No. 1 Saint Louis looks to make a statement against a California team tonight at Aloha Stadium. Narbonne is the first mainland opponent for the Crusaders since they beat Liberty (Nev.) 43-16 in 2015.
Top performances by Saint Louis vs. a mainland foe
Saint Louis passing vs. mainland: Tua Tagovailoa with 392 yards against Liberty in 2015
Saint Louis rushing vs. mainland: Adam Noga with 201 yards vs. Bishop Gorman in 2012
Saint Louis receiving vs. mainland: Cameron Bayne with 196 yards vs. Davis in 2005
NARBONNE (CALIF.) GAUCHOS (2-2)
Head coach: Manuel Douglas
Saint Louis 56, Narbonne (Calif.) 50, Final
15 yards tacked on for Narbonne because of roughing the passer. On-side kick goes out of bounds, STL ball on its 33. Cordeiro runs for 15 yards and a first down. HUGE. Crusaders run out the clock.
Saint Louis 56, Narbonne (Calif.) 50, Q4, 1:52
Third and 6 and a busted coverage leaves Jenkins wide open for a 76-yard bomb and TD. Unbelievable. No. In this game, believable. PAT misses.
This game is far from over, but Tobias has seven touchbacks on kickoffs. That covers a whole lot of sins (penalties).
Saint Louis 56, Narbonne (Calif.) 44, Q4, 2:37
Narbonne goes three and out, punt, and it’s STL ball on its 40, 5:49 left. NAR knows STL will run, but Mashima blasts up the middle for 36 yards. The humidity IS A FACTOR. Cordeiro knows it, and he runs from the pocket for 11 yards. Now the Crusaders are killing time between snaps. No more hurry-up. Huge third and 5 from the 17, and NAR is called for defensive holding. First down. Second and goal, Cordeiro is passing, forces it into his slotback, ball deflected, and who is there? Who else, it’s Quinn to snag the ball like a pop fly for a 7-yard TD. HOLY MOLEY.
Saint Louis 49, Narbonne (Calif.) 44, Q4, 6:32
Wohh Nellie, it’s Chicken Skin Quinn again, a 50-yard bomb. Gaucho secondary is worn out after playing an outstanding first half. Cordeiro has been masterful, looking short and short, then launching deep at the right time. What a comeback. Still enough time for maybe 10 more TDs
Tobias with another touchback kickoff, but STL whistled for unnecessary roughness. On a touchback. Yikes. Jefferson stuffed at the line, next play, roughing the passer. Then the defender BUMPS AN OFFICIAL. Out of control. That’s 30 penalty yards on a 1-yard completion. I think Chatman really sold that penalty, didn’t get hit completely hard, but defenses can’t overreact to bad calls. Narbonne ball at the STL 34. Narboone fourth down, pass incomplete, STL ball.
Narbonne (Calif.) 44, Saint Louis 42, Q4, 10:46
Holy moley, Quinn did it again. Takes a short pass from Cordeiro, gets a block, breaks a tackle and turns the corner down the left sideline for an 83-yard TD. Guys with angles couldn’t take him. Amazing. The offenses are taking over completely as defensive backs get worn out in this freaking humidity. WHAT A GAAAAAME. Chicken skin Quinn.
Narbonne (Calif.) 44, Saint Louis 35, Q4, 11:12
STL run defense has been key. Jefferson had the 42-yard run early, but in his other 13 carries has just five yards. It’s his explosiveness as a receiver that’s mesmerizing: six catches for 94 yards. Saint Louis crowd getting loud for the first time in awhile, but there’s a perfect call: screen pass to Jefferson. Someone tries to stick him, miss. Poor fundamentals and he’s GONE. 81-yard TD pass play. That guy is Division I for sure. Reminds me of Gary Allen with power. That’s three TDs combined by these teams in less than a minute of play in the fourth.
Narbonne (Calif.) 37, Saint Louis 35, Q4, 11:55
First play of the fourth quarter, Cordeiro to Quinn on a slant and it’s an 8-yard TD. Very orderly drive by the Crusaders.
Narbonne (Calif.) 37, Saint Louis 28, Q4, 12:00
THIRD QUARTER ENDS
Crusaders driving deep now, ball at the NAR 22. The quarter ends with the ball at the Narbonne 8 after a 6-yard completion from Cordeiro to Reyes-Hackney.
