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Men’s Interhall: Keenan and Stanford ‘Battle for Chapel,’ playoffs

Observer Sports Writers | Friday, October 28, 2011

By BRENDAN BELL

Sports Writer

Stanford and Keenan will face off this weekend in the Battle for the Chapel with playoff hopes on the line. These rival dorms, which share a chapel and common entrance, are both in position to make the playoffs.

The Griffins (2-1) know that this game will likely determine the fate of their season.

“If we win, we’ll most likely get in the playoffs,” junior captain Paul Babiak said. “If we lose, it’s uncertain.”

Babiak said Stanford is not underestimating the Knights.

“This game will be a test. They look really good,” Babiak said. “On defense, we need to watch out for their receivers who will pose a threat.”

Offensively, the Griffins want to make use of all their players.

“We need to spread out the field,” Babiak said. “We need to use all our weapons.”

Keenan (3-0) is coming into its final regular season game with confidence.

“Things have been going well for us this year despite all the challenges,” senior captain Erik Blackwood said. “We had a lot of injuries this season, but managed to play well throughout.”

After a bye week followed by fall break, Keenan is hoping to get back on track.

“We need to just come out aggressive and also shut down their offense,” Blackwood said. 

Both teams are aware of the matchup’s importance.

“It’s always a lot of fun talking smack against those guys,” Blackwood said, “but Sunday, we expect to win.”

Stanford is also looking forward to the contest.

“The future of our season is in our hands,” Babiak said.

From the playoffs to bragging rights, there is a lot at stake when Stanford takes on Keenan at 3 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields.

Contact Brendan Bell at bbell2@nd.edu

St. Edwards vs. Sorin

By STEPHANIE BANTA

Sports Writer

St. Edward’s and Sorin will meet Sunday afternoon in the grudge match of the season.

The Gentlemen (2-1) were the only team to beat Sorin in the 2010 season and are looking for a repeat performance.

“We are ready to stop Sorin from making it to the playoffs again,” St. Edward’s senior receiver Joe Ricioli said. “They are a good team, but we are confident and ready.”

After a rough start to the season, the Gentlemen look to use the momentum from two straight victories to dominate Sunday’s game.

“We have had some great practices this week,” Ricioli said. “There are a lot of young players on the team and they have been playing really well. Their improvement and the strength of our senior players have made us a strong unit.”

But Sorin (2-0-1) is ready to defend its championship and prove to St. Edward’s that winning last year was a fluke.

“After losing to St. Edward’s, we went on to have six straight victories,” Sorin junior captain and quarterback Ted Spinelli said. “It shook us up and turned out to be a benefit to our season rather than a detriment.”

The Otters are using this experience to help keep the pregame jitters to a minimum and maintain their endurance through four quarters. 

“We are feeling good and are confident in our abilities,” Spinelli said. “We are looking to have fun on Sunday and beat up on St. Edward’s.”

St. Edward’s and Sorin face off at 2 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields.

Contact Stephanie Banta at sbanta01@saintmarys.edu

Siegfried vs. Duncan

By ANDREW CARDOZA

Sports Writer

This Sunday, Siegfried and Duncan will battle it out as both look to add another victory to the win column in a game that could affect playoff positioning.

Duncan (1-2) is coming off a bye. They have used the extra time to rest and make adjustments to clean up any mistakes. Highlander junior captain Neil Eveld knows that they are going to have to play their best game of the year to keep pace with the Ramblers (3-0).

“Siegfried is the best team in the division,” Eveld said. “They have a good running attack, and we are going to have to be sure to make the open field tackles.”

The Highlanders have a very solid defense, having allowed only 13 points on the season. Eveld knows that for the Highlanders to win this game, they will need a team effort. The Highlanders need the win in order to have a chance of earning a playoff berth. A loss guarantees elimination.

“Everyone knows how important this game is,” Eveld said. “We are treating this game as a playoff play-in game.”

Meanwhile, the Ramblers are seeking an undefeated season and a No. 1 seed. Rambler senior captain John Aversa knows that Duncan is playing for a playoff spot and expects them to come out with intensity.

“We’re looking to play fast, physical football,” Aversa said. “This has been our goal all year. We just need to match their intensity because they will be hungry for a win.”

The Ramblers are already guaranteed a playoff spot, but the win puts them in position to possibly grab the No. 1 seed. Siegfried has a strong running game and the ability of the offensive line to open up the holes will be a key to beating the Highlanders.

Siegfried and Duncan square off at 1 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields with playoff implications on the line.

