Crusaders cruise


POSTED: Friday, October 31, 2008

Saint Louis quarterback Jeremy Higgins ended No. 6 Kamehameha's playoff hopes with a career evening, throwing for 484 yards and six touchdowns in a 55-28 victory over the Warriors last night at Aloha Stadium.

The second-ranked Crusaders control their own destiny in the race for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I title. All that's left between Saint Louis (9-1, 6-1) and the league's only berth in the state tournament is a showdown in 12 days against No. 1 Punahou.

“;We control our own destiny, which is what we want,”; Higgins said. “;We just caught (Kamehameha) off-guard tonight.”;

The Crusaders showed the form that earned them the Star-Bulletin's No. 1 ranking for a good portion of the season. Saint Louis racked up 592 yards of total offense. Higgins finished 29-for-43 and added a 19-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to put the final touches on a dominating win.

“;I just want to see my team get better every week,”; Saint Louis coach John Hao said. “;Even if you're the best team in the nation, there's always room for improvement.”;

The offensive numbers in this game were mind-boggling. Billy Ray Stutzmann was one of three Crusaders with at least 100 receiving yards, hauling in 10 passes for 135 yards. Trevor Mau got his 154 yards on five catches and Jordan Fukumoto chipped in with five catches of his own for 106 yards.

Kamehameha's offense wasn't shabby either, racking up 430 total yards. Quarterback Edward Kamano Jr. finished 26-for-45 for 296 yards and three touchdowns and Maika Mataele had nine grabs for 152 yards and two scores.

Even more surprising: The game looked like it was going to be a defensive battle. Both teams went three and out on their opening drives and combined for minus-2 yards after the first 13 plays.

But from then on, it turned into an offensive shootout, as Higgins began the fireworks with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Mau for the early lead.

“;We just had to get one big play to get going,”; Higgins said.

Kamehameha answered with a 53-yard completion from Kamano to Mataele on its next drive. But three plays later, the turning point of the half came as Kamano was picked off in the end zone by Michael Martin.

Martin and the receiver bumped into each other on the play—two flags were thrown, but they were eventually picked up.

Higgins then hit Stutzmann on the first play after the pick for a 58-yard touchdown and the rout was on. By the end of the half, Higgins had hooked up with Mau for a second score and Michael Tuiloma on a 6-yard touchdown. He was 15-for-20 for 294 yards at halftime.

Kamano gave the Warriors some hope just before halftime, hooking up with Pii Minns on a 9-yard score to cap a 71-yard drive to go into the break down 28-7.

Higgins continued to have the answer, closing the door on the Warriors by leading the Crusaders on an 11-play, 66-yard drive to open the second half. He finished the drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Fukumoto to make it 35-7 and Kamehameha never got closer than 20.

At Aloha Stadium

Saint Louis (9-1, 6-1)1414131455
Kamehameha (7-4, 4-3)0714728

StL—Trevor Mau 80 pass from Jeremy Higgins (Warren Spencer kick)
StL—Billy Ray Stutzmann 58 pass from Higgins (Spencer kick)
StL—Mau 18 pass from Higgins (Spencer kick)
StL—Michael Tuiloma 6 pass from Higgins (Spencer kick)
Kam—Pii Minns 9 pass from Edmund Kamano Jr. (Kevin Doo kick)
StL—Jordan Fukumoto 17 pass from Higgins (Spencer kick)
Kam—Ryan Ho fumble recovery in end zone (Doo kick)
StL—Fukumoto 50 pass from Higgins (kick blocked)
Kam—Maika Mataele 6 pass from Kamano Jr. (Doo kick)
StL—Austin Wakinekona 2 run (Nick Botelho kick)
StL—Higgins 19 run (Botelho kick)
Kam—Mataele 15 pass from Kamano Jr. (Doo kick)

  RUSHINGSaint Louis: Wakinekona 15-84, Higgins 2-16, Marcus Mariota 2-5, Emmett McShane 1-3, Stutzmann 1-0. Kamehameha: Ho 12-56, Kamano Jr. 10-41, Mataele 1-6, Alika Bell 1-(-6).

PASSINGSaint Louis: Higgins 29-43-0-484. Kamehameha: Kamano Jr. 26-45-1-296, Michael Kukahiwa 1-1-0-37.

RECEIVINGSaint Louis: Stutzmann 10-135, Mau 5-154, Fukumoto 5-106, Micah McClinton 4-25, Evan Fujihara 1-28, Wakinekona 1-19, Tuiloma 1-6, Kyle Souza 1-6, Layson Aliviado 1-5. Kamehameha: Mataele 9-152, Pono Haitsuka 6-47, Minns 5-37, Ho 4-67, Wave Ryder 1-14, Liko Oliveira 1-9, Rylee Urasaki 1-7.