Hawaiian Electric Game of the Week
Saint Louis shakes slow start to rout Kapolei


Thu, Aug 15, 2019 @ Kapolei [ 7:30 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
STL (12-1-0) 14 20 0 034
KAP (4-6-0) 0 0 0 66
Noa Bailey 134 yd
Jayden de Laura 276 yd 2 TD
Mason Gomez 14 yd 1 TD
Kainalu Tumpap 35 yd 2 TD

KAPOLEI — After a little bit of a shaky start, Saint Louis showed why it is the state's top team.

Jayden de Laura threw for 276 yards on 12-of-13 passing and totaled three touchdowns — all in one half of play — to lead the top-ranked Crusaders to a 34-6 win over No. 7 Kapolei in an Open Division football game at the Alvin Nagasako Athletic Complex Thursday night.

Saint Louis (1-0) posted a 20-point second quarter en route to a 34-0 halftime lead for their 27th consecutive victory dating back to October of 2017.

The Hurricanes (2-1) dropped their first game of the season after back-to-back road wins to open the year.

The Crusaders lost a fumble on their very first play from scrimmage Thursday and started off their second series with back-to-back sacks. Five plays after the second sack, however, de Laura hit Matthew Sykes for a 20-yard touchdown pass to ignite the onslaught.

"I think it's nerves and everything," Saint Louis coach Cal Lee said of the inauspicious start. "I mean, it's the first game and everybody's a little excited, but you gotta get that rust and those cobwebs off you and get back to playing the game. This is our first game, so you're going to make mistakes — that's basically normal — but hopefully you can get it going for the next game."

A key play on the scoring drive was de Laura's 28-yard completion over the middle to Sykes to move the chains on a third-and-17.

On Saint Louis' next possession, de Laura had an apparent 6-yard TD pass to Koali Nishigaya called back due to a holding penalty. However, the pair hooked up for an 18-yard pitch-and-catch on the very next play to set-up de Laura's 4-yard keeper around left end to make it a two-score lead late in the first quarter.

"I just read the d-end on that one and he pinched down so I pulled it and I had the open field," de Laura said. "I just had to make one guy miss."

After a Kapolei punt, Saint Louis marched down the field in just four plays. De Laura fumbled a handoff on first down, but recovered the loose ball for a two-yard loss. He then fired back-to-back 28-yard completions over the middle to Nishigaya and Trech Kekahuna to set-up first-and-goal. Kainalu Tumpap ran behind the left side of the massive offensive line for a 9-yard touchdown one play later.

The Hurricanes turned it over on downs on their ensuing possession to give the Crusaders the ball at their own 34-yard line. De Laura threw a short pass out to the right flat for Roman Wilson, who turned it into a 51-yard gain. Two plays later, Tumpap scored on a 1-yard run and Ray Seabury tacked on the extra point to make it a 27-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Kapolei turned it over on downs at their own 29-yard line and de Laura made them pay. He sat untouched in the pocket on the very next play before firing a dart to a wide-open Makena Ramos-Kamaka, who went untouched on the 29-yard TD pass.

"We actually ran that play a drive before that and he was wide open but I didn't hit him, so that play, we ran the same thing coming in and I knew I had to just buy some time and wait for that to develop," de Laura said.

Lason Napuunoa's PAT made the score 34-0 with 4:08 left in the first half.

De Laura completed his first five pass attempts before just missing Isaac Silva on a pass over the middle. He went on to complete his final seven passes before giving way to backup Connor Apo for the final Saint Louis possession of the first half.

"From what I saw, for the first game of the season, I thought it was decent," Lee said of de Laura's performance. "I'm sure he's not satisfied with what he did, but hey, that's why we got more games to play."

The Crusaders used three quarterbacks and passed for 349 of their 379 yards of total offense. Connor Apo (12) finished 6-of-7 passing for 48 yards while third-stringer AJ Bianco was 2 for 5 for 25 yards. Spencer Honda | SL    Purchase image

De Laura, a second-year starter, is working behind an offensive line that saw three starters from a year ago graduate, including All-Hawaii first team selections Ben Scott and Arasi Mose.

"I think we settled down on offense and we just got comfortable with each other and it was our first game, coming out I think we just had to get the jitters out," de Laura said.

The Crusaders used three quarterbacks and passed for 349 of their 379 yards of total offense. Apo finished 6-of-7 passing for 48 yards, while third-stringer AJ Bianco was 2 for 5 for 25 yards.

Kapolei got its lone score on a 1-yard TD run by Mason Gomez about midway through the fourth quarter.

The Hurricanes finished with 158 yards through the air — 134 of them from starting quarterback Noa Bailey, who completed just 12 of his 31 pass attempts — but allowed seven sacks by Saint Louis and was held to minus-three rush yards.

Kapolei wide receiver De'zhaun Stribling, who entered the game with 23 receptions for 268 yards and four TDs in his first two games this season, was held without a catch.

Lee said negating Stribling's big-play ability was a point of emphasis for his defense.

"It was, because he's a real good player, so I think our guys did a pretty job on him," Lee said.

Saint Louis finished with 19 first downs, with all but five of them coming before halftime. It was 5 of 10 on third-down conversions, but was hampered by 13 penalties — including nine personal fouls — which cost them 144 yards.

The Hurricanes picked up eight of their 17 total first downs via penalties against the Crusaders. They were just 1 of 14 on third downs and 1 of 5 on fourth downs and committed six penalties for 59 yards.

"The defense did an amazing job, they got us back the ball," de Laura said. "They did their job. I'm happy."

Kapolei linebacker Jaco Saole-Sue stood out defensively with three sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the loss.

Saint Louis held off Kapolei by a score of 30-22 in their previous meeting on Sept. 21, 2018.

Saint Louis will make a return trip to the leeward coast next week, when it visits No. 4 Campbell Friday night.

Kapolei will host its second straight Interscholastic League of Honolulu foe, when it takes on No. 3 Punahou next Saturday.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].




WatchList 2020-21: Mich's list

SL staffer Michael Lasquero highlights a few players from a number of different sports to watch for next...

WatchList 2020-21: D1 Boys Basketball

Check out SL reporter Brandon Ching's list of boys basketball players in Division I to watch for the...

WatchList 2020-21: Football

SL reporter Kalani Takase touches upon a few players to keep an eye on during the 2020 football season.

Tihada, Oglivie lead Hall of Honor 2020 class

The dozen student-athletes — six boys and six girls — hail from nine different schools and represent...

Through the lens: Brandon Ching

SL reporter Brandon Ching looks back at some of his favorite images shot in the 2019-2020 season.

KS-Maui, Roosevelt claim Spring Esports crowns

Warriors back up Fall season win with Spring title, while Rough Riders claim second crown in three seasons.