By Rodney S. Yap
When it comes to aerial bombing on the gridiron, Saint Louis School has a reputation for mass destruction in the state of Hawaii.
On Saturday, the Crusaders showed some of the weaponry that has them ranked No. 3 in one preseason top 10 poll, en route to a 55-0 thumping of Baldwin Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
* Senior wide receiver Devan Stubblefield, who has already received scholarship offers from the University of Hawaii, Nevada and Weber State, caught five passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns.
* Senior running back Adam Noga, a first-team Interscholastic League of Honolulu all-star last year, averaging 103.4 yards per game, finished with 86 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown. Noga has offers from Hawaii and Washington State.
* Junior quarterback Ryder Kuhns played 1.5 quarters and completed his first nine passes to finish 9 of 10 for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Kuhns added 45 pounds of muscle over the summer to his 6-foot-1 frame and is currently listed at 225 pounds.
* Senior defensive back Jaisen Sanchez, who has an offer from Colorado, returned an interception 30 yards for touchdown in the first quarter. Linebacker Jacob Lacaden, who has already committed to Nevada, is co-captain of the defense along with lineman Peter Sagapolutele. Collectively, the defense held the Bears to 129 yards in total offense.
“I thought the boys gave a good effort,” said Saint Louis head coach Matt Wright. “We asked them to go out there and execute every play and I thought they did a good job of doing that. We are far from where we need to be and we have a tough opponent in Kahuku coming up (Saturday). But I thought for the first time coming out in a real game, I thought the boys executed well enough.”
Saint Louis finished with 503 yards in total offense, 393 coming in the first half with Kuhns at the controls.
“We have some weapons on offense and I think we are still developing into the system. But we saw the potential the offense has when we execute the way that we need to and the way that we know we can. We need to be more consistent with it and at the same time we want to try and utilize all of our weapons.
“I thought we did a good job of blending the run with the pass tonight, and when the big play was there we took it. Stubbs (Devan Stubblefield) had a great game and Ryder was Ryder — calm, cool and collected and delivered even when he had to step into the pocket.”
The Crusaders took advantage of their big-play ability and Baldwin’s youth on defense to build a comfortable 41-0 halftime lead.
Baldwin was without the services of more than a dozen players who were ruled academically ineligible at the end of last year’s fourth quarter. In fact, Baldwin had 19 players on the sidelines unable to suit up compared to Saint Louis’ 74-player roster, which included two offensive linemen who have received offers to attend UH in senior Louis Vailopa (6-2, 280) and junior Fred Ulu-Perry (6-2, 290).
“Our guys never gave up and that’s what we wanted. We wanted them to come out here and play football and keep working hard,” said Baldwin head coach Keneke Pacheco, who was elevated earlier this summer after 13 years as an assistant coach.
“We certainly expected them to throw the ball, that’s St. Louis. They played well, you have to give them credit. For us, it’s a good measuring stick. If we are going to compete with the best in the state that’s the point we have to get to. So we have a long road ahead of us, you can see that.”
Baldwin sophomore Jonovan-Tage Akaka Foster made his varsity debut at quarterback. He completed 11 of 23 pass attempts for 125 yards, connecting with tight end/linebacker Teva Eldridge four times for 31 yards.
The Bears crossed midfield just twice, the first time coming on their second possession, traveling 77 yards on 12 plays before ending on a missed 29-yard field goal attempt with 5 minutes, 36 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Baldwin is idle this weekend and open the 2013 Maui Interscholastic League regular season against Maui High, Friday, Aug. 23.
For the Crusaders, the next stop is the Red Raiders of Kahuku.
Wright is getting used to tough preseason schedules. A year ago, Saint Louis beat Baldwin at Aloha Stadium 48-0 and went on to play Farrington and national power Bishop Gorman in the following weeks.
“I like the challenge and it is always exciting for me,’ Wright said. “I always want to play the best and Kahuku is right up there. They are the defending state champions and for us to get an opportunity to challenge the defending state champions in a preseason game at Aloha Stadium is special. Especially because it is Kahuku. We are going to enjoy this for about 20 minutes and get back to work tomorrow morning.”
Saturday’s Scoring Summary
Saint Louis 28 13 7 7—55
Baldwin 0 0 0 0—0
STL—Devan Stubblefield 36 pass from Ryder Kuhns (Matthew Mariota kick), 9:52
STL—Stubblefield 32 pass from Kuhns (Mariota kick), 4:30
STL—Jordan Eugenio 49 pass from Kuhns (Mariota kick), 2:23
STL—Jaisen Sanchez 30 interception (Mariota kick), 1:05
STL—Adam Noga 3 run (kick failed), 6:52
STL—Stubblefield 22 pass from Colton Nascimento (Mariota kick), 3:43
STL—Javin Spears 11 pass from Nascimento (Chris Quinn kick), 7:13
STL—Raymond Caayon 46 run (Quinn kick), 9:06