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Men’s Interhall Football: Siegfried dominates St. Ed’s in first game

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Senior running back Pat Manning’s six-yard touchdown run on game’s opening drive provided the day’s only points in Siegfried’s 7-0 win over St. Ed’s.

Employing a running style that featured sweeps and occasional reverses, the Ramblers pieced together a meticulous 14-play, 65-yard drive that kept the Stedsmen off balance for the majority of the first quarter.

It was the highlight of a dominant first half that saw the Ramblers out-gain St. Ed’s 90-to-25, and run 24 plays to the Stedsmen’s six.

“We felt that if we could establish the run early, we would have a good chance to win,” Siegfried co-captain and halfback Matt Wopperer said.

Siegfried did just that, tallying 69 rushing yards in the first half, and 99 yards for the game.

Wopperer led the way for the Ramblers, carrying 12 times for 59 yards. His 17-yard scamper off the left side with less than two minutes to go in the game converted a key third down and ended any hopes of a St. Ed’s comeback. Manning, in addition to his touchdown, had 10 carries for 40 yards.

The Stedsmen looked a bit rusty early, fumbling on their sole play of the first quarter. Things only got worse when their starting quarterback suffered an apparent hand injury in the second quarter – forcing the Stedsmen to resort to direct hand-offs and options.

“The injury definitely affected our play calling,” St. Ed’s captain Ge Wang said. “But Nick Strom played a good game for us.”

Strom rushed for 20 yards in the second half. The Stedsmen, however, could not muster any semblance of a passing threat.

St. Ed’s found production on the ground from running back Zach Labrecque (10 carries for 47 yards), but its lack of a passing offense led to minimal gains and drives.

There also seemed to be some communication issues when Strom first entered the game, as the Stedsmen were called for several false start penalties.

Wopperer didn’t see the injury as a big factor for the Ramblers’ defensive scheme.

“We came out playing our game,” he said. “It didn’t matter who their quarterback was. They weren’t moving the ball on us.”

The Stedsmen threatened in the fourth quarter, but the Siegfried defense came up with huge fourth-down stops.

St. Ed’s defense stiffened in the second half as well, holding the Ramblers offense to 30 total yards.

“At the beginning, we weren’t really ready for their no-huddle, and sometimes we over pursued,” Wang said.

Both captains agreed that the oppressive heat on Sunday also played a role in the game.

“It’s different going from the cool night practices to this type of afternoon,” Wang said. “It was really muggy out there today.”

Next week, Siegfried faces off with Knott, and St. Ed’s battles Sorin.

Knott 12, Zahm 0

The Zahm residents that showed up Sunday to support the defending champs went home disappointed after ending up on the wrong end of a 12-0 battle.

The Juggerknotts came ready to play as they marched 65 yards down field on their opening possession to take a quick lead. Running back Trey Patrick punished Zahm with 70 yards on 20 carries, including a 10-yard touchdown run in the opening minutes.

“We played really well out there today,” Patrick said. “I’ve got to give props to the coaches and the rest of the team that really stepped up. We had some key plays when we needed them, and that’s expected. We have some prime time players.”

Knott converted on two fourth-down opportunities in the fourth quarter to ice the game – the second of which was a 15-yard touchdown pass to the corner of the end zone.

“It was a great game all around,” Knott coach Abdel Banda said. “Our backups really stepped up. We just beat the defending champions, so this proves that we are capable of beating anyone.”

Zahm captain and quarterback Sean Wieland threw for three interceptions. He had a 38 percent completion rating and 38 yards passing.

“We really couldn’t get much going on the offensive side of the ball,” Wieland said. “You have to give credit to their defense though, they played a good game.

“We still have three games left, and we hope to get to the playoffs by winning all of those. I think this loss will be motivation to work harder in practice.”

Zahm looks to improve next week against Fisher – after a four-turnover performance – while Knott will try to keep the ball rolling when they face Siegfried.

Carroll 15, Sorin 6

Carroll’s offense controlled the air and exploited the Sorin secondary in a victory over the Otters Sunday.

Carroll sealed the game on a 29-yard touchdown pass after a Sorin turnover in the fourth quarter to go ahead by nine. The Vermin threw for 112 yards in the first half and held a 63 percent completion rating for the game.

