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Men’s Interhall: Sorin takes on Green Wave without senior QB

Observer Sports Writers | Friday, October 5, 2012

Sports Writer

Faced with the possibility of playing without senior quarterback Ted Spinelli, Sorin looks to preserve its winningtwo-game win streak Sunday when it battles Fisher in a matchup of undefeated teams.

Otters senior captain Ryan Robinson said Spinelli suffered a neck injury in last week’s game against Carroll, and concerns over his CAT scan results have made his status for Sunday questionable.

“Everything looks very optimistic, but he’s still in the hospital and it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be able to play this weekend,” Robinson said. “So, we’ll have to factor that into our game plan.”

As the backup quarterback, Robinson may be relied upon to push the Otters (2-0) to adapt to new lineup changes and help the team in its attempt to secure a spot in the playoffs.

“With the injuries, different people are going to step up and play different positions,” Robinson said. “We’re pretty confident we can make it all work.”

Fisher (2-0) boasts an undefeated record after a shutout of St. Edward’s in week two and a win by forfeit over Zahm last weekend. The Green Wave’s offense struggled in their only outing, but their stout defense ensured the team emerged unscathed.

“The defense did really well,” senior Fisher captain Matt Hart said. “We’re going to keep that up as we move into the second half of the season.”

The Otters and the Green Wave will fight to maintain perfect records when they meet on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Riehle Fields at Stepan.  at Stepan.

Contact Lesley Stevenson at lsteven1@nd.edu

Stanford vs. Keenan

Sports Writer

Stanford and Keenan will meet in this year’s installment of the “Battle for the Chapel” on Sunday, as Stanford hopes to steal back the rivalry’s bragging rights.

Stanford (1-2) comes in off its first victory of the season, a 14-7 win over O’Neill, and looks to build a winning streak by beating its main rival.

“We stuck to our game plan that we’ve been doing all year,  which was to be really physical, and it finally worked for us,” senior captain and linebacker Paul Babiak said of the victory over O’Neill.

Babiak praised an offensive line led by senior Joe Gadient, referring to Gadient as one of the team’s anchors. Gadient and the rest of the offensive line will be called upon Sunday to protect senior quarterback Ed Stivers from a fierce Keenan defense.

The Knights (2-0) have beaten their first two opponents with ruthless efficiency, led by a passing attack orchestrated by senior captain and quarterback Andrew McDonough. McDonough said he believes this year’s Keenan team could be a special one.

“If we can do this all year, I see no reason why we shouldn’t be in [Notre Dame] Stadium,” McDonough said after the Knights’ week two win over O’Neill.

Babiak said he knows Stanford’s defense will have to be sharp to contain McDonough, a dual -threat under center. Babiak said, however, he does not need to try and play the underdog card to motivate his team, as he believes the Griffins need no extra motivation for Sunday’s game.

“This game has a lot of importance for us, and we’re going to get pretty pumped up for it,” Babiak said. “Our plan is just to go out there and take back the chapel.”

This year’s Battle of the Chapel will go down at 3:30 p.m. Sunday when Stanford and Keenan meet at Riehle Fields at Stepan.

Contact Casey Karnes at wkarnes@nd.edu

Knott vs. Morrissey

Sports Writer

After ugly losses by both teams, Morrissey and Knott head into Sunday’s matchup with one thing on their minds: the playoffs.

The matchup between The Manor (1-1) and the Juggerknotts (1-1) promises to be one of the biggest of the season, as the winner greatly improves its chances for a playoff run.

“This game is huge,” Knott senior captain Joe Beglane said. “It could mean getting in the playoffs or not.”

In order for Knott to be successful Sunday, its offense must improve.
Offensively, the Juggerknotts have failed to live up to their name, as they have scored just 13 points this season. Beglane has scored his team’s onlylone two touchdowns, a statistic he hopes to see changed.

“We need more variety,” Beglane said. “We’ve only had a limited number of successful run plays.”

Knott believes the return of senior guard Michael Gardella will help change that.

“[Gardella is] one of our best players,” Beglane said. “[Junior guard] James McCaffrey did a great job filling in, but it’s good to have him back at guard.”

Morrissey (1-1) has also dealt with struggles on offense, as The Manor have scored just one touchdown all season. Morrissey’s real concern, however, is consistency on defense, as it allowed just three points to Duncan in its first game but gave up 20 points to Siegfried a week later. Manor senior captain Taylor Stein said he is confident the defense will be ready to play Sunday.

