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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK : White's Long-Distance Hauls Steer Crespi to Lopsided Win

September 30, 1987|STEVE ELLING

It was midway through the third quarter of Crespi's game with Santa Barbara last Friday night and Russell White stood along the sideline making a projection to some teammates.

A long-range projection.

"I think I'm gonna get me one more 50-yarder," White said, "and then I'll call it a night."

The comment wasn't intended as a White slight on the Santa Barbara defense.

When somebody scores from 94 yards on his first carry and from 57 yards on another and has three touchdowns in all, he's not blowing smoke.

White finished with a school-record 266 yards on 16 carries--an average of 16.7 yards each attempt--as Crespi rolled up 636 yards in total offense en route to a 55-0 rout.

Santa Barbara entered the game with a 2-0 record and had allowed only six points. White and backfield mate J. J. Lasley doubled that total after each had touched the football once. Lasley, who finished with a career-high 153 yards on seven carries, scored on his first three rushing attempts.

"I don't think Santa Barbara ever really knew what hit them," Crespi Coach Bill Redell said. "It was boom and they were gone."

White's first touchdown set the tempo. On a play called 46 Slice, White cut the Santa Barbara defense to shreds.

"It was out of the I-formation," White said. "I went right up the middle through a hole so big my family could have walked through it. Then it was just me and the defensive back. I gave him a little juke move and it was all over."

For White and the rest of the Celts, it was the type of game fans had been expecting. Crespi started the season ranked No. 1 in the nation but opened with a 17-17 tie at Redlands. The Celts are now in gear, White said.

"We got all the bugs out," he said. "J. J. had a good game, we had time to throw the ball, everybody got in on it."

And White got more of what he has begun to expect from himself.

"I needed a game like that," he said. "Had to get my average back up there."

And for the sake of accuracy, after the sideline comment, White carried once more for 20 yards, setting the Crespi record. He was removed with 1:01 left in the third quarter.

White called it a night. Santa Barbara called it a nightmare.

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