Aug. 24—Defeat tends to sharpen a good team. The Liberty Patriots came home from California after a 42-22 loss to national powerhouse St. John Bosco. Saint Louis returned from the North Shore after a 52-17 loss to No. 1 Kahuku.
Liberty's squad is a Nevada 5A title contender every year. Next week, Liberty hosts Campbell, followed by league games with Coronado and Bishop Gorman.
Saint Louis opened the season with a 42-28 win over dangerous Kapolei.
"We leave (Tuesday). Short week, another tough game," Crusaders coach Ron Lee said. "I watched them against St. John Bosco. They gave Bosco all they could handle to the very end. We've got a lot of correcting to do we've been working on the last two days."
Saint Louis showed big-play potential against the state's two-time Open Division state champions. Kahuku showed its defensive prowess after halftime, shutting out Saint Louis' offense. QB Kauna'oa Kamakawiwoole faced a fierce pass rush and was intercepted five times by Kahuku safety Kaimana Carvalho.
There's room for improvement, yet wide receivers Jordan Nunuha (10 receptions, 209 yards, TD) and Titan Lacaden (eight, 92, two) lead a talented group.
"Our reads, we need to adjust. There's a lot of things we can fix. We've got to make plays on third downs," Lee said. 'I feel good. We've got really tough teams, probably the second and third-best teams in Vegas."
The Crusaders will host Desert Pines (Nev.) on Sept. 1.
"We get back, we play Desert Pines, Mililani, Punahou. I think the kids are up for it worked hard the last two practices. The challenges that we have will really help us develop character, discipline. A lot of good faith can come out of the situations we're in. A lot of reasons to work hard and stick together."
Lee's mix of seniors and young talent has time on its side. Their four ILH Open games don't begin until Sept. 30.
"How we pick ourselves up and address the season, that's really the focal point. Not so much that we have to win, but work together and strive together. That's what I look forward to with our players and our coaches. It's a long season. All of these games are preseason," Lee said. "We need to be ready in another four or five weeks for ILH."