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Stepinac wins 28-7 in the Lions Den

Posted Saturday, October 05, 2013 by Bill Spurge

Monsignor Farrell drops 28-7 CHSFL decision to Archbishop Stepinac
By Bill Spurge
on October 05, 2013 9:54 p.m.

Monsignor Farrell allowed touchdowns on Archbishop Stepinac's first two possessions and squandered countless opportunities to get back in the game in a 28-7 CHSFL home loss in Oakwood Saturday night.

The mistake-prone Lions' offense never got untracked thanks to a host of fumbles, dropped passes and sacks. Farrell fumbled five times, losing four. About a dozen of quarterback Vincent Aranda's 30 passes went through the hands of his receivers, and Aranda was dropped for losses seven times.

"It was a disaster," stated Farrell coach Jim Bradley, whose team has lost two straight after winning its first three. "We had so many unforced errors. The amount of work you put into the game, and to give it away like that...We had dropped passes, couldn't field kicks, and had (a bad punt snap), which we haven't had in two years. You can't beat a good team like that."

Stepinac didn't need Farrell's generosity in the early going. The Crusaders' quickness and blocking ability set the tone on the game's first play, when quarterback Brandon Coleman scampered through a huge hole en route to a 55-yard gain. On the next play, Malcolm Major easily scored from 12 yards out for a 7-0 Stepinac lead.

After a Farrell three-and-out, Stepinac went 80 yards on eight plays to go ahead 14-0, with Major crossing from the 1. The Crusaders were making it look easy.

"They had a lot of speed, the kind that you don't get in practice," explained Bradley. "They're fast to begin with, and they use diversion in the backfield, so it takes a bit of time to pick it up. We were following the blocks and trying to guess who was running it. We changed to a dime package after that, and stayed it in the whole game. It started working."

Stepinac (3-1 CHSFL) had 170 yards in the first quarter (and 347 for the game), but only 31 in the second quarter. But Farrell fumbled the ball away twice late in the first quarter and could not take advantage of two red-zone chances in the second quarter. After a Brian Morales interception, Farrell reached the Stepinac 10, and went for it on 4th-and-4. Devin Kenny swept to the left, but was stopped a yard short of a first down.

Farrell then had a 2nd-and-4 at the Crusaders' 18 late in the half, but three straight incompletions halted the drive, and the Lions went into halftime still down 14-0.

Another critical error came late in the third quarter as a bad snap on a punt gave the ball to the Crusaders at the Farrell 5. Coleman hit Jerry Thompson for a TD pass on 3rd-and-9 to give the winners a 21-0 lead.

After recovering a fumble on a punt, Farrell finally finished off a drive as Kenny capped a 7-play, 49-yard march by scoring from the 5 to cut the deficit to 21-7.

But the Lions lost fumbles on consecutive possessions, and Stepinac scored the final TD when Tyquan Ennis crossed from 25 yards out.

"We had plenty of time (to come back over the course of the game," lamented Bradley, who was playing without top receiver Paul Pizzo (undisclosed injury). "It would have been a huge momentum boost (to pull within a score at any point), but we gave away opportunities."

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