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Dillon uses run game to advance

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, November 4, 2003

The outcome between Sorin and Dillon was a question mark throughout the entire game until a thumbs up marked the end of the uncertainty.

After a fourth quarter touchdown by Dillon gave them a 7-0 lead and the victory, the referee gave a thumbs up to signal the made extra point and perhaps also relief for an anxious Dillon sideline.

Both teams played grind-it-out football all day with aggressive defense and mostly rushing plays. The game remained scoreless until the fourth quarter, when Dillon quarterback A.J. Cedeno rushed for a touchdown on second-and-goal.

Dillon had a costly penalty in the first quarter that brought back a 30-yard touchdown run. Another penalty canceled a fourth quarter touchdown that would’ve sealed their victory.

“We need to address a few things on offense, and we can’t keep making mistakes like we did today,” Dillon captain J.T. Arseniadis said.

Sorin played with a 16-man squad but stayed in the game down to its last possession. Overall, they were pleased with the season, notwithstanding the small roster.

“We had a small team this year but managed to play hard, have fun and take the top seed into the last quarter,” Sorin captain Collin O’Keefe said.

Sorin’s ground attack initially was shut down by Dillon’s physical defense its passing attack proved more effective. O’Keefe connected with his receivers on two separate 40-yard plays and was 6-of-9 passing for the game.

Dillon’s offense which had 23 rushing plays behind Kevin McCarthy and Ben Butwin, was one dimensional and admittedly so.

“We’re going to run the ball every play, and there’s nothing [Sorin] can do about it,” a Dillon coach said to Sorin’s defense during the fourth quarter.

The persistence of Dillon’s running game proved the difference as they used brute force to wear down Sorin and eventually find holes in its defense.

Dan Block anchored Dillon’s defensive line with linebacker Robert McBride putting pressure on the quarterback. The extremely vocal Dillon sideline also was a 12th man on defense that caused false starts on Sorin’s offense.

Dillon realizes that teams will be gunning for them throughout the playoffs, but they feel ready to face Keenan next Sunday.

“Being a number one seed is like having a bull’s-eye on your back, but we’ll be more prepared against Keenan next week,” Arseniadis said.

Keenan 10, Knott 7

Skill, composure and a last minute field goal proved to be the right ingredients for a Keenan victory.

After a sluggish first half, the Keenan Knights were able to maintain their poise and upset the Knott Juggerknotts 10-7.

Knott began the first half energetically, as it seized control of the game by maintaining possession of the ball and by stopping Keenan’s offense by only allowing one first down.

Knott’s dominance eventually turned fruitful during the second quarter, as Knott scored the first touchdown of the game. Running back Joe McCarthy ran for 18 yards and dove into the end zone to make the score 7-0.

Despite Keenan giving up the touchdown, its offense remained stagnant as Knight quarterback and team captain Patrick Downey immediately threw an interception to Alex Fergus and allowed Knott to run the clock to end the first half.

“We had no life in us during the first half,” Downey said.

Fortunately for Keenan, the offense made a complete turnaround to begin the second half. After dictating play for most of the third quarter, Keenan found the end zone as Downey handed the ball to Reed Langton to tie the score 7-7.

After allowing the touchdown and struggling defensively during the third quarter, Knott’s defense managed to recover an early fourth quarter fumble. But Knott could not capitalize and was forced punt and allow Keenan to decide the final outcome.

With 28 seconds remaining in the game, Keenan kicker Andrew Warner kicked a 25-yard field goal to end the game and make the score 10-7.

Warner was a surprise, as Keenan struggled all year in punting. He was a late replacement on the Keenan roster and proved to be a critical asset as Keenan moves on to the second round of the playoffs.

After leading by a touchdown for most of the game, the loss was a true disappointment for Knott.

“Everything went our way in the first half,” Knott captain Drew Donovan said. “The loss was heartbreaking … we left everything out on the field.”