Baldwin quarterback Roy Antolin coughed up the ball last night in a loss to Saint Louis at Aloha Stadium.

Saint Louis blows
out Baldwin

The Crusaders look to defend
their state title Friday against
familiar foe Kahuku

Saint Louis guaranteed a matchup of the state's winningest football programs by rolling over Baldwin 48-6 last night in front of 6,882 at Aloha Stadium.

The visiting Bears (10-2) kept it close through much of the first half, but the defending state champion Crusaders (9-1) pulled away for a 22-6 lead at the break. They move on to play Kahuku in the First Hawaiian Bank Division I state football championship game on Friday.

"It feels great to be one of the two teams left standing in Division I," Saint Louis coach Darnell Arceneaux said. "We're one big family out here, no individuals on this team. We're going back to the state finals and our goal is to not just get there, but to win it."

Saint Louis is aiming for its 16th state or Prep Bowl title since 1986 and 17th since 1983. The Crusaders are 16-5 in their 21 finals appearances since 1973.

Their opponent is nothing new. The Red Raiders, who beat Farrington 35-7 in the early semifinal last night, have faced Saint Louis in eight previous title games. The Crusaders lead that series 6-2, but Kahuku won the last two meetings in 2000 and '01.

Defense was the name of Saint Louis' game last night. After a 55-yard touchdown pass from Kealii Perbera to 6-foot-5 Desmond Hanohano gave them a 7-0 lead, the Crusaders' offense was spotty during the first 24 minutes.

"We fought to the very end," said Saint Louis linebacker Dylan Moss, who was one of five players with four tackles. "This is a great opportunity for us next week. We'll go to practice, watch some film. We'll be all right."

The Bears cut the early deficit to 7-6. Cody Nakamura sped home from 23 yards out after catching a screen pass from Roy Antolin and bouncing to the outside on a heavy hit by Moss.

A hungry Baldwin defense held the Crusaders to C.J. Santiago's 29-yard field goal on two consecutive long drives. A goal-line stand -- with clutch tackles by Kaluku Maiava and Reid Kaya -- kept the Bears within striking distance at 10-6.

"I'm very proud of the team," Baldwin coach Chad Kauha'aha'a said. "The kids played their hearts out in the first half, and by the second half they were drained. We got introduced to ILH football."

But poor field position haunted Baldwin, and Saint Louis drove 36 yards to make it 16-6 on B.J. Batts' 11-yard TD run around left end with 4:49 to go in the half. Batts caught a block from Hanohano at the goal line and went in untouched.

On the Bears' next possession, Jared Silva's crunching blow forced a fumble and teammate Tavita Thompson recovered and returned the ball 20 yards to set up the Crusaders at the Baldwin 10. But once again, Saint Louis stalled and Cory Nakamoto blocked Santiago's 21-yard field-goal attempt.

A controversy brewed when the officials called for a replay of the down due to an inadvertent whistle. Kauha'aha'a stewed on the sideline, but he was a bit happier when Saint Louis faked it and Matthew Auau stormed in to tackle Shaun Kauleinamoku for an 11-yard loss.

"We still kept coming even though some of the calls didn't go the way we thought they should have," Kauha'aha'a said. "They dig deep. That's just how our kids are. But Saint Louis is the real deal."

The Crusaders owned the second half and scored 26 unanswered points. Perbera and Gentry hooked up for a 17-yard TD pass and Batts scored twice -- on a 92-yard kickoff return and a 1-yard run. Dayne Nohara also picked off a pass and returned it 58 yards for a TD.

"We've got to practice hard and play physically to play against Kahuku," said Batts, who rushed for 92 yards to go along with his three TDs. "We think we can take 'em."

Baldwin (10-2) 6 0 0 0 -- 6
Saint Louis (9-1) 10 12 19 7 -- 48

StL--Desmond Hanohano 55 pass from Kealii Perbera (Charles Santiago kick)
Bald--Cody Nakamura 23 pass from Roy Antolin (J.J. Eno kick)
StL--Santiago 29 FG
StL--B.J. Batts 11 run (kick blocked)
StL--Johnny Gentry 2 pass from Perbera (kick blocked)
StL--Batts 92 kickoff return (kick failed)
StL--Gentry 17 pass from Perbera (Santiago kick)
StL--Batts 1 run (kick failed)
StL--Dayne Nohara 58 interception return (Santiago kick)
Rushing -- Baldwin: Weylin Costa 18-68, Antolin 5-54, Eno 1-6, Shima 2-(minus-6). Saint Louis: Batts 16-92, Shaun Kauleinamoku 5-16, Stanley Nihipali 1-9, Wyatt Williams 2-9, Kevin Sullivan 1-5, Cody Wells 1-5, Perbera 1-2, Lechman Fiaseu -(minus-2)
Passing -- Baldwin: Antolin 10-29-4-140. Saint Louis:Perbera 17-27-0-290, Nihipali 0-1-0-0.
Receiving -- Baldwin: Eno 4-43, Cody Nakamura 3-43, Shima 2-47, Kahai Sevilla 1-7. Saint Louis: Kauleinamoku 8-73, Hanohano 3-107, Gentry 3-43, Nicholas Inferrera 1-42, Batts 1-13, Maka'ala Kuewa 1-12.


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