Slowley leads Stepinac to 45-7 win over Hayes
By KEVIN DEVANEY JR.
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: October 8, 2007)
WHITE PLAINS - Injuries happen and Mike O'Donnell has certainly seen his share in 19 years as Stepinac's coach. But when running back Rashaad Slowley went down with a sprained ankle on the third play of the season last month, it was tough for O'Donnell to watch.
"In my years, I'd never had a kid work harder in the offseason than Rashaad," O'Donnell said. "It was really sad to see him out and I'm glad now we've got him back."
Slowley's work is finally paying off. The senior rushed for 154 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in a 45-7 win over Cardinal Hayes on Joe Riverso Night at Stepinac.
It was the second game back for Slowley, who scored four touchdowns in limited action last week against Nazareth.
"Last week, I was iffy for the game and I mostly ran sweeps to the outside," Slowley said. "This week at practice, though, I looked like the old No. 5. I knew I was going to come out tonight and put on a show."
Slowley did from the start, rushing for 98 yards in the first half before opening the third with a 50-yard touchdown run.
Maurice Easterling ran for two touchdowns, and Blake Rzemieniewski and Anton Rukaj each returned fumbles for scores for the Crusaders (3-2).
Easterling, one of Stepinac's only two-way starters, also recorded nine tackles on defense.
"When Rashaad is not there, it puts a lot of pressure on Maurice," O'Donnell said. "When we have both of them, we're a different team."
The Crusaders' annual night game was played in honor of former assistant coach Joe Riverso, who died on Sept. 11, 2001.