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Men’s Interhall: Knott and Duncan set to fight for first win

Vicky Jacobsen, Andrew Gastelum, Kelsey Manning, Jack Hefferon, Adam Llorens, and Sam Gans | Friday, September 24, 2010

When Knott and Duncan face off Sunday, both squads will be looking to put narrow opening losses behind them. The Juggerknotts (0-1) fell to Morrissey by a final score of 7-6, while Duncan (0-1) held defending champion Siegfried to just one field goal in a 3-0 defeat.

Knott junior captain Dan Schaffer called his team’s loss a “wake-up call,” noting that the team needs to improve its practice attendence.

Although the offense gave a strong effort throughout their first game, the Juggerknotts will work for more successful finishing drives, as they failed to score a touchdown despite entering the red zone four times last Sunday.

The Highlanders will head back to the drawing board this week, expecting a clearer understanding of the offensive system to translate into offensive production on the field.

“We need to make sure everyone picks up their assignments,” junior captain Paul Scheel said. “The play breaks up when people aren’t where they’re supposed to be.”

Despite a disappointing lack of offensive production, the strong defense that frustrated Siegfried has the potential to be just as successful against Knott.

“I felt like the defense came out and performed even past what I expected,” Scheel said.

The strong Duncan defense coupled with a crisper offensive attack is giving the Highlanders reason for optimism this weekend.

“Every week we expect to win,” Scheel said.

Knott and Duncan will meet this Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Field.

O’Neill vs. Dillon

The old saying “Defense wins championships” will be in full effect Sunday as O’Neill takes on Dillon in what is sure to be a classic game of hard-nosed football.

In a 6-0 win last weekend, the Mob (1-0) did not give up a first down the entire game, stifling a Keough offense that was never able to find a rhythm.

“We need to keep doing the little things right,” junior captain Guy Schwartz said. “I was really happy about how few missed tackles we had [against Keough] and this is something we are definitely going to need to see again this weekend.”

Meanwhile, the Big Red (0-0) are looking to get off to a strong start in their first game of the year. To counter the Mob’s overpowering defense, Dillon is counting on the experienced offensive line, which returns four starters, to protect freshman quarterback Kevin Fink in his first start.

“Offensively it all starts up front, so the key is our offensive linemen,” senior captain Jordan Smith said. “This is a veteran group that we plan on having a lot of success with throughout the year.”

Being the first game of the year, Smith said he expects some of the players to be a little rusty, but does not see it as an excuse to let up.

“I expect there to be a few mental mistakes and assignment issues in our first game, but we are going to come ready to play,” Smith said. “Ever since the loss in the playoffs last year [to Morrissey] our boys have been itching to get back on the field and hit somebody.”

Dillon will look to open their season on a good note while O’Neill hopes to extend their win streak when they clash Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Riehle fields.

St. Ed’s vs. Carroll

After a close win over Sorin last week, St. Edward’s is slated to take on Carroll Sunday.

The 13-12 nail-biter saw multiple players stepping in on both sides of the ball, including senior quarterback Matt Abeling in his first game on defense.

Junior captain and running back Jay Mathes is anxious to have a full squad Sunday. After passing more than he preferred last game, Mathes said he is hoping to re-establish St. Edward’s physical presence.

“We are looking forward to [our players’] return so we can get our run offense in gear and really establish it as a dominant force,” he said.

Thanks to a Week 1 bye, this will be Carroll’s season opener. With a respectable 2-1-2 season under their belts, the Vermin squad (0-0) is looking to improve on that in 2010, with much help from its freshmen, who comprise almost half the team. Sophomore captain Keith Marrero has the utmost faith in his new recruits.

“We are very confident in the guys who will be on the field on Sunday,” he said. “We will be counting on our freshmen to step up and play a big part on the field.”

The Vermin will execute a balanced persistent attack on offense and rely on their defense for support. St. Ed’s, hardened by its pressure-filled victory last week, will take on a less experienced Carroll squad on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Morrissey vs. Alumni

Young gunslingers will face off in a physical battle when Morrissey takes on Alumni Sunday.

