Men’s Interhall Football: Undefeated Morrissey holds off Siegfried’s upset attempt
Kevin Baldwin, Megan Finneran, Chris Allen and Matthew Robison | Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Only 20 yards stood between Siegfried (1-0-2) and a season-changing upset over undefeated Morrissey (3-0), but a fourth down field goal attempt fell just short of the posts and the Manor escaped with the 9-7 win after a hard-fought defensive struggle Sunday.
“It was just a team effort today,” Morrissey senior captain Phil Yuhas said. “We bend but don’t break.”
Siegfried dominated early in the game, scoring a touchdown on its opening drive with a pass from junior quarterback Matt Meinert to sophomore Frank Conway. The Ramblers’ offensive line gave Meinert and senior running back Dex Cure ample running room for numerous first downs.
The Manor responded quickly with a touchdown of its own on its next possession when senior quarterback Danny Deveny threw a bullet pass to senior wide receiver Brendan “BK” Kiley. On the extra point attempt, the Ramblers managed to block the kick.
Undaunted, Morrissey’s offense kept its momentum going into the second half with some big passing gains including a 15-yard toss through several defenders to Kiley that brought the Manor just a few yards shy of the end zone. The drive culminated in a field goal by junior Pat Mulhern that cleared not only the uprights but also the moving traffic on Douglas Road.
Morrissey’s defense played a crucial role in preventing threatening runs by Meinert and Cure from producing any points. Key players included freshmen Taylor Stein and Sean Baur, sophomore Tom Nield, Yuhas, who forced a fumble and senior Spencer White, who recovered it.
“This is how our defense has played all year,” senior defensive lineman John Saulitis said. “That’s what we’re built on, we practice hard every week.”
The Manor hopes to continue its win streak with their game against Knott after break.
Siegfried is looking to recuperate over break from Sunday’s tough loss and add one to the win column on the first of November.
“Give it to Morrissey, they played a good game,” Cure said. “We just hope to come out next time and play well against Duncan.”
Before they played Sunday, neither Sorin nor Carroll had lost this season. After they played to a scoreless tie, still neither the Otters (2-0-1) nor the Vermin (2-0-2) have lost this season.
Both teams made more mistakes than great plays, with penalties, turnovers and failed third-down conversions killing nearly every drive.
“We are disappointed about the many mistakes that we committed on offense, but we’re glad we came out with a tie,” Carroll junior captain Nick Ruof said.
Carroll intercepted Sorin freshman quarterback Ted Spinelli three times, but the Sorin defense held strong against the Vermin and forced many punts.
The only scoring opportunity came with less than a minute left. Carroll gained possession after forcing Sorin to punt the ball, and put itself into position for a game-winning field goal. However, the kick did not clear the uprights, and the tie was all but sealed.
Sorin didn’t have enough time to mount any legitimate scoring threat.
Sorin senior running back Rob Gallic routinely found holes and gained yards, but Spinelli’s interceptions did not allow Gallic to find a rhythm.
“I think our problem was that we hadn’t suited up or practiced in about two weeks,” Otter freshman Killian Frailey said. “We needed to dust off cobwebs, but I guess today we just couldn’t do that.”
Similarily, Carroll sophomore receiver Nick Tammerine caught numerous passes for large gains, but either penalties or other incompletions brought the Vermin drives to a halt.
Carroll will now have to wait and see if its undefeated record is enough to warrant a playoff seed, while Sorin will take on St. Edward’s in three weeks for their final game of the season.
St. Edwards 7, Zahm 0
Only one play set St. Edward’s (2-1) apart from Zahm (0-3) in the Gentlemen’s victory Sunday.
A turnover-plagued second half quickly erased memories of a mild first half. St. Edward’s blocked a punt near the end zone, and seemed poised to score, when Zahm forced a fumble to regain possession.
“We were definitely relieved with the win,” St. Edward’s senior captain Andy Nester said. “We could have played a lot better on offense, but the defense did what we had to do to get the win.”
The sour ending was all too familiar for the Zahmbies, having now lost all three games this season, including two by a touchdown or less.
“We played well, but once again, fumbles killed us,” senior running back Jarred Carter said. “St. Edward’s played hard, as did we, but once again, one key play cost us the win.”
Both teams will prepare for three weeks before they play again. Zahm will play Fisher following break, and St. Edward’s will take on Sorin before the playoffs begin.
Dillon 23, Keough 0
Dillon (3-1) entered its Sunday matchup against Keough (1-2) hoping to secure a playoff berth by any means possible. The Big Red dominated from the first play in nearly all phases of the game en route to securing that playoff berth with a dominating victory.
“We lost to Stanford last week, which was a big blow because they are our rivals,” Dillon sophomore running back Eric Herbert said. “So we knew we had to go out and win this one. We’ve had great talent all year and in this one we just stuck to smash mouth football.”
Dillon started very early in building a dominating defensive effort, intercepting Keough senior quarterback Matt Bruggeman on the first play from scrimmage. The Big Red then marched down the field and punched it in on a short run from Herbert to go up 7-0.
On the next drive, Keough’s drive stalled after a series. Herbert broke through the line and blocked the punt to give Dillon a short field.
Keough looked ready to put its first points on the board when Bruggeman connected on a long pass play on a rollout. However, the play was called back on an ineligible man downfield penalty and the Kangaroos punted.
Just before the half, Dillon junior quarterback Jason Miller rolled to the left and heaved a deep ball across his body into the end zone. Senior wide receiver Chris Cugliari adjusted well to the underthrown ball for Dillon’s third and final touchdown of the half and the game.
Dillon’s signature defensive effort, led by junior defensive end Andrew “Pudge” Watkins, smothered the Keough attack all game and helped Dillon cruise to the victory, adding only a safety en route to a 23-0 victory. Dillon will now face a long layoff before it begins its playoff run.
“We have a bye week after fall break,” Herbert said. “It’s on us individually to stay in shape and stay focused. When we come back we’ll start preparing for our playoff opponent.”
Keough will also face a long layoff and will need significant amount of help to earn a playoff berth. The Kangaroos play O’Neill following break.
Stanford 10, O’Neill 0
By beating O’Neill Sunday, Stanford guaranteed that their unbeaten season (3-0) would live for a few more weeks, and the Angry Mob’s winless season (0-3) would as well.
Not only did the Griffins’ defense hold O’Neill scoreless, but it outscored the Mob by forcing two safeties through a botched punt and a tackle for a loss.
“The defense played its heart out today,” senior defensive back Chris Gill said. “Coming away with two safeties was huge.”
Junior quarterback Tony Rizzo found junior receiver Kevin Ritt for a touchdown as well to top the scoreboard off.
Despite what the scoreboard read, O’Neill senior captain Chris Johnson said he was pleased with his team’s performance.
As Johnson said the Mob did improve, Gill said the Griffins have room for improvement, even as they get closer to realizing their Stadium dreams.
“We need to get the running game going a little more,” he said. “It’s going to be tough to score points if we become one-dimensional.”
O’Neill’s playoff hopes are now dead, so its next game is an opportunity to play with reckless abandon, as there is nothing at stake other than hall pride in their final game, against Keough.
“We have nothing to lose,” Johnson said. “We are going to come out firing and try to get a win.”
Stanford will face Keenan after break in its annual clash against its rival. A win would mean a first-round bye in the playoffs.
u Alumni forfeited its game to Knott Sunday due to the inability to field a competitive team.?This makes the Dawgs?0-3-1?for the season and improves the Juggerknotts’ record to 1-1-1. This does not impact either team’s playoff outlook.