‘Total Team Effort’ Keys Archbishop Stepinac State Football Title Win

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Joey Canino threw for four touchdowns and ran for one as Archbishop Stepinac High School of White Plains won a second consecutive Catholic high school state championship and third in four years with a 49-7 victory over visiting St. Francis of Athol Springs Nov. 24.

Canino, a junior quarterback, completed 16 of 19 passes for 301 yards to lead the Crusaders, who finished the season with seven straight wins after a 1-4 start.

“Our team had a tremendous seven-game run to win the state championship,” Stepinac coach Mike O’Donnell told CNY.

“It was a total team effort. They never stopped believing even when times got tough. It’s unbelievable to think we have won back-to-back state titles. We are very proud of this group’s accomplishments.”

Senior Malik Grant ran for 124 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries for Stepinac. Senior Shawn Harris caught nine passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Quentin McCauley had three catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior Kevin Gray and junior Mekhl Green each led the Crusader defense with 10 tackles. Seniors Joe Garbowski and De’Andre Smith contributed nine tackles.

Stepinac scored the game’s first 28 points and took a 42-7 halftime lead against St. Francis, the Msgr. Martin Athletic Association champions from the Buffalo region.

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