Stepinac Storms Past White Plains
By Jordan Griffith | Thursday, November 25
The Crusaders cap the school’s first undefeated season in school history with a 42-14 rout of rival White Plains.
Scroll to the bottom for full highlights and interviews from this game
Stepinac 42, White Plains 14
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - At the beginning of the season, Stepinac coach Mike O’Donnell set three goals with his team; to beat Iona Prep in the season opener, to finish the regular season as the No. 1 seed, and to win the AA division championship.
Of course, the Crusaders planned to beat White Plains in the Turkey Bowl at the end of the season.
So it shouldn’t surprise anybody that after last weeks championship win, Stepinac players celebrated and rejoiced — but no too much.
Stepinac completed its best season in school history by defeating White Plains 42-14 in the 40th annual Turkey Bowl. The Crusaders finished undefeated for the first time ever at 12-0.
“We set our goals before every season,” O’Donnell said. “And this year, we accomplished them all. That’s really an incredible feat. I don’t like to use that word ‘undefeated’ at the beginning of the season. But this team even achieved the unsaid goal.”
Tyrell Goodman completed his amazing career at Stepinac, running for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, and throwing for 81 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jeff Clack intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown to seal the game.
Two juniors had big days for the Crusaders as well; Caleb Gilligan-Evans ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns and Vincent Narog caught two passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.
“The guys really wanted this win this game; to cement the season, grab payback for the loss last year, and just finish off the right way,” O’Donnell said. “It doesn’t surprise me at all that these guys were able to keep up the playing level after winning the championship. We’ve got a great group.”
Senior quarterback Michael Trapp threw for 101 yards and a touchdown and ran for 53 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort for White Plains.
Stepinac was able to win Thursday despite only four days rest from Saturday’s CHSFL AA Division title game.
“This has been a dream season,” Goodman said. “To win all your games and be the champs, you always want to try and do that, but to actually have it come true is incredible. Last week we won the championship but we all knew there was one more step left before we really went down in history.”
Going down in history is something this team and Goodman surely will do. Not only was Stepinac unbeaten, it went relatively untouched throughout the season, which culminated in a 41-6 victory over Kellenberg in the final.
The closest game of the year for Stepinac actually came in the opening day against Iona Prep, the CHSFL AAA Division runner-up. Stepinac won 23-6, a game they said set the tone for the entire season.
“That Iona game was a huge confidence booster for us,” Goodman said. “It showed that we were for real and made a statement. From there we were off and running.”
Goodman certainly knows a bit about running and will go down as a Stepinac legend.
“Rabbit is incredible, he always can elevate his game,” said O’Donnell, who is in his 23rd year as Stepinac head coach. “You could tell him that we’re going to go out and play the Jets or the Giants next week and he wouldn’t bat an eye. That’s what the kid is about and it’s been a pleasure to coach him.”
White Plains did all it could to give Stepinac a game. The game was scoreless until and tied 7-7 midway through the second quarter. Goodman, though, threw a 30 yard strike to Narog to put Stepinac up 14-7 at the half.
In the second half, Goodman and Gilligan-Evans dominated. The duo was just too much for the Tigers, who gave up two scores in less then six minutes. Both scores came from Gilligan-Evans and were set up on long runs by Goodman.
Trapp was able to run a score in before the fourth quarter to put the Tigers down 28-14, but Gilligan Evans ran for 56 yards on two plays to set up a 17 yard score by Goodman to all but end the game. Five plays later Clack intercepted a pass and returned it 52 yards for a score to add a little more padding Stepinac’s lead.
Goodman and Trapp received the BT Lauer awards after the game for the most valuable players for their respective teams.
The 40th Turkey Bowl was another huge success. Forty years of tradition has made one of the best rivalries in high school sports something people of Westchester County can come together for and enjoy like nothing else.
Here’s to 40 more.
S (8:53) Tyrell Goodman 19-yd run; Goodman 17-yd td run, XP good, 7-0 Stepinac (Watch Play)
WP (4:26): Michael Trapp 33-yd td pass to Michael Graham Walker, XP good, 7-7 tie (Watch Play)
S (1:10): Tyrell Goodman 30-yd td pass to Vincent Narog, XP good 14-7 Stepinac (Watch Play)
S (7:30) Caleb Gilligan-Evans 8-yd td run, XP failed, 20-7 Stepinac (Watch Play)
S (6:30) Tyrell Goodman 21-yd run to 1-yd line; Caleb Gilligan-Evans 1-yd td run, 2-pt conversion good, 28-7 Stepinac (Watch Play)
WP (0:40) Michael Trapp 1-yd td run, XP good, 28-14 Stepinac (Watch Play)
S (10:54) Tyrell Goodman 17-yd td run, XP good, 35-14 Stepinac (Watch Play)
S (8:36) Jeff Clack intercepts pass and returns it 52-yd for td, XP good, 42-14 (Watch Play)
Stepinac fullback/linebacker Caleb Gilligan-Evans (Watch)
Stepinac quarterback Tyrell Goodman (Watch)
Stepinac head coach Mike O’Donnell (Coming soon)
White Plains head coach Skip Stevens (Watch)
Turkey Bowl Halftime Ceremony (Coming soon)
White Plains vs. Stepinac Full Game (Coming soon)