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Keenan and Morrissey battle to stay unbeaten

Joe Meixell | Friday, October 10, 2003

Neither team has given up a point to an opponent this season. Both boast strong returning players and solid freshmen. On paper, the matchup could not be more even as Keenan (2-0) and Morrissey (3-0) meet Sunday.

“Our record reflects the talent on this team,” Morrissey captain Aaron Rohsheim said. “We have a chance not only to win on Sunday, but to make a deep run in the playoffs and eventually the championship.”

The Manorites, however, are also a defensive powerhouse in the men’s league.

“We forced nine turnovers in the first two games,” Ronsheim said. “Our offense has a good passing attack with Marty Mooney – it lets us open it up, get big plays, get touchdowns and score points.”

This weekend’s game is also a chance for both the Manorites and the Knights to improve on the finer points of their game.

“We’re not very balanced on offense,” Keenan quarterback Patrick Downey said. “Right now, we run the ball a lot better than we throw the ball against Morrissey and Dillon. We’ll have to show a lot more balance to be successful.”

Ronsheim has identified special teams as a point of improvement.

“Our special teams haven’t done much this year,” he said. “Last year we blocked a lot of punts – we’re looking to improve.”

Morrissey’s roster has helped them with its 3-0 start this year.

“The biggest key to the team is our depth this year,” Ronsheim said. “We don’t have a lot of guys who play two ways, so we keep really fresh. We depend on a lot of guys to make plays.”

A particular strength for Keenan is the senior trio of Ryan Crochet, Sean McCarthy and Brian Long. However, the incoming class of 2007 has brought both teams some new standout players.

“We rely on them offensively and defensively. They’re the fulcrum of the front seven and control the line of scrimmage,” Downey said. “Freshmen in key positions will have to step up and have a big game on Sunday.”

There is also history at stake in this game. The 2002 regular season closed with Keenan and Morrissey in a battle for the final postseason spot. The Manor prevailed in a close 6-0 victory – but the Knights are ready for payback.

The Keenan and Morrisey game begins at 2 p.m. Sunday at Riehle South field.

Alumni vs. Keough

Since both Keough and Alumni have lost to Dillon and been shut out by Morrissey, Sunday’s game appears like it will be fairly even. Alumni already has one win under its belt defeating O’Neill. This game, however, was Alumni’s first of the season, so it’s been a while since the Dawgs have tasted victory.

“We’ve had a couple of tough games,” Alumni captain Larry Rooney said. “We’re pretty banged up.”

Both of Alumni’s losses were shutouts, which seems strange for a team that had done so well last fall. This might be due to the eight players missing in this year’s roster that had helped lead the Dawgs to the stadium in 2002.

Despite Alumni’s current slump, Rooney still is pleased with his team’s efforts and play in games and practices.

“I think if we play to our potential we can win,” said Rooney.

Despite Keough’s winless season, one of Keough’s senior captains John McCarthy is confident that his team can still pull through with a victory. He is happy with the improved attitudes and playing of his teammates since last fall. McCarthy credits Keough’s new addition of a non-player coach to being largely responsible for his team’s improved play this fall. Having a player-coach made calling out plays very difficult last year for Keough.

To win Sunday, Keough will need to forget its mistakes from its last two games and become more focused.

“We’ve given up two big plays each game,” McCarthy said. “We have to show up to play four quarters.”

McCarthy is also concerned with Alumni’s running back, Alex Roodhouse.

“We have to stop him,” said McCarthy.

Both teams respect their opponent and feel capable of winning. Alumni needs to defeat Keough to qualify for the playoffs.

Keough and Alumni will battle Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle South field.