History making Crusaders headed back to state bowl game

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Photos by Taunya Brunton – The St. Bernard’s players celebrate their big win on Friday night.

The St. Bernard’s Crusaders are headed back to a state bowl game after a commanding 45-29 win over East Nicolaus in the NorCal Regional football playoffs in Yuba City on Friday night.

St. Bernard’s had to overcome a first-half deficit, but quickly pulled away with 31 unanswered points to end this game as a contest long before the end.

It will be head coach Matt Tomlin and the program’s second trip to a state bowl game in just five years, but this time they’ll get to host a first-ever state championship game in Humboldt County.

And they can thank their playmakers, all of whom came to play in wet and windy conditions on Friday, none more so than senior quarterback Will Omey.

“Will Omey was spectacular throwing the football tonight in heavy rain,” Tomlin said.

He had a good night running the ball too, accounting for all six of his team’s touchdowns, three through the air and three with his feet.

He wasn’t the only hero on an historic night full of them.

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Photos by Taunya Brunton

“Our playmakers really stepped up tonight,” Tomlin said.

Demarte Prudhomme, who is becoming an ever-more dangerous weapon for Omey at receiver, scored on a pair of TD catches, one from 53 yards out and the other from 48.

Lane Thrap also had several key catches, including a 45-yard TD reception to give his team a 14-point lead midway through the third quarter as the Crusaders began to pull away.

Prudhomme is enjoying an outstanding playoff run, taking full advantage of the opportunities afforded him as opposing defenses focus in on Thrap, and he gives Omey another reliable option.

Bode Joyner, Peyton Smith and Talimaivao Fonoti each also had big games, as a composed Crusaders team answered the call after some early miscues, including a couple of first-half interceptions by Omey.

The home team scored three TDs in a wild opening quarter to lead 21-14, before the SB defense responded to shut out the Spartans for the next two and a half quarters.

“We actually played good defense in the first half, we just missed a couple of tackles,” Tomlin said. “Once we started tackling, our defense settled down.”

Guillermo Perez-Estrada added a field goal to round out the scoring, as the Crusaders opened up a 24-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.

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Photos by Taunya Brunton

“It’s just a tribute to these kids,” said Tomlin, who won a state title the last time the Crusaders made it this far in 2015. “It really is a special group. They love playing together, and they love their teammates.

“And now they’re going to host a state championship in Humboldt County. I’m so happy for these kids.”

Sophomore Demetrius Rawson also had a big game for the Crusaders at defensive end.

The Crusaders will host the state bowl game at the Redwood Bowl next Saturday night at 6 p.m.

Categories: Football, Sports, St. Bernard's

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3 replies »

  1. Work hard, reap the benefits…”The AMERICAN Way”!

    All that whining about “size” by Bill and a high school teacher at St. B’s still looks pathetic…

    These young men can play “big”…have played “big”…and are now in the “biggest” game of their young careers…and if HSU parody journalists are correct, then these young men are taking a pass because when it gets wet in Humboldt, the footballers stay outside in the nasty weather where it is cold and windy, not warm and comfy feeling…lol…got more important things than go inside…no vagitarianism for now…got a championship to play for…

  2. Henchman of Justice, i don’t know if you ever played high school football but size does matter, when it comes to how many players you have on a team. You have repeatedly not understood what i have been trying to point out with respect to size. it was never the physical size of the players, it has always been the size of the school and hence the size (or amount) of players on the team.

    You can’t continue to place a team that has 25-27 total players from all four grades of high school against teams that have close to 40 players of only Juniors and Seniors. SB does it because they do not have enough players to have a JV team.

    Yes, SB is having a great run right now, as all the local teams have done off and on historically. Is playing in the Big 4 sustainable, fair, and equitable for SB, the answer is a resounding NO. No matter how you try to spin away from the real issue, League is based on school size (enrollment Henchman) not record. End of story.

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