Friday, August 21, 1998

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
St. Louis slotback Gerald Welch breaks free on a 76-yard
pass reception in the Saints' win over Kansai last night.

St. Louis romps

The perennial power of Hawaii prep
football puts on a powerful performance
to open the preseason

By Pat Bigold


In a preseason game that was more of a clinic than a contest, 12-time defending Oahu Prep Bowl champion St. Louis predictably overwhelmed Kansai University Daiichi High School, 46-0, before a surprising turnout of 3,428 at Aloha Stadium.

It was St. Louis' preseason opener and the only game the team will play in Hawaii before the start of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu season.

On Sept. 5, the Crusaders will fly to Nevada to play Green Valley High.

St. Louis is ranked No. 24 in the USA Today Super 25.

The question last night was how much resistance the Japanese prep players could put up against a Crusaders team vastly superior in size, numbers and football heritage.

The answer was: not much.

The Kansai roster had 39 players, 35 of whom were under 200 pounds.

The St. Louis roster had 95, with 49 under 200.

Kansai did have some promising individual talent, like running back Daiki Kosho, wide receiver Ryousuke Fujii and quarterback Kouji Maruyama, who turned in some big offensive plays. But their performances were always nullified by the play of St. Louis' swarming defense.

St. Louis head coach Cal Lee refused to be interviewed after the game but Kansai head coach Masatoshi Isowa said he was impressed with the Crusaders' run defense.

"That is one reason for us to be defeated," said Isowa through an interpreter.

Kansai made its deepest impact of the game in its opening series, running the ball in 12 plays to the Crusaders' 7.

But St. Louis burst Kansai's ballon right there as Enoch McKeague stepped in front of Ryousuke Fujii for the interception as quarterback Kouji Maruyama threw for the end zone.

St. Louis then took eight plays to get on the board with an 8-yard Timothy Chang-to-Anthony Arceneaux pass.

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
St. Louis quarterback Timothy Chang fires a pass
in last night's preseason game against Kansai
at Aloha Stadium.

On the next Kansai series, with 1:13 left in the first-quarter, McKeague ran 29 yards to the end zone with his second interception of the night.

When Kansai got the ball back on its own 29, 6-foot-2, 235-pound all-state linebacker Joe Siofele sacked Maruyama twice for minus-23 yards.

On St. Louis' next series, Damien Cole ran 38 yards for the game's third touchdown with 10:23 left in the half.

The most stunning nonscoring St. Louis play of the first half was all-state slotback Gerald Welch's 76-yard pass play from Chang. It brought Welch to within six yards of the end zone.

Chang tossed to him for the touchdown that made it 27-0.

Welch opened the second half with a 62-yard return to the Kansai 29, but St. Louis couldn't score.

St. Louis resumed its scoring with 4:51 left in the third quarter as Daniel Inferrera caught a 20-yard pass from Kelika Higa to make it 33-0.

St. Louis flexed its running game with Pesefea Fiaseu rambling 51 yards to score with 2:23 left in the third quarter to make it 39-0. Mark Lau kicked his fourth extra point.

The Crusaders finished the scoring with Ian Gonzales running 4 yards to score and Christopher Koyama coming in to kick.

Today's games

Campbell vs. Damien, 5:30 p.m., Kamehameha vs. Farrington, 8 p.m., Aloha Stadium.

Morse (Calif.) at Kahuku, Aiea at Mililani, Kalaheo at Kailua, Kaimuki at Roosevelt, Konawaena vs. Kalani at Kaiser, Waimea at Leilehua, Moanalua at Pearl City, Nanakuli at Waipahu, Pac-Five at Waianae, 7:30 p.m.

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