Kwamayne Davis’ helmet was still on and his mouth piece still in as he tried to stay out of the rain outside the locker room at SUNY Maritime. It seemed like clouds had followed the Cardinal Hayes quarterback all game.
The senor had just thrown four interceptions, three in the first half of the Cardinal’s 44-19 loss to Archbishop Stepinac in a CHSFL AA-A game Friday night. Hayes which came into the contest unbeaten, turned the ball over seven times and never got back into the game after it was 7-7 late in the first quarter.
“It was bad reads,” Davis said. “I had trouble seeing the field and was getting pressured quickly.”
Cardinal Hayes' quarterback Kwamayne Davis pitches the ball to Jeramiah Kobena.
Stepinac (7-0, 6-0 CHSFL 'AA') scored after two interceptions, a 12-yard touchdown run by Joshua Powell to open the scoring and Brian Byrnes returned a pick 23-yards for a score to give the Crusaders a 21-7 lead with 10:45 left in the first half. The other two came just before the half and on the Cardinals (5-1, 5-1 CHSFL AA) first series after the break. Davis said he would take the blame for the loss.
“He didn’t play a good game,” Hayes coach CJ O’Neil said of Davis. “I’ve had games I didn’t coach well. The kid didn’t play a good game. You can’t hide that, you can’t sugarcoat that. We will see how her responds.”
He wasn’t the only Hayes player Stepinac bothered. Star running back Jeramiah Kobena was held to just 25 yards and touchdown on five carries. Davis connected with Bryant McAdoo for Hayes’ first score on a 22-yard screen pass. Stepinac led by as much as 37-7 in the fourth quarter.
“We all didn’t come out with the fire we were supposed to,” McAdoo said. “We didn’t come out as a team today.”
What O’Neil is most interested in now is how his squad will respond to it first defeat, especially when its rival gets to keep a trophy passed to the winner each time the schools meet. McAdoo said he was going to lobby O’Neil to allow the team to come in Sunday to watch the tape so they can start dissecting it.
“We need to watch this film,” McAdoo said. “We need to learn on it. We need to get better. We need to start building off of it.”
When they watch, they will see a lot of Stepinac quarterback Tyrell Goodman. The junior, who took over for three-year starter Joseph Collins, the schools all-leading passer, was sensational. Goodman was 9-of-19 for 90 yards and three touchdowns, two to Nick Euvino, and also earned one on the ground. He needed to step up ever more after Powell went down in the first quarter with an ankle injury. Caleb Gilligan–Evan rushed for 92 yards on 13 carries. The win clinches first place for Stepinac in the AA-A divison.
“Our offense, we started off slow in the beginning,” Goodman said. “Towards the middle of the game we just had to make a statement.”
The Crusaiders are 7-0 for the first time in coach Mike O’Donnell’s 29-year tenor. He was ecstatic with the win, especially with the job his defense did confusing Davis and shutting down the explosive Hayes offense, even though it had not given up more than seven points in a AA-A game this season.
“We were very worried coming in,” O’Donnell said. “I sat and watched the film this afternoon. I was just sitting there and it was like a horror show.”
Hayes may feel similarly watching the video of this one.