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Men’s Interhall Football: Siegfried bests Knott in battle of rivals to retain ‘Cup’

Sam Gans, Victoria Jacobsen, Jack Yusko, Lucie Gordon, Laura Coletti and Sarah Crippin | Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Flanner Cup initially seemed it would come down to the wire but ended up a rout, as Siegfried dominated rival Knott 17-0.

After a field goal gave Siegfried (2-0) a 3-0 lead, sophomore halfback David Whitmore put a dagger in the hearts of the Juggerknotts (0-3) with a two-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first half to put the Ramblers up 10-0. That capped a 12-play, 52-yard drive in which Siegfried only ran the ball, taking advantage of its physicality.

“We started pounding the ball more and more,” Whitmore said. “By the end of the half, they just couldn’t tackle us anymore. We were hitting them too hard.”

Siegfried added to the final score in the third quarter when senior quarterback Matt Meinert found the end zone from two yards out.

Whitmore, who ran for 80 yards on 16 carries, was pleased with the improvement from his team’s opening 3-0 win, but knows that the team must keep getting better.

“Our line has been playing a lot better and we’re very happy about that,” Whitmore said. “[But] we realize Knott’s 0-3.”

Knott had a new starting quarterback against Siegfried in sophomore Jake Coleman. Coleman had initial success, leading the Juggerknotts deep into Rambler territory on the opening drive. The drive stalled, though, leaving Knott with no points.

After Coleman struggled in the next two quarters, former starter sophomore Dylan Walter was put back in the game, and found Coleman, now at receiver, on a 41-yard pass to the 20-yard line. Yet again the Juggerknotts were stymied when threatening to score.

“We couldn’t score … again,” Knott captain Dan Shaffer said. “Offensively we drove to the redzone and just died there.”

Knott, which has no touchdowns this season, will try to figure out how to punch the ball into the endzone.

“This offense works until the redzone,” Shaffer said. “I don’t know if there’s some magic we can do once we’re down there.”

Next up for Siegfried is Alumni, while Knott has a bye next week.

Alumni 14, Duncan 6

Alumni got the better of the vaunted Duncan defense, scoring two touchdowns in a victory.

The Highlanders (1-2) took an early lead with a running touchdown from freshman quarterback Josh Whelan, though the extra point attempt was blocked. The Dawgs (2-0) rallied in the second half, scoring in the third quarter on a run from freshman quarterback Will Cronin and in the fourth quarter courtesy of junior running back Barrick Bollman.

“I thought the team showed a lot of heart,” senior Alumni linebacker Sean O’Brien said. “We were down early but kept fighting and made some changes on defense. Our offensive line really won the game for us.”

The time of possession greatly favored the Dawgs, who ate up the clock with two long, methodical drives and a strong running attack. The Highlanders sealed their fate with sloppy play late in the game, committing several costly penalties and losing two offensive possessions to interceptions.

Although disappointed by the final result, Duncan still had some reason for optimism. The early touchdown was the first offensive touchdown in Highlander history, and the offense showed much more movement than in their first two games.

“I think our running game was there,” Whelan said. “We played much better as a team.”

The Highlanders will be looking to increase intensity and consistency in coming weeks.

“We broke down in the second half,” Whelan said. “They wanted it more. We need to work on passing game synchronization, and fighting for all four quarters.”

Alumni will next face Siegfried, while Duncan’s next challenge will come against Morrissey.

Sorin 26, Zahm 0

A tough, spirited Zahm defense wasn’t enough to contain Sorin’s prolific offense in Sunday’s game. With a mix of long throws and wildcat running, Sorin (2-1) managed to score three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown while holding Zahm (0-3) scoreless in the victory.

Zahm’s defense started out strong with sacks coming from junior lineman Luke Lennon, a drum major in high school turned into one of Zahm’s most dangerous defensive weapons.

“He’s like a character in a Disney channel movie, going from playing trombone to being one of the best athletes out here,” Lennon’s junior roommate Jordan Rincon said.

Sorin’s offense quickly fell into a rhythm, spreading out the Zahm secondary with long receptions; quarterback Ted Spinelli connected with sophomore receiver Ryan Robinson for massive gains and two touchdowns.

Spinelli connected for a third touchdown with senior receiver Jon Beckerle before the Otters switched offensive styles and began to run the wildcat with senior captain Michael Browder taking snaps.

“Sorin rides Browder to victory is the best way to describe how essential he is to our team,” freshman Kevin Timperman said.

Browder chipped in another touchdown after a long running drive behind the blocking of a strong offensive line led by senior Matt Gamber.

Though short on subs and plagued by injuries, Zahm fought to the very end of the game.

“We played with heart, and no one has more heart and dedication than our co-captain Collin Casey,” sophomore quarterback Alex Bowman said. “He really helped the team keep our spirits up and lose with class.”

