No. 1 Kamehameha beats No. 2 Saint Louis for second time this season

·4 min read

Oct. 16—The boys from the hill have done it again.

Kamehameha rallied from an 11-point deficit with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to stun Saint Louis 34-31 on Friday night at Aloha Stadium.

The top-ranked Warriors (3-1 ) sealed first place in the final ILH regular-season standings and will enjoy a first-round bye as Saint Louis (2-3, 2-2 ILH ) and Punahou battle next week for the right to play for the title.

"We were saying at the end there, we were built for this. This is what those grueling practices all of these months, emphasizing the little things, pushing through the adversity, " Kamehameha coach Abu Ma 'afala said. "Our job as coaches is teaching them through football how to be men. Set our emotions aside and do what we need to do. I'm proud that these kids are buying in."

A fumble by Saint Louis with 4 :30 remaining led to a 49-yard drive by the Warriors, who went ahead on a nifty 25-yard cutback run—it was actually two cutbacks with several blockers in front of him—by reliable Noah Bartley with 2 :12 remaining.

"It's just a feeling. It's hard to explain, " Bartley said. "Everybody's blocking and it's easy for me."

Bartley finished with 218 yards on 29 carries against a swarming Saint Louis defense.

"We just had to lock in, kick in a gear and stay together, " he said.

With 2 :01 on the clock and the ball at their own 15-yard line after the ensuing kick return, the Crusaders drove to their 40, but couldn't go any deeper. Penalties sabotaged the Crusaders all night, 11 in all, including many in crucial situations. On fourth and short from their 26, AJ Bianco's long pass to William Reed fell incomplete, and Kamehameha took a knee to run out the clock.

The Warriors edged the Crusaders 23-21 in another dramatic finish a month ago. They opened this battle with an impressive 14-play, 78-yard drive, with Kealii Ah Yat connected with Sheyden Iokia on a 16-yard strike at the pylon for a 7-0 lead.

Saint Louis got a 45-yard touchdown run by Bianco, who finished with a career-high 97 rushing yards.

Linebacker Blaze Holani returned an Ah Yat pass 42 yards for a pick-6, giving Saint Louis a 14-7 lead, still in the first quarter.

Ah Yat's pinpoint 27-yard touchdown pass to Levi Ma 'afala tied it at 14 on the first play of the second quarter.

Saint Louis scored again on a 42-yard launch from Bianco to Mason Muasau for a 21-14 lead.

Bartley's first touchdown, an 11-yard burst off tackle, cut the lead to 21-20.

Saint Louis then got a 6-yard scoring run by Bianco with 54 seconds left in the first half, and after a fumble recovery by Joshua Sagapolutele—who had 2.5 sacks—Lason Napuunoa's 34-yard field goal opened the lead to 31-20 at the half.

Saint Louis ran more than six minutes off the clock to begin the second half, but Napuunoa's 28-yard field goal try into a stiff wind was wide right.

Kamehameha scored on a 20-yard bullet from Ah Yat to Blaze Kamoku, and his 2-point conversion pass to Ma 'afala cut the lead to 31-28 with 9 :57 remaining.

Saint Louis seemed content to eat up the clock, but fumbled on a jet sweep and Brennan Dupio recovered for Kamehameha with 4 :30 to go, setting up the go-ahead TD.

Saint Louis I-AA 48, Pac-Five 22 Jaron-Keawe Sagapolutele passed for 300 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Kache Kaio, as the I-AA Crusaders improved to 3-1. Chevas Gregory Jr. rushed for 177 yards and three TDs on 15 carries.

Pac-Five receiver Na 'i Iwata had three receptions for 163 yards and two TDs.

The Crusaders offense was crisp on the ground and through the air. By intermission, Gregory ran 110 yards on nine carries with two TDs, while Sagapolutele had 230 passing yards (12-for-16 ) with three scoring strikes.

Pac-Five scored consecutive touchdowns on a 65-yard pass from Ezekiel Rodrigues to Iwata, and a 54-yard fumble return by Joshua Arcayena. Saint Louis sent Sagapolutele and Gregory back into the game.

Sagapolutele connected with Kaeo Apduhan on a 15-yard TD.

Rodrigues, who missed open targets downfield in the first half, found Iwata again for a 55-yard scoring strike, then tossed a 2-point conversion pass to Arcayena to bring the Wolfpack within 42-22 with nine minutes left.

Gregory broke open through the hash marks for a 40-yard touchdown to close the scoring.

Freshman pass-catching phenom Onosai Salanoa did not suit up for Saint Louis, resting an injured ankle before the Crusaders' rematch with Kamehameha I-AA next week.

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