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White Plains WPCNR article

Posted Friday, November 24, 2006 by The Pit Reporter


Stepinac Snaps WP String, Wins 30-0 in Rainswept Game. Posted on Thursday, November 23 @ 13:37:38 EST by jfbailey

WPCNR PRESS BOX. November 23, 2006 UPDATED WITH GAME STORY PIX 11:30 PM EST: Stepinac scored on sustained drives the first three times they had the ball against White Plains in this morning's annual Turkey Bowl Game between the cross-town rivals, building a 24-0 lead at the half behind halfback Rashaad Slowley's three touchdowns to post Stepinac's first win in four years in the longtime rivalry, snapping a 4-game White Plains Turkey Bowl win streak.

Backfield In Motion: Stepinac Junior "Rocket Rashaad" Slowley (anything but) carrying the ball about to angle to the right and go in for a touchdown in the First Quarter, to start the dominating peformance of The Crusaders. Photo, WPCNR Sports

Key Third for the Tigers: The Tigers were moving the ball in the opening series and on this third down play a pass complete to Bobby Thompson was just short of a first down. An in motion penalty on the 4th down go-for-it forced the Tigers to punt. Photo WPCNR Sports.

Rashaad Slowley the 6 foot, swivel-hipped Crusader back highlighted four Stepinac touchdown drives with key runs of 15-yards and scored all four Crusader touchdowns as the bigger harder-hitting Stepinac line swept away Tiger defenders on play after play in a game played on a muddy, tractionless(at least for the Tiger defense) gridiron, windswept goopy and merciless. In what is likely the last game played at Parker Stadium in this series on this field as White Plains knows it, this was no classic, and sounded the end of natural grass football in White Plains. (The field will be converted to synthetic Field Turf over the summer and new metal bleachers installed.) Perhaps this is a good thing noting the condition of the field at gametime.

Stepinac dominated the Tigers in this one marching down the field the first three times they had the ball, and scoring three 2-point conversions to boot.

Illegal Motion Penalty Stops Tiger Mo

It did not start out that way. White Plains elected to receive the kickoff and Matt Robles returned the ball to the WP 20. Robles next carried the ball three times for 4, 2, and 14 yards for a first down on the 40. White Plains managed another first down at the 50 and on 3rd and 5 a pass to Bobby Thompson was just short of a first down at the Step 42. It was 4th and 2 and the Tigers were moving the ball. This was the highlight of the game for the Tigers. As they took set positions, the Tiger left end moved and the linesman tossed the yellow flag. Illegal Motion. Five yard penalty. The Tigers were moved back to 4th and 7 on the 48. John Perez with the wet football punted just 13 yards and Step took over at the 35.

The Crusaders began to move and did not stop moving it until midway in the third quarter.

Rashaad Slowley took over. He cruised to a first down, 20 yards to the Tiger 40, then another first down at the Tiger 30. Matt Robles stopped the Crusaders momentarily by tackling Maurice Easterling in the backfield giving the Tigers what appeared to be a chance of stopping the drive. On the next play a face mask was called on the Tigers and that put the ball on the 9 for a first and goal to go. The two penalties appeared to take the heart out of the Tigers right there. Rashaad Slowley ran for two yards then slanted in around right end inside the goal line end zone pylon for six points with 1:34 to go in the quarter. Joe Collins caught three receivers in the end zone and completed to Easterling for a 2-point passing conversion and it was 8-0. That was where the First Quarter ended.

Slowley Turns Into Ray Rice.

Rashaad Slowley continued his Ray Rice impersonation in the second quarter as the Tigers went three and out, again punted poorly and Stepinac started up again from their 41. Slowley ran the ball swiftly slipping tacklers to the Tiger 43. Greg Datino cruised to the Tiger 30. Slowley then bounced off tacklers at the line of scrimmage, slipping around two Tigers in the center of the line and started stepping up the gut for 21 yards to the Tiger 5. He scored two plays later to make it 14-0 with 8:39 to go in the half. And again Quarterback Collins passed for a 2-point conversion to make the score 16-0.

BOOM! And it's 22-0 At the Half. Rashaad Slowley into the end zone for the third Crusader Touchdown at the end of the First half. Photo, WPCNR Sports.

Slowley scored on another touchdown following yet another mispunt recovery, and this time Collins ran the ball in for 2 points, making it 24-0 at the half. The third quarter found Slowley scoring again after a Tiger fumble late in the third quarter on a 2 yard run.

The Stepinac line was blowing the Tigers off the ball on the slow track all morning and after the first touchdown drive the Tigers could do nothing on offense. The Tigers end the season at 2-8, the Crusaders, 4-7. It was Stepinac's first win in the series since 2001, their 10th win over all against 26 defeats. The Crusaders truly dominated this game, the two crucial penalties not withstanding. Had the Tigers made that 4th and 2 in the first quarter instead of the unfortunate illegal motion penalty, the game might have been closer, but not the way Mr. Slowley was running today. The only time Stepinac punted, they did that well, too.


The Tigers Bobby Thompson and The Crusaders' Ryan Hoffer were chosen as recipients of the sportsman awards at the close of the game.

Bill Flooks, far left, and Greg Drummond, far right being honored before the kickoff as Dedicatees. Photo WPCNR Sports.

Bill Flooks and Greg Drummond of White Plains were honored as the Dedicatees of today's Turkey Bowl for their long unselfish service to Archbishop Stepinac High School and the White Plains High School football program, respectively and their tireless, generous community service.

White Plains High School Alumni Association Gives $10,000 to the WPHS band for new uniforms. To right are members of the Board of Education: Michelle Tratoros, dark coat, Peter Bassano (blue cap), and Bill Pollak (yellow cap). Photo, WPCNR Sports.

The White Plains High School Alumni Association awarded a $10,000 check to the White Plains High School Band for new uniforms for the "Best Band in All the Land" just prior to their spectacular halftime show performed in a driving rain on a muddy field.

"WP" Forever. The Best Band in All the Land playing the Alma Mater at start of the game in panchos and berets, Looking sharp in the monsoon. Band Director Leslie Tompkins is perched precarious on a wet ladder to conduct the musicians. Photo, WPCNR Sports

The show was easily the best program Leslie Tompkins the Band Director and her stalwarts have ever marched at Parker Stadium performing pinwheel formations, creating a steamboat with turning wheels to "Rolling on the River" and dancing as their brass section played "Thriller."

A crowd of around 1,500 fans from the community filled the old concrete bowl for the last time, and fans from both schools were totally impressed by the band which looked as good as a Big Ten Marching Band today in miserable marching and playing conditions

So another football season ends with the pleasant memories of a Tiger team that did not turn in a great record, but there were those names and moments to remember: Matt Robles nearly running the Tigers to victory over Mount Vernon and touchdown saving tackles week after week, Savaugn Green's acrobatic clutch catches, Ray Mitchell's go-to work, Paris Young Conner Spellman amd George Don Pierre's valiant efforts on comeback drives, Joseph Petit and Bobby Thompson never-give-up leadership. Paul LaBarbera's standing in and engineering chances to win. Mike Howard's "step up leadership." It was a season of more bad breaks and the most bad officiating this reporter has seen in seven years of writing WPHS football, but the team, the attitude, the heart was always there.

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