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Men’s Interhall: Dillon shuts out Fisher

Kelsey Manning, Matthew Defranks, Matt Unger and Megan Golden | Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Following Wednesday’s death of Notre Dame junior Declan Sullivan, a Fisher resident, RecSports contacted Fisher with an offer to postpone its first-round playoff game against No. 1 seed Dillon.

Without hesitation, Fisher rector Fr. Rob Moss and senior captain Michael McMahon declined the offer.

“We definitely appreciated the offer,” McMahon said. “That was very kind of them. While we are all dealing with the tragedy, we have to roll on with what we are doing.

“I don’t want to downplay it in any way. I know individuals are certainly dealing with it.”

Before the game, Fisher said a prayer as a team in memory of Sullivan.

From the outset the Big Red’s defense came out with intensity, forcing a fumble within the first few minutes that allowed the offense to take over. Throughout the game the Big Red were all over the field, leading to two interceptions and 14 more incompletions from Fisher junior quarterback Pat Hertenstein.

“Our [defensive] strategy was to come out, hit hard, and play fast and intense,” Dillon senior captain Jordan Smith said. “Our defense was perfect today.”

Despite a strong effort from Fisher on the defensive side of the ball, Dillon was relentless on offense. The Green Wave came up with a few big stops, highlighted by two in the red zone in the second half, and a blocked extra point. In the end, they were simply worn out by Dillon’s dual-threat offense featuring sophomore running back Terry Howard and the passing duo of freshman quarterback Kevin Fink and sophomore receiver Will Salvi.

“Not many teams have the luxury of being able to run and pass,” Smith said. “Not a lot of kids play quarterback like that, so it’s great having [Fink].”

Fink credits the success of Dillon’s passing game to his on-field chemistry with Salvi as well as his other receivers.

“[Salvi and I] work well together,” Fink said. “We have been working hard and getting our timing down and that’s really paid off. I’m very comfortable throwing to him. We’re lucky to have a great core of receivers.”

Dillon’s second drive of the contest ended when Howard dove into the end zone for the score, while its third concluded with a long catch and run on a pass from Fink to Salvi for a touchdown. Fisher managed to hold Dillon out of the end zone after the Big Red’s second score until Fink hooked up with sophomore tight end Ben Ferry for a touchdown on their final drive.

The Big Red now look ahead to their next opponent, Siegfried. When asked about improvements to be made before that game, however, Dillon seemed extremely confident.

“Nothing,” Salvi said. “We’re perfect.”

The Big Red will take on Siegfried in the semifinals Sunday.

Siegfried 28, Stanford 3

Siegfried began the defense of its interhall championship in style Sunday, as the No. 5 Ramblers rolled past No. 4 Stanford.

Led by senior quarterback Matt Meinert’s two touchdowns — one passing, one rushing — and sophomore running back David Whitmore’s 75 rushing yards on 5 carries, the Siegfried (4-1) offense proved it was just as good as its vaunted defense.

“The offensive line blocked really well today. I think this was their first really complete game,” Meinert said. “They stayed on their blocks and really took it to them today.”

The offense turned in their best performance this season, amassing 221 total yards and scoring a season-high 28 points.

In an opening drive that chewed up the entire first quarter, Siegfried marched 65 yards on 14 plays, capped by sophomore running back Bryce Burton’s 4-yard touchdown plunge. Burton finished the game with 37 rushing yards on 9 carries.

The Ramblers defense was determined to start strong as well. After allowing a couple of long completions by Stanford senior quarterback Tony Rizzo, Siegfried forced Rizzo out of the pocket and intercepted an errant pass.

On the second play of the ensuing drive, Whitmore followed a block by senior left tackle Michael McDonnell and sprinted 55 yards down the sideline for a Siegfried score, giving the Ramblers a 14-point lead.

The Griffins (3-2) showed signs of life late in the first half, with a 31-yard field goal that cut Siegfried’s lead to 11.

The Ramblers took complete control of the game in the second half, however, as their defense allowed just 17 total yards in the second half and repeatedly frustrated Rizzo, who finished the day 14 for 27 with 141 yards and 2 interceptions.

“[Stanford] threw a lot. Our secondary gave up some big plays but kept them out of the end zone,” Meinert said. “That was really what we needed to do.”

