Dalen Cambre is St. Thomas More's version of Taysom Hill

James Bewers
The Daily Advertiser
Dalen Cambre catches a pass during pregame as STM takes on Comeaux Football. Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.

On the high school level, especially at smaller schools, it’s fairly common to have one or more players who fill a variety of roles for a team and rarely leave the field.

But in the case of St. Thomas More senior Dalen Cambre, he’s the true definition of a Swiss Army knife. In fact, he’s more like STM’s version of Taysom Hill.

Cambre’s not just the Cougars’ backup quarterback. He’s STM’s third-leading receiver and top kickoff return man. He began the season as a starter at outside linebacker. If the Cougars were in desperate need of a running back, he could do that. He’s also the team’s holder and personal protector, and offensive coordinator Shane Savoie believes he could kick field goals if necessary.

And like Hill with the New Orleans Saints, Cambre’s versatility is not a gimmick.

“Sometimes he gets overlooked in statistics because of it, but Friday (in a 57-15 win against Carencro) he came up big,” Savoie said. “I thought he was the difference in the game — the fact that our third wide receiver was able to kind of change the game. He did it from special teams, but he also did it as a wide receiver. He made a couple of huge third-down catches for us that helped extend drives and keep us on the field.”  

St. Thomas More's Dalen Cambre catches the kick and heads down the field as the Cougars take on the Carencro Bears for STM's Homecoming game on Friday Oct. 26, 2018.

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The score of the Carencro game may not indicate STM’s need for game-changing plays, but the first half was relatively back-and-forth. And that’s where Cambre came in, hauling in three passes for 60 yards and returning three kickoffs for an average of 33 yards.

Two of those kickoff returns pushed STM past midfield, including one that set up a score before halftime.

“One of them was right before half,” Savoie said. “We got the ball back with a minute and 30 (seconds) left, and he returned the kickoff past the 50. So we had a short field, and we were able to score right before half and then get the ball back after halftime. So that was a pivotal part, I think, in the game.”

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On the season, Cambre is responsible for 657 all-purpose yards, an average of 73 yards per game, and six touchdowns. He has 23 receptions for 422 yards and five touchdowns and six carries for 135 yards and another score.

His value to STM’s offense is so great that, despite performing well as an outside linebacker, coaches moved him into a full-time role on offense. And it hasn’t been difficult for him to adjust to new offensive roles because of his background as a quarterback.

“For us, the beauty of it is, since he started as a quarterback, he understands everything else,” Savoie said. “So we don’t have to worry about teaching him anything else because he already knows the whole scheme from a quarterback standpoint. So it was easier to put him out there and add him in any other situation we would need him.”