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Men’s Interhall Football: Alumni faces Duncan; Keough looks for first win

Victoria Jacobsen, Laura Coletti, Sam Gans, Sarah Crippin, Jack Yusko and Lucie Gordon | Friday, October 1, 2010

Both Alumni and Duncan will have momentum on their side when the two teams meet Sunday, each coming off a victory. However, neither the Dawgs (1-0) nor the Highlanders (1-1) will be lulled into complacency.

“We played like we had nothing to lose, and now that we’re 1-0 I hope we can keep that intensity and enthusiasm,” Alumni junior captain Dan Dansdill said.  

Duncan (1-1) junior captain Paul Scheel shares similar hopes for the Highlanders.

“Last week was the second straight week where are defense play has been stellar, so we need to sustain [that] level of play, or even elevate it,” Scheel said.

Although the Duncan defense has been very effective, limiting their first two opponents to a combined three points, the offense still has room for improvement. The Highlanders have yet to score while in possession of the ball, with their only points coming courtesy of a safety against Knott.

“The offense began taking form last week and we hope to build on that success to put together scoring drives,” Scheel said. “Over the first two games the offense has made improvements. We would like to have scoring drives on offense and put the ball in the end zone.”

Alumni will be looking to play a disciplined brand of football this weekend, with clearly delegated offensive and defensive assignments and no turnovers. Scheel said the Duncan game plan is centered on stopping the Alumni attack, led by freshman quarterback Will Cronin.

“Our goal is to not let them score,” Scheel said.  “Our offense is actually pretty good. I’m confident we can put some points on the board.”

Alumni and Duncan will meet Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Stanford vs. Keough

Stanford will try to maintain their perfect record this weekend when they play a winless but resilient Keough squad.

The Griffins (1-0), coming off a bye week, will try to keep on with their winning ways against a competitive Kangaroo squad (0-2).

“In our first game, we played well as a team,” Stanford senior captain Tony Rizzo said. “We spread the ball around to a lot of different people on offense, and defensively all of our units stepped up and made a lot of different tackles.”

Rizzo expects the Griffins will have to rely on their traditionally tough defense once again.

“I think [Keough’s] biggest strength is their competitiveness, as they have lost two really close games,” Rizzo said. “I’m expecting a tough opponent and hope that we can continue to play well by feeding off of their energy.”

Keough is still searching for its first win of the season, and will also be looking towards defensive toughness to stifle the Griffins.

“Our bread and butter is our defense,” Keough senior captain Kevin Laughlin said. “The offense has been improving steadily, but needs to match the intensity and production of the defense.”

The Kangaroos remain optimistic about the remainder of their season, and expect to do well.

“Our goal is to win out,” Laughlin said. “We have had a chance to win both of our first two games, and I’m not going to lower expectations now.”

The two competitive and hungry teams will clash on Sunday at 6 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Siegfried vs. Knott

One of the best interhall grudge matches will be settled this weekend as Siegfried and Knott face off this Sunday, as each team hopes to improve its offensive production.

Siegfried (1-0) opened with a low-scoring win against Duncan two weeks ago. The lone score for the Ramblers came on a field goal, giving Siegfried the 3-0 win, but leaving a tinge of disappointment with the lack of offense.

“We just needed more practice,” Siegfried senior captain Michael McDonnell said. “In our game against Duncan, there was a lot of miscommunication and a lack of focus.”

While the Rambler defense posting a shutout was encouraging, Siegfried still recognized the need to improve the defense.

“We definitely did have a lot of things that worked for us on defense,” McDonnell said. “However, we missed a lot of tackles and did a lot of the smaller things wrong.”

Knott (0-2) has had their fair share of offensive struggles. The Juggerknotts have put up no touchdowns through their first two games. Knott is hoping that some position changes and a healthier squad will lead to more points on the board.

“We’re moving some people around,” Knott junior captain Dan Shaffer said. “Also, we had an injury last week to one of our linemen, so he’ll be back, which will be nice.”

The Juggerknotts do not plan to change their plan from the first two games, but rather improve in the technical areas of the game.

“It wasn’t our plays, it was our fundamentals that weren’t working, so we just hit that hard this week,” Shaffer said.

