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Stepinac needed a big victory coming into its matchup at St. Joseph by-the-Sea on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders had only one win on the season and were in danger of not qualifying for the upcoming CHSFL-AAA playoffs.
With one kick, Mike Pizzuti may have given the Crusaders (2-4) new life in 2012.
Pizzuti booted a 22-yard game-winning field goal with less than seven seconds remaining to upset the undefeated Vikings, 17-14, and severely improve Stepinac’s chances of making the postseason.
“This is a real good win,” Stepinac coach Mike O’Donnell said. “We end up kicking a 22-yard field goal with less than seven seconds left to beat an undefeated team; it doesn’t get much better than that. We were very happy to leave Staten Island with a victory.”
Ryan Burnett ran for 125 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and Justin Thomas scored scored a 14-yard touchdown on his only carry of the game. Thomas also had 109 yard receiving on five receptions.
“We needed a win for the playoffs,” O’Donnell said. “We get a lot of points for beating a team with a great record and we beat them at their place. I’m really happy for the kids.”
Stepinac will next face league rival Iona Prep Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in a game that will be broadcasted live on msgvarsity.com.
Follow Jordan Griffith on Twitter @MSGV_JGriffith