Darnell Laws of St. Augustine Prep was the in the midst of a stellar season last year.

But the running back injured his knee in the second quarter of game eight - a 26-24 win over Holy Spirit.

Laws didn't play the rest of the season.

Still, he carried 69 times for 518 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.

St. Augustine finished with a school-record 10 wins and won the Cape-Atlantic League National Conference.

The Hermits return plenty of standouts from last season's team. St. Augustine is No. 5 in The Press' Elite 11.

The Hermits open at home at 6 p.m. today against Roman Catholic (0-1) of Philadelphia.

The 6-foot, 210-pound senior appears primed for a big season. Akron University in Ohio has offered him a scholarship, and the Winslow Township resident is getting attention from several other colleges.

What was the injury to your knee and how did it happen? I sprained my PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). It happened in the second quarter. I caught a helmet to the knee. It was hard not playing. It makes you appreciate playing more. But the team went on and had a good year.

Are you more motivated for this season because of the injury? Yes, I'm going to play that much harder this season. Coach (Dennis Scuderi) always says play each play like it may be your last. I didn't take that as serious as I should have last year because I never thought I would get hurt. But this year I'm going to do that. I know what it's like not to play.

How are you and your teammates dealing with all the preseason hype St. Augustine is getting? We're not paying too much attention to it. We're going out there to play hard and come away with some victories.

How pumped is the school for tonight's season opener? Everybody is excited. There should be a huge crowd. Everyone is coming up to the football players asking if we're going to win. We just tell them to come out and see.

You are the vice president of the student body. How did you get elected and why did you run? I just thought I'd do some positive for school. It's a lot of fun. You're involved in planning a lot of school events. The election was last May. I didn't have a campaign slogan. I just went up to people and asked them to vote for me.

Told to Michael McGarry