Knott is hoping a strong defense that has allowed just one touchdown through two games can lead them to a victory in a game that’s about more than just a record, but also bragging rights.

“With Siegfried, it’s our rivalry week, so everyone’s probably going to play harder and do whatever they can,” Shaffer said.

Siegfried and Knott square off at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Dillon vs. Keenan

Dillon and Keenan will battle for playoff positioning Sunday with each team coming off a win last week and looking to preserve momentum.

The Big Red (1-0) forced six turnovers in their 15-7 win over O’Neill last weekend.

“We are excited about our victory over O’Neill,” senior captain Jordan Smith said. “A lot of players came up big on both offense and defense.”

Smith and the rest of his Dillon squad refuse to be satisfied by their season-opening win however.

“This week we are going to concentrate on getting everybody on the same page and cutting down on the mental errors,” Smith said.

The Big Red knows that the match up against Keenan (1-1) will be one of the most physical of the season.

“Every year when we play Keenan it ends up being a tight contest with a lot of hitting,” Smith said. “We will prepare for that and get ready to come out swinging on Sunday.”

The Knights also enjoyed a nice win last weekend, defeating Keough 6-0 in the game’s final minutes.

“We were really pleased with our defense and our ability to move the ball downfield in our win last weekend over Keough,” senior captain Bart Dear said.

Keenan’s main focus during practice this week will be their special teams unit, as the Keough defense was able to block two of their field goals.

“We need to do a better job finishing our drives and on our special teams,” Dear said. “We’re going to broaden our offense, but other than that we’re looking to do more of the same.”

The battle between these two powerful teams is set for Sunday at 3 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Sorin vs. Zahm

As interhall teams around campus make a push for the playoffs, this Sunday’s contest between Sorin and Zahm will certainly be a crucial factor for both team’s postseason hopes.

Sorin (1-1) senior captain, running back and safety Michael Browder believes his team still has a lot to improve on following a win against Fisher last Sunday.

“We’ve been focusing on the fundamentals in practice,” Browder said. “If we can run good routes and make strong tackles like we have been lately, Zahm has no chance.”

If Browder’s confident prediction is to be realized on Sunday, the Otters will need to overcome a rabid Zahm (0-2) defense that is making a name for itself week by week.

Zahm held Fisher scoreless for 48 minutes in the first game of the season before conceding the one touchdown that decided the game. In order to take advantage of their solid defense, the Zahmbies will be using a more conservative play-calling style, focusing on holding back Sorin’s offense instead of trying to compete in a high scoring game.

Although currently winless, Zahm’s combination of a young team gaining experience with each game and strong senior leadership under captain Mark Pomerenke makes them a difficult opponent for a team like Sorin that is seeking a playoff spot.

Zahm looks to snap a losing streak and earn their first win, while Sorin attempts to secure a winning record as the two teams square off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Fisher vs. Carroll

Fisher hopes to rebound after Sunday’s disappointing loss, as the Green Wave faces the Carroll Vermin, who are still soaring from their opening victory.

Carroll (1-0) sophomore captain Keith Marrero acknowledged that despite his team’s strong performance, there were some nerves involved.

“The first game jitters definitely showed, especially on offense,” Marrero said.

Marrero added that with a game under their belt, the Vermin will enter their next challenge against Fisher (1-1) with more experience and confidence.

While his team prepared to defend St. Edward’s passing game last week, this week’s focus will be readying for a more balanced Fisher offense.

“We definitely have to adjust for the run this week,” Marrero said.

Fisher captain Michael McMahon said that although his team lost on Sunday, it will use the same strategy this week against Carroll.

“Our game plan is pretty much the same,” McMahon said.  “But we try to add new things every week.”

McMahon said his team needs to better prepare its offense for Carroll’s defense.

“[Carroll’s] pass defense is quite strong,” McMahon said.

The captains of both teams look forward to seeing their underclassmen blossom throughout the season. Carroll freshmen Jack Gardner and Bobby Dorman were impressive against St. Edward’s.  Marrero is anxious to see how they continue to improve as the season progresses.

“We have plenty of freshmen on the field,” Marrero said. “By the end of the season, I am confident that everybody will step up and stand out.”

Carroll will take on the Green Wave Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Fields.