Gauchos stall in STL territory and Chatman’s 37-yard punt is a coffin-corner classic, out at the 8.
Major missed opportunity for Saint Louis after they stop Chatman on a fake punt run. Saint Louis takes over at the NAR 30, but comes up empty. Sack by Juice Tupua causes the most damage.
Narbonne (Calif.) 37, Saint Louis 28, Q3, 7:31
A 52-yard kick return by Beyer is nullified by an illegal block to the back. Saint Louis drives 80 yards in nine plays, getting a huge 18-yard run for a first down by Cordeiro and his nifty spin move by the chains. He connects with Quinn for a key 42-yard gain to the 1, and Cordeiro fires a 1-yard TD pass to Reyes-Hackney for the TD.
Narbonne (Calif.) 37, Saint Louis 21, Q3, 10:05
Narbonne marches 41 yards to paydirt. A 31-yard pass from Chatman to Jefferson, with Jefferson juking by three defenders, puts the ball at the one. Then it’s two flags on Narbonne, but they still score on Chatman’s misdirection roll and run to the end zone.
STL begins at its 33, but on the first play, Cordeiro’s deep pass on the right sideline is picked off by Demontii Peoples. Miscommunication between QB and WR, easy pick for Peoples.
Saint Louis will receive the second-half kickoff. Encroachment on the kicking team, Narbonne. This second half will be a test of their conditioning. It’s still humid here in Halawa. LA is hot, too, but not quite as humid as this.
Narbonne (Calif.) 30, Saint Louis 21, Q2, Half
Saint Louis with 132 yards in penalties for the first half. Ouch.
At Aloha Stadium
Narbonne (2-2, 0-0 CIF) 13 17 x x — 30
Saint Louis (5-0, 4-0 ILH) 7 14 x x — 21
NAR—Julian Woodard 11 pass from Jalen Chatman (Edgar Ramos kick)
STL—Tosh Kekahuna-Kalawe 6 pass from Chaven Cordeiro (Jacob Tobias kick)
NAR—Steven Jenkins 81 pass from Chatman (kick failed)
NAR—Jermar Jefferson 3 run (Ramos kick)
STL—Chance Beyer 2 pass from Cordeiro (Tobias kick)
STL—Jordan Botelho 25 interception return (Tobias kick)
NAR—Jefferson 37 pass from Chatman (Ramos kick)
NAR—Ramos FG 29
#1 Jefferson 11-42,
#32 Keyshawn Dupree 2-6,
#17 Chatman 3-15,
#12 Cordeiro 5-17,
#24 Kainalu Tumpap 3-17,
#36 Micah Mashima 2-(-5),
#27 Noah Jackson 1-12,
#16 Aaron Magee 1-1,
#3 Woodard 3-75,
#10 Jenkins 1-81,
#1 Jefferson 5-63,
#9 Juwan Tucker 2-37,
#13 Cody Coleman 1-10,
#4 Kekahuna-Kalawe 2-7,
#23 Koali Nishigaya 2-7,
#15 Mitchell Quinn 2-42,
#5 Kainalu Reyes-Hackney 1-5,
#22 Beyer 2-22,
Short punt return and Narbonne starts at the 50 with :38 left. 10-yard pass by Chatman and then a pass-interference call. Ball is at the STL 25, then a sack. Gauchos persisting. Trick play: Chatman rolls right, throws a lateral backwards pass all the way to the left sideline where #75 Jonah Tauanu‘u heaves a pass to the 5-yard line, incomplete. That’s clever. Chatman completes another slant pass to Jefferson, who gains nine yards. Time out, Gauchos, :01. Edgar Ramos, who missed a PAT earlier, drills a 29-yard field goal with a good 15 yards to spare and time expires.
Crusaders ball with 1:30 left, but it’s three and out, a sack on third-and-1 at the STL 34. Rooney Amisone with the sack. STL punt.
Cordeiro’s deep pass is intercepted by safety Vincent Tucker. Nice range by Tucker coming over to help on the left sideline. Gauchos stall, however, after a penalty, and Chatman punts out of the shotgun. 35-yard punt and an instant tackle by the Gauchos. Good work on special teams.
Narbonne (Calif.) 27, Saint Louis 21, Q2, 3:54
The Gauchos thrive under adversity. Third and long, they get a 28-yard pass from Chatman to Woodard on a long lob. Next play, Chatman to Jefferson on a slant and he’s gone. Slices through three defenders to the end zone for a 37-yard TD. Instant magic. PAT is good and the Gauchos lead again. Chatman struggles at times with the short routes, but downfield he gives his guys a chance to make plays, and they do.
