Men’s Interhall: Dillon defeats Sorin 19-14 in title game
Mike Monaco | Sunday, November 20, 2011
Another interhall championship game between Sorin and Dillon. Another close finish at Notre Dame Stadium. But this time, Dillon finished on top, 19-14.
Trailing 14-13 with 41 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Dillon junior receiver Will Salvi hauled in a 32-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Kevin Fink to set the score at 19-14. The play, though, wasn’t exactly how No.5 Dillon (6-1) drew it up.
“I was not going to run that route,” Salvi said. “Then I looked at [Fink] beforehand and told him I was going to run a [slant-and-go] instead of a hitch. It was a nice little audible, and we got it done. It was perfect.”
The touchdown, which capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive, turned out to be the game-winner after Dillon freshman defensive back
Ted Williams intercepted Sorin junior quarterback Ted Spinelli’s last-gasp heave down field. Despite losing, Spinelli said he was satisfied with how his team fought throughout the game.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” Spinelli said. “It’s a lot for a small dorm to get here and to play against the big boys … I’m just proud of our performance today.”
No. 3 Sorin started the scoring in the first quarter when junior running back and receiver Ryan Robinson took a direct snap and powered his way into the end zone from one yard out. Robinson was primarily a receiver during the regular season, but had more opportunities Sunday from the running back position, rushing for 47 yards.
“It’s something we had worked on a little bit last week,” Spinelli said. “We knew we needed to find a way to get [Robinson] the ball that wasn’t necessarily from throwing the ball to him. So that’s what the focus was, to get the ball into his hands.”
Dillon responded on its next drive with a 22-yard touchdown run from junior running back Terry Howard. The score was set up by a fourth-and-one conversion by Howard from the Sorin 47-yard line and an 18-yard rush by Fink. The Big Red, however, missed the extra point and trailed 7-6 heading into halftime.
But Dillon scored on its first drive of the second half when Fink found junior receiver Matt Enzweiler for a 65-yard touchdown strike.
“It was just another perfect pass by Fink,” Salvi said. “On both of his touchdown passes he made perfect throws …We didn’t pass that much in the first half, but then he played really well in the end.”
The Otters came back on their next drive with a strong rushing attack led by Robinson and Spinelli. Facing a fourth-and-five from the Dillon 49-yard line, Sorin went to the air. Feeling pressure from the outside, Spinelli stepped up in the pocket and got off a pass just before being hit. The pass, although tipped by Dillon, found its way into the hands of Robinson, who took it 49 yards for the score. The extra point gave Sorin a 14-13 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Dillon turned it over on its next two possessions in the fourth quarter, but Sorin couldn’t capitalize on the miscues. The Otters missed a 23-yard field goal with just over three minutes left to play.
The miss set up Dillon’s game-winning drive, which included a 20-yard completion from Fink to Salvi on fourth-and-10, kept the Big Red alive with a minute to play. The two connected again two plays later on the touchdown to give Dillon the win.
Having lost to the Otters in last year’s title game, the Big Red were thrilled to get revenge against Sorin, Salvi said.
“The way that the revenge happened was, honestly, probably the best way you can do it,” Salvi said. “In the final minute you get a touchdown, and then an [interception] at the end. That’s the best way you can do it.”
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