Saint Louis is looking primed to go a long way once again after its season-opening 34-6 victory over No. 7 Kapolei on Thursday night at the Hurricanes’ home field.
The Crusaders (1-0, 1-0 ILH Open) have their sights on a fourth straight state Open Division championship and are already flying high.
“It was a great feeling to get back out here and run around with the boys,” said Crusaders linebacker Nick Herbig, a Wisconsin commit who had one of the team’s five sacks. “We were waiting so long to play a real game and were used to only going against each other at practice. Our offense was great tonight. Jayden (de Laura) is the best quarterback in the state. Koali (Nishigaya) is the best slotback in the state and two receivers, Matt Sykes and Roman Wilson (a Michigan recruit), are the best wide receivers. On defense, we’re stacked with studs across the board. We’re hungry and really ready.”
De Laura was super efficient, going 12-for-13 for 247 yards and one TD.
After an intricate pattern and a catch by a wide-open receiver, one reporter said to another, “That play was probably drawn up by Ron Lee at Kaiser 40 years ago.”
Ron Lee, the Saint Louis offensive coordinator, was the Kaiser head coach in 1979 — 40 years ago when the Cougars won the Oahu Prep Bowl 27-7 over Kamehameha.
Receivers go this way and that way and there is deception in the routes, with defenders thinking one thing and Crusaders doing another. It’s how it’s been during the Saint Louis dynastic years under coach Cal Lee with his brother Ron as the OC.
Eight different receivers caught passes, including touchdown grabs by Sykes, a UCLA commit, and Makena Ramos-Kamaka.
Only five of 25 balls thrown by three Crusaders quarterbacks fell incomplete.
Cal Lee was disappointed with the team’s two lost fumbles, the only two turnovers of the game by either team.
“At practice, you’re not really tackling guys like you do in games,” he said. “So you expect mistakes in the first game.”
The last two weeks, Saint Louis was idle while most schools had at least one game and some had two.