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ND Men’s Interhall Football: Rivalry game pits Knott against Siegfried

Joe Meixell | Friday, September 26, 2008

Knott vs. Siegfried

The across-the-quad rivalry between Siegfried and Knott will heat up once again this Sunday when the teams collide at 1 p.m. at Reihle Fields.

The Ramblers will be looking to begin another playoff-bound season against the Juggerknotts, who are hungry to return to post-season play after a disappointing 2007 campaign.

Last week’s bye gave Siegfried plenty of time to think about last year’s semi-final disappointment.

“It obviously wasn’t good enough and it left a bad taste in our mouths,” Rambler captain Kevin Kelley said. “This year we look to go undefeated and win in Notre Dame Stadium.”

Meanwhile, the Juggerknotts have been working hard to leave last year’s 1-3 disaster in the past, starting the season with a 6-0 win over Duncan.

“Last year was overall a disappointing season,” captain Aiden Fitzgerald said. “This year we have changed our whole outlook, and have been working on better execution.”

Siegfried will rely heavily on a strong defense to stop the Juggerknotts. The Ramblers hope a significant amount of veteran experience can lead them to the win.

“We do not have key players, only a team that plays together looking to win and have fun doing it,” Kelley said.

Knott hopes a fresh young offense will match up well with the Rambler defense. Sophomore quarterback J.T. Redshaw and junior receiver Jeff Skourup will be key the passing game, while sophomore running back Cameron Smith is likely to get most of the touches in the back-field.

“We’re attempting to get away from the stagnant, mundane football we played last year and play with more excitement and speed,” Fitzgerald said.

The gritty, experienced Rambler defense will be matched up against the flashy new-look Juggerknott offense this weekend in a game sure to have an impact on the playoff race, and Mod Quad bragging rights for the future.

Fisher vs. Carroll

With both teams looking to avenge tough losses, Fisher and Carroll will take to the field Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

In their opening games, Fisher and Carroll were held to only one touchdown by Sorin and St. Ed’s, respectively.

“After losing a heartbreaker to Sorin in the fashion we did, we are really looking to comeback strong and get a win,” Fisher captain Brian Monson said.

The Green Wave will be counting on their strong defense, led by defensive end Patrick Hessert, linebackers Cameron Compson and Bill Whitaker and safety John O’Connell, to stop the Vermin offensive.

“Before allowing that incredibly unlucky final drive which allowed Sorin to score, they had barely allowed positive yardage all game and forced several turnovers,” Monson said.

Fisher also suffered from many unnecessary penalties against Sorin, and will try to eliminate these on Sunday.

On the other side of the ball, the Green Wave are hoping to end more of their drives with touchdowns, and have made a few new additions and adjustments to their playbook.

Sophomore quarterback Mike McMahon showed great potential in his first start last week, scoring Fisher’s only touchdown. As he continues to learn the offense, he will be a key player going into Sunday’s game.

The Carroll offensive will be led by the duo of quarterback Kris Kast and wide receiver Tommy Mumford, who scored the team’s only touchdown last weekend.

Defensively, the Vermin have been working hard at practice this week, and will be focusing their attention on a strong secondary.

“Since both teams lost their first games, the team that loses will most assuredly be out of playoff contention,” said Monson.

Duncan vs. Alumni

After both being shut out in their season openers, Duncan and Alumni will take to the field this Sunday looking not only for a win, but for a much-needed momentum builder.

For Duncan, a victory this Sunday would be their first ever win. For the Dawgs, a team with experience on its side, a win this week would mark the first time they’ve won in almost two years.

Duncan is led by freshman quarterback Chris Toups, who the team is very high on despite him not having playing football in high school. Other teams have had years to grow into a cohesive unit, Duncan has only had a handful of practices to put a team together. Not to mention they’re facing the hurdle of securing their first victory ever.

“It would be huge for us to get that first win,” Duncan captain Garrett Burke said. “It would definitely be a big momentum builder for us.”

For Alumni to come away with a victory Sunday, shutting down Duncan’s long passing game is essential. Freshman safety Barrick Bellman could play a big role in this aspect.

“We’re very high on him,” Alumni captain Luke Betterman said. “He’s very fast and hits hard.”

On offense the Dawgs are led by quarterback Brian Baz, who will look to move the ball by opening up the pass and establishing a consistent running game.

Duncan will look to use a power running game to open up the field for Toups, who will be looking to his wide receiver core, especially Adam Zaabel and Mike Kearney, to finally establish a passing game after failing to do so in their first game.

