The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Interhall Football Wrap-Up

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Siegfried 21, Sorin 7

iegfried continued their longstanding undefeated streak on Sunday, convincingly defeating Sorin by a score of 21-7 in blustery conditions at Riehle Fields. The Ramblers came out strong, with the only freshman on the team, Pat Manning, scoring a touchdown on their first drive down the field.

Although their defense had an interception, Sorin was unable to make anything happen on offense for the next few drives. They switched from a traditional pro-style offense to a four-wide spread for this game, a change that captain Collin O’Keefe believes shows promise, and should prove more effective with continued practice.

“If we work on pass coverage, throwing the ball a little better, and put in a few running plays, I think we’ll be really be a tough team to beat,” he said.

Near the close of the half, Siegfried was a few yards short of the first down on Sorin’s 17-yard line. They lined up for a field goal, but faked with Nate Raschke connecting to Jon Kaup for the first down.

Quarterback Bill Bingle threw again to Kaup for the touchdown, putting Siegfried up by 14 points. Raschke intercepted a Sorin pass soon after, ending the half.

Sorin was again unable to score early in the second half, and allowed the Siegfried offense another touchdown. Bingle connected with Marques Bolden, who then ran half the length of the field into the end zone.

At this point, the Sorin offense showed signs of revitalization. They passed down the field, ending the drive with Pat Flaherty putting up six for the Otters, followed by the extra point.

Siegfried Captain Vince Siciliano stated that they were upset at giving up any points in the game, and would practice this week on “defense, all around; to stop the run and stop the pass.” Their special teams played very well, especially kicker Jon Nowak, who didn’t miss a point.

Sorin, missing a few starters due to injury, played the game with only 18 men up against a full Siegfried squad. Although they didn’t come through with the win, O’Keefe was pleased with his team’s performance.

“[I was] happy with the effort we gave today,” he said. “This game proved to us that we’re a good team; we would have been right there if we hadn’t made a few mistakes.”

The teams continue their seasons next Sunday, with Siegfried taking on Fisher at 1 p.m. while Sorin plays Zahm at 2 p.m.

O’Neill 6, Stanford 0

In the battle of two defensive-minded teams, the O’Neill Angry Mob preserved an early touchdown and shut out the Stanford Griffins 6-0 on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

The game started a little shaky on offense for both teams. O’Neill went three-and-out on their first possession. After the punt, Stanford was pinned inside their own 7-yard line. Quarterback Rich Whitney optioned to halfback Mark McNamee for a 28-yard gain. However, two plays later, O’Neill captain John Enterline intercepted Whitney and returned it 26 yards to the Stanford 10-yard line. This set up quarterback Tommy Tiberio for a touchdown run. The extra point was blocked, but the Angry Mob led 6-0.

Stanford was forced to punt on their next possession after a 10-yard loss on a sack. The Angry Mob then drove down the field to the Stanford 14-yard line with a mix of passes from Tiberio and solid running by Enterline. However, O’Neill was forced to attempt a field goal, and they missed wide right.

With the ball, Stanford made one first down to give itself some room, but had to eventually punt. O’Neill made a decent return to midfield, but on first down, Tiberio threw an interception over the middle.

Stanford gave the ball right back when Whitney’s pass was tipped at the line, popped up and intercepted by O’Neill near midfield. The Angry Mob threatened again and got the ball to the Stanford 15-yard line after two nice passes by Tiberio. But the O’Neill quarterback was intercepted in the end zone to end the half.

O’Neill and Stanford both had promising drives in the third quarter with some good runs. O’Neill held Stanford near midfield and the Griffins forced the Angry Mob to punt after a sack. The center snapped the ball low to the punter, who kneeled and was called down soon as he caught he ball. This huge mistake left Stanford with the ball in O’Neill territory.

Stanford got down to the 17-yard line after Whitney threw a deep out pass. However, the offense could not move the ball any farther, and they went for it on fourth down. Whitney threw the ball in the end zone, and the referee made a questionable no-call as the players were battling for position and the pass fell incomplete. O’Neill made a big stand and got the ball back with little time left, collected a crucial first down and were able to kneel to run the clock out.

“It was great to come out with a win today,” Enterline said.

This was the Angry Mob’s first win in two seasons.

“The offensive line was much improved from last week. The key to this game was that we played a physical game and cut down on mistakes,” he explained. “I think we can keep this going into next week.”

