Punahou rolls over Saint Louis


POSTED: Saturday, November 15, 2008

Three years without a title, at least in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, is practically a lifetime.





Saint Louis 28


For Punahou, being No. 1 in the Star-Bulletin Football Top 10 had little to do with a 41-28 win over Saint Louis last night. The Buffanblu captured their first ILH title since 2005 and earned the league's lone Division I state-tournament berth in front of around 9,000 fans.

“;That's a real long time in our league,”; coach Kale Ane said.

Cayman Shutter rebounded from a concussion suffered a week ago and threw for 302 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. His main target, Robby Toma, hauled in nine passes for 206 yards and three scores.

“;Our whole team has never beaten Saint Louis before,”; Toma said.

Shutter battled back from a shoulder injury early in the season, but the concussion against Kamehameha had the staff in doubt.

“;He was throwing real well at practice even though he was woozy. I'm proud of that guy,”; Toma said.

Shutter completed 22 of 32 attempts and showed the precision and finesse that made Punahou's offense a juggernaut in August.

“;There's nothing that was going to stop me from playing tonight. This is what you dream of,”; Shutter said.

Punahou finished 7-1 in league play (10-1 overall) and will have a first-round bye in the state tourney before playing the Farrington-Kealakehe winner.

Saint Louis finished 6-2 in the ILH (8-2 overall) and is done for the year despite a No. 2 ranking statewide.

“;They had a whole new defense. They had three on top (before), but they were in Cover 2 and dropped the middle linebacker. They played great,”; said receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann, who had six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Punahou made the most of Dalton Hilliard and Manti Te'o. Hilliard had seven catches for 56 yards, while Te'o finished with 74 rushing yards, two touchdowns and seven tackles.

“;I feel relieved. We were underdogs in this game,”;  Te‘o said, referring to Saint Louis' 40-19 win two months ago. “;Everyone was saying Saint Louis would repeat. The best part of sports is facing great odds. Saint Louis is a great team and well coached.”;

From the start, it seemed Punahou was the team that had a week's rest rather than Saint Louis. Toma hauled in a 79-yard bomb from Shutter on the first play from scrimmage to the Saint Louis 1-yard line. The Crusaders defense stiffened, but Shutter found Toma on an out pattern from 6 yards away on fourth down for a 7-0 Punahou lead with 9:10 left in the opening quarter.

After Saint Louis went three and out, Punahou marched 73 yards in just four plays. Out of the pistol formation, Te'o zipped through the heart of the Crusaders defense for a 47-yard touchdown jaunt—untouched—and the Buffanblu led 14-0 with 6:57 to go in the first.

Two fumbles by Punahou slowed momentum, and Saint Louis finally got on the scoreboard on its fifth possession. Jeremy Higgins completed five passes in a row, including a 19-yard screen to Micah McClinton, to bring the Crusaders within 14-7 with 4:39 remaining in the first half.

Punahou went from a double-tight-end set to an empty backfield on its ensuing series and rolled to paydirt in six plays. Shutter found Toma on a crossing route, and the senior slipped away for a 14-yard touchdown. Punahou led 21-7 with 2:15 left in the half.

Shutter had 209 yards on 15-for-21 passing before halftime. That included a string of nine consecutive completions.

Punahou outgained Saint Louis in total yardage 312 to 94 by halftime, and after a 44-yard interception return by Sean McFadden, it seemed the rout would be on. One play after the pick, Shutter hooked up with Kimo Makaula for a 15-yard touchdown pass on a streak route and Punahou had a 28-7 lead with 10:35 to go in the third.

Saint Louis settled down with a 12-play, 97-yard drive that took nearly 7 minutes. Austin Wakinekona's 12-yard run off right tackle brought the Crusaders within 28-14 with 3:36 left in the third.

The Buffanblu answered with another scoring drive. Te'o's 1-yard score on a toss sweep came moments after Makaula hauled in a fourth-down pass to the Saint Louis 2-yard line. Punahou led 35-14 with 11:16 remaining in the contest.

Higgins hit Trevor Mau for a 56-yard gain before finding Lucas Gonsalves on an 11-yard touchdown strike, and Saint Louis pulled within 35-21 with 5:32 left.

Punahou responded within moments on Shutter's 59-yard bomb to Toma for a 41-21 lead with 4:29 to go, but Saint Louis had a little resistance 2-minute, 85-yard drive. Stutzmann's 14-yard touchdown catch narrowed the gap to 41-28 with 2:48 remaining, but Toma recovered the onside kick and Punahou ran out the clock to end Saint Louis' two-year reign.

At Aloha Stadium

Saint Louis (8-2, 6-2)0771428
Punahou (10-1, 7-1)14771341

Pun—Robby Toma 6 pass from Cayman Shutter (Robert Izuta kick)
Pun—Manti Te'o 47 run (Izuta kick)
StL—Micah McClinton 19 pass from Jeremy Higgins (Warren Spencer kick)
Pun—Toma 14 pass from Shutter (Izuta kick)
Pun—Kimo Makaula 15 pass from Shutter (Izuta kick)
StL—Austin Wakinekona 12 run (Spencer kick)
Pun—Te'o 1 run (Izuta kick)
StL—Gonsalves 11 pass from Higgins (Spencer kick)
Pun—Toma 59 pass from Shutter (kick blocked)
StL—Stutzmann 14 pass from Higgins (Spencer kick)

  RUSHINGSaint Louis: Austin Wakinekona 8-45, Higgins 4-0, Vonn Feao 1-1. Punahou: Toma 2-75, Te'o 8-74, Dalton Hilliard 14-22, Shutter 6-(-5), Team 2-(-22).

PASSINGSaint Louis: Higgins 28-45-1-338. Punahou: Shutter 22-32-0-312.

RECEIVINGSaint Louis: Trevor Mau 7-127, Billy Ray Stutzmann 6-77, McClinton 6-62, Jordan Fukumoto 4-44, Lucas Gonsalves 3-28, Evan Fujihara 1-2, Wakinekona 1-(-2). Punahou: Toma 9-206, Hilliard 7-56, Kimo Makaula 5-44, Galen Arakawa 1-6.