For the second consecutive season the Saint Louis Crusaders are HHSAA Division-I Open Champions after rallying to beat Kahuku 31-28 in a game that started late Saturday night and ended early Sunday morning.
Trailing 28-24, Crusaders senior quarterback Chevan Cordeiro connected with Jonah Panoke on a 53-yard touchdown with 37-seconds remaining for the go-ahead score. Both Cordeiro, who was named the Cover2 Marcus Mariota Award winner earlier this week and Panoke are verbally committed to the University of Hawaii recruiting class for 2018.
Linebacker Noa Purcell intercepted Kahuku’s Sol-Jay Maiava as time expired to seal the three point victory that ended after 1:00am HST.
Saint Louis led 24-7 in the third quarter before a Red Raider rally which included two forced turnovers en route to taking a 28-24 lead in the fourth quarter.
Cordeiro finished the game 29-43 for 442 yards passing three touchdowns, two interceptions and 34 yards rushing.
Two of his touchdown passes went to Mitchell Quinn, who finished 131 yards receiving.
In the loss, sophomore quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava was sensational. He had a stat-line of 17-28, 253 yards, four touchdowns, and 95 yards rushing.
The Open division final was the “main event” of an HHSAA championship triple-header.
The first game which started at 2pm HST went over four hours in length after Lahainaluna defeated Konawaena, 75-69 in a state tournament record 7-overtimes. The Lunas victory was the second consecutive for the Maui champs.
In the division one final, Hilo captured Hawaii island’s first ever state football crown, with a 35-19 win over Damien.