The lone bright spot on the Griffins offense was junior wide receiver Griffin Naylor, who hauled in six passes for 56 yards.

Siegfried will continue its title defense against No. 1 Dillon in the semifinals.

“We’ll be ready,” Meinert said. “Dillon’s good but we’ll definitely be ready.”

Alumni 18, Carroll 6

In Sunday afternoon’s quarterfinal matchup between No. 3 Alumni and No. 6 Carroll, the Dawgs’ offense could have easily been mistaken for Navy’s against Notre Dame, as they ran the triple option to near perfection in their 18-7 win over the Vermin.

The Dawgs (4-1) didn’t attempt a single pass and junior captain and fullback Dan Dansdill led the charge with 24 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown.

The Dawgs’ ball-control offense limited the pass heavy Vermin (3-2) offense to just five possessions, two of which occurred at the end of the first and second halves.

The Alumni offensive line was nearly impenetrable in its 213-yard rushing performance.

“The offensive line was stellar today,” Dansdill said. “The credit definitely goes to them.”

The Vermin appeared poised to pull off the upset when they took an early 7-0 lead. After missing a field goal on the opening drive, the Vermin regained possession on an Alumni fumble. Two plays later, freshman quarterback Jake Gardner completed a 40-yard screen pass to junior running back Nick Tammerine for a touchdown. Gardner completed 12 of 18 passes for 155 yards on the day.

Alumni would cut the lead to one at the end of the first half after a touchdown on a five-yard quarterback sneak from freshman quarterback Will Cronin, but the Dawgs missed the extra point.

The game was decided in the third quarter when Alumni, trailing 7-6, drove 65 yards on the opening possession of the second half and capped off the drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown. Despite missing the two-point conversion, Alumni’s 11-minute drive demoralized the Vermin defense. A three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter by Dansdill sealed the win for Alumni.

In the second half, Dansdill said the Dawg’s defense adjusted to Carroll’s offensive attack.

“We tried to limit them to short passes and didn’t want any big plays,” he said.

While Carroll’s surprising season ended in a disappointment, Carroll sophomore captain Keith Marrero remained upbeat about the future.

“We’re returning our entire squad next season,” Marrero said. “You’ll hear from us.”

Alumni will square off against Sorin in the semifinals on Sunday with a trip to the championship game at Notre Dame Stadium on the line.

Sorin 14, Morrissey 0

The postseason battle between Sorin and Morrissey showcased an exceptional Otters defense, as the No. 2 seed shut out the young Manor attack.

Sorin’s (4-1) defense was aided by two interceptions on the day, including one that immediately followed an Otters touchdown.

“I just dropped back in coverage and caught it. He put it up, and I caught it,” sophomore cornerback Ted Spinelli said.

Spinelli led the Otters’ offense as well, connecting on first-half touchdown passes with seniors Jon Beckerle and Michael Browder.

Morrissey (2-3) freshman defensive back Isaac Evans had an interception in the second half, as Morrissey’s defense shut out the Otters in the second half of play. The Morrissey offense, however, never quite found the answer to their lack of production this season.

“If you look at our season, we could never really get anything going on offense,” sophomore lineman Sean Baur said.

“We’ve had three touchdowns this season, maybe. We don’t take ourselves seriously, maybe not seriously enough.”

Despite the loss, Morrissey will return many experienced players next season.

“We have literally everybody from this year coming back next year, so we’re looking forward to that,” Baur said.

Sorin senior defensive back Matt Gring ended Morrissey’s chances with his third interception in the past three games.

“Our defense stepped up big, led by our senior defensive backs. I feel like our defense can help us make it to the championship. Three interceptions says something good,” Gring said. “Happy Halloween.”

As far as preparation for next weekend, the Otters will be taking it easy.

“We’re taking the week off,” sophomore athlete Ryan Robinson said. “We’re having a bye week. We’re overworked, and we’ve got injuries, so hopefully this week will bring rest and relaxation.”

The Otters have only one goal, and that is to bring a title to Sorin.

“We’ve made a lot of improvements this year, and a lot of that’s due to our unique ability to practice using swimming pools and mouse traps,” Spinelli said. “We want to win. We want to go to the Stadium and win.”

The Otters will face Alumni on Sunday.