Crusaders halfback Malcolm Major (left) is enthusiastically congratulated by teammate wide receiver Andrew Geni (right) in the end zone after his 82-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Photo by Albert Coqueran
Stepinac High School opened their 2013 Football Season with a convincing home victory over Mount St. Michael Academy, on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Stepinac High School, White Plains. The Crusaders launched an offensive barrage on the Mountaineers, while blowing them out by a score of 47-14.
There were three apparent reasons for the Crusaders lopsided win over their historically spirited foe from the Bronx. The performances of running back Malcolm Major and quarterback Brandon Coleman and the Crusaders stingy defense that forced five fumbles in the first half, while recovering two and only allowing one touchdown in the game until 2:17 of the fourth quarter.
Junior quarterback Coleman was playing in his initial varsity game for the Crusaders, after leading the junior varsity last season to a 7-1 record. Coleman is a duel- threat (run and pass) quarterback, who seemed to have a rocky start running the football in the first five minutes of the game.
Stepinac’s running back Malcolm Major (left) ran for 155 yards and four touchdowns, as the Crusaders ran over Mount St. Michael Academy, 47-14, in their Home Opener win, on Saturday, September 7. Photo by Albert Coqueran
Nonetheless, at 7:11 in the first quarter opponents were made aware of the challenge they will be experiencing this season from the Crusaders crafty run/pass junior quarterback. Coleman scooted around the end to the sideline near the Stepinac bench and made onlookers out of the Mountaineers defense, as he ran 52 yards for the Crusaders first touchdown of the game.
Coleman ended the afternoon running with 12 carries for 137 yards and one touchdown, while completing 3 of 10 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Noteworthy, Coleman’s numbers reflected only three quarters of play, as he sat the fourth quarter, after Stepinac led 47-6 at the end of the third quarter.
“It felt really good because this is my first time coming out on the varsity stage. I just had to get rid of those butterflies and after the first snap we were good,” said Coleman. “It is nice to come away with a win,” smiled the Crusaders QB.
However, Major was unquestionably the Player of the Game. The Crusaders junior halfback started his second season of varsity football by running for 155 yards on nine carries and scoring four touchdowns against the Mountaineers.
Major is an Intersectional Track and Field Champion Sprinter, who gave up track in the offseason and committed himself to the weight room. He gained 19 pounds of solid muscle during the offseason and it did not slow him down one bit. “I think that I made the right decision. I always knew the speed would be there; I just needed the extra bulk on my body to take some of the hits that I am going to experience later in the season,” explained Major.
Stepinac Head Coach Mike O’Donnell (center) and his staff control the strategy from the sideline, as the Crusaders faithful enjoy their Home Opener win over Mount St. Michael, 47-14, on Saturday, September 7, at Stepinac High School. Photo by Albert Coqueran
The Mountaineers got a sample of Major’s speed after they committed their third of five fumbles in the game. With Stepinac leading 7-0 and Mount threatening to score and tie the game; they fumbled on the Crusaders 18-yard line.
Crusaders Captain Brian Harris was there to reap the benefits and recovered the fumble. On the very next play Major took a handoff from Coleman and ran 82 yards up the sideline for a touchdown.
Major also scored by running 13 yards to pay dirt at 1:20 of the second quarter, after Crusaders Chris Jordan recovered Mount’s fifth fumble. Major also exploded again at 8:06 in the third quarter, while running 64 yards from scrimmage for a touchdown and he also plunged one yard into the end zone again before the third quarter ended.
“I kind of expected it, as my team and I worked hard in the offseason. It is good to get the benefits out of all the work that we did in the offseason, it is very rewarding,” stated Major, after scoring four touchdowns in the game.
“Malcolm (Major) was one of our hardest workers in the offseason. He got bigger, stronger and he is very determined. Malcolm is also dangerously fast,” expressed Stepinac Head Coach Mike O’Donnell. “Malcolm knows that he has to carry the load for us, so there is a lot of weight on his shoulders. He did a great job today and the offensive line did a good job opening some holes for him,” stated O’Donnell