Contact Andrew Cardoza at acardoza@nd.edu

Knott vs. Morrissey

By MIKE MONACO

Sports Writer

A playoff spot is on the line when Knott and Morrissey square off in their regular season finale.

The Juggerknotts (2-1) can clinch a postseason berth with a win over the Manor (0-3).

Despite Morrissey’s record, Knott knows from prior experience it cannot look toward the playoffs.

“We’re definitely not taking [the Manor] lightly even though they’re 0-3,” Knott senior captain Dan Shaffer said. “Last year, we had the same situation. We were 0-3 and Alumni was 3-0 and we actually beat them. They took us too lightly, so we learned from last year. We’re going to come out with guns blazing.”

In their last game, a 3-0 win over Alumni, the Juggerknotts moved the ball well but left points on the field.

“We drove the ball pretty well [last game],” Shaffer said. “We would move it into the red zone, but couldn’t score. We have got to finish some plays.”

The Manor hopes to close out the season with their first win. Morrissey is focused on executing and is not concerned with the game’s playoff implications for Knott.

“[We’re going to] have fun playing football, and [we] play for pride,” Morrissey junior captain Alex Oloriz said. “We’re here to win a football game. We try to do that every game. We’re not worried about the outside effects.”

While the defense has been solid, Morrissey has struggled on offense throughout the season.

“Last game, we had a flash of hope when we scored a touchdown,” Oloriz said. “We just need to try to do the little things right and get good execution.”

Knott and Morrissey take the gridiron Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Fields with a postseason berth for Knott at stake.

Contact Mike Monaco at jmonaco@nd.edu

Keough vs. O’Neill

By NICK BOYLE

Sports Writer

With both teams looking for their first win, West Quad neighbors O’Neill and Keough square off Sunday in one of the best rivalry games on campus. 

O’Neill (0-3) is coming off a close loss against Stanford in which the Mob were leading at the half.

“Against Stanford, we moved the ball really well on the ground,” O’Neill junior receiver and captain Alex Brolick said. “If we can run like that again I think we will have a good chance to win on Sunday.”

For the Mob, the game against Keough represents more than just a chance for the teams’ first win.

“This game is all we have to play for now” Brolick said. “Winning against our rivals would be a great way to end the season.”

On the other side of the ball, Keough (0-3) finds itself also looking for its first win. The Kangaroos are coming off a 35-0 loss to Dillon in their last game.

Though the Roos have yet to find the win column, Keough junior captain Robby Toole believes the Kangaroos can come out on top Sunday.

“It is our last game, so we are motivated to pull out a victory to end our season on a high note,” Toole said. “Our offense has been clicking more and more as the season has progressed. We just need to finish off drives and put the ball in the end zone.”

Toole believes the rivalry with O’Neill would make a Keough victory even sweeter.

“We want to win, there is no doubt about it,” Toole said. “A win over O’Neill [on] Sunday would be a great win for Keough Hall.”

Keough and O’Neill kick off their rivalry Sunday at 3 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Contact Nick Boyle at nboyle1@nd.edu

Fisher vs. Zahm

By ALLY DARRAGH

Sports Writer

Although Sunday marks the end of two disappointing seasons, Zahm and Fisher will meet with nothing but pride on the line.

Fisher (1-2) is looking to go out with a bang, according to junior lineman Matt Hart.

“We are ready to hit from the first whistle to the last,” Hart said. “With this being the last game of the regular season, it’s the last chance to affect the playoff standings.”

In preparation for this game, the Green Wave has been focusing on forcing turnovers and showing consistency on offense by extending offensive drives. Fisher is expecting Zahm to be ready to come out and be tough physically on both sides of the ball.

Zahm (0-3) is desperately looking to get a victory on Sunday against Fisher. Although the Zahmbies’ record doesn’t reflect their love for interhall, they feel like they’ve been the true winners all year, senior center Ryan Costello said.

“We are expecting about the same thing out of Fisher that we have seen all year, a team that comes out, runs the ball and plays good defense,” Costello said. “We just have to come out and do it better than them. We are excited for another fun Sunday afternoon.”

Blocking and tackling are both key factors of the game that the Zahmbies have been continuously focusing on, and they hope that their efforts will produce the win they have been searching for.

Fisher will be looking to sophomore quarterback Joe Paggi and senior running back Pat Hertenstein for offensive productivity. Zahm will be looking at senior defensive lineman Luke “The Professor” Lennon and junior receiver Marty Flavin for laughs and leadership on and off the field.

Zahm and Fisher go head-to-head Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Contact Ally Darragh at adarra01@saintmarys.edu