Stanford quarterback Rich Whitney sighed and said, “We just did not execute today.” He explained that his team still needs a lot of work, and he believes improved results will come from a better dedication from everyone and a higher intensity at practice.

St. Ed’s 6, Carroll 0

In a game that involved a lot of power football, St. Ed’s escaped with a 6-0 win over Carroll in what can only described as a hard fought, intense battle. Both teams played fierce defense in a game that was not by any means pretty.

Late in the first half, St. Ed’s took the lead with a 12-yard Chris Wagner quarterback scramble capping off a 45-yard scoring drive. This proved to be the only touchdown in this tough defensive showdown.

St. Ed’s relied heavily on their running game, moving the ball between the tackles, picking up yards in small packages. They ran the ball a total of 22 times, gaining 84 yards on the ground. It was this fired-up running attack that exhausted an otherwise solid Carroll defense.

“We definitely ran better as the game went on. We wore them down, and when they got tired, we took advantage of it,” said Wagner.

Late in the game, Carroll had one last chance at a comeback but in their first play from scrimmage, St. Ed’s intercepted Carroll’s pass to virtually seal the win. Two runs and a kneeldown later, St. Ed’s had officially come out with the victory.

“We’re very happy right now. This is our first win in years. We’re real excited,” remarked coach Kevin McNamara. “Carroll is a great football team and we executed just enough to come out with a win.”

The St. Ed’s defense came up big all day, creating two fumbles, intercepting a pass, and forcing Carroll to go three and out on three separate occasions.

“Our defense did a great job today. They work hard and it really showed today in shutting them out,” Wagner said. “We are a well coached group, and we did the little things such as playing tough defense today to get the win.”

With the loss, Carroll drops to 1-1 while St. Ed’s moves to 1-0. St. Ed’s is looking to continue this solid play into the upcoming games, while Carroll hopes to return to the level of play that allowed them to win their season opener.

Morrissey 9, Alumni 0

The Morrissey Manorites defeated the Alumni Big Dawgs with a 9-0 victory Sunday.

The Big Dawgs were unable to stand up to the Manorites’ defensive pressure as they became the second consecutive team Morrissey has shutout.

The defense forced three turnovers and stopped the Big Dawgs runs, forcing Alumni to switch to their passing game.

“Brian Dinsmore and Jason Wise have done a phenomenal job all year. They have been the key to our defense this year…we have yet to allow another team to score a touchdown,” said Morrissey captain Aaron Ronsheim.

Despite the loss, the Big Dawgs showed strength in their defense early in the first half as the Manorites were unable to convert great field position into points.

The Big Dawgs’ momentum did wane however as the first half came to a close.

The Big Dawgs intercepted the ball late in the first half at the 1-yard line which resulted in a safety for the Manorites when the Big Dawgs couldn’t stand up to the defensive pressure as quarterback Chris Cottingham was sacked.

The Manorites took a 2-0 lead at halftime despite their early offensive struggles.

The Manorites’ energy continued as the offense began the third quarter with a 25-yard completion to Ronsheim for the touchdown. The Manorites also completed the filed goal to make the score 9-0.

To begin the fourth quarter, the Big Dawgs’ offensive struggles continued as Cottingham threw an interception.

The interception was caught by Dinsmore and turned out to be the key for the Manorities to continue the momentum until the end of the game with the shutout.

“We did not perform up to our potential…we need to come out and execute next Sunday,” said Alumni captain Larry Rooney.

Despite Alumni’s disappointment, Morrissey felt that the Big Dawgs were a great competitor.

“Alumni is a really good team and they will be in the playoffs. They played a tough game,” said Ronsheim.

Knott 21, Zahm 0

The Knott team held true to their moniker; in the face of the juggernaut, the uneven Zahm lines quickly fell back and were unable to rise to stop a 21 – 0 Jugg victory. The contest was a rivalry tie-breaker, as in the previous two years, each team had achieved one shutout over the other.

“Although we’re friends off the field, on the field, everyone hates Zahm and we hate everyone else,” said Zahm captain Mike Maimone.

Knott took the reins early on, scoring its first touchdown and successful extra point less than ten minutes into the game, and never really let go.

“Talent-wise I think we are improved in many areas over last year’s team. It [was] just a matter of us putting it together during a game,” said Knott captain Drew Donovan.

