D’or, Cardinal Newman hope to sustain early season success


One of the biggest surprises in Palm Beach County this season has been the Cardinal Newman Crusaders, who went 5-4 last season but have begun their 2018 campaign undefeated.

The Crusaders got off to a similar start last year, winning their first four games, but slumped in the second half of the season, dropping four of their last five.

“We just can’t get too ahead of ourselves,” junior running back Chris D’or said. “Last year we were just too overconfident, but this year we’re looking to keep all the momentum and go into every game excepting it to be a dogfight.”

A 40-20 victory over Olympic Heights in Week 3 served notice that Cardinal Newman expects to sustain its early season success. The Crusaders (3-0) will have another opportunity to put the county on notice today with a road matchup against Pahokee (1-1).

“I remember Pahokee back even from when I played,” Cardinal Newman coach Joe Molina said. “They’re going to be a tough battle because they’re a tough, physical team, they’ve got speed all over the field and they’ve got size.”

Looking past the Pahokee game, the Crusaders have several winnable games on their schedule. The last six opponents have combined for only three victories.

How far can Cardinal Newman go if it makes the Class 3A playoffs? The answer may be found in the backfield.

D’or, 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, has emerged as one of the most talented running backs in the county. Against Olympic Heights, he rushed for 239 yards and three touchdowns, and another TD on a kickoff return was called back.

He credits his teammates for his standout performance.

“My O-line has just been working, opening up a lot of holes for me, and I just run through them,” D’or said.

D’or has had plenty of holes to run through, scoring eight touchdowns in three games, but his big numbers have yet to catch the attention of college scouts.

“I currently don’t have any offers, but I have to stay patient because I know something is coming,” he said.

D’or says he has no expectations for the recruiting process. He plans to let his coaching staff help him filter through offers, should they start coming in.

The Crusaders have scored at least 40 points in all three games. They broke the 40-point mark just twice last season, another sign of improvement.

Their goal is to establish themselves as one the top programs in Palm Beach County, but Molina isn’t too concerned with where his team lands in the early season rankings.

“Wherever we fall, we fall, but what really matters is where we finish in November and December,” Molina said. “The rankings and all that are nice — we always want to be considered toward the top — but right now we take it game by game. When December comes … that’s where we decide where we stand.”



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