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Kamehameha defense stingy as ever vs. Saints


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Kamehameha's 15-6 win over Saint Louis on Saturday underlined what fans and foes have witnessed since the start of the prep football season: The Warriors have played some of the best defense in the state.

The Warriors limited Saint Louis' prolific offense to 189 total yards, including minus-3 yards rushing, and forced six turnovers.

“;We know who we are and we will try our best to stay with that,”; coach David Stant said.

The Warriors, at 3-1 (6-1 overall), are a step closer to an Interscholastic League of Honolulu football title, which they last won in 2004. The recipe this fall, as it was in '04, remains basic: swarming defense and a bullish ground attack.

Kamehameha's offense, with a variety of sets within its pistol formation, was proficient at testing Saint Louis' secondary. Quarterback T.C. Campbell continues to evolve. Despite a torrent of rain that got heavier through the night, Campbell completed four of his first five attempts, and at one point in the first half, completed five passes in a row. Of his 22 attempts in the game, eight were to Charley Bollig, who finished with five receptions for 65 yards. Two went for first downs against a Saints defense that eventually wore down.

Special teams was a boost — punter Brandon Marfil averaged 42.7 yards per punt and none of his punts were returned. His last punt, a 55-yarder with 2 minutes, 57 seconds to play, pinned Saint Louis at its 16-yard line.

Defensively, though, the numbers are undeniable. Walter Santiago had two interceptions, and Chaz Bajet and Micah Choy had one each as the Warriors forced Saint Louis into a season-high in turnovers.

Landon Aano had two of his team's four sacks of Saint Louis quarterback Jeremy Higgins, who dominated Kamehameha last year. Higgins amassed 814 yards and 10 touchdowns in two games then. This time, he was 16-for-31 for 192 yards with one touchdown and four picks.

Warriors linebacker Kawika Stant turned a Higgins fumble, caused by Aano, into a 35-yard touchdown return. They had the play diagrammed as Saint Louis lined up with running back Vonn Feao.

“;We kind of knew,”; Aano said. “;Feao was on that side.”;

That gave the Warriors a 12-6 lead.

“;After Kawika's touchdown, the playcalling did turn conservative, but that's how you win games,”; Coach Stant said.

Kamehameha's pistol formation, using triple receivers and bunch formations in the first half, turned into a hammer in the second half. Using unbalanced line and double-tight-end sets, the Warriors pounded away. The double-tight set was especially efficient: Kamehameha used it almost exclusively in the final 10 minutes, running nine plays for 29 yards and a pair of key first downs.

Kamehameha's edge in time of possession during the second half: 14:12 to Saint Louis' 9:48.