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Stanford escapes with 0-0 tie against Morrissey on Sunday

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Football is a game of inches, and Morrissey was just a few inches short Sunday.

In what was a must-win game for both teams, Stanford and Morrissey battled to a 0-0 tie in a game full of strong defense and missed opportunities.

“It was the hardest we played all season,” Morrissey captain Aaron Ronsheim said. “Both teams couldn’t put it in the end zone.”

The Manorites came within less than a yard of breaking the deadlock on the final play of the game.

With 10 seconds to play, Morrissey quarterback Pete Spreitzer lined up at the Griffin 35-yard line and took one last shot at the end zone to receiver Tim Kenney.

“We just had everyone go deep and make something happen,” Kenney said. “Pete just threw it up.”

Spreitzer connected with Kenney on the goal line, but the receiver was forced to lean forward to catch the throw, leaving the ball and the victory only inches away as time expired.

The Manorites had a number of other opportunities to score, thanks to a defense that forced two fumbles and blocked a field goal. Ronsheim also had an interception.

“Our secondary really stepped it up this week,” Ronsheim said. “I think we held their passing attack in check.”

Leading the way for the Morrissey defense along with Ronsheim was Kenney at safety and Tony LoGuidice.

“We just couldn’t get our running or passing game going,” Griffin captain Vin Monaco said.

The Stanford defense was equally impressive, forcing two Morrissey turnovers and stopping the Manorites twice inside the 10-yard line, including a goal line stand at the end of the first half.

Instrumental in the stand was lineman Eric Medrick, who pulled double duty as both a defensive lineman and fullback for the Griffins. Monaco and fellow linebacker Brandon Bludau both had strong games as well.

The Stanford offense just could not get going.

“We have to start scoring touchdowns,” Monaco said. “If our offense doesn’t improve, we’re toast in the playoffs.”

The Griffins still have postseason hope, and have one last game with O’Neill Thursday night. The Manorites, meanwhile, ended their season against Stanford, and most likely will not make the playoffs.

Keenan 13, Alumni 3

Both Keenan and Alumni came into Sunday’s contest highly regarded among interhall football teams. However, after the Dawgs limped off the field with a 13-3 defeat, there was no question that Keenan had the better team.

Keenan held Alumni’s powerful running game to only 17 yards and allowed the Dawgs to move the chains just three times. The Knights’ defense also forced five fumbles and recovered four of them.

“It makes me really comfortable to get a lead and let our defense do its job,” Keenan captain Pat Downey said.

Downey said his team doesn’t work on forcing fumbles in practice, but he instead credits the turnovers to hard work.

“We just play hard and try to make things happen,” he said.

Keenan was equally impressive on offense, rushing for 115 yards led by Alex Staffieri’s 72 yards on 15 carries.

Quarterback Eric Laumann completed 5-of-8 passes for only 68 yards, but did complete a 41-yard pass to set up the Knight’s first touchdown.

“We’ve been an aerial show the last couple weeks,” Downey said. “We showed our balance this game.”

Keenan started the game with the ball and moved it quickly upfield with running by Staffieri, but a fumble gave the Dawgs possession.

Alumni, however, returned the favor and coughed up the ball on their first play from scrimmage. The very next play, Laumann completed the pass for a 41-yard gain to the Alumni 15-yard line.

Four plays later, Laumann carried the ball over the goal line on a naked bootleg.

The teams exchanged punts until halftime, with Alumni failing to make a first down until the last play of the half.

In the second half, Alumni used at 39-yard pass to set up their only points of the game, a 44-yard field goal.

After stopping the Knights on fourth-and-inches the next drive, the Dawgs fumbled again and Keenan ran out most of the rest of the game with a 14 play, 55-yard touchdown drive.

“In the fourth quarter, we had a lead and we put it on the offensive line,” Downey said. “We just said ‘We’re going to run the ball right at them’ and we took up most of the fourth quarter with that drive.”

Fullback Reid Langdon, who finished the game with 38 yards rushing, had two important third down conversions on counter plays.

“He broke a lot of tackles,” Downey said. “Those two first down runs were key.”

Dillon 20, Keough 0

Defensive dominance and efficient offensive production led the Dillon Big Red to a 20-0 pounding of the Keough Kangaroos on Sunday.

The victory improved Dillon’s record to 2-0-1, while the setback for Keough marked its fourth in a row, ending the Kangaroos’ season without a victory.

Dillon was most impressive on the defensive side of the ball, not allowing a first down all afternoon and forcing four Keough turnovers.

“Every game, our goal is to go crazy,” linebacker Dan Avants said, who contributed a forced fumble and an interception to Dillon’s defensive effort. “We want to come out defensively prepared.”

After losing its two running backs early in the season, Keough has been forced to rely on its passing game, which Dillon effectively subdued the entire game.

“This was the third team that believed that they could pass on us,” Avants said. “And this was the third team that we shut down.”

The Big Red’s defensive line harassed Keough’s quarterback all afternoon, forcing desperation passes toward receivers who constantly found themselves shadowed by Dillon’s secondary.

The Dillon squad took advantage of good field position, garnered by Keough turnovers, to reach the end zone three times. Running their trademark t-wing offense, the Big Red kept the ball on the ground, capped off by John Leyhane’s 35-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

“[That hole] was open all day,” Leyhane said. “I just followed my blocks.”

Keough’s struggles against Dillon could be attributed in part its severely limited roster, which included just 14 players on Sunday.

“It’s hard to keep up the intensity when your front eight guys have to play both ways,” Keough captain Brian Kusper said.

With the victory Sunday, Dillon all but wrapped up a spot in the playoffs, set to begin after fall break. However, the Big Red has one regular season game remaining that has been circled on its schedule since the first week of the season.

Thursday night, Dillon will take on the Alumni Dawgs, the Big Red’s archrival. Yearlong bragging rights will be up for grabs when the two teams square off in this annual match-up, which kicks off “Rivalry Week” between the halls.

Avants, a freshman, is excited to become a part of the longstanding rivalry.

“I came onto this team for two reasons from Day 1,” Avants said. “One was to make the playoffs, and the other was to beat Alumni. We have the first one taken care of, but I won’t be satisfied unless we take care of the second one too.”