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Crusaders come up short on Alumni day :In the news

Posted Sunday, September 24, 2006 by The Journal news

Stepinac falls in overtime

Dave Kennedy/The Journal News

(Original publication: September 24, 2006)

WHITE PLAINS 2 With all the pregame festivities that included honoring the Class of the 1956 CHSFL champion and the 1991 CHSFL Division AA champion, and plenty of fans in attendance, the Stepinac Crusaders would come up just short of turning a great day into a memorable one.

The Crusaders controlled both sides of the ball for much of the game but a late 2-point conversion by St. Peter's quarterback Tom Low negated their efforts yesterday.

Low's 4-yard quarterback option to the near sideline sent the Golden Eagles back to Staten Island with a 14-12 overtime victory in a Division AA contest.

"Coach just told us that we came too far to give up now," Low said. "I just took the ball to the outside and got in. Right now nothing feels better."

The Crusaders got tremendous play from junior running back Rashaad Slowley, who carried the offensive load with 26 carries for 100 yards. Though he didn't score until overtime, he did keep many drives alive and kept the Crusaders in good field position.

"Today we finally came together as a team and played hard," Slowley said. "We studied the film all week and today the line did a great job of providing holes for me to hit."

Maurice Easterling took a 50-yard punt, which he bobbled at first, all the way for a 6-0 halftime lead. Those were the only points for most of the game until St. Peter's fullback Dean Mercuris ran 4 yards for a touchdown with 3:17 left in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

In the CHSFL, overtime consists of a shootout in which each team gets the ball from the 10 with four downs to score. The first team to stop the other team wins.

The Crusaders would score first on an 8-yard run by Slowley, but a missed extra point left the door open for the Golden Eagles.

Low willed them to victory as he threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to tie the score, and scampered to the pylon for the win.

"We were blitzing right into the quarterback on the 2-point conversion play, but the defensive ends got sucked in by the fake," Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell said. "We controlled them for most of the game, and we should've pulled it out, but we fell a little short."

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