Saint Louis 21, Narbonne (Calif.) 20, Q2, 5:07
Saint Louis goes ahead on a fluky, crazy play. On the ensuing play after the kickoff by Saint Louis went for a touchback, Chatman’s high pass is deflected in mid-air, and the ball caroms off a receiver’s foot, high into the air, and sophomore LB Jordan Botelho grabs it, and sprints for a 25-yard TD return. Wild. PAT is good and the Crusaders lead for the first time. Gauchos starting to show some body language here, like they’re snake-bitten.
Narbonne (Calif.) 20, Saint Louis 14, Q2, 5:15
Cordeiro steers the offense downfield and Saint Louis pulls within one TD. 20-yard pass to Chance Beyer sets up a 2-yard strike to Beyer for a TD. Key play was a 35-yard play-action strike from Cordeiro to Mitchell Quinn down the left sideline.
Narbonne (Calif.) 20, Saint Louis 7, Q2, 7:21
Gauchos do a variety of interesting stuff, including extra-wide gaps occasionally. But it’s their receiver depth and speed that’s the difference right now. And discipline. After two holding calls on Narbonne made it first and 35, they converted for a first down in the red zone. They haven’t run with complete effectiveness, but in the wide splits, they’ll go trips, even bunch sets, and on another play, the left tackle went out to the sideline for a nice block on a cornerback, basically a bare-bones screen play. Three penalties on STL in the red zone, including pass interference in the corner on a jump-ball throw, and then the RB, Jefferson, outruns defenders to the sideline, and he hurdles over a tackler and the pylon for a 3-yard TD.
Cordeiro completes a pass on fourth and 3, but a hands-to-the-face penalty on the O-line nullifies that. Punt.
FIRST QUARTER ENDS
Saint Louis picks up 13 yards up the middle on a run by Kainalu Tumpap to end the quarter, ball at the Narbonne 38.
Narbonne (Calif.) 13, Saint Louis 7, Q1, 3:26
The Gauchos seem to thrive on big third-down plays. This time, it’s third and 15 when Chatman hurls a deep spiral down the left side to Steve Jenkins in stride for an 81-yard TD. Gauchos had two receivers running the seam just 5 yards apart, both open. PAT kick misses.
Narbonne (Calif.) 7, Saint Louis 7, Q1, 8:17
The Crusaders march 71 yards in 10 plays, and Chevan Cordeiro rifles a bullet to Tosh Kekahuna-Kalawe on a sideline route for the 6-yard TD. Game tied.
Narbonne (Calif.) 7, Saint Louis 0, Q1, 8:17
Huge third-and-long run by the QB, Chatman, 18 yards in all to the STL 10. Three plays later, he finds Julian Woodard in the flat, and Woodard leaps over a tackler near the pylon for an 11-yard TD.
Opening kickoff by Saint Louis (STL) is a touchback. Jalen Chatman with a 12-yard completion to Noah Jackson, 12 yards, for the first first down of the game. Then it’s RB Jermar Jefferson bolting off right tackle for a 42-yard gain, but he goes down on the right sideline and he’s clutching his left knee. Not good. He walks off after being down for about 3 minutes.
6:01 p.m. Narbonne won the coin toss and has elected to receive from the south end zone. Unusual these days for teams to not defer until the second half. Maybe the Gauchos are always confident about offense. Here we go.
4:58 p.m. It’s still more than an hour away, but the Narbonne Gauchos and Saint Louis Crusaders are in the lockerrooms here at Aloha Stadium. They arrived within minutes of each other at roughly 4:25 p.m. Weather this afternoon is warm, humid and there’s just a tiny bit of trade winds, maybe 5 mph. Shadows from the Pearl Harbor-side bleachers are already covering the field, so that helps both teams.
There’s been quite a bit of public chatter about Narbonne’s lopsided loss to Centennial last week. From what I’ve seen in more than a quarter-century of covering preps is this: One game is one game. Narbonne has enough talent to get on this synthetic field and play to full potential in their final nonconference game of the young season. Saint Louis might get pushed to its limits. We don’t know. As with everything to do with teenaged athletes, anything is possible. I’m hoping for a competitive, injury-free game. I can hope.