Zahm continues to search for their first win against Carroll next week while Sorin takes a break with a bye.

Carroll 10, Fisher 0

Undefeated Carroll shut out Fisher in a physical win Sunday, using precise offensive execution to get by the Green Wave.

“We ran what we wanted to run [on offense],” Vermin coach Nick Ruof said.

Ruof said that Fisher’s defense was tough from the first drive to the last.

“Their blitz was strong throughout the game,” Ruof said. “But we adjusted — that’s what football is all about.”

On the other side of the football, Fisher (1-2) was unable to make anything happen on offense, partly due to the absence of head coach Eric Prister. The Green Wave repeatedly went to the ground but struggled to find running lanes.

“Last week St. Ed’s was pass heavy, this week Fisher was run heavy,” sophomore Vermin captain Keith Marrero said.

Carroll (2-0) was prepared to defend the run, but Marrero said there is still work to be done defensively to prepare for next week’s game against Zahm.

“We hit them at the line pretty well,” Marrero said. “But we definitely have to work on stopping them from gaining extra yardage after contact.”

Vermin freshman quarterback Jack Gardner stood out for the second week in a row, and freshman Bobby Dorman had the team’s only touchdown and made several other key plays both on offense and defense. The young guns were just two of the top performers from Carroll.

“Everybody stepped up this week,” Ruof said.

Next Sunday, the Green Wave will take on St. Ed’s while Carroll looks to keep its perfect record against Zahm.

Stanford 27, Keough 9

Stanford rolled to a victory over Keough Sunday behind a three-touchdown effort from junior receiver Griffin Naylor.

Each team got off to a slow start, but the Griffins (2-0) found their rhythm during the second half and took advantage of the opportunities they got against the Kangaroos (0-3), who are still searching for their first win.

Keough took a 3-0 lead with a field goal during the second quarter. Stanford responded on their very next drive, when senior quarterback Tony Rizzo drifted to the left of the field and launched a pass to Naylor in the corner of the end zone to give Stanford a 7-3 lead.

“We got off to a slow start on offense, and we made some mistakes on defense giving up short routes, which we never do,” Naylor said. “We really stepped up in the second half.”

Keough regained the lead before halftime, but failed to hold on thanks to an inability to close out drives.

“Our receivers ran good routes and caught the ball well,” Kangaroos freshman quarterback Aaron Grinsteinner said. “We just need to finish our drives. We didn’t do that today.”

The Griffins took the lead for good in the third quarter when Naylor ran an end-around to the right side of the field and leaped across the goal line. Though Stanford was happy to earn the win, Naylor said the team must continue to work to realize its potential.

“Our offensive line was great, we had a lot of big blocks in the second half,” he said. “We need to be more consistent and play all four quarters. When this team is firing on all cylinders, we can beat anyone.”

Stanford’s final touchdown was the icing on the cake, when junior defenseman Dan Mulligan intercepted a Keough pass and began returning it before pitching it to Naylor, who returned the turnover all the way to the end zone. The star of the day credited the Kangaroos with providing a challenge that was not reflected in the final score.

“Credit to Keough’s defense. They brought it,” Naylor said. “Their quarterback was accurate, and their offense was competing.”

The undefeated Griffins face Dillon next, while Keough has a bye.

Dillon 14, Keenan 6

The sound of helmets hitting helmets echoed from Riehle Fields Sunday afternoon as Dillon defeated Keenan in a matchup of two extremely physical teams. The Big Red (2-0) remain undefeated after a strong second-half effort against the Knights (1-2).

Keenan started out strong and led 6-0 at halftime after a 20-yard run touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Trevor Yerrick. After Dillon intercepted a Keenan pass in the last moments of the first half, though, the Big Red gained momentum and began to control the pace of the game.

Sophomore running back Terry Howard ran the ball 15 yards for a touchdown to put Dillon up 7-6 early in the second half, kick-starting a Big Red second-half resurgence.

“We really stepped it up in the second half,” Howard said. “Our offensive line played leaps and bounds better than it did in our last game.”

The Big Red continued their solid second-half play, going up 14-6 after freshman quarterback Kevin Fink found sophomore receiver Will Salvi in the end zone. An interception by junior defender Eamon El-Sawaf sealed the victory for Dillon.

“We’re planning to work hard in practice again this week and hope to get a win against Stanford on Sunday,” Howard said.

The Knights are also planning a difficult practice after evaluating their weaker points from Sunday’s game.

“We played a solid first half, but we really struggled in the second half,” senior defensive back Jamie Koepsel said. “Our defense failed to make adjustments to Dillon’s strong running game.”

Keenan will try to bounce back from the loss in its game against O’Neill Sunday, while Dillon looks to continue its two-game winning streak against Stanford.