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Posted Friday, November 25, 2005 by Mike ODonnell
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White Plains defeats Stepinac in Turkey Bowl
(Original publication: November 25, 2005)

WHITE PLAINS — For the past 18 years, Lesley Tompkins has found herself in the middle of the annual Turkey Bowl between White Plains and Stepinac. As the band director at White Plains High School, it's pretty safe to say that her squad of musicians has a perfect record in that span, regardless of which football team emerged victorious.

Yesterday was no different as the Tigers' marching band filled the gap between two great halves of football with another flawless performance.

"It's a huge community event for us and Stepinac," said Tompkins, who also played in the band for a few of these games while a student at White Plains. "It's a big thing for us to do this. The kids are very charged up. We would do this game if it was sleeting, raining or snowing. We would be here."

The music was certainly a welcomed wave of entertainment for those in the stands who weren't fans of defense. After a scoreless first half, the Tigers got the ball to begin the second and scored what turned out to be the only points of the game.

The touchdown came when Conor Gilmartin-Donohue found Tom Lee in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown to lead White Plains to a 7-0 win at Parker Stadium in the 35th edition of this rivalry game.

"To finish 4-0 in my career versus Stepinac, there's nothing better," said Gilmartin-Donohue, who threw for 59 yards and rushed for 35. "It was a great game. You can't ask for anything better than that."

Stepinac (4-7) moved into White Plains territory on its final drive. With 15 seconds to play, however, a fumbled snap on second down at the Tigers 39 ended up in the hands of White Plains' George Donpierre.

The Tigers took a knee to end the game and wrap up a fourth straight win over their intracity rivals.

"I was excited because I didn't want the streak to end on us as seniors," said the Tigers' Gerard Bryant. "At halftime it was 0-0 and everybody was a little worried, but I knew our team was going to stay strong and pull it out."

Jamaine Hewitt had a game-high 80 yards rushing for White Plains (5-4), which ended the season on a high note after consecutive losses to John Jay and Ossining. Mickey Morello added 49 yards, including a key 23-yard catch that helped set up the only score.

The shutout was the fourth of the season for a Tigers defense that ended up allowing just 95 points in nine games.

"Defense is a major part of this team, that's what we're based on," Bryant said.

Sophomore Rashaad Slowley had 60 yards of offense for the Crusaders, and senior Nick Venice added 56 yards rushing.

"It's a great way to send them off," said Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell of his seniors. "It's not great they didn't leave the field winning ... but we make a big deal about it. It's a special day for them."

Scholarships awarded: Following the game, White Plains' Tom Lee and Stepinac's Paul Mohan were awarded the BT Lauer Sportsmanship Scholarship and Award. It marked the second straight year the awards were given to a member of each team in honor of the late BT Lauer, who died tragically in a motorcycle accident in 2003 at the age of 19. Each scholarship was in the amount of $1,376.