Key defender Dahlin Mesake injured as Bishop Gorman falls to Saint Louis

Bishop Gorman outside linebacker Dahlin Mesake (15) gives a thumbs up while being stretchered off the field after an injury during the first half. Jamm Aquino/

Patience was in short supply at times for the national powerhouse team from Nevada.

Bishop Gorman, the unofficial national champion in 2014, ’15 and ’16, battled back from a 21-0 deficit to stay in puncher’s range. Down 21-13, the Gaels had momentum. They had Saint Louis’ potent offense stymied a bit. Then came a key turnover that led directly to a Saint Louis defensive touchdown by linebacker Nick Herbig.

The 15th-ranked Gaels got no closer than the final deficit in a 31-19 loss to the 10th-ranked Crusaders. Coach Kenny Sanchez’s first thought after the game was on his injured defensive end, Dahlin Mesake. The highly-recruited senior suffered a neck injury during the third quarter after being accidentally speared by a teammate on a Saint Louis running play.

He was stabilized by trainers, then taken by ambulance to a hospital. He lifted an arm and gave a thumb’s up before being lifted into the ambulance, bringing a sense of relief to coaches, players and fans on both sides of the turf at Aloha Stadium.

“We’re waiting to find out, obviously. Our hearts go out to him. Hopefully, everything is OK. It was a kind of scary part of the game. We said our prayers and talked with his parents. Hopefully, he’s OK,” said Sanchez, who has guided the Gaels to four of their 10 consecutive Nevada state championships.

It was while Sanchez was being interviewed that a skirmish erupted during the post-game handshake line, effectively ending what had been a peaceful show of sportsmanship by each side. Both teams had their fill of penalties and personal fouls during the heated battle. For the Gaels, now 1-1, there will be ample opportunity to get better when they return to Las Vegas on Sunday.

Saint Louis couldn’t completely stop the connection between QB Micah Bowens — who truly resembled Arizona’s dual-threat signal-caller, Khalil Tate — and WR Rome Odunze. They teamed up for two TDs despite close coverage by the Crusaders’ secondary.

The mental errors are fixable. The spear that led to Mesoke’s injury. A fumble by a running back who thought the play was dead after he dropped a lateral toss from Bowens that led to a fumble recovery and TD by Herbig. The post-game skirmish, with Sanchez and his coaches corralling one of their players. There will always be in-game and post-game banter, but the Gaels will go as far as their patience and discipline take them.


  1. ??? August 31, 2019 12:38 am

    Hope the kid is ok🙏🏽

  2. SLS-SHA August 31, 2019 12:51 am

    My prayers are with the Bishop Gorman player. Praying for a speedy and full recovery. It’s sad to see any player get injured. Please keep us posted on any updates.

  3. Ken Inouye August 31, 2019 8:09 am

    Regardless whether the home team or visiting team, we do not wish for any athlete to get injured. Along with the fans and residents of Hawai’i, I await to hear that Dahlin Mesake will fully recover, be able to return home soon, and to get back on the football field. Dahlin was a player on the opposing team. But that does not make him a person we do not care for. Like the other Bishop Gorman football players, Dahlin put his hard effort on the line last night to represent his home town and high school. He is an individual that we, the people of Hawai’i, care for, just as much as we care for our team members.

    It would be an honor to meet Dahlin before he returns home, and to wish him a quick recovery. The 2019 football season has just begun, and Bishop Gorman needs his excellent skills on the field.

    Best wishes to Dahlin and the Mesake family. Take good care, and much aloha.

  4. Real Talk on HawaiiPrepWorld August 31, 2019 11:13 am

    Prayers for Dahlin as he recovers

  5. Michael Wong September 4, 2019 8:08 am

    The sound of the hit was sickening. From the 50-yard line, it happened so quickly and with a thundering thud. I’ve been watching football for a long time and I could tell that someone would be laid out on that play. At first, I thought it was delaura who took the brunt of the collision but he scrambled to his feet and immediately called to the BG bench for help. Prayed hard for the BG player and hoping for a speedy and complete recovery. The speed on both sides of the ball was unbelievable.

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