Posted: October 13, 2012 - 12:04am
No. 7 Kamehameha takes down No. 5 Saint Louis, 43-19
HALAWA - Blayze Liilii refuses to live in the past.
The Kamehameha senior defensive back was on the receiving end of two of Saint Louis' five turnovers as the Warriors avenged a loss to the Crusaders just two weeks ago with a 43-19 win Friday night.
A crowd of about 4,500 at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium saw the Warriors improve to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu to keep their Division I title hopes alive. The Crusaders, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped, fell to 6-3 and 4-2. Punahou (6-1, 5-0), which was idle this week, is in first place with two weeks remaining, but both Saint Louis and Kamehameha still have an outside shot at the ILH crown.
The Buffanblu can win the ILH and earn the league's lone state tournament berth with a win in either of its final two games. Punahou plays Saint Louis Friday and ends the regular season with Kamehameha the following week. The only hope for the Warriors and Crusaders is for the Buffanblu to lose both games, which would force a three-way tie with all teams having a 5-2 record. There would then be a two-game playoff, with one team drawing a bye in the first round.
Against Saint Louis Friday night, Kamehameha, ranked seventh in this week's ScoringLive/OC16 Power Rankings, jumped out to a 16-0 first-quarter lead and held a 26-19 edge at halftime.The Warriors scored the game's final 17 points as their defense held the fifth-ranked Crusaders scoreless in the second half.
"Knowing that we still have a chance of getting into states feels good," said Liilii, who recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass.
Saint Louis beat Kamehameha, 34-23, back on Sept. 28 the first time the teams met.
"We just flushed that down," Liilii said of the earlier loss to the Crusaders. "I think we just played with more confidence this time. We clicked more as a team and we trusted everybody to do their job."
Kamehameha coach David Stant said his staff made numerous defensive adjustments since the first meeting and his players bought in.
"I think our defensive coaches did a great job on making adjustments from two weeks ago on some of our coverages, some of our alignments with our defensive players and we put them in the right spots to make plays and that's what we didn't do two weeks ago," Stant said. "We actually put them sometimes in bad spots, where we're asking them to do too much and the margin of error was too small. Whereas tonight the margin of error was a lot bigger so they could play faster and play with more confidence."
The Warriors struck early and often. Dylan Kane returned the opening kickoff 95 yards down the left sideline to give his team an early 7-0 lead just 13 seconds into the game.
Saint Louis fumbled just two plays into its first drive and five plays later, Kamehameha cashed in with a 3-yard touchdown run by Sala Wily. The extra point, however, was blocked to make the score 13-0.
Midway through the first quarter, TJ Fitzsimmons nailed a 27-yard field goal - his first of three successful kicks - to extends the Warriors' lead to 16-0. The field goal was set-up by another lost Saint Louis fumble.
In all, Kamehameha scored 26 points off of five Saint Louis turnovers.
"That says it all," Saint Louis coach Matt Wright said of the three lost fumbles and two interceptions thrown. "We killed ourselves. It seemed like every obstacle that could have arose came up and in the end, we just weren't able to get the points when the points were there."
Kamehameha took a 23-6 lead following a 14-yard touchdown pass from Makoa Camanse-Stevens to Kaulana Werner two plays into the second quarter and Fitzsimmons tacked on a 36-yard field goal a little later to make it 26-6.
However, the Crusaders answered with two touchdowns in the final 56 seconds of the first half. Kawai Mook-Garcia found Jeremy Tabuyo for a 12-yard scoring strike and after a Kamehameha interception, he connnected with Devon Stubblefield for a 53-yard touchdown two plays later. The PAT was no good and the Warriors led, 26-19, at the intermission.
In the Sept. 28 Saint Louis' win, a similar scene played out when Mook-Garcia hit Tabuyo for a 25-yard touchdown just before halftime.
Liilii said he forced himself to get over it quickly during halftime.
"What happened in the first game, what happened in the first half, we just flushed it and we came back harder after halftime," he said.
The Warriors held Mook-Garcia, who was 7-of-11 passing for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, to just 9 of 24 for 127 yards with two interceptions in the second.
"We knew that it was our season (on the line)," Stant said. "The funny thing about it is we never talked about that. We never talked about 'This is a do-or-die game.' All we said was that we're going to go out and play. Play like how we can play and just show our character and the boys did that."
Fitzsimmons nailed a 21-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter and Kamehameha added a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Camanse-Stevens' second touchdown pass - a 38-yarder - found Nephi Stevens early in the fourth and Kaulana Apelu added a 47-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes.
Apelu finished with 19 carries for 144 yards and Camanse-Stevens, who was intercepted for the first time this season in the second quarter, was 15 of 23 for 177 yards. Kingston Fernandez had two of Kamehameha's three sacks.
Adam Noga led Saint Louis with 139 yards on 18 rushes and Stubblefield added five receptions for 92 yards - both game highs. Mook-Garcia finished 16-of-35 passing for 250 yards.
October 13, 2012
Dylan Kane, 95 yard kickoff return for touchdown.
Devan Stubblefield, 53 yard touchdown pass from Kawai Mook-Garcia
Kaulana Apelu, 53 yard touchdown run.
> more video highlights
Kamehameha running back Kaulana Apelu gets the handoff from Makoa Camanse-Stevens in the first quarter against Saint Louis. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Saint Louis quarterback Kawai Mook-Garcia runs in for a score against Kamehameha. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Saint Louis' Colton Goeas sacks Kamehameha quarterback Makoa Camanse-Stevens. Greg Yamamoto | SL