Caleb Gilligan-Evans ran for three touchdowns in host Stepinac's convincing 42-21 win over Kellenberg yesterday in the first round of the CHSFL AA Division playoffs.
Stepinac quarterback Joe Collins completed 19 of 27 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns, both to Josh Powell.
"Combination of both our running game and passing attack really worked for us," Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell said. "Caleb is only a freshman, and he had such an unbelievable game. Playing without Maurice Easterling, who is injured, our kids really stepped up."
Gilligan-Evans filled in quite well, finishing with 121 rushing yards on 20 carries. Stepinac wide receiver Blake Rzemieniewski had 10 receptions for 132 yards.
The top-seeded Crusaders were tied with No. 8 Kellenberg at 14-14 in the second quarter, but took the lead for good on two touchdowns by Collins, one passing and the other rushing.
Stepinac advanced to next weekend's semifinals and will take on Fordham Prep at a time and site to be determined.
"Hopefully we can go on a little nice run here," O'Donnell said. "This is the fourth time in the last two years that we will have played Fordham. There have been some great battles; we match up well against each other and we are big rivals."