Men’s Interhall: Battle of perfect records to begin
Colin King, Chris Allen, Megan Finneran, Allan Joseph, Barrick Bollman and Kevin Baldwin | Friday, October 30, 2009
Morrissey and Knott square off in a match of unbeatens Sunday that will determine two division playoff spots.
The Manor clinched a playoff spot last week by defeating Siegfried. However, if Knott falls to Morrissey, the Juggerknotts will concede their playoff bid to the Ramblers.
Knott (2-0-1) has had a surprisingly successful season and will be well rested for Sunday’s game. The Juggerknotts are coming off an Alumni forfeit and a bye week.
“We’ve had a very encouraging season thus far,” Knott senior captain Aidan Fitzgerald said. “We’re well-rested and very ready for this game.”
They will need to be ready in a game that determines their season. A tie to division foe Siegfried put them in this position.
“We were a little disappointed we couldn’t pull off the win against Siegfried. We had a couple of opportunities that slipped by,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m sure they were too. Both teams had their chances. We’ve got to win. This is a big game for us.”
In their third real game and fifth week of the season, Fitzgerald believes the team is poised for a deep playoff run as the team is just hitting its stride.
“So far we’ve all clicked, it just hasn’t been at the same time,” he said. “I think we finally got it together. It’s bound to happen sooner or later.”
Morrissey (3-0) beat Siegfried 9-7 in a nail biter before break. The Manor looks to close out its undefeated season with a balanced offense led by senior quarterback Danny Deveny.
“We’ve used a successful aerial attack, but we’d like to mix it up with a run-pass mix to utilize talent more efficiently,” Morrissey senior Phil Yuhas said.
The Manor defense stepped up holding the Ramblers to one touchdown last week. Freshmen led the charge as defensive end Taylor Stein and tackle Sean Baur made plays all over the field.
The Manor will need their defense to control a Juggerknott team just hitting their stride.
Undefeated seasons and playoff hopes are on the line when Morrissey meets Knott.
Gametime is 2 p.m. Riehle Field.
Duncan vs. Siegfried
The last week of the regular season features a critical game as Siegfried (1-1-1) needs a win against Duncan (0-2-1) in addition to a Knott loss or their season is over.
Duncan, who is still searching for their first win in dorm history, is well aware of the game’s magnitude.
“The goal is still to get Duncan’s first win ever,” Duncan sophomore captain Paul Scheel said. “That’s the goal every week.”
Beyond their quest for their first win, however, Duncan is more than willing to play spoiler to Siegfried’s playoff hopes.
“The team is very much aware that [Siegfried] needs a win,” Scheel said. “We would love to spoil their chances, especially because they won the championship last year.”
The Highlanders, led by freshman quarterback Chris Palmquist, have had a promising season for such a new dorm and Scheel believes there is a lot of momentum going into next year regardless of the outcome against Siegfried.
“Our season was a positive build toward next year already,” Scheel said. “A win would certainly be better but we think this season has been a step forward, win or lose.”
Siegfried, on the other hand, has no time to think about next season. The Ramblers will need a win and help to move to the playoffs and continue their title defense. They are confident heading into the final game.
“We’re treating it like it’s our biggest game of the year,” senior captain Dex Cure said. “It’s an early playoff game for us.”
Siegfried is hoping to avoid overlooking the upstart Highlanders by matching their intensity.
“We know they’re going to come out hard,” Cure said. “They’ve been competitive in all their games so we’re not going to be lackadaisical or complacent.”
The two teams will meet at Riehle Field at 1 p.m. with the Ramblers hoping to hold off Duncan and set themselves up for a potential playoff berth.
St. Ed’s vs. Sorin
For two teams this Sunday, more than a win is up for grabs. For Sorin (2-0-1) and St. Edward’s (2-1) it will determine who goes to the playoffs. This weekend marks the last in the regular season, so both teams have been preparing to step up their game.
After Carroll’s season ended before break with a 2-0-2 record after a scoreless tie against Sorin, the three teams were left tangled atop their division. St. Edward’s only loss was 7-6 to Carroll.
After a close 7-0 victory to Zahm in their last game, St. Edward’s is hoping to have a less nerve-wracking win this week. They plan to come out strong and make fewer mistakes than in previous games to eliminate errors that may hurt them.
The Gentlemen look to senior free safety Mark Costanzo to keep the defense solid, and rely on freshman Rob Dillard to take charge on offense for their running game.
“Our biggest problem so far has been losing to Carroll, but after that first game, we really came together well,” senior captain Andy Nester said.
For this game, Sorin looks to its freshman quarterback, Ted Spinelli, to continue leading the offense. His rookie status has yet to show, and the Otters plan to keep it that way.
Senior Rob Gallic has also proven his abilities in past games, helping the offense advance toward the end zone with skillful runs as he follows the bulldozer-like blocking of junior lineman Matt Gamber.
