Bruce Cadirao made the interception of a lifetime, and the glory days of Waianae football may once again be upon the OIA.
After back-to-back scores cut a 16-point Waianae lead to three, the Saint Louis Crusaders seemed on the verge of taking their first lead of the game when Cadirao intercepted a Cameron Higgins pass with 4 minutes to go to help give the Seariders a stunning 30-20 upset of No. 2 Saint Louis in a nonconference game last night at Waianae.
Robert Stevens rushed for 91 of his 93 yards in the second half and quarterback Henry Keomalu added two touchdown runs as the Seariders were the more physical of the two teams.
"They were pumped up all week in practice," Waianae coach Daniel Matsumoto said.
Coming off a 28-0 shutout of McKinley last week, the Seariders looked in midseason form as the Crusaders struggled early and often in their first game of the season.
Quarterback Henry Keomalu put the Seariders on the board first, capping a 12-play, 47-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak to give the Seariders a 7-0 lead. Then, after a bad punt gave the Seariders good field position once again, Darius Fuller took a pitch right and cut back inside for a 10-yard touchdown run to increase the lead to 14-0.
While the Crusaders struggled to get anything going on offense, they turned to their special teams unit for a big play and Elliot Purcell Jr. delivered, returning a fumbled punt 37 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to seven.
After the Crusaders got the ball back with less than 2 minutes to go in the half, a bad snap out of the shotgun backed them deep into their own territory, and on fourth down from their own 5, Waianae's George Kauwalu blocked the punt out of the end zone to give the Seariders a 16-7 halftime advantage.
"George is pretty quick and athletic," Matsumoto said. "Our defense really played tough."
Robert Stevens added a 28-yard touchdown run as the Seariders took a 23-7 lead into the final quarter before the Crusaders finally found their flow on offense.
Higgins spotted Chase Alcott down the middle with a 31-yard touchdown pass 2 minutes into the final quarter. After a fumble gave the Crusaders the ball at their own 37-yard line, Higgins found Alcott again with a 29-yard pass that set up a 5-yard run by Higgins to cut the lead to three. The Crusaders forced a quick punt and again were poised for another score when Cadirao's interception helped clinch the victory.
"We knew Saint Louis can come back on you at any time," Matsumoto said. "That interception was huge."
The Crusaders had a chance to get the ball back one more time, but couldn't stop Stevens, who barreled over defenders for continuous first downs before Keomalu's 13-yard touchdown run on a quarterback sneak iced the game.
Aiea 21, Damien 19
Kali Kuia completed 25 passes for 260 yards as Na Alii edged the Monarchs.
Kealoha Pilares scored on a 4-yard run in the fourth quarter to bring Damien within two points but the Monarchs failed to score on the 2-point conversion. Pilares rushed for 273 yards for Damien in a losing effort.
Pac-Five 34, Pearl City 28
Daniel Ho-Ching caught 10 passes for 209 yards to help the Wolfpack defeat the Chargers.
Pearl City jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, capped off by a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown by Micah Abreu-Laybon. But the Wolfpack were able to get their offense moving with the tandem of quarterback Bryson Beirne and Ho-Ching. The two hooked up for three touchdowns, each 40 yards or more.