Iolani's Kai Iwasaki handed off to Michael Hirokawa last night against Saint Louis.

Iolani upsets Saint Louis

Coming off a lopsided loss to Kamehameha, the Iolani Raiders made no assumptions about the showdown with No. 2-ranked Saint Louis.

The Raiders just never stopped believing as they upset Saint Louis 36-31 last night at Aloha Stadium.

Iolani improved to 3-1 in league play (6-1 overall) and stayed in the hunt for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title. The Raiders, ranked ninth in the Star-Bulletin Top 10, are eligible to win the league title, though they are classified as a Division II team.

Saint Louis suffered its first league loss after three wins (5-2 overall). The vaunted Crusader defense had to deal with an Iolani no-huddle attack that never ended.

"That was a big factor. The whole defense was tired," Saint Louis lineman Tyson Alualu said. "We've just gotta work harder at practice."

Kiran Kepo'o completed 21 of 34 attempts for 266 yards and a touchdown. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound junior did not throw an interception as the Raiders took a 14-point lead in the second half and held on.

Saint Louis cut the margin to 36-29 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Kevin Sullivan with 9:08 left, but fumbles derailed the Crusaders' last two possessions.

Michael Hirokawa killed the final seconds of play by running 33 yards back for a safety. The play began with 13 seconds on the clock and Iolani facing fourth-and-1. However, when Hirokawa ran back and crossed the goal line, an official inadvertently blew his whistle.

Officials ruled that the down be replayed without putting 13 seconds back on the clock. With no time left, Hirokawa repeated the play and took the safety.

It was a bizarre finish to one of the strangest games of the season. Saint Louis hung tough despite losing starting quarterback Stanley Nihipali to a right shoulder injury late in the first half.

Just two weeks ago, Iolani coach Wendell Look said his team was interested in more than a D-II title in the ILH. Kepo'o believes this win is proof positive.

"I think we have a good team with good chemistry. This team has a lot of heart," said Kepo'o, noting his running back, Hirokawa. The 5-8, 160-pound junior slashed his way for 93 yards on 24 carries before taking negative yardage for the safety on the game's final play.

Sullivan, a bruising 180-pound running back, rushed for 196 yards on 19 attempts. The Crusaders, relying on their ground game after Nihipali's injury, amassed 310 rushing yards on 39 carries. Saint Louis finished with 533 total yards in the loss.

Iolani finished with 357 total yards and no turnovers. Saint Louis had five giveaways.

Nihipali was 8-for-16 for 187 yards before his injury.



E-mail to Sports Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com