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Men’s Interhall: Rabid Bats hope for rebound

Joe Meixell | Friday, October 3, 2008

Zahm will try to rebound from last week’s close loss to Sorin in its matchup against Carroll at Riehle Fields on Sunday at 2:00 pm.

Carroll (1-1) is trying to return to the playoffs this season after last year’s hiatus, while Zahm is trying to snag their first win on the road to the stadium.

The Rabid Bats are a team that balances fundamental football with an occasional bit of typical Zahm flair. This week they will try to get freshmen offensive stars Ryan Costello and running back Colin Casey firing on all cylinders.

“We’re focused on working hard and winning games this season,” captain Theo Ossei-Anto said. “We’ve been putting in the basics, reinstating the Zahm Offensive scheme and putting in a few twists here and there.”

On the other side of the ball, a victory for Carroll could make an impact on this year’s playoff picture.

“We were not very successful last year,” Carroll captain Nick Ruof said. “This year we have been working to improve on every aspect of the game. We’re going to play hard.”

In its season opener, Zahm fell to the Otters in a close 8-0 match up. This weekend, Zahm hopes it can step up to match the play of the defense, which is led by senior safety Eddie Gutierrez.

The Vermin, coming off a big win over Fisher, plan on keeping that momentum rolling against the rabid Bats.

“Last week we lost a game where we had a lot of opportunities that we failed to capitalize on,” Ossei-Anto said. “We plan to capitalize on those opportunities this week.”

Morrissey vs. Duncan

After two scoreless games, Duncan will try to put its first points on the board against Morrissey.

The Manorites (1-0) opened its season with a dominating win over Alumni, and is ready to continue its success with a win on Sunday.

Offensively, the Manorites will continue to use their strong running game, led by quarterback and team captain Joe McBrayer. Protecting McBrayer will be offensive tackles Spencer White and Mike Kaiser.

Morrissey’s greatest asset is its defensive squad led by linebacker Ian Reither and cornerback Ryan McSweeney. The pass defense will try to make it hard for the Highlander offense to move the ball into scoring position.

“We need to come out calm, cool and collected and execute our game plan,” said McBrayer.

The Highlanders (0-2) will also be relying on a tough defensive force, led by cornerback Adam Zabel, who has already proven himself to be a key player, notching a couple of interceptions in the past two games.

Offensively, Duncan has been struggling to finish their drives, despite the presence of wide receiver Mike Kearney, who hopes to be an offensive standout.

“He just tears it up on the field,” said Duncan captain Garrett Burke.

With intense practices this week, the Highlander’s are hoping to outrun the powerful Morrissey defense.

“Morrissey’s a tough team, they will be coming out there ready to hit, so we will have to hit first,” said Burke.

With these two aggressive defensive squads, both teams will have to step up offensively to secure the win.

Game time is 1 p.m Sunday at Riehle Fields.

Fisher vs. St. Edward’s

Sunday’s game pits St. Ed’s, a team rested and anxious to beat the same team that ended its season last year, against Fisher, a team basically backed up against the wall with no room for error as its tries to sneak its way into the playoffs.

After dropping its first two games of the season, Fisher finds itself in a must-win situation heading into this Sunday’s game against the St. Ed’s.

Coming off of a bye last week, St. Ed’s (1-0) will be seeking redemption for last year’s controversial 13-7 playoff loss to Fisher (0-2). A questionable holding call on a 70-yard touchdown pass that would have won the game for St. Ed’s proved to be the difference, but this time around, St. Ed’s is hoping that Fisher’s inexperience will negate any possibility of a loss.

St. Ed’s will have to rely on its short passing game as well as its usual mix of draw plays and quarterback keepers out of a shotgun set, all of which proved successful in its opener.

For the Green Wave, this season thus far has been nothing short of a nosedive. After earning two consecutive playoff births, this season hasn’t gone as planned.

“It’s definitely been a down year,” Fisher junior linebacker and running back Cameron Compton said. “I guess it’s inexperience, but there’s a lot of potential here. Once our young players get out and play more, we’ll start seeing the results in our performance,”

Fisher will try to establish its run game early, while building off of last week’s strong defensive performance. The Green Wave have yet to score more than one touchdown in a game this year, due in part to the fact that they have not settled into a groove on offense.

“We’ve had a lot of trouble moving the ball,” Compton said. “We get a big play here and there but we haven’t been consistent at all.

Fisher senior Dan Mahon added: “After being in the playoffs two years in a row, we’re trying to build a foundation for the younger guys and for Fisher football as a whole.”

