Crusaders roll again, with tougher times ahead


File photo – Connor Chase.

In what was always going to be a season of two halves for the St. Bernard’s Crusaders, things are about to get interesting.

On Saturday, the Crusaders closed out the first half by posting their fifth straight win — 44-13 over Ferndale at Crusader Field — with all five victories coming by 26 points or more.

Saturday’s win was also their 28th straight over Little 4 opposition, and they have outscored all four of those teams by a combined 202-62 this year.

That’s Act I of the season. Act II presents a very different challenge.

“We might have been the favorites in our first five games of the year, and we could be the underdog in the next five,” Tomlin said.

The Crusaders travel for the next two weeks, playing at a very tough Marin Catholic next Friday, before heading to Pasco, WA., to play Tri-Cities Prep the following week.

They then return to the North Coast to face three straight league opponents in a loaded Big 4.

All five of those games represent a sizable upgrade in competition.

“I’m excited,” Tomlin said. “We’re going to find out how good we really are.”

Another big win

On Saturday, Will Omey ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more against Ferndale at Crusader Field.

The junior quarterback has been involved in 23 of the Crusaders’ 35 touchdowns over the first five games.

Omey completed scoring passes to Luke Fairfield from 15 yards and Justin Hagler from 40.

Talimaivao Fonoti added a 12-yard TD run, the sixth time he’s found the end zone this season.

The Crusaders went for two-point conversions after all five of their first-half touchdowns, and were successful on all five to lead 40-7 at the break.

Omey ran for four of the two-pointers, while completing a pass to Hagler for the other.

“As a team we played well, and Omey was just brilliant again running the football,” Tomlin said. “I’m happy with how we played. We were physical. Our offensive and defensive lines really controlled the line of scrimmage. Connor Chase and those guys are playing really well.”

Junior standouts

A pair of junior linebackers also had big games for the Crusaders.

Cole Petrusha, who has been one of the team’s most consistent performers on defense, was dominant again on Saturday, while Harmon Daniel had his best game of the year, with an interception and a sack.

“He kind of rose up and played well at linebacker,” Tomlin said of Daniel.

No scoring details were available for Ferndale, which dropped to 1-3.

The Cats will open the Little 4 next week at Hoopa Valley (2-2).

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