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Men’s Interhall: Vermin aim to outrun Zahmbies

By Sarah Connors, Samantha Zuba, Lesley Stevenson, Alex Wilcox and Alex Stembaugh | Friday, September 21, 2012

By Sarah Connors

Sports Writer


Carroll and Zahm are set to square off in their second games of the season with each team looking for a victory.


Zahm (0-1) was unsuccessful in its first game against Sorin but is looking for a big win this week.


Zahm senior captain Alex Bowman said the Zahmbies are focusing on shifting their game plan toward the rushing attack.


“Without specifically knowing how Carroll plays, we plan to run the ball up the gut,” Bowman said.


One of Zahm’s leaders on the other side of the ball is freshman defensive back Ryan Tang. Tang and the rest of the Zahm defense will be tasked with shutting down a Carroll offense that put up 21 points in its season-opening win against St.



The Carroll defense is also at the top of its game in the early part of the season. The Vermin (1-0) were in sync last week on the defensive side of the ball as they shut out the Gentlemen. Senior quarterback Thomas Spoonmore said the team is still fine tuning the offense, specifically the

ground game.


“We really need to work on our offensive running,” Spoonmore said.


Spoonmore said he believes his team will be able to defeat Zahm if it can run the ball, but Carroll will need a complete effort to stay perfect.


“We have a good quarterback and many receivers,” Spoonmore said. “In this game, we are really going to focus on having an all-around team effort.”


Carroll and Zahm will face off Sunday at 2:15 at Riehle Fields at Stepan.


Contact Sarah Connors at sconnor1@nd.edu


Dillon vs. Stanford

By Samantha Zuba

Sports Writer


When Dillon and Stanford square off Sunday, both teams will be looking to overcome disappointing first-week losses.


Dillon (0-1) fell to Keenan 23-7 in its opening outing. Dillon junior captain Kevin Fink gave Keenan credit for playing a great game, but said his offense needs to avoid giving opponents good field position off turnovers.


“Keenan just outplayed us on both sides of the ball,” Fink said. “They were more physical and had more energy. We made mistakes on offense that put our defense in a bad position, and we can’t do that.”


However, Fink said Dillon would not change its offensive mindset.


“We’re going to stick to what we’ve been doing,” Fink said. “We know that if we execute we’ll be fine. In terms of changing our game plan, we’re not going to do that at this point.”


Stanford (0-1) suffered its own loss last week to Keough, but senior captain Paul Babiak said the Griffins were not discouraged and have refocused.


“We need to work on the offensive line and on our pass coverage a little bit, but other than that we should be fine,” Babiak said. “The last game just came down to an 80-yard run and a pick-six for Keough.”


Babiak said Stanford will be ready for Dillon on Sunday.


“Typically, Dillon is very strong up front on both the defensive and offensive line,” Babiak said. “Fortunately, we are much stronger this year than in the past so we’re looking to manhandle them at the line of scrimmage.”


The Griffins and the Big Red will play at 3:30 p.m. at Riehle Fields at Stepan on Sunday.


Contact Samantha Zuba at szuba@nd.edu


Duncan vs. Morrissey Preview

By Lesley Stevenson

Sports Writer


Duncan continues the hunt for its first win of the season against an untested Morrissey squad in a Sunday matchup both teams predict will be a defensive showdown.


The Highlanders (0-1) fell to Alumni last weekend in a defensive struggle ultimately decided by a field goal, but junior captain Gerrit Hobson said he was pleased with the effort on both offense and defense.


“[It was] not a poor performance either way,” Hobson said. “The defense definitely has to look to improve on the pass coverage.”


Hobson cited a drive that began with a 35-yard pass and ended with a field goal for the Dawgs.

In spite of the defensive misstep, Hobson was also quick to praise the unit.


“We play well as a team,” Hobson said. “I think our defense is really strong. That’s one of our best attributes – is the fact that we work together so well.”


Squaring up to face the Highlanders are the Manor, who will be playing its season opener. Waiting through a bye week, Morrissey chose to test its strengths against O’Neill in a scrimmage last Sunday.


“[We played] not so much for score but just to get comfortable with running plays and to get some live action for some of the younger guys on the team,” senior captain Taylor Stein said.


While Stein touted the size and intensity of Morrissey’s offensive line, he also made a point of mentioning the Manor’s defensive line.


“Defense has always been a point of pride for Morrissey,” Stein said. “It’ll probably be a low-scoring game.”


The Highlanders and the Manor both seek to prove defensive dominance Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields at Stepan.


