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Stepinac Prevails In Football Thriller Over Rival Iona Prep

Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Daily Voice talks to Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell, Stepinac's Atrilleon Williiams (five TDs), and Iona Prep coach Joe Spagnola about the game.
Daily Voice talks to Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell, Stepinac's Atrilleon Williiams (five TDs), and Iona Prep coach Joe Spagnola about the game. Video Credit: Daily Voice Southern Westchester
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell on the sidelines Saturday.
Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell on the sidelines Saturday. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Iona Prep coach Joe Spagnola directs his players during Saturday's game.
Iona Prep coach Joe Spagnola directs his players during Saturday's game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Some future varsity players watch the game from the sidelines.
Some future varsity players watch the game from the sidelines. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game.
Defending state champion Archbishop Stepinac held on to defeat host Iona Prep Saturday in the teams' annual rivalry game. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Iona Prep football coach Joe Spagnola had a chance to tie Saturday's 42-34 loss to longtime rivals Archbishop Stepinac in the game's final moments.

After scoring with 1:30 remaining to bring the Gaels within a point at 35-34, Spagnola could have had his team kick the PAT, potentially sending the game into overtime.

But that's not Spagnola. The aggressive coach stayed true to his and his team's personality, and went for the lead -- and possibly the win -- going all-in for the two-point conversion.

Unfortunately for the homestanding Gaels, the play failed, and Stepinac held on for the victory, in one of Westchester's most intense and storied rivalries.

Following their miss on the two-point conversion, the Gaels tried an onsides kick - and recovered - keeping hope alive, down eight with just under a minute to play.

But moments later Stepinac's star of the game, Atrilleon Williams, removed any doubt, scoring on a pick six - returning an interception 70 yards - for his fifth touchdown of the game for the defending NYSCHSFL AAA state champions, who improved to 2-0.

While Iona Prep (0-2) continues to hold the edge in the all-time series, 40-29, the Crusaders have now won the last five meetings between the teams.

Check out the video to see Daily Voice talk to Stepinac coach Mike O'Donnell, Williiams, and Iona Prep coach Spagnola about the game.

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