Strong start powers No. 1 Saint Louis


Fri, Aug 23, 2019 @ Campbell [ 7:30 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
CAMP (6-6-0) 0 14 0 1327
STL (12-1-0) 27 7 7 748
Jayden de Laura 267 yd 4 TD
Blaine Hipa 226 yd 4 TD

EWA BEACH — Like the rest of the state has been doing the past three years, the Campbell Sabers found themselves chasing after the top-ranked Saint Louis Crusaders Friday night.

Three-time defending Open Division state champion Saint Louis jumped out to a 27-0 lead after the first quarter and never looked back as it handled No. 4 Campbell in an interleague matchup on the Sabers' home field.

"It's really good when you can just some points up early and give some of the players some confidence in what they've been doing. It was nice to get up like that," said Saint Louis coach Cal Lee.

Senior quarterback Jayden de Laura threw for 267 yards and four first-half touchdowns to lead the Crusaders (2-0). He also scored on a 15-yard run in the third quarter for the only points of the period.

Saint Louis' hot start got going after the Sabers (1-2 overall, 1-1 OIA Open) turned it over on downs at their own 45-yard line. After a deep pass down the left sideline to Matthew Sykes fell incomplete, de Laura hit Isaac Silva for a 10-yard gain and Kainalu Tumpap had a 5-yard rush to take it to the Campbell 30. De Laura then went back to the same play to start the drive and found Sykes for a 30-yard score.

Campbell punted on its next drive which gave the ball to Saint Louis at its own 18-yard line. Eight plays later Koali Nishigaya got loose for a 20-yard TD reception from de Laura to put Saint Louis ahead, 13-0.

On the first play of the Sabers' possession, Saint Louis' Stanley McKenzie scooped up a fumble by Campbell QB Blaine Hipa and returned it to the Campbell 4-yard line to set up Tumpap's scoring run one play later. Lason Napuunoa tacked on the PAT to give Saint Louis a 20-0 lead with 3:49 left in the first quarter.

Kamoi Latu picked off Hipa on the very next play of the ensuing drive, which led to de Laura's 9-yard TD pass to Sykes to make it a 27-0 with 53 seconds left in the opening quarter.

"I think they was just anxious," Campbell coach Darren Johnson said about his team's slow start. "They were over doing things instead of just playing. We just got to tone them back a little and practice and get better as a football team."

The Sabers responded on their next possession and got on the scoreboard after Hipa connected with Titus Mokiao-Atimalala on a 9-yard pass.

Saint Louis answered after the Campbell score with de Laura's 24-yard TD pass to Nishigaya on a wheel route down the right sideline.

Nishigaya finished with eight receptions for 91 yards and two scores, Silva had seven grabs for 87 yards and Sykes had three catches for 45 yards and two TDs.

"It's a blessing to have a receiver that's 6-foot-4 like Matt with his speed, Roman (Wilson) with the speed, and Koali — one-on-one, I don't think there's anyone in the state that can guard that guy — and Silva, he's a great possession catcher guy and he makes plays after he catches it which was big for us," de Laura said of his receivers.

Campbell added another score before the end of the first half on Hipa's 15-yard pass to Zavier Ceruti. Hipa also completed the 2-point conversion pass to Chasen Torres to make it a 34-14 game at the break.

Hipa, who was picked off three times, added two TD passes to Mokaio-Atimalala in the fourth quarter to prevent the game from going into running clock. Third-string Saint Louis QB AJ Bianco added a 23-yard TD pass to Prince Solomon in the fourth quarter for the Crusaders' final points of the night.

The Crusaders take on Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) next Friday at Aloha Stadium while the Sabers will travel to Kahuku on Saturday.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].




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