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Stepinac vs St Anthony's Lohud.com

Posted Thursday, October 06, 2011 by lohud.com

Mike O'Donnell does not believe this particular game matters more than any other.

"We're are not making this game a Super Bowl," he said.

Still, for Stepinac, the CHSFL's defending AA champ, the opportunity to face the league's top team is special.

"I am sure there will be a great crowd," said O'Donnell, whose team last played St. Anthony's in the 2003 playoffs. "We are looking to show people how far we have come."

Who better to do that against than St. Anthony's? The Crusaders will host the league's two-time defending AAA champion at 7:30 Friday night at White Plains High School. The game was moved there this summer when rain slowed construction on Stepinac's new turf field.

O'Donnell expects the field to be dedicated on Oct. 22, prior to his team's showdown with rival Iona Prep. The Crusaders will know where they fall in the AAA division by then.

St. Anthony's enters Friday night unbeaten but fresh off a scare from Holy Cross, the team Stepinac will host next week at Purchase. The Friars have been wracked with injuries in the backfield, but their 88-man roster has provided a multitude of options.

Options are all Stepinac has been left to explore without a home field. It has played or practiced on 16 different fields since practice began on Aug. 22, often losing an hour of practice time in the process.

Despite a few sluggish stretches, the Crusaders will enter their "home" opener at 4-0, and prepared, they hope, to challenge the state's top program.

"To be able to start off at 4-0 on the road is a great tribute to our players and coaches," O'Donnell said.

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