HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Higgins throws for 291 yards as Saint Louis wallops Mililani
For 6 minutes, it looked like Mililani was going to give Saint Louis a good early-season battle.
Then the third-ranked Crusaders went to work.
Junior Jeremy Higgins threw for 291 yards and accounted for five touchdowns in his debut at starting quarterback and Saint Louis scored 41 straight points after falling behind early to beat the Trojans, 48-20, last night in a nonconference game at John Kauinana Stadium.
Lucas Gonsalves was Higgins' favorite target, hauling in eight passes for 140 yards and two scores as the Crusaders made coach John Hao a winner in his Saint Louis coaching debut.
"I thought we played very well," Hao said. "Both sides of the ball did a good job and (Higgins) did an extraordinary job."
Micah Mamiya lost just two games as the Crusaders' quarterback the last two seasons before graduating in the spring. Higgins has been tabbed as his replacement and after some early-game jitters, settled down to move the ball at will against the Mililani defense.
"It felt good to come out and play against someone other than our defense -- somebody that doesn't know all our plays," Higgins said. "I was nervous all day and threw that pick early, but I think I did good."
Mililani's Sterling Cossey got the Trojans off to a strong start, stepping in front of a Higgins pass for an interception on the Crusaders' opening drive. He returned it inside the Saint Louis 2-yard line and after consecutive encroachment penalties on the defense, Taz Stevenson plowed into the end zone from a yard out to give Mililani an early 7-0 lead.
"Obviously, when you're jumping offsides, the concern is to get that fixed, but it's also important on how you get back up and keep getting after it," Hao said.
The Crusaders did exactly that, scoring 48 of the next 55 points to blow the game open.
With his team down, 14-7, Higgins went untouched for a 10-yard scoring run and then hooked up with Gonsalves for a 24-yard touchdown as the teams combined for 35 points in the first quarter.
Saint Louis poured it on with another touchdown in the second period as Higgins hit Austin Wakinekona on a screen pass from 25 yards out for a 14-point lead going into halftime.
The Crusaders finished with 495 yards of total offense while holding Mililani to 229, handing the Trojans their second straight loss to open the season.
"Obviously, we want to win, but we understood coming in that these first two games were going to be tough," Mililani coach Darnell Arceneaux said. "We've got to execute better and make plays. We'll go back to the drawing board and make changes to get things right."
At John Kauinana Stadium
|Saint Louis (1-0)
Mil--Taz Stevenson 1 run (Corey Nakagawa kick)
StL--Austin Wakinekona 6 run (Nick Botelho kick)
Mil--Fred Culp 32 pass from Matt Milton (Nakagawa kick)
StL--Jeremy Higgins 10 run (Botelho kick)
StL--Lucas Gonsalves 24 pass from Higgins (Botelho kick)
StL--Wakinekona 25 pass from Higgins (Botelho kick)
StL--Gonsalves 36 pass from Higgins (kick failed)
StL--Higgins 3 run (Botelho kick)
StL--Shaun Ahlo 19 pass from Marcus Mariota (Botelho kick)
Mil--Trevor Lee 1 run (pass failed)
RUSHING--Saint Louis: Wakinekona 9-77, Higgins 7-59, Kaden Kamoe 1-14, Jordan Fukumoto 1-13, Josh Tupua 3-12, Emmett McShane 2-4, Sean Valente 1-1, Darren Kalulu-Sagai 1-0, team 1-(-18). Mililani: Kahi Perbera 9-49, Lee 5-41, Matt Neves 8-20, Milton 5-13, Stevenson 5-11, Chad Bolibol 2-6, Iosua Manuma 5-2.
PASSING--Saint Louis: Higgins 20-28-1-291, Mariota 3-4-0-42. Mililani: Manuma 4-11-0-49, Milton 2-9-0-38.
RECEIVING--Saint Louis: Gonsalves 8-140, Fukumoto 4-35, Billy Stutzmann 3-58, Wakinekona 2-32, Ahlo 1-19, Kamoe 1-16, Chris Cook 1-10, Kyle Souza 1-9, Tupua 1-7, Valente 1-7. Mililani: Culp 2-46, JR Rosai 2-23, Bilbol 1-19, Stevenson 1-(-1).