If they win, Cal Lee is barely happy.
If they lose, one can only imagine.
The No. 1-ranked Saint Louis Crusaders were dominant in a 44-0 win over No. 5 Kamehameha on Friday night at Aloha Stadium, which answered the question of whether the Warriors were ready to take down the defending ILH and state champions. It wasn’t exactly a full accounting for Kamehameha, which lost returning quarterback Thomas Yam to injury in the first half. He’d already suited up with an elbow injury suffered in the win over Carson (Calif.) a week ago.
But the Warriors just couldn’t get consistent drives going and wound up with just eight first downs. They were committed to running the ball; Kanoa Shannon finished with 83 yards on 27 carries, which didn’t please Lee. Not one bit.
“I’ll tell you what, they ran the ball up our (tail). I didn’t like it, but it’ll make us better,” said Lee, the state’s winningest coach of all time.
The Crusaders were physical, no question, and as a whole, Kamehameha rushed for 110 yards on 40 carries. That’s 2.8 yards per attempt.
“I thought at times we played good defense, but at times we made some stupid mistakes. Tackling could get better. Running to the ball could get better,” Lee said.
Chevan Cordeiro faced a tough pass rush, relying on his agility and quickness to escape. He was sacked once all night, fumbling on an extended play, scrambling for his life, late in the first half. That came just moments after Saint Louis had been on the Kamehameha 1-yard line. After coming up empty, the Crusaders went into the half ahead 14-0.
If Cordeiro had thrown the ball away, the Crusaders would’ve lined up for a field goal. Jacob Tobias certainly has the range; he was 5-for-5 on PATs, and one of them was a 35-yard extra point following a penalty. He made it with at least 10 yards to spare.
Cordeiro was magnificent at times, finishing 20-for-29 with 250 yards and one TD without a pick. He scrambled for 53 yards on 10 carries, scoring two times in close. This was the first time, as a starter, that he actually made an obvious mistake, and it was still a superb performance.
“That’s all part of it. He’s got to learn and get better,” Lee said. “Hopefully, he won’t make too many more mistakes.”
Saint Louis has a bye, then a showdown with No. 4 Punahou.
“We’ve got to work on fundamentals. We’ve got a lot of work,” Lee added. “I’m sorry. I’m not real happy.”