HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Crusaders too much for Na Alii
For a quarter, Na Alii were resilient and quite the determined underdog.
After that, however, it was No. 1 Saint Louis that played the Goliath role. Micah Mamiya threw for two touchdowns and 192 yards as the Crusaders overwhelmed a depleted Aiea squad 41-12 last night.
A pensive crowd of about 2,500 watched on a sometimes wet night at Aiea.
Aiea suited up without 18 players who were suspended in the aftermath of last week's game-ending fracas with Campbell.
"I told our kids that something special's gonna happen tonight," Aiea coach Wendell Say said. "They came out ready to play. I'm just proud of them for their effort."
Aiea, ranked No. 9, fell to 2-1 overall after the nonconference loss. Mamiya was fairly sharp, connecting on nine of 14 pass attempts with one pick. Saint Louis amassed 371 total yards against a gritty Na Alii team.
"Our O-line did a good job today, and our receivers did a good job getting open," said Mamiya, who is looking more like the quarterback who guided the Crusaders to 11 wins in a row last year before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.
Aiea struggled on the ground against the fierce Saint Louis defense and had minus-10 rushing yards on 19 attempts. Senior Keenan Naeole passed for 176 yards on 16-for-29 accuracy. James Buchanan caught 10 passes for 113 yards, including a 37-yard bomb. Saint Louis blitzed Naeole for much of the night, but he barely missed on deep passes to Buchanan and Ezra Knight several times.
Aiea's defense stopped Saint Louis for a three and out to start the game, but the Crusaders went 84 yards in nine plays for a score on their next series. Billy Stutzmann's 5-yard run on a pitch from Mamiya gave the visitors a 7-0 lead.
A fumble recovery by Matt Higa gave Aiea a first down at the Saint Louis 37-yard line a few minutes later. Two plays after that, Naeole connected with Buchanan on the 37-yard fly route. The PAT was blocked, but Aiea was within 7-6 with 1:42 left.
Saint Louis answered right away. Tamatoa DeMello returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards and sophomore Vonn Feao scored on a 2-yard burst over the goal line to give the Crusaders a 14-6 lead with 11:56 to go in the second quarter.
A botched snap to Aiea punter Josh Chung allowed Saint Louis to sack him at Aiea's 30-yard line. On the next play, Mamiya fired a strike to Stutzmann on a skinny post for a 30-yard touchdown. The visitors led 20-6 with 6:13 left in the first half.
Late in the half, Mamiya connected with Lucas Gonsalves for pass plays of 42 and 14 yards, and DeMello capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to give Saint Louis a 27-6 lead with 1:20 left. The four-play drive covered 80 yards in 1 minute, 31 seconds.