The Otters averaged nearly seven yards per carry on the ground. Sorin attempted to pass early, but was unable to establish any consistency – gaining just 10 yards on 2-of-8 passing.

Sorin threw for minus three yards and an interception in the second half, but ran for 138 yards and a touchdown on the game.

Carroll receiver Mike Versagli said that despite the win, the Vermin have to improve.

“Mentally, I think [Sorin] did have the edge. We didn’t play as well or execute as well as we should have,” he said.

O’Neill 7, Dillon 0

O’Neill senior Alex Fortunato recovered a fumble in the game’s closing minute and The Angry Mob hung on to a victory over Dillon Sunday.

O’Neill scored the only points of the game in the second quarter following a dominating 21-play drive that began in the first quarter.

Running back Braden Turner scored on a four-yard run on third down.

He finished the game with 14 carries and 30 yards. Running back Mike Mattingly rushed for 31 yards on eight carries for the Mob as well.

Dillon changed its offensive strategy at halftime to focus on the running game and, more specifically, the quarterback option.

The option was effective in rattling the Mob defense, which allowed eight first downs in the second half after giving up one in the first half.

Dillon went on a 13-play, 64-yard drive in the third quarter.

O’Neill called a timeout to stall Dillon’s momentum, but the Big Red gained another 21 yards after the break.

Dillon converted on a fourth down at the O’Neill 24-yard line, but Fortunato recovered the fumble by the Dillon quarterback six plays later.

Next week, Dillon will face off against Stanford, while O’Neill will battle Keough.

Keenan 13, Keough 8

It came down to the very last play, but Keenan’s defense was able to stop a late-game charge from Keough and earn the win.

With less than two minutes left in the game, Keough marched toward the end zone trailing 13-8. The Kangaroos had the ball on the two-yard line but the Keenan defense made the stop and took home the victory.

“We played three strong quarters, but we learned that we are going to have play tough the entire game,” Keenan captain Alex Staffieri said.

Late in the first quarter, Keough fumbled a punt return and Keenan recovered. After a steady march down the field, senior quarterback J.J. Vega found sophomore Jimmy Zenker in the end zone to give Keenan the 6-0 lead. The extra point was blocked.

Keenan’s defense stopped Keough’s attempts to move the ball down the field forcing a punt on the next drive.

The Knights continued to capitalize on offense on the following possession. Zenker connected with Andre Villable, who made an impressive catch down field and ran it into the end zone. Keenan led 13-0 after the made extra point.

Keough made a charge in the fourth quarter. The Kangaroos forced their way down the field and freshman quarterback Matt Bruggeman found an open receiver for touchdown. It then made the two-point conversion on a quarterback keeper to cut the lead to 13-8.

The Keough defense delivered some big hits and forced a Keenan fumble, but was ultimately unable to gain momentum.

Keough sophomore Dorian Inzunza was not discouraged by the loss.

“We play hard,” he said. “We have a very good team, and we are ready to step it up next game and come away with a win.”

Keenan has a bye next week, while Keough will face O’Neill next Sunday at 2 p.m.

Alumni 14, Stanford 6

An interception and touchdown rush by Alumni junior Eddie Villa provided the deciding score for the Dawgs Sunday.

Villa picked off the pass in the third quarter and scored on a short rush to put the Dawgs up 14-6.

“Our practice really paid off today,” Villa said. “All 11 guys did what they needed to do, and the team was able to come together and come out with the win.”

Shapot hit Villa with a long pass in the second quarter and ran untouched into the end zone for the 7-0 lead.

The Alumni defense was led by Brett Shapot, who was in on many of the Dawgs’ big defensive stops and played quarterback on offense.

Neither team allowed any points in the first quarter.

“We started out a little disorganized, but eventually the offense was able to come together and get things done,” Villa said.

Stanford junior Tregg Duerson got away from his defender and caught a pass in the end zone near the end of the second half to cut the Alumni lead to 7-6. The point after was blocked.

After halftime, the defenses continued to play strong, culminating in Villa’s interception.

The Stanford defense did not allow any more points in the fourth quarter. But the offense was unable to find any holes in the Dawg defense, and the Griffins fell short.

Alumni battles Morrissey this Sunday, while Stanford will play Dillon.