Lee on Narbonne: ‘It could’ve gone either way’

Saint Louis quarterback Chevan Cordeiro made the most of his one season as the starter, winning a state championship and the Gatorade player of the year award. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

As a lifelong aficionado of defensive dominance, Cal Lee wasn’t altogether dissatisfied.

A 56-50 win by his Saint Louis Crusaders over Los Angeles powerhouse Narbonne – winner of seven City league titles in 15 seasons — was a demonstration of superb run defense: 80 rushing yards on 26 carries (3 yards per attempt). Saint Louis’ normally air-tight defense wasn’t so tight elsewhere. Gauchos quarterback Jalen Chatman passed for 517 yards and five TDs.

“We sure didn’t play much pass defense. I think a win is a win even though it’s ugly. It kind of tells you what you’ve got to do to get better. It’s good to find out and work on it,” Lee said. “This kind of wakes us up.”

To be fair, when Saint Louis rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter, the defensive unit locked down for a stretch and limited Chatman to 3-for-9 passing during that spell. Still, Lee, like most everyone involved with the Crusaders football program, has heard plenty of chatter about his top-ranked team. He’s not sure he wants to hear any more.

“People think we’re just going to show up and win. Our season is halfway there and every team we’re going to play is going to be ready to battle,” he said. “You know how kids are sometimes. I’m not saying we took Narbonne lightly, but sometimes you need a wake-up call.”

That never seemed to be the case for Saint Louis, which was severely tested by Chatman’s field vision and the explosiveness of Jermar Jefferson, who looked like a young Marshall Faulk at times. Down 37-21 early in the third quarter, the Crusaders never wilted.

“No matter what, we talk about playing four quarters. It doesn’t matter if you’re up or behind. The game never ends at the half. You’ve got to keep battling,” Lee said. “That was a good football team and they gave us a good challenge. It could’ve gone either way, so we’re happy that we won.”

The late-game heroics of quarterback Chevan Cordeiro (393 yards, seven TD passes) and wide receiver Mitchell Quinn (seven receptions, 232 yards, four TDs) were part of the big turnaround. Cordeiro ran for some crucial first downs, as he has all season.

“Chevan is showing me what I already know. The guy is a competitor. I know he didn’t play much last year, but I know what’s in him, what’s in his veins. He plays hard no matter if it’s practice or a game,” Lee said. “I have so much confidence in him with the ball, that he’ll make the right decisions, and that comes from him naturally. He’s doing a real good job directing the offense.”


  1. Douglas Hu September 24, 2017 7:14 am

    Coach Lee almost went ballistic on their defense in a 44-0 win against Kamehameha a few weeks ago…..crickets now…D (and Kaneshiro) was exposed last night…someone mentioned in another thread about the Saints corners being weak…couldn’t of been more true after that performance…ridiculous defensive penalties, undisciplined, personal fouls…I would think Coach Lee would be livid…Cordeiro and the offense played lights out…

  2. ilh September 24, 2017 7:34 am

    Just remember, Narbonne is not a Punahou or a Kamehameha, this Narbonne team is explosive and has amazing speed. i’m glad at the end Saint Louis ended winning, like Cal Lee said everyone will come for you when you are #1 here in Hawaii, a lot of uncalled penalties for St. Louis, almost cost them the game, the players needs to watch for that, cause the Referees watches the Crusaders like a hawk.

  3. Robocop September 24, 2017 10:14 am

    Douglas Hu,

    Yes STL doesn’t have the strongest corners right now, yes lots of penalties. But you do realize that NO team in the state right now has offense like the Narbonne team right? No Hawaii team can make the STL secondary look that bad. Punahou is one of the better passing teams and they didn’t stand a chance against the Crusaders. The Narbonne O line was also very very good, couldn’t get pressure on their QB.

  4. Shawn71 September 24, 2017 10:17 am

    Good job on the Saints fighting back and staying tough. As far as Kaneshiro being exposed? He is a corner they will always have a tough job. But I saw him Break up 3 passes that would have been big gains . Also Knock a ball up so th OLB could catch and score! Then stop a Qb run that would have been a crucial first down. Good job Kaneshiro!!

  5. Robocop September 24, 2017 10:59 am


    One of those breaks ups was a big hit on a much bigger guy. Great play

    Crusaders proved their heart against a bigger, stronger, faster team. You can’t teach Heart baby

  6. Jon September 24, 2017 11:09 am

    No need for the negative opinions on individual kids on here. This ain’t the pros. Stick with positive individual opinions and team opinions are free game

  7. Robocop September 24, 2017 11:53 am

    What the stats don’t show is the blocking. Lots of little passes and tosses turned into TDs because of really good blocking

  8. BigSepu September 24, 2017 5:26 pm

    The O.G (Cal Lee) got out coached last night plain and simple. Very stubborn old man. No 2nd half adjustments. The play calling for Narbonne was perfect and the coaches (OC) did his homework on STL D. Cal Lee put the boys (Secondary/LBs) in very bad situations that Narbonne’s OC took advantage of all game. The old man should relax and let coach Wes do the play calling on D. Hats off to the Men of Kalaepohaku for playing hard til the end to pull out the victory. If the Saints lost last night I would’ve blame their coaches. UNPREPARED! SMH!!

  9. Hyn September 25, 2017 6:23 am

    Norbonne defensive line was really good. Qb got hit a lot after releasing the ball. Overall good team win. Good to know that as good as the defense is the offense is getting better every game. Gotta give some credit to the Qb who’s a first year starter with hardly any experience. I bet he answered a lot of question marks.

  10. phILHarmonic September 25, 2017 9:44 am

    BigSepu sure is good at copy and pasting.

    How do you determine if a coach was unprepared? I am just curious.

  11. DWC September 25, 2017 11:27 am

    “You know how kids are sometimes. I’m not saying we took Narbonne lightly, but sometimes you need a wake-up call.” CMON Coach… Don’t put it on the kids. They did everything that was asked of them in preparation for Narbonne and they will continue to do what is asked of them by you and your coaching staff. Just looking at the defense, it was your decision to play man coverage the entire game that made it easy for the Narbonne offense to find and create their match ups. Your lack of preparation for their bunch formation handed them one of their TD’s so let’s have you own up to your shortfall in preparing the team and not claim that the kids “took Narbonne lightly”

  12. phILHarmonic September 25, 2017 12:28 pm

    Dang you guys must be close to the program. How do you know what or how they prepared. And, what and who was making the defensive calls on the sideline. I thought Wes was.

    Seems like a push for some change at Kalaepohaku from someone within, specifically on the D side because including BigSepu up there this makes 2 posts about this topic.


  13. Douglas Hu September 25, 2017 5:50 pm

    Kai Kaneshiro and Isaiah Feary both represent what being a St. Louis Man is all about….they show Marcus Mariota like character on a daily basis and are great examples for the elementary students of Kalaepohaku. They will represent St. Louis and their families well at the University of Hawaii, who offered these two quality individuals full athletic scholarships. Not a selfish bone in either body and are always putting the team first. UH is receiving two incredible athletes but even better human beings!

  14. phILHarmonic September 26, 2017 11:30 am

    Douglas- Didnt one of those players get ejected and serve a two game suspension recently?

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