Contact Lesley Stevenson at lsteven1@nd.edu


Keenan vs. O’Neill

By Alex Wilcox

Sports Writer


In Sunday’s game between Keenan and O’Neill, the age-old question of rest versus momentum will once again be tested.


Keenan (1-0) is coming off an impressive 23-7 win over defending champion Dillon, but the Knights also lost senior running back and middle linebacker Adam Holzmeister to a sprained ankle.


Meanwhile, O’Neill (0-0) had a bye in week one, which leaves the team rested and rehearsed, but with no game experience.


The Mob are coming off a season in which they won just one game and failed to make the playoffs. Nevertheless, a new season means a renewed sense of confidence for the O’Neill squad, junior captain Eric Reed said.


“I’m pretty excited about our team,” Reed said. “Last year, our offensive scheme wasn’t the best, but this year it’s much improved.”


With a two-pronged attack in the backfield consisting of Reed and junior running back and co-captain Jon Savakus, O’Neill’s offensive strategy is to revolve much more around the running game, a fact Keenan senior captain Andrew McDonough recognizes.


“Last year they ran the ball pretty effectively against us,” McDonough said. “So for us it all starts up front. Stop the run and make them pass. Games are won in the trenches, so our offensive and defensive lines will be key for us.”


Stopping the run could be more challenging this time around for Keenan, with Holzmeister sidelined, but McDonough refuses to let an injury derail his team.


“For us, it’s next man up, everyone has got to be ready to play,” McDonough said. “We’ve got a couple of guys who are banged up, but the important thing is to keep doing what we did last week. Our motto this season is ‘finish the job,’ and we plan to do that.”


Keenan will face O’Neill on Sunday at 3:30 pm at Riehle Fields at Stepan.


Contact Alex Wilcox at awilcox1@nd.edu



Fisher vs. St. Ed’s

By Alex Stembaugh

Sports Writer


Expect a strong defensive showdown as Fisher and St. Edward’s square off Sunday with both teams in search of their first win.


Fisher had a first-week bye, but the Green Wave are looking to come out tough and ready to play while relying on tenacious defense.


“We’re definitely looking forward to a tough game,” senior captain Matt Hart said. “We want to stay focused and execute. We want to keep everything in front of us on defense, and we’re looking for our entire defense to shut down the opposing offense.”


Hart said one player to watch is junior quarterback Joe Paggi, a threat both through the air and on the ground.


St. Edward’s (0-1) is looking to come back rejuvenated and refocused after a 21-0 loss to Carroll last week.


“We don’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” junior captain Paul Rodriguez said. “We just need to reinforce what we want to do. We don’t like to lose, so we hope to bounce back and forget about the first week.”


Rodriguez said the Gentlemen put forth a solid defensive performance in their loss to the Vermin, but they are hoping for more production on offense in week two.


“[Last week] we got good penetration on defense, but our offense just wasn’t there,” Rodriguez said. “We want to move the ball more on offense.”


The Green Wave and Gentlemen will kick off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields at Stepan.


Contact Alex Stembaugh at astembau@nd.edu



Alumni vs. Siegfried Preview

By Lesley Stevenson

Sports Writer


Siegfried, second-place finisher in last year’s O’Leary Cup race, seeks to overcome 2012 O’Leary Cup champion Alumni on Sunday in a matchup of seasoned defenses and focused offenses.


The Cup, formerly known as the Interhall All-Sports Trophy, is awarded to the men’s residence hall that best exhibits interhall participation, sportsmanship, and competition.


The Dawgs (1-0) started off on the road to reclaiming their past success with a 3-0 win over the Highlanders.


“We’re all happy with the way our defense came out and played,” Dawgs junior captain Tom O’Sullivan said. “We definitely want to come out and be very physical in all the games and [the defense] definitely showed that that’s what Alumni is all about, is being physical.”


O’Sullivan said Alumni hopes to tighten up their offensive strategy, but he affirmed the matchup against Siegfried (0-1) could turn into a standoff between powerful defensive lines.


“Especially versus Siegfried, I would expect a defensive battle,” O’Sullivan said. “It could very well come down to one turnover or one play that swings field position.”


For their part, the Ramblers are ready to roar on defense. Sophomore running back Jose Linardi confirmed that his team hopes to improve its offense as well.


“Our defense is fine, we’ve just got to get our offense clicking,” Linardi said.


Coming off a close loss to Knott, Siegfried looks for its first win of the season and a chance at tournament success later this year.


“We hope for a championship, to be honest.” Linardi said. “So we’ve got to make it to the end.”


Alumni and Siegfried square off at 2:15 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields at Stepan.


Contact Lesley Stevenson at lsteven1@nd.edu