[ ILH FOOTBALL ]
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Saint Louis' Chester Wilson knocked over Punahou's Steven Dannaway in the first half at Aloha Stadium last night.
No. 2 Saint Louis uses a pair of
defensive scores to defeat
Stanley Nihipali connected on touchdown passes of 10 and 18 yards to Shaun Kauleinamoku in the second half as No. 2-ranked Saint Louis overwhelmed 10th-ranked Punahou 35-7 last night at Aloha Stadium.
Defense was paramount for the Crusaders, who took a 14-0 lead at halftime thanks to two defensive touchdowns. The defensive unit allowed only 43 yards by the second half, and finished the game with five sacks.
"The defense was key. Tyson (Alualu), Jared (Silva), all those guys were hitting hard," said Kauleinamoku, who wasn't so bad himself. The senior wide receiver finished with six receptions for 77 yards.
The win kept Saint Louis in first place atop the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I with a 2-0 mark (4-1 overall). Punahou slipped to 0-2 (2-3 overall).
Saint Louis amassed 276 total yards and had just one turnover. Bullish running back Kevin Sullivan rushed for 69 yards on 12 carries to lead a balanced attack.
Punahou coach Kale Ane believes his young team will bounce back.
"We'll have to keep our heads up and keep plugging away," he said.
The Buffanblu's momentum came to a halt in the second quarter when quarterback Brett Kan suffered a possible neck injury, according to Ane.
"I'm not sure what it is. It was precautionary," he said.
A crowd of 3,691 endured a gusty evening with intermittent rain. Before intermission, both offenses threatened but failed to get into the end zone.
Saint Louis got as deep as the Punahou 20-yard line early in the second quarter, but a sudden gust of wind and rain hit the stadium. On fourth-and-3, Kauleinamoku was unable to hold onto a potential touchdown pass on a corner route.
"No excuse. Stan put the ball in the best place," Kauleinamoku said.
Punahou, which had driven to the Saint Louis 20-yard line earlier, mounted another march. The Buffanblu drove to the Crusader 23, but the Saint Louis defense came alive.
Nainoa Campbell sacked Kan, forcing a fumble, and Jared Silva rambled 64 yards for Saint Louis' first score. Injured on the play, Kan did not return to the game. Jeremy Shea's PAT kick gave Saint Louis a 7-0 lead with 5:19 left in the second quarter.
The injury to Kan spelled trouble for Punahou's offense. Saint Louis' defense began to tee off, coming up with another sack before Bryson Ka'ahanui came up with an interception for a 9-yard touchdown return. The defensive lineman read the screen pass from Punahou backup Justin Ingalls perfectly and bobbled the ball twice before controlling the ball.
Another extra point by Shea lifted Saint Louis to a 14-0 lead with 4:08 to go in the half.
During the stint after Kan's injury, Punahou's run-and-shoot struggled, with three incompletions, two interceptions and four sacks, all in the final six minutes of the half.
"It was hard for him," Ale said of Ingalls, who had little time to warm up. "He needs experience under fire. It was a tough situation."
Nihipali was just 3-for-15 for 34 yards with an interception in the first half, but the Crusaders felt they could've helped their quarterback.
"Our coaches said to come down with grabs. If we held on to the grabs in the first half, we would've moved down the field," Kauleinamoku said.
After struggling through the baptism by fire in the first half, Ingalls settled down. He completed five of his last seven attempts for 44 yards.
"I made bad reads," he said of his quick entry in the second quarter. "I gotta be ready at all times. Saint Louis played tough."
Kauai 14, Kapaa 10:
Kevin Cadiente scored the game-winning touchdown as the Raiders rallied to beat the Warriors.
Cadiente caught a 73-yard pass from Kekoa Crowell as Kauai overcame a 10-7 deficit with 9:51 left.
Kapaa broke a 7-all tie early in the fourth on Kai Kanoho's 25-yard field goal.