Stepinac over Iona

Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010 by

Stepinac over Iona

Posted Sunday, September 12, 2010 by Jthompson

Week 1: Sunday’s schedule 09.12.10

Well, it was a very busy Saturday, that’s for sure, but a few games remain in Week 1.

Like I’ve said the last couple days, we’re broadcasting New Rochelle at North Rockland LIVE today at 1:30 p.m. It is a rematch of last year’s Class AA championship, a game won 38-0 by New Ro. You can find today’s rematch at

I’ll also be at North Rockland to cover the game. For updates on that game and more, follow me on Twitter at

If you have something to share, please post your comments on this thread. Once I get into the office after the New Rochelle-North Rockland game, I will post scores with links to box scores and stats as quickly as I can.

If you’re a coach and you don’t see a reporter at your game, please report the score to us by phone at 914-696-8888.

Sunday’s games —
Dover at Blind Brook, 12 p.m.
New Rochelle at North Rockland, 1:30 p.m.
Nanuet at Ardsley, 1:30 p.m.
Briarcliff at Westlake, 1:30 p.m.
Pelham at Irvington, 1:30 p.m.
Byram Hills at Port Chester, 2 p.m.

Notes/observations from Saturday 09.11.10

I saw two games today and in both cases my predictions were very wrong. First, I’m going to discuss Stepinac’s win over Iona Prep and Harrison’s win over Roosevelt, then I’ll delve into a couple other items I learned today.

Stepinac 23, Iona Prep 6 — This was an incredible win for the Crusaders. Obviously, beating their rival for the first time since 2002 is huge. They talked about having the confidence to win, then they went out and backed it up, beating Iona for the first time in seven meetings.

But perhaps what most impressed me about Stepinac today was its ability to persevere through adversity. Both teams saw drives stall early because of mistakes. The Crusaders were hit with a couple personal fouls and at least one key holding that left them with little to show for their first-half efforts. That could be said even more so for Iona, which had a 60-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion run called back and committed even more costly penalties than Stepinac. But remember: the Crusaders were the underdogs in this rivalry. Maybe not this year, but they were the underdogs in general. And they had put the pressure on themselves to win this year, making it even more of a squeeze box for them. Yet they kept making plays, Tyrell Goodman (above) kept producing big plays, and the win was theirs. No self-induced collapse. Instead, it was the very opposite.

“We’re always measured by Iona Prep,” said Stepinac coach Mike O’Donnell, pictured right. “I think everybody looks at our program as we’re a step below. Them losing some very good players and us having some very good players coming back — we knew this was one of the years where we possibly had a shot against them. Our kids really rose to the occasion and played great.”

O’Donnell, who, if you know him, is as good a man as there is in local sports, also took a certain satisfaction in playing this game and earning this win on Sept. 11, the day nine years ago when his program lost an assistant coach and former player Joseph Riverso, a man who the team honors every day. O’Donnell took his team to a memorial service on Friday for the victims who were from White Plains.

“Coach Riverso loved Stepinac,” O’Donnell said. “Probably his biggest rival was Iona. For him to be looking down on us today, I think there’s something to be said about that.”