Crusaders’ company line: ‘It’s just one game’

Saint Louis wide receiver Matthew Sykes (18) put a stiff arm on Bishop Gorman strong safety Zion Branch in this 2019 matchup at Aloha Stadium. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

These Saint Louis Crusaders, all company men.

They could beat any team in the USA, any opposing force from outer space by land or sea, and the company line would be much the same from coaches to players.

Beating No. 15 Bishop Gorman, the men of Kalaepohaku say, is one game. One win. We move on.

Tenth-ranked Saint Louis answered any questions that remain as of the end of August. A 31-19 win over the powerful Gaels upped the Crusaders’ overall mark to 4-0. It was a masterful display of poise under pressure, of aggression from the opening kickoff. It also showed that no matter how successful the run-and-shoot offense can be, the defense will still come up with big plays.

The company line remains.

Roman Wilson, who dropped the first pass of the game, then hauled in a 31-yard bomb from Jayden de Laura moments later: “Everybody can drop a pass. I just had to stay focused and bounce back.”

Jordan Botelho, LB: “We all played hard. We played all four quarters. We’ve got to go to practice, watch film and come harder on Monday. I feel like the younger guys are stepping up. The offense is doing very well. The defense is doing very well. We just need to go to practice and get better. We can be a lot better.”

Botelho was stoic. Happy, but stoic, as he marched to the tunnel en route to the team bus.

“It means a lot. It feels great. It’s just another win. We’ve got to get ready for our next game and stay focused. It’s just another game for us. We’ve just got to go to practice and work hard,” the Notre Dame commit said.

The mantra was the same with Nick Herbig, who returned a fumble for a crucial TD in the third quarter. One game. Move on.

Their general, Coach Cal Lee, set the tone well before the opening kickoff. Feel good about success, but keep perspective.

“That’s how you’ve got to look at it. Just another win. It doesn’t make us win the Open (Division) championship, you know,” he said. “We’ve still got our season ahead of us and hopefully we learn from this and get better.”


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