Last week, the Manor (1-0) was able to outlast Knott, 7-6, thanks to an early second half touchdown throw from freshman quarterback Nick Conrad to freshman wide receiver Patrick Dugan. A 60-yard completion from Conrad to Dugan earlier in the drive set up the scoring play. Sophomore captain Alex Oloriz is confident in his freshman tandem.

“You could see during the game last week that [Conrad] really progressed,” Oloriz said. “I think he underestimated the level of interhall play, but he definitely got a feel for it as the game went on.”

Part of Conrad’s quick transition last week was through the great play of the offensive line, which was able to keep him upright for most of the day.

“Our offensive line fights hard,” Oloriz said.

The Dawgs (0-0) enter this weekend’s matchup fresh off of a bye, but are anxious to play after posting a disappointing 0-3-1 record in 2009.

“You always want to compete, but last year was more like scrimmages,” Alumni junior captain Dan Dansdill said.

Despite last year’s results, Dansdill has much higher hopes for the current Dawgs.

“This year, we have better players, better chemistry, and a better quarterback,” Dansdill said.

That quarterback is freshman Will Cronin, who, along with junior center Tim Curran and junior linebacker Sean O’Brien, will be one of the Dawgs playmakers. They hope to be part of a new Alumni squad with a new gameplan centered around physicality under Dansdill’s captainship.

“Hit ‘em hard, and get some yards,” Dansdill said.

Kickoff between Morrissey and Alumni will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields.

Sorin vs. Fisher

Sorin is looking to bounce back this weekend with a victory over Fisher, while the Green Wave is looking to continue breaking the mold of the last three years.

After a tough 13-12 loss to St. Ed’s (1-0), the Otters (0-1) have put the past behind them and are looking forward to Sunday. Leading Sorin into this weekend will be its three standout sophomores: wide receiver Ryan Robinson, quarterback Ted Stinelli and defensive lineman Bobby Shields. The Otters’ football publicist Bobby Sullivan said he has confidence in his team going into the game.

“We have been practicing at 3 a.m. this week to stimulate our lights out offense,” Sullivan said. “Fisher is going to need more than men to rock our boat, and I fully expect our defensive catalyst Bobby Shields to sit on one of the Fishermen this week.”

On the flip side, Fisher (1-0) is coming off their first real win in three years with last Sunday’s 6-0 victory over Zahm (0-1). Behind senior running back Michael McMahon and junior quarterback and linebacker Patrick Hertenstein, the Green Wave is expecting to continue their success this weekend. They know, however, that Sorin will be a tough matchup.

“Sorin looks a lot better than Zahm,” McMahon said. “Besides being stronger, bigger, and more organized, Sorin runs a plethora of plays on offense and focused on their assignments on defense.”

Sorin and Fisher meet Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Fields.


Keenan vs. Keough

Keenan and Keough each hope to break into the win column at the other team’s expense Sunday.

Keenan (0-1) opened with a disappointing 13-0 loss at the hands of rival Stanford last week. Despite the lack of success, the Knights will only make minimal changes against Keough.

“Defensively we’re going to pretty much stick to what we did,” Keenan senior co-captain and linebacker Bart Dear said. “Offensively we may look to put the ball on the ground a little more, but not change too much.”

Keough (0-1) lost in its opening contest, falling 6-0 to O’Neill.

“We’re gonna attempt to stick to what we have and what we’ve been practicing,” Keough senior captain Kevin Laughlin said.

The Kangaroos are prepared to adjust on the fly, however, if they don’t get off to their desired start.

“We’re in the process of putting in other packages to give us more flexibility,” Laughlin said. “We understand if it ain’t working, don’t stick with it too long.”

Despite the added intrigue of a sibling rivalry between Keough senior cornerback Brian Koepsel and Keenan senior defensive back and co-captain Jamie Koepsel, each team realizes more than bragging rights are at stake, with the deep hole of 0-2 knocking on the door.

“We both came off a loss, so for both teams it’s going to be make or break,” Laughlin said.

Keenan and Keough clash in search of their first wins at 3 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields.