The Stepinac High School Varsity Football team has been on the road for two games and will be away for two more games in the next two weeks. The Crusaders suffered a devastating loss to Holy Cross High School, 16-14, on Sunday, Sept. 30 at Bayside High School.
Then in a match-up of last year’s CHSFL AAA Championship, Stepinac was defeated by the number two ranked team in New York State, St. Anthony’s High School, 35-14, on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Melville, Long Island.
The Crusaders will then travel to St. Joseph-by-the-sea, on Saturday, Oct. 13 and visit rival Iona Prep, on Saturday, Oct. 20, for two more CHSFL AAA contests.
Stepinac (1-4), was plagued again by bad long-snapping in the Holy Cross game, as they were in their second game of the season against Xaverian H.S.
With 4:23 remaining in the third quarter, Stepinac’s long snapper Narendra Itwaru hiked the ball over the punters head, which was recovered by the Knights for a safety to put them in the lead, 16-14.
Noting that there was no more scoring in the game, the Knights safety resulted in the winning score for Holy Cross. “We snapped another punt over our kicker’s head for a safety to lose the game,” commented Crusaders Head Coach Mike O’Donnell.
However, Stepinac also had five fumbles in the game. Crusaders quarterback Danny Hoffer fumbled three times and running back Malcolm Major fumbled twice for turnovers in the game. “We had three turnovers in first quarter that resulted in 14 points for Holy Cross. Really bad loss,” stated O’Donnell. “Our defense played very well keeping us in the game,” acknowledged the Crusaders Head Coach.
On Saturday evening, Stepinac visited Melville to play St. Anthony’s High School (3-2), who defeated the Crusaders in the CHSFL AAA Championship last season.
Although, the Crusaders offense generated 347 yards to the Friars 333 yards, Stepinac was defeated by St. Anthony’s, 35-14, for their fourth loss of the season.
Stepinac quarterback Danny Hoffer completed 14 of 31 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing 20 times for 86 yards. Crusaders halfback Malcolm Major had five receptions on five attempts for 82 yards.
Crusaders sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Miller scored both of Stepinac’s touchdowns in the game. Miller ran for 16 yards to score and caught a 20-yard pass from Hoffer for a touchdown, with both scores coming in the third quarter. “We played well. The team fought right to the end. It was probably our best effort so far this year,” evaluated Stepinac Head Coach O’Donnell.