HHSAA Football
Saint Louis cruises by Waianae, 42-7


   



Fri, Nov 11, 2016 @ Aloha Stadium [ 4:30 pm ]


Final 1 2 3 4 T
Waianae (9-5-0) 0 0 0 77
Saint Louis (10-1-0) 14 28 0 042
Tua Tagovailoa 162 yd 3 TD
Jaren Ulu 119 yd
Tua Tagovailoa 67 yd 1 TD
Rico Rosario 67 yd 1 TD
Ronson Young 53 yd 3 TD

Playing like a team starving for action, No. 2 Saint Louis ambushed No. 6 Waianae, 42-7, in a semifinal of the First Hawaiian Bank Open Division state football tournament at Aloha Stadium.

The Crusaders (9-1) will play top-ranked Kahuku for the inaugural Open title 7 p.m. next Saturday at the Stadium. It is a rematch of last year's Division I championship that was won by Kahuku.

Saint Louis was coming off a three-week break after beating Punahou Oct. 21 for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu crown. Meanwhile, Waianae had battled its way to the semifinals having played in five consecutive weeks.

"It was antsy," Saint Louis linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia said. "It was long. We worked hard everyday. Coaches made us run. Everyone was just tired (of waiting). Everyone just wanted to play the game."

Indeed.

The Crusaders wasted little time wreaking havoc on the Seariders in taking a 42-0 lead at the half and setting off the mercy-rule running clock to start the second half. Saint Louis had three interceptions against Waianae, including one returned 36 yards for a TD by Noa Purcell. Branin Moore and Isaiah Tufaga also had one each. Saint Louis also registered six sacks, two by Slade.

Waianae just could not stop the bleeding.

"We came out with our game plan and they matched our intensity," Waianae coach Walter Young said. "They were ready for what we had."

On top of that, the Seariders' DB Sam Freeney was ejected from the game for a helmet-contact infraction during a pass play. Young said he will watch video to see if an ejection was warranted. Otherwise, Freeney, a junior, would have to sit out the regular-season opener next season.

Offensively, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and slot Ronson Young collaborated on four of the Saints' six TDs in the first half alone. Tagovailoa completed 13 of 15 passes for 162 yards and three TDs, all to Young (5, 4 and 9 yards). Tagovailoa also sprung loose for an 80-yard TD run. It was Young who blocked the last defender in the final 15 yards of the play.

"To be honest, I like doing things for the team," Young said of throwing the block. "I like anything that helps the team win. Blocking's always been my thing. I made sure that I always could block so we could do what we do."

Ironically, Saint Louis turned over the ball first on its first series at the Waianae 35. But the Seariders were forced to punt from their 49. That was when the first domino fell. A low snap from center in punt formation netted a 15-yard loss to the Waianae 36. After an out-stretched diving catch by Chandler Washington-Villanueva for 31 yards, Tagovailoa hit Young on a 5-yard TD. Jacob Tobias' PAT put Saint Louis ahead, 7-0, with 8:06 in the first quarter.

A minute later, Purcell picked off Jorell Pontes-Borje and returned the ball 36 yards for a TD to make it 14-0.

Meanwhile, Waianae lost the ball on downs at Saint Louis' 22 after one of Slade's sacks on its next series and punted on the following series.

Saint Louis then drove 60 yards on six plays – including 5-of-5 passing for 56 yards by Tagovailoa – the last being a 4-yard TD pass to Young to make it 21-0 with 10:09 in the second quarter.

Waianae punted yet again, this time getting a touchback. But Tagovailoa dropped back to pass, but found a gash in the middle and took off for his 80-yard TD jaunt to open Saint Louis' lead to 28-0 with 6:35 in the half.

After another punt by Waianae, Saint Louis took over at midfield and needed just five plays with RB Dylan-James Silva plowing in from the 3 and it was 35-0 with 2:20 left in the second quarter.

Moore then had a 33-yard interception return for a TD nullified by two penalties that came after the turnover. Saint Louis capped the half with Young's 9-yard TD from Tagovailoa with 24 seconds left in the half to give Saint Louis a 42-0 lead.

Saint Louis pulled its starters for the second half. Chevan Cordeiro, Maika Bonner and Chandan Suppal also saw action at QB for Saint Louis.

Waianae avoided the shutout with a 15-play, 86-yard drive that ended on a Rico Rosario 1-yard TD run.

Although the Crusaders want to atone for last year's title loss to Kahuku, they weren't looking ahead.

"We never look past a team," Young said. "Punahou losing last week to Kapolei opened our younger guys' eyes; you can't take anyone lightly. You reap what you sow. What you put in is what you get out. We just made sure the boys knew to work hard."



Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].




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