," said Paulette Chaves, mother of Damien player Daniel Chaves. "But it can happen anytime against anybody. My son and his teammates always put out there best no matter who they're playing and that includes St. Louis."

"They're the same age bracket and in the same league," said Glenn Kaneshiro, whose son Sam plays for the Crusaders. "Until they change the rules every team needs to beat every other team on the field, not off the field."

Jim Tagupa, the grandfather of Damien lineman Brad Tagupa, supplied 120 pieces of evidence of Damien's solidarity and strong support. Tagupa donated 120 "Team Damien" T-shirts to all the parents of the Damien squad and a few dedicated supporters.

"These kids, they work hard and they deserve credit and support." said Tagupa. "I'm a UH football season-ticket holder and I'm here for the kids."

Tagupa commented that the kids practice as hard as any other ILH or OIA team and have to fight through other obstacles. "Ever since the beginning of the season these kids get teased. Not only by other teams and other schools but by their own schoolmates," he said. "I say if you are going to make comments, put on the pads."

Backing up Tagupa's comments were Damien band members Tim Callahan and Chris Cohen. "They even make fun of us on the radio," Callahan said. Cohen added, "But it's not about who wins and who loses. The team just wanted the chance to try, to go out and have fun."



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