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Men’s Interhall Football: Siegfried faces upset possibility against Zahm

Peter Reisenaur, Griffin Dassatti, Meghan McMahon and Laura Myers | Friday, November 2, 2007

In a matchup of two teams with a great amount of momentum going into the playoffs, Zahm hopes to upset previously unbeaten Siegfried on Sunday.

The Rabid Bats scored in the last minute against Sorin to reach the playoffs, while Siegfried rolled over Fisher in its tune-up for the post-season. But Ramblers senior captain Tom Martin knows the regular season is irrelevant now.

“Everyone starts back at square one,” Martin said. “We are not banking on how well we did during the season and we know that we have to come out and play at the top of our game.”

The two teams met during the season and played to a tie. Martin said his team is going to have to come out strong.

“It was a hard fought game during the year and both teams are real excited to get another shot at each other,” Martin said “We felt that we missed on a lot of our plays and have really focused on the fundamentals this week.”

Siegfried relies on a powerful defense that has not allowed more than 13 points on the entire year. Zahm depends on a power running game that was stifled until the final sequence by the Otters.

Junior running back Theo Ossei- Anto leads a running game that gained 80 yards in the final two minutes against Sorin. Ossei-Anto led a drive down the field that culminated in a Zahm win and a trip to the playoffs.

The Rabid Bats hope they can start the power running a little bit earlier in the game this week and continue to rely on the defense that stifled the high powered Ramblers earlier this season.

Zahm and Siegfried play Sunday at 2 p.m. on Riehle Field.

Morrissey vs. Keenan

With revenge in mind, Morrissey looks to move one step closer to repeating as champions when the Manor takes on Keenan Sunday.

The quarterfinal matchup between the third-seeded Knights and sixth-seeded Morrissey will be a rematch of a game played the second week of the season, which Keenan won, 9-6.

At the end of the first meeting, Morrissey came within field goal range, but on fourth down decided to play for the win. Though the Manor did not convert and eventually lost, senior and Morrissey captain Nick Bencomo was happy with the effort and thinks it bodes well for this weekend’s game.

“Overall both sides of the ball played pretty well [in the first game],” Bencomo said. “It’s just that in critical times we just didn’t execute. We had a couple of lapses especially on [special teams]. We just didn’t do the little things, and we were in the game the whole time until that last drive.”

Keenan sophomore captain Pat Burns said the Knights will also look to make a few adjustments based on their narrow victory.

“They passed for a lot of yards against us that game,” Burns said. “So we’ll try to stop that, but we’re confident that our defense will do better in the passing game without having to change much.”

Burns said the Knights’ success this year was based mostly on the defensive side of the ball – something the team will look to exploit Sunday.

“Teams really had a hard time moving the ball against us [this season],” Burns said.”Our offense felt like they didn’t need to do a whole lot. Don’t get me wrong, they did a lot for us, but it just felt easier.”

Despite Keenan’s tough defense, Bencomo said the extra motivation from winning last year’s championship will be enough to propel the Manor to victory.

“We put the pressure on ourselves,” he said. “Knowing that we have been there and we have done it, it just makes us think that if we do what we did last year we can [get to the championship] again, and more so than last year we feel like we can win.”

Morrissey and Keenan play Sunday at 2 p.m. on Riehle Field.

Stanford vs. Dillon

Stanford (4-0) plans to remain undefeated as it takes on No. 8 seed Dillon in the first round of the playoffs Sunday.

Meanwhile, Dillon will look to avenge its loss to the Griffins in week two of the regular season. Stanford slipped past the Big Red, defeating them 6-0 on a touchdown pass Big Red junior captain Alex Duffy described as a “fluke.”

“We probably outgained them by at least a hundred yards,” Duffy said. “But some plays didn’t go our way, and we couldn’t put the ball in the end zone.”

Despite their 2-1-1 record, Duffy says the Big Red could have easily been 4-0. Along with the narrow defeat by Stanford, Dillon tied Morrissey after the Manor blocked an extra point to end the game.

Stanford captain Rob Huth said the team’s last meeting with Dillon did not go as smoothly as the Griffins had hoped.

“We had a couple players missing, and Dillon came out real hard in the beginning,” Huth said. “This week we won’t have any roster problems, so hopefully we can come out and match their intensity.”

With a defense of “eleven nasty players,” Duffy said his Dillon team can beat any team in the league. The sophomore trio of quarterback Joe Garigliano, running back Josh Stull, and receiver Chris Cugliari has also sparked the Big Red offense. With great players on both side of the ball, Duffy said the Big Red have a legitimate shot at the championship.

Huth likes top-seeded Stanford’s chances of going all the way this year as well. Junior quarterback Brian Salvi, and freshman receiver Kevin Ritt continue to step up the team’s offense each week. Despite its success in the regular season, though, the team isn’t taking anything for granted.

“Dillon is a good team and has improved since we played them,” Huth said. “This week, we’re just focusing on Dillon and making sure we show up from play one.”

Dillon and Stanford square off at 1 p.m. Sunday on Riehle Field.

Fisher vs. St. Edward’s

Sunday was a long time coming for St. Ed’s. The Stedsmen failed to win a game, let alone make the playoffs in three seasons.

But Sunday, St. Ed’s will battle the Green Wave in the first round of the playoffs.

Both teams had a 3-1 regular season record, and both teams’ only loss came to Siegfried.

Their offenses, however, are radically different. St. Ed’s starts freshman quarterback Matt Abeling, who throws pass after pass behind a skilled offensive line. Fisher starts senior quarterback Kevin Rabil, and the Green Wave offense is based mainly on the run.

Both teams are known for tough defenses that force turnovers.

After missing last year’s playoffs because of an injury, Rabil has the chance to guide his team farther then its first-round exit last season.

The teams’ similarities promise to make the first game in the run for the stadium an exciting one. The game begins at 1 p.m. at Riehle Field.