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Stepinac Varsity loses to Hayes 13-12

Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 by The Pit Reporter

Saturday, November 11, 2006
With results of games played on November 10, 2006


Stepinac falls 13-12 in CHSFL bowl game
By Matthew Ng
The Journal News
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(Original publication: November 11, 2006)

NEW YORK - Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell admitted kicking extra points has been an Achilles' heel for the Crusaders.

That's why when Stepinac was offered opportunities to tie the score with kicks after touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters it opted to go for 2 instead.

That proved costly.

As fate would have it, O'Donnell had to turn to his field-goal kicker, Jon Riddle, to make a 42-yarder with a half-second left yesterday and Cardinal Hayes leading by one. The kick sailed high, but dropped short and wide left, leaving the Cardinals 13-12 winners in a CHSFL Division AA bowl game yesterday at SUNY Maritime.

"During the year, we have had trouble with our extra points and we've had a pattern of going for 2 instead," O'Donnell said.

Hayes coach C.J. O'Neil praised Stepinac's ability to come back.

"This game was an even game," O'Neil said. "Stepinac certainly did not want to lose this one ."

The Crusaders (3-7) jumped to a 6-0 lead on their first possession with junior Rashaad Slowley capping a nine-play, 66-yard drive with a 3-yard run.

"I just read my blocks, got inside more, and just kept pounding it for 5 and 6 yards each time," said Slowley, who had 126 yards on 27 carries, of which 85 came in the first half.

"They kept blitzing in the second half, stuffing the run, but mostly penalties killed us."

Offside and holding penalties did in the Crusaders by killing drives and forcing them into third-and-long situations.

Hayes (6-4) responded on the ensuing drive with a 63-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Cory Watson on the triple option. Angel Sorza's kick gave the Cardinal a 7-6 lead.

"We really came out strong, and as the game went on, our running game seemed to work to drain the clock and control the ball," said Watson.

The Cardinals got their decisive touchdown on a 56-yard punt return by the speedy Kevin Mayfield in the fourth quarter.

"Coaches told me to just turn it loose. I just caught the ball, went down the sideline and turned it up," said Mayfield, who also had a key interception on defense.

Cardinal Hayes led 13-6 midway through the fourth, missing the second PAT kick.

The resilient Crusaders responded with more than five minutes left in the game on Joseph Collins' 34-yard spiral to Riddle, who streaked into the end zone for the score.

O'Donnell opted for the 2-point conversion, instead of kicking an extra point to tie the score, and left the game in the hands of sophomore quarterback Collins. Collins rolled right on a bootleg and threw the ball to the corner of the end zone, but the pass was intercepted by a Cardinal Hayes defender.

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