That foundation is in jeopardy this Sunday as the Green Wave stare down the prospect of having their playoff hopes crushed.

Alumni vs. Siegfried

Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Field, the Siegfried Ramblers and the Alumni Dawgs face off in a classic match up of two most important athletic traits in football – size and speed.

Siegfried (1-1), fielding one of the largest squads in Interhall football, used its size to its advantage in a convincing shut out win over Knott in their season opener.

“We’re planning on playing fairly basic football,” Siegfried junior lineman Michael Desjardins said. “Grinding it out on offense and locking it down on defense.”

However, Desjardins emphasized that the conditioning Siegfried has been working on in practice is just as important as size in the Ramblers’ approach to football.

“Size alone doesn’t do that much,” he said. “But if you have a big team that is conditioned hard enough to go hard all four quarters you can wear down the other team by the end of the game.”

Tight end and captain Kevin Kelly and running back Marcus Young have been key performers for the Ramblers, but Desjardins stressed that Siegfried plays team football.

Alumni (1-1) hopes to combat Siegfried’s size advantage with some speed of its own. “Mostly their size is our main focus,” Alumni Captain Luke Betterman said. “They’re huge.”

Nevertheless, Alumni remains confident after a strong effort against Duncan.

“Our defense was pretty solid the last game,” Betterman said. “We had a shut out and we established the running game, so we’re pretty excited about that.”

The Dawgs are looking for a solid team effort led by running back Derrick Bollman, and hope to pick up the passing game after struggling over the first two games.

“We’re just looking to win,” Betterman said.

Keenan vs. O’Neill

After a tough loss to Dillon last week, Keenan will try to get its offense going against O’Neill.

Knights captain Barton Dear said his team needs to improve its offense if it hopes to win.

“We need to improve the toughness on the offensive line,” Dear said. “We’re also looking to improve the timing with our quarterback and the receivers.”

Dear wants his team to play strong defense and for the offense to improve by establishing the running game. The Knights (0-1-1) are looking to find the end zone for the first in two weeks after being shut out against Dillon.

O’Neill (1-0-0) is looking forward to getting back on the field after a bye week last week. The Mob beat Dillon two weeks ago 14-0. After a slow start, O’Neill was led by quarterback Bobby Powers and his two second-half touchdown passes.

Captain Matt Bono says the bye week has given his team a week to fine-tune their game play.

“We want to make sure we stay mentally focused in the game and play four quarters,” Bono said.

The Mob are not going to take a winless Knights team lightly. Bono says that O’Neill has never beaten Keenan, and beating the Knights would be a big deal for his team.

Both teams hope make a playoff push and Keenan would probably need to win their last two games to have a chance at making the playoffs. O’Neill is trying to stay undefeated after missing the playoffs last year.

Dillon v. Stanford

The Dillon Big Red will be seeking revenge this Sunday when they clash with the Stanford Griffins at 3 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

After suffering a devastating loss to the Griffins in the first round of the playoffs last year when Stanford (1-0) tied the game on the final play of regulation and went on to win in overtime, Dillon (1-1) is fired up for Sunday’s meeting.

“We’ve really had a big rivalry developing with Stanford lately,” Dillon captain Chris Cugliari said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing them this weekend.”

Dillon will rely on its offense, which scored its first points last Sunday in a 7-0 win over Keenan, to continue to perform against Stanford.

“I think our offense is finally able to pick our defense up,” Cugliari said.

The Big Red also know they will need to slow down the potent Stanford offense, which scored three touchdowns in a 20-7 win over Keough.

“Defensively, we need a big effort from our front eight,” Cugliari said. “We really think it’s going to be a close game because we complement each other pretty well.”

On the other side of the ball, Stanford captain John Burke knows his team will need to be especially focused when they meet Dillon.

“We know they’re going to come fired up,” Burke said. “We just need to make sure we’re the same.”

After struggling to execute extra points in their win over Keough, Stanford worked on fixing that problem in practice this week and also worked out a few minor kinks.

“Overall I think consistency is what we’re going to work on,” Burke said.

The Griffins have an enormous amount of confidence coming into the game, as they haven’t lost a game in two years. Burke knows his team has the ability to beat anyone if it plays to their potential.

“We just have to show up and play our game,” he said.

However, Burke stressed that his players, while confident, will not get ahead of themselves against Dillon.

“We know they’re a good team, we know we’re a good team,” he said. “We just need to make sure we don’t underestimate them.”