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Defense shines in Dillon’s 3-0 win over Alumni

Rachel Schiros, Bob Griffin and Steve Coyer | Tuesday, October 7, 2003

When asked their ultimate goal this year, both teams gave exactly the same response – “to win it all.” But when Alumni played Dillon this past Sunday, the Big Red took one step closer to reaching that ambition with a 3-0 win.

Alumni blocked three field goal attempts in the losing effort, but was unable to stop the most important one. With 27 seconds remaining in the game, Dillon kicker Brian Fallon sent the game-winning kick through the uprights to knock off rival Alumni.

“This was our biggest test so far this season,” Dillon captain J. T. Arseniadis said. “It really showed what we’re made of. Alumni is a great team – tough, strong and great competitors. I give them all the credit in the world. This was by far the toughest game I have played in my three years [on the team].”

The Dillon victory puts them at 2-0 and Alumni at a 1-2 record.

Both offenses had difficulty moving the ball in the first quarter, and strong defense resulted in several turnovers.

A Big Red fumble was snatched up by the Dawgs, who were then intercepted on a pass just three plays later. The defensively-controlled game continued as Alumni prevented a Dillon first down with a sack, followed by a blocked field goal.

Dillon was twice more frustrated by the force of Alumni defense in the second half, again by a sack and then the third block of a weak Dillon field goal attempt.

With the ball back and some momentum in the game, Alumni was still unable to put points on the board, as it fell victim to another interception by Dillon at the goal line.

“Our defense really stepped up for us this weekend,” Arseniadis said.

Keenan 12, O’Neill 0

In Sunday’s matchup between Keenan and O’Neill, Keenan’s tough running game and impressive defense allowed them to emerge with a 12-0 victory.

Keenan running backs Alex Staffieri and Reed Langton provided much of the offense as Keenan moved to 2-0 on the season after an opening win over Stanford. The strong Keenan running game produced a pair of touchdowns for the Knights – one in each half.

The first score of the game came on a 25-yard run by Langton, capping off a quick, four-play, 50-yard drive. The second touchdown was a 6-yard run by Staffieri that came on Keenan’s final possession. Staffieri’s score ended an eight-play, 55-yard drive that included a fumbled snap on a punt that turned into a Keenan first down.

“Our running backs ran hard and broke a lot of tackles,” captain Patrick Downey said. “That has been our forte. Our line has been good, and that’s all that you can ask for.”

Keenan’s running game accounted for 132 yards on 26 carries, taking a lot of time off the clock in the 2nd half in order to preserve the lead.

Keenan’s defense was equally as important in the win, as it shut out its opponent for the second straight week. While O’Neill (1-2) did look sharp at times, Keenan’s defensive unit sacked the quarterback five times and forced O’Neill into five three and outs.

“We are very happy with our defense in that we haven’t allowed any points for two straight weeks,” Downey said.

Keenan now looks ahead to games against Morrissey and Dillon, who should challenge the Knights’ 2-0 record. These two games could prove to be pivotal in determining Keenan’s position for the rest of the season.

“We’re just now entering the meat of our schedule,” Downey said.

Morrissey 18, Stanford 0

Some people may grow tired of hearing how defense wins championships, but Morrissey hopes to hear more of that saying after its third shutout victory of the season – an 18-0 victory over Stanford.

The first half was a defensive battle with both teams missing scoring chances due to turnovers and penalties.

Morrissey managed to score a touchdown after a long drive to make the score 6-0 going into the second half.

In the second half, Morrissey’s defense took over control of the game and pressured Stanford into two interceptions.

“In the second half, we picked it up on both sides of the ball and forced some turnovers,” Morrissey co-captain Jason Wise said. “Brian Dinsmore anchored our defense and made a big interception.”

Stanford’s defense, behind safety Nick Befera, caused two fumbles in the first half, but eventually Morrissey’s persistent offensive attack proved too much.

Morrissey quarterback Marty Mooney went 8-for-14 with two touchdown passes. He completed a 40-yard pass to wide receiver John Mulligan to set up the first touchdown of the game. Tony LoGiudice caught a 5-yard touchdown pass to cap off the scoring drive.

On offense, Stanford ran the ball on nearly every play in an attempt to wear down Morrissey’s defense. After initial gains with their rushing attack, Stanford had to switch to the pass as it tried to mount a comeback.

Morrissey took its 12-0 lead in the second half after a 70-yard drive down the field. The Manorites finished the drive with a 10-yard run.

The final Morrissey touchdown – to make the score 18-0 – came with time running out in the game.

Morrissey’s defense has yet to yield a point this year.

“This was a big win for us – not being letdown after beating Alumni last week,” Morrissey co-captain Aaron Ronsheim said.”I’m really proud of the way we came out in the second half and were able to come together as a team.”

The win puts Morrissey at 3-0 for the year, while Stanford falls to 0-3.