Login |  Register |  help

Crusaders Beat White Plains 30-0 on Turkey Day

Posted Friday, November 24, 2006 by Mike ODonnell

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Football
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Slowley leads Stepinac past White Plains
By Jake Thomases
The Journal News
Related news from the Web
Latest headlines by topic:
0 Thanksgiving
0 Holidays
0 Life
0 Jazz
0 High School Sports
0 The Crusaders

Powered by Topix.net

(Original publication: November 24, 2006)

WHITE PLAINS - If he hadn't just won the final game of his varsity career in dominating fashion, you'd have thought Ryan Hoffer was grinning so much just to be visible. The white of his teeth was the only thing that distinguished a mud-caked human being from the slop of Parker Stadium's football field. Even at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Hoffer could have planted a hat on a rabbit without it noticing.

His real job, luckily for the big senior, isn't so stealthy. As an offensive tackle for Stepinac, Hoffer spent Thanksgiving morning wrestling with defensive linemen in the pig-sty field. He and fellow senior lineman Tim Kehayas helped blast open holes for junior halfback Rashaad Slowley, who rushed for a career-high four touchdowns as Stepinac defeated White Plains 30-0 in the 26th annual Turkey Bowl.

"Greatest feeling in the world," said Hoffer, the winner of Stepinac's sportsmanship award. "I've always heard it from past alumni that actually won it. There's nothing like sliding in the mud afterward."

It took alumni accounts because Hoffer had never seen a Stepinac victory in his four years of high school. The Crusaders (4-7) last beat White Plains (2-7) in 2001, also by shutout. White Plains still holds a 26-10 edge in the all-time series.

If Slowley was to be the featured weapon during the past week's game-planning, he became the only weapon when coach Mike O'Donnell looked out his window. A steady rain had turned Parker Stadium's grass field the consistency of warm pumpkin pie. The ball was too slippery for quarterback Joe Collins to throw. The scatbacks had trouble cutting in the slop.

Stepinac's power-I offense is designed to let Slowley run straight ahead. He followed Hoffer's blocks for scoring runs of 1, 13, 7, and 5 yards, and also converted two 2-point conversions. Collins, who ran in a conversion, was the only other Crusader to see the end zone.

Did Slowley anticipate such a big day against a team that had won four straight in the intra-city rivalry?

"As a matter of fact I did," he said. "They put a lot of recognition for me in (The Journal News) the day before. I knew I had to come up big. I just had that feeling in my gut I was going to come up big and do good for my team."

Freshman Maurice Easterling cut to the outside, where footing was more solid, on his carries. Although he didn't eat up the yards like Slowley, the threat kept the defense from packing the middle.

White Plains couldn't adapt to the conditions as quickly. Difficulty moving the ball was compounded by two interceptions and a lost fumble.

It was an encouraging end to a Stepinac season that started horribly and has been slowly getting better. Four losses to open the season prompted the promotion of Collins to quarterback. Since then the team has won four of seven. Two of the three losses were by small margins. All of the skill-position players return next season.

"Nothing is better than going home winning the last game of the season," O'Donnell said. "It's a tribute to working hard even though we didn't have a great season."

This page was created in 0.1101 seconds on server 132