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Ramblers stop Bats, move to 3-1 on year

Ryan Kiefer and Matt Puglisi | Thursday, October 14, 2004

The Siegfried Ramblers had one thing on their minds Wednesday night when they broke their pre-game huddle. They yelled one simple word.”Stadium!”Siegfried took a big step toward returning to the championship game by securing a playoff berth with a 20-8 victory over Zahm. The Ramblers never trailed and were sprung to victory by their defense, which forced three Rabid Bat turnovers. Zahm came out poised to execute its ball control offense, as the team ran its misdirection ground attack to near perfection on its first drive. The Bats used the entire first quarter clock, driving the ball inside the 10-yard line behind the running of halfback Corey Brisee. The 15-play drive stalled, however, ending with a dropped pass on fourth and goal. The offense was unable to sustain another drive of this duration as three of its remaining five possessions ended in turnovers.”We made it real hard on ourselves, putting the ball on the ground and throwing interceptions,” Zahm coach Rich Petty said.The Siegfried offense countered Zahm’s initial drive with an impressive march of its own. Tailback Matt Wopperer was able to rip off huge chunks of yardage, finishing the drive with 65 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run. Wopperer made a key contribution on defense as well coming up with a crucial interception in the second half. The Ramblers were able to convert this interception into six points when quarterback Brian Vithe threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to begin the fourth quarter.Zahm responded with a quick score on a 46-yard pass from Sean Wieland to Jake Richardville, but Siegfried put the game out of reach on its next drive.

Receiver John Kaup caught four passes for 66 yards on the drive, including an 18-yard touchdown that accounted for the final margin. The extra touchdown may prove crucial to Siegfried when the playoffs start in two weeks.”We really wanted to score on that last drive because we realize how important point differential will be in playoff seeding,” Siegfried captain Kevin Phipps said. The Ramblers will start their playoff run after fall break. Their post-game mindset was no different from their pre-game thinking.”I’m a senior, and I’ve been to the stadium each of my three years,” Phipps said. “I want to make it four this year.”Sorin 34, Carroll 13The Otters intercepted Carroll three times and returned two of them for touchdowns as turnovers forced Carroll into an early hole.”They were up 14-0 in the first quarter and you can’t run the ball when you’re down with a running clock,” Vermin free safety Matt Wormington said. “So we had to throw, and they made plays.”