St. Louis runnig back Justin Cabansag was tackled in the first quarter by Punahou's Brent DiMeo.

St. Louis wins
Tengan’s ILH debut

Malupo rumbles for 160 yards
Prep Team Standings

By Jason Kaneshiro

Finally, the "D" word can be spoken freely around the St. Louis campus.

After dispatching Punahou 49-0 in its Interscholastic League of Honolulu opener last night at Aloha Stadium, the St. Louis football can devote its attention to facing De La Salle, the nation's top ranked team, on Sept. 21 in the HHSAA Football Classic.

"Now we don't have to worry about anything else, we can concentrate on De La Salle," St. Louis coach Delbert Tengan said. "It's going to be a huge, tremendous task ahead of us and we're just going to work our tails off for two weeks."

Coming into the season, Tengan expressed concern over his team looking past Punahou to the long-awaited showdown with De La Salle. But the Crusaders allayed those fears with a dominant performance in Tengan's first ILH game as the team's head coach.

After struggling with fumbles in the opening period, St. Louis running backs B.J. Batts and Justin Cabansag combined to rush for 208 yards and three touchdowns to power the Crusader offense. Senior quarterback Bobby George completed 9 of 15 passes for 189 yards and a score in less than three quarters of action.

"Once we started holding on to the ball our running game was pretty good," Tengan said. "We were off for two weeks so we were really rusty and our timing was off and we put it on the ground too much in the first quarter.

"But we were resilient and we came back and our offense is always explosive. We just need to execute and hold on to the ball."

The Crusader defense contributed to the scoring binge with two touchdowns, the first on an interception return and the second on a fumble recovery in the end zone.

Linebacker Tualau Fale led St. Louis defensively with 12 tackles, two for losses.

Punahou struggled to execute its new West-Coast offense against the aggressive St. Louis defense. The Buffanblu moved the ball effectively at times, but couldn't sustain their drives.

"We had spurts when we moved the ball, it's just hard to be consistent against a defense like that," Punahou coach Kale Ane said. "They played well and reacted quickly. It was tough.

"We have a chance to play them again and hopefully we'll do a better job the second time."

Punahou quarterback Drew Monahan completed 11 of 24 passes for 129 yards and was intercepted once.

St. Louis got off to a shaky start as the Crusader running backs fumbled three times in the first quarter with Punahou recovering two.

While the Buffanblu weren't able to capitalize on their takeways, St. Louis took advantage of a Punahou fumble late in the period to get on the scoreboard.

After Pono Vierra recovered a fumble, the Crusaders marched 49 yards in 6 plays with Justin Cabansag scoring on a 4-yard run at the 10:38 mark of the second quarter.

St. Louis got another break on its next possession when George hit Jon Amano for a 21-yard gain down the right side. Amano fumbled at the Punahou 4 and Shane Butcher jumped on the ball in the end zone for a Crusader touchdown.

St. Louis struck again with 1:25 left in the half when Batts bulled through several Punahou defenders to score on a 19-yard run. It took the Crusaders just 16 seconds to score again as Pase Fiaseu picked off a Kevin Cronin pass and raced 48 yards for a touchdown, giving St. Louis a 28-0 halftime lead.

The entire second half was played with a running clock due to the ILH's mercy rule.

"We definitely needed a game like this," Tengan said. "Punahou is a formidable opponent ... we just caught them on a pretty good night."

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