Zahm continuously tried for downs with their running plays, the highlight of the team’s strengths. Freshman quarterback Mitch Knapke brought a rare speed onto the interhall field to lead the Zahmbie lines.

However, despite several impressive drives in the opening half, the rest of Knapke’s line couldn’t give him enough consecutive chances to get out of the pocket to score.

Knott then passed down the field for another strong play checked just short of the 35-yard line, but the subsequent incomplete pass prevented a first down.

As Zahm again gained possession, the coaches tried for better success through their passing game to disappointing results. The half closed on the third incomplete in a row.

“[We] just didn’t come out focused in the first half and … ran out of time,” Maimone said.

The second half proved to be much like the first, but with the Knott team playing in fast-forward, raking in twice their first half point total.

Zahm’s various handoffs and runs were subject to inconsistent execution. The team moved nearly in reach of their goal line during their first offensive stance of the half, only to fumble and lose control of the ball. In their next possession, the Zahmbies gained hardly five yards while allowing sacks of their quarterback twice in a row.

Entering the fourth quarter, Knott took hold of the ball for a rapid succession of plays to score. An offense led by John Bisanz and Jason Creek orchestrated a pass to the 35-yard line and then another to just beyond the 25. The Juggs followed a first down sack by the steadfast, if unequally matched, Zahm defense with the second touchdown and extra point of the afternoon.

“[Our] offense has talent but is inexperienced running full speed against a full defense,” Maimone said.

In Zahm’s final turn with the football, Knapke’s speed shone through again, but without effective team coordination, no points could be scored.

With seemingly unstoppable momentum, the uniform Jugg front passed their way to the concluding score of the game, despite a first down fumble. Knott’s kicker Eric Wooldridge dealt the final blow with his third powerful and precise extra point of the afternoon.

Dillon 14, Keough 3

In their opening game of the season Sunday afternnoon, the Dillon football team hoped to make a statement about their return to dominance.

By controlling the football and forcing turnovers, the Big Red showed they are well on their way, defeating the Keough Kangaroos 14-3.

“It was great for our team to get out there and get one under our belt,” Dillon halfback/cornerback Ben Butwin said. “You never know how a team will perform until you get out there.”

Dillon was successful on their opening drive when quarterback Michael Johnson, after working the ball down the field, scored on a quarterback sneak from the one yard-line.

Robert McBride proceeded to make the extra point, putting Dillon up 7-0.

James Waechter’s 40-yard field goal put Keough on the board, however, and the halftime score was 7-3.

Solid defense on both sides prevented any more scoring until Butwin broke through the Kangaroos’ defense midway through the second half. Butwin received the handoff from Johnson and ,thanks to several key blocks by Dillon’s offensive line, was able to make a 45-yard run into the endzone.

“I was glad I was there to make the big run,” said Butwin, who also had a fumble recovery earlier in the game. “It kind of was the nail in the coffin, a big morale booster for our team.”

In a battle of turnovers late in the game, Dillon’s Justin Hubbard stripped the ball out of Keough quarterback Brian Kusper’s arms.

Keough’s Patrick Hayes countered with a fumble recovery of his own, but Dominic Eck of Dillon intercepted it on the next play.

“The game’s so short; it’s all about time of possession and turnovers,” Butwin said. “We were able to capitalize on some of Keough’s mistakes and it gave us a lot of momentum.”

“We really need to cut down on the turnovers. That’s really killed us these past two games,” Keough linebacker Kyle LeClere said.

Butwin credits Sunday’s win to his team’s intensity and the experience of many returning players.

“The offensive line really stepped up and our defense played well,” he said. “Our quarterback Michael Johnson really showed good leadership out there too. We just have a lot of good athletes who can work together well.”

Keough is hoping to pull it all together in time to make the playoffs but they know it will be an “uphill battle.”

“We made a lot of improvements. It’s a step in the right direction,” LeClere said.

He specifically emphasized the play-making ability of freshman Chaz Arnold who made significant contributions on both sides of the football.

“We’re looking for him to have another big week for us,” LeClere said.

Dillon is now looking to gain some revenge in their next game against arch-rival Alumni. Their win over Keough gave them confidence in their defense and play-calling ability, but the Big Red know they have to step up their level of play for the next game.

“We need to work on our play execution and the mental parts of the game. Our defense just needs to stay tough,” Butwin said. “I’m looking forward to making it back to the stadium.”