Sorin vs. Zahm

This Sunday, the Sorin Otters will look to continue their winning ways as they face off against the Rabid Bats of Zahm.

The Otters (1-0-0) defeated Fisher 8-6 last week thanks largely to a controversial penalty call.

Junior captain Rob Gallic seemed satisfied with their performance, especially that of the defense.

“Our defense was dominating, as was expected,” he said.

Their opponent this week, Zahm, has yet to kickoff their 2008 season, as they had a first week bye. The Rabid Bats hope to improve on last year’s 2-1-1 regular season record and a close loss in the first round of the playoffs.

According to Zahm senior captain Theo Ossei-Anto, the main issue this year will be their lack of experience.

“We have a lot of freshmen at key positions,” Ossei-Anto said. “So we don’t want to add too many kinks.”

One of these freshmen is quarterback Greg Bennett, who will be leading the offense. Non-freshmen standouts this season are likely to be sophomore wide receiver Xavier Murphy on offense and junior linebacker Jarred Carter on defense. Anchoring the line will be senior Luke Derheimer.

In preparation for the tough Otter defense, the young Zahm team has been working in practice on the basics of throwing and passing.

Sorin, on the other hand, has been focusing their attention in practice to the victory formation and team endzone celebrations.

The teams kick off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Dillon vs. Keenan

After both teams were shut out last week, Dillon and Keenan fight Sunday not only for victory, but for a chance to prove that they can put some points on the board.

“Keenan is considered the benchmark for inter-hall football,” Dillon junior wide receiver Chris Cugliari said. “Most teams can look to Keenan as a way to measure their progress, and this Sunday should give us an opportunity to do so.”

The game will be a match up of excellent defenses. Though Keenan was unable to score, its defense also shut out Keough to finish with a 0-0 tie. Dillon held a powerful O’Neill offense scoreless for the whole first half last weekend.

Keenan is working on a plan to prove its offensive game before Sunday.

“We need to be able to consistently run the ball, so we need to work on team run blocking,” Keenan sophomore Bart Dear said. “Also, quarterbacks and receivers need to continue developing their timing,”

Senior running back Alex Gonzalez and senior wide receiver Jim Zenker will be the players to watch this Sunday as the Knights try to put the ball in the endzone.

Dillon has a different approach towards bringing a better offensive game this weekend.

“We’re definitely concentrating on eliminating our mental mistakes on offense,” Cugliari said. “We feel if we just execute the way we can, we’re a team that can move the football.”

Dillon quarterback Joe Carigliano will be greatly tested come Sunday’s game, and standout defensive players Ryan Shestak and Brett Barceau will try to stop Keenan’s reworked offense.

The two teams face off Sunday at 3 p.m. at Riehle Field.

Keough vs. Stanford

The defending champion Stanford Griffins will begin their quest for a second consecutive undefeated season this Sunday as they take on the up-and-coming Roos of Keough (0-0-1).

After posting a perfect record of 7-0-0 last season that ended in a victory at the stadium, the Griffins expect nothing short of a repeat.

“Last year we established ourselves as one of the premier dorms in interhall football,” senior captain Brian Salvi said. “With most of our key players returning, we have our eyes on the stadium.”

Led by Salvi at quarterback, the Griffins look to keep their offense simple but effective as they march downfield. Senior captains John Burke and Karun Ahuja will present a threat to the Roos in the trenches, while returning safety David Costanzo anchors the secondary.

The Roos are anything but intimidated by the versatility of the Griffins. Emerging last week with a tie against Keenan, Keough is hungry for its first victory of the season.

“I’m never satisfied with a tie, but I was pleased with the way we played last week,” senior captain Kevin Laughlin said. “Our defense was spectacular, especially against a dynamic offense like Keenan’s.”

Holding Keenan to only fifty-two yards on the ground, the Keough defense looks to be just as stingy this week. However, they will be playing without freshman standout Patrick Gleason, who was injured last week during an interception return.

Junior quarterback Matt Brennan will be key to the Keough offense this season, bringing his speed and power to the gridiron. Senior captain Nazur Ahmed adds versatility to the Roos as both a running back and middle linebacker.

Both teams are confident they can emerge from Sunday’s game as the favorite to win it all.

“Not only do we have the motivation, but we have the personnel and talent on offense and defense to run away with the division,” Salvi said. “We’ll be ready.”

Keough captain Ahmed also believes his team will be fired up and ready to go against Stanford.

“Keough has been waiting for a team like this for years,” Ahmed said. “This is the year we make a name for ourselves.”

The two teams matchup Sunday at Riehle Fields at 3 p.m.