Maurice Easterling & Crusaders take 'Step' in the right direction
Tuesday, October 7th 2008, 1:46 PM
Fordham Prep and Stepinac have long been accustomed to playing football in October with a division title on the line.
What a difference a year can make.
Stepinac had lost three straight games, and Fordham Prep two in a row, when the teams met in White Plains on Saturday night.
The traditional 'AA' powers have endured a rocky adjustment to the new CHSFL format, which pits both teams against traditional 'AAA' powers.
Stepinac took a step in the right direction when Maurice Easterling caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Joe Collins with 19 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, giving the Crusaders a 20-13 victory.
"We started the season with a win over Hayes, then three straight losses against very good teams," Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell said. "The way we won should help us; we were lucky to come out on top."
Easterling ran for two touchdowns in the first half to give Stepinac a 13-0 lead at the break. The Rams' Connor Brown hauled in a 60-yard touchdown pass, cutting the deficit to 13-7.
Fordham Prep tied the score at 13-13 when Brendan McGlynn hit Charles Argast with a one-yard touchdown pass with 1:22 to play in the game. Stepinac blocked the extra point and Easterling broke off a 31-yard run on the ensuing possession to get the Crusaders (2-3, 1-2 CHSFL) in scoring position.
Collins then found Easterling in the open flat and the speedy senior broke Connor Brown's tackle for the game-winning touchdown dropping Fordham Prep to 2-3 overall and 0-3 in the league.
"This new league format is very difficult for teams like Stepinac and Fordham," O'Donnell said. "Week in and week out we just don't have the manpower to compete with some of the bigger schools we are playing."
Fordham Prep hosts Xaverian on Saturday night, and Stepinac hosts St. Francis Prep.