“Look, St. Ed’s hasn’t been through the trials and tribulations that the fine men of Sorin College have been through,” Otters senior Casey McGushin said. “We have made it thus far, and there is no turning back, so we are going to end their season, with a smile on our face.”
The teams will face off for what will be one team’s last game of the season at 2 p.m. at Riehle Field.
Fisher vs. Zahm
Fisher (0-2-1) and Zahm (0-3) will meet this Sunday in a contest that will leave one team celebrating its first victory of the season and the other agonizing over a winless season.
Both teams, however, figure to look back on a 2009 campaign filled with what-ifs and a record that could be much better with just a few good breaks here and there.
“We’ve just caught a couple bad breaks,” Zahmbie senior captain Jarred Carter said. “A handful of plays have killed us.”
Zahm has lost two games by seven points or less and will try to jumpstart their still-scoreless offense this weekend, feeling confident thanks to the 27-point outburst Fisher yielded to St. Edward’s, whom the Zahmbies held to only 7 points.
“The defense has actually played well,” Carter said. “The offense has not been as good as expected.” Zahm will need Carter to have a big game at running back behind strong blocking from junior offensive lineman Mark Pomeranke. Junior wide receiver Charlie Harig will also need to step up on Sunday to help the Zahmbie offense break through the Green Wave defensive unit.
Fisher has also had a tough season, including a disappointing 6-6 tie against Carroll.
Carter best summarized the overall tone of the game for both teams. “We’re just trying to go out with a bang, that’s all.”
The Green Wave will battle the Zahmbies on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Field.
O’Neill vs. Keough
On Sunday, Keough (1-2) and O’Neill (0-3) battle for bragging rights on West Quad.
Although both teams are eliminated from playoff contention, they still have a lot to play for.
“You always play to win the game, but things get ramped up when you play your rival dorm,” sophomore captain Ryan Cordell said. “Since we’re playing O’Neill, it’s not going to take a lot to get my guys motivated. They want bragging rights, so they’re going to play their hearts out.”
The Kangaroos aren’t going to go quietly and take the rivalry just as seriously.
“We are playing Keough and it’s our rival,” sophomore receiver Julian Murphy said. “It’s a pride thing and it’s always good to beat Keough, so we have plenty of motivation.”
The Angry Mob plans to spread the ball around offensively. They are led by senior quarterback Matt Bruggeman and senior center and co-captain Sean Mullins. The O’Neill defense takes pride on stopping the run. They are led by junior Brian Koepsel in the secondary and freshman Robert Toole and Blake Breslua in the front seven.
Keough has struggled offensively and will need to move the ball effectively to win. The offense is led by freshman quarterback Chris Delillo and senior wide out Tim Lang. The Kangaroos have been fairly dominant on defense however. Linebacker Brendan Mulhearn and senior defensive end Charles Johnson lead the defense.
Both teams face the challenge of getting refocused and ready to go after a two-week layover due to fall break.
“It’s definitely a challenge,” Murphy said. “We have two weeks without practice and need to get everybody on the same page again and looking sharp.”
Cordell agreed, citing the need to play fundamentally sound football.
“Coming off of break, we have to remain sharp in all three phases of the game,” Cordell said.
Keough takes on West Quad rival O’Neill in a big game on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Reihle Field.
Stanford vs. Keenan
The legendary Battle of the Chapel is set to take place this Sunday, the annual football match over naming rights to the common lobby and chapel shared by Stanford and Keenan Halls.
This game will be a “must win” for the defending champion Keenan Knights, who need a victory of their own in addition to a loss by Keough this week in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. They will have their metal tested against an imposing undefeated Griffins squad, coming off a 10-0 shutout over O’Neil before break.
Though the Knights have relied heavily on their resilient defense, led by sophomore ball-hound PJ McHugh, throughout the season, their sophomore captain and quarterback Terry Mahoney is confident they have made the necessary improvements to bring the offense up to speed.
“We need to get the ball in the end zone,” Mahoney said. “The rest will take care of itself.”
Players to watch include running backs freshman Trevor Yerrick and junior Adam Weightman as well as wide receiver, junior Matt Spencer.
Stanford will try to build on their momentum from an already outstanding season to secure a coveted first round bye in the playoffs.
“We’re pretty excited right now,” senior captain Chris Gill said. “We’re hoping to end the season 4-0”.
The Stanford defense has played impetuously this year, allowing only a single touchdown in the last three games and intends to keep up the pace Sunday. Expect to see some big plays out of sophomore defensive end Kyle Obendorf.
“Our defense is going to try to force their quarterback into throwing the ball,” Gill said.
Likewise the Griffins’ offense has been known to dominate their side of the field, running back Dave Galiyas making highlight-reel plays on a weekly basis, but captain Gill emphasizes the importance of the offensive line.
“They will decide how the offense does,” he said.
The only thing these teams are concerned with is the name that appears in the lobby that connects the two halls.
“Keenan’s name is up there now and we hope to keep it that way,” Mahoney said.
The Battle will commence at 3 p.m. at Riehle Field.