HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Mamiya goes to the air to earn ILH championship for Saint Louis
For some schools, a mere three years between league championships might seem like an achievement, but for the top-ranked Crusaders, these past few seasons have seemed like an eternity.
Known for his ability to run, junior quarterback Micah Mamiya showed he can throw the ball as well, tossing touchdowns on four of his six attempted passes last night as the Crusaders scored all of their points in the first half in routing Damien 44-0 at Aloha Stadium to clinch their first ILH championship since 2003.
"At Saint Louis, if you don't win for three years, it seems like three decades," Saint Louis coach Delbert Tengan said.
The Crusaders (9-0, 6-0) clinched the ILH's lone berth in the Division I state tournament, and appear to be clicking on all cylinders, as they wasted no time in dispatching the Monarchs.
"That was definitely the best half of football we have played since the first half of the first Punahou game," Tengan said.
Shane Ahlo hauled in two of Mamiya's touchdowns on passes of 21 and 52 yards. Mamiya also found Billy Stutzmann wide open down the sideline for a 26-yard score, and junior Chase Alcott hauled in a touchdown from 41 yards out as Saint Louis scored on every drive in the first half.
"It starts all in practice," said Ahlo, who finished with 98 yards receiving on just three catches. "We work hard, we're a proud team, and we respect all of our opponents."
Even the defense, which held ILH leading rusher Kama Bailey to 38 yards on 15 carries, considerably less than his season average, got into the scoring column. Defensive lineman Scott Smith tipped a George Martin pass into his own hands before returning it 35 yards for his first career touchdown to give Saint Louis a 44-0 lead heading into halftime.
"To tell you the truth, I had this exact dream last night," Smith said. "It was the exact same play. I was able to read the screen, tip the ball and then hit up and score. There's no better feeling."
Last year's season ended in heart-breaking fashion for the Crusaders, who lost to Punahou in a playoff game after both teams, as well as Kamehameha, finished the season tied. The experience gained through that playoff format has fueled the Crusaders this season, as they have clearly established themselves as the team to beat in the postseason.
"That was a tough grind that we went through at the end of last year, but now we know what it's like to be in those situations," Tengan said. "We became a mature team after that and it has showed this year."
It was a painful loss for the Monarchs, but Damien (3-5-1, 2-3-1) still sits in the driver's seat to earn the ILH's Division II state-tournament berth. The Monarchs are tied with Iolani for the lead, but hold the tiebreaker, and play next week against Pac-Five, which is winless in the league. Iolani faces Saint Louis next Saturday night.
Punahou 38, Pac-Five 7
Even with its playoff hopes all but gone, No. 2 Punahou had no trouble avoiding a letdown against Pac-Five.
Brett Kan completed 18 of 21 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to Miah Ostrowski.
The Buffanblu entered yesterday two games behind league-leading Saint Louis for the ILH lead with two games to go. The Crusaders clinched the league title and state-tournament berth with a win in the nightcap of the doubleheader against Damien.
The Buffanblu scored touchdowns on four of their five first-half possessions, and Ostrowski capped their first drive of the second half with a 46-yard touchdown reception that ended the night for the starters.
No. 4 Kamehameha 23, Iolani 0
Jordan Rego ran for two touchdowns to lead the Warriors over the Raiders in Kamehameha's regular-season finale.
Iolani remained tied with Damien in ILH Division II play.