No. 2 Saint Louis holds off No. 3 Punahou in bounce-back win


Fri, Oct 8, 2021 @ Aloha Stadium [ 7:30 pm ]

Final 1 2 3 4 T
PUN(1-4-0) 7 7 0 721
STL(5-3-0) 7 13 7 027

A.J. Bianco threw two touchdown passes and ran in two other scores to lead No. 2 Saint Louis to a 27-21 win over No. 3 Punahou in the nightcap of an Interscholastic League of Honolulu football doubleheader at Aloha Stadium Friday night. 

The Crusaders (2-2 overall, 2-1 league) got back in the win column two weeks after their 36-game win streak against in-state opponents came to an end with a 23-21 loss to Kamehameha. 

Bianco factored into all four Saint Louis touchdowns Friday. He found Chyler DeSilva for an 8-yard TD pass with 8:13 left in the second quarter, which gave his team its first lead. Bianco's 36-yard scoring strike to Alex Lemau broke a 14-all tie with 3:03 until halftime. 

The senior quarterback threw for 337 yards on 30-of-42 passing, but was intercepted twice. He completed passes to seven different receivers; slotback Trech Kekahuna led the Saint Louis receiving corps with game-highs of 11 catches for 89 yards. 

Bianco also found the end zone on a 1-yard run late in the first quarter, as well as on an 8-yard keeper that gave the Crusaders their largest lead at 27-14 at the 7:59 mark of the third quarter. 

Saint Louis posted 434 yards of total offense, while Punahou was held to 257 total yards. 

The Buffanblu drew first blood on John-Keane Sagapolutele's 12-yard touchdown pass to Iosepa Lyman to cap their opening drive of the night. 

Punahou put together a 12-play, 81-yard drive that culminated with Ean Kamau-Waikiki's 1-yard TD run and tied the score at 14 with 4:38 left in the second quarter. 

Noah Macapulay's 3-yard TD pass from Ty McCutcheon pulled the Buffanblu within a score with 3:21 left to play. They got the ball back with 1:46 remaining, but McCutcheon was picked off by Saint Louis linebacker Iona Purcell two plays into the drive and the Crusaders were able to run out the clock. 

Saint Louis led at halftime, 21-14. 

Sagapolutele finished 12-of-26 passing for 140 yards with one interception, while McCutcheon completed 6 of 13 pass attempts for 64 yards with one pick. 

The Buffanblu were 2 of 10 on third downs, while the Crusaders were 4 of 13. 

Kamuela Smith and William Straton each recorded an interception for the Punahou defense. 

It was the third consecutive loss for the Buffanblu (1-3), who will be the third seed in the ILH's second round (single elimination tournament). They have dropped both meetings against the Crusaders this season; Saint Louis came away with a 31-23 win at Punahou's Alexander Field on Sept. 18. 

Saint Louis can clinch the top seed with a win over top-ranked Kamehameha on Friday. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for approximately 8 p.m. at Aloha Stadium. 

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