Russell White cradled the ball in his left hand, the place where it has rested innumerable times the past 3 years. The place where it rested 4 times on touchdowns Saturday night. The place where it was nestled for many of the scores in his record-breaking career at Crespi High.
White rocked the ball in his hands, and he and his teammates rocked Alemany, 49-0, in a Del Rey League opener at Pierce College.
With his third score, White eclipsed the state scoring record formerly held by Tyreese Knox (476 points) of Jefferson High in Daly City. White’s fourth score gave him a total of 488 points.
The ball, he admitted, was largely ceremonial, but to White, it didn’t really matter if it was the one he carried on a vintage, 28-yard scoring run in the second quarter, setting the new mark.
“I don’t know if this is the right one or not,” he said with a laugh. “But it’s one of them.”
White keyed a victory so decisive that Alemany Coach Pat Blackburn refused to shake hands with Crespi Coach Bill Redell after the final gun.
Blackburn, palms raised, snapped at Redell for throwing the ball in the second half, after the Celts (3-3, 1-0) led, 28-0. To which Redell countered, “Have a little class.”
Alemany, clearly, was outclassed on the field from the outset.
White scored on a 1-yard run on Crespi’s second possession to give the Celts a 7-0 lead. White was just getting warmed up, however.
On Crespi’s next possession, he scored on an 18-yard shovel pass from Ron Redell (11 of 14 for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns) to put the Celts on top, 14-0, with 8:33 left in the half. That score tied Knox’s scoring mark, but White shattered the record 3 minutes later when he ran over Alemany defender Jason Corralho and 2 others on a 28-yard jaunt.
In Crespi’s playbook, the play is called “Ace left, 47 jab gap.” For Alemany (3-3, 0-1), it was no jab, it was the knockout punch.
The Celts even scored twice on blocked punts. Alemany punter Andy Cicoria was continually under siege, and Crespi’s Mike Peters finally got through to block an attempt in the third quarter. Chris Romero recovered at the 3-yard line and rumbled in for the score, giving Crespi a 35-0 lead.
Alemany quarterback Joey Rosselli, the top-rated passer among Valley-area quarterbacks with 1,018 yards as he entered the game, was sacked 6 times and rushed for minus-54 yards. He was dogged so badly by the Crespi defense that his jersey was ripped from his back late in the second quarter, and he played the remainder of the game wearing the jersey of receiver Billy Markowitz.
Rosselli probably wished he had played under an assumed name: He finished with 69 yards on an erratic 6-of-20 passing.
White finished with 153 yards in 19 carries, 108 of which came in the first half.
“The record felt real good,” he said. “I told some of the guys on the team that I felt Russell coming back tonight, and they didn’t really believe me. They said ‘We’ll wait and see.’ ”
They didn’t have to wait long. The record-breaking run came at 8:10 p.m., 40 minutes into the game.