“We were missing some key guys to injury and that left some holes up the middle,” Stein said. “I’m not too concerned about our defense. We think it’ll be able to stand up to anything the offense throws at it.”

Junior middle linebacker Mike Smoljan will return for The Manor, joining a talented line-backing corps that include freshmen Erik Rayno, sophomore Zac Plantz and junior Nick Conrad.

As for the question of playoffs, Stein said he is confident Morrissey can play deep into November.

“We’ve got the talent and the team to make a playoff run,” Stein said. “We can win playoff games, no question.”

Knott and Morrissey will battle Sunday at 2:15 pm at Riehle Fields at Stepan.

Contact Alex Wilcox at awilcox1@nd.edu

Zahm vs. St. Edward’s

Sports Writer

In a matchup of two winless and scorelessoffensively struggling teams, Zahm and St. Edward’s face off Sunday, as each team looks to clinch its first victory.

Zahm (0-3) and St. Edward’s (0-2) are the only two teams in the league that have not scored an offensive point, this season.
With the struggles of the teams, each team’s thirst to finally secure a win has fostered a strong rivalry between the Zahmbies and the Gentlemen as the teams prepare for Sunday.

“It’s a huge rivalry game,” St. Edward’s junior captain and quarterback Paul Rodriguez said. “We’re definitely enthusiastic.”

Despite a forfeit to Fisher on Sunday, the Zahmbies are still confident and in good spirits, senior captain and quarterback Alex Bowman said.

“Despite our losses and setbacks, the morale on the team is always very high,” Bowman said. “It’s an inherent quality of our team.”

With his team excited to play, Bowman said Zahm will focus on executing its game strategies.

“We’re working on team cohesion and team building on both sides of the ball,” Bowman said. “We want to move the ball forward and keep St. Edward’s from scoring.”

With a bye last week, the Gentlemen have had much time to regroup and prepare for Zahm, Rodriguez said.

“We’re hoping to run the option and go with that,” Rodriguez said. “Our defense is talented, and we hope to keep that up.”

The Zahmbies and Gentlemen will square off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields at Stepan.

Contact Kit Loughran at kloughr1@nd.edu

Siegfried vs. Duncan

Sports Writer

Duncan will put its revamped offense up against a battle-tested Siegfried squad looking toward the championship when the two teams meet Sunday afternoon.

After two losses to open the season, the Highlanders (0-2) used their bye weekend to switch from a run-based offense to a passing attack featuring two sophomore quarterbacks at the helm. Sophomores Matt Garcia and Pete McGinley will split time under center in an effort to hopefully spark the team’s playoff push, junior linebacker and captain Gerrit Hobson said.

“We’re going to look to the defense to hold strong and run the offense the way they’ve been practicing with the new quarterbacks and plays,” Hobson said. “We hope to find success with the more diverse playbook.”

The team anticipates challenging competition in its final two games, but Hobson said he believes the Highlanders are ready for any upcoming tests.

“We’re playing Siegfried and Knott, so both games will be tough, but I’m confident in our team and its ability to play well,” Hobson said.

On the other sideline, Siegfried (2-1) aims to carry its energy from wins over Alumni and Morrissey into Sunday’s matchup.

“We can’t afford to lose if we  want to make it to the playoffs,” sophomore running back Jose Linardi said. “We’re just trying to keep that momentum from the last two wins.”

The Ramblers’ hopes rely on their explosive offense, highlighted by freshman receiver Spencer Judd. Judd’s 50-yard touchdown grab capped off the team’s victory against Morrissey last weekend.

“We’re just going to be aggressive and attack as much as possible early in the game,” Linardi said of Siegfried’s game plan.

The proven Ramblers and the new-look Highlanders will compete Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields at Stepan.

Contact Mary Green at mgreen8@nd.edu

O’Neill vs. Keough

Sports Writer

In a battle of West Quad rivals, O’Neill will seek its first win Sunday when it faces an  undefeated Keough squad.

Junior captain and running back Eric Reed said the Mob (0-2) eagerly anticipate the challenge of facing the Kangaroos (2-0).

“It’s one of the games we look forward to each year, and one of the games we definitely want to win,” Reed said. “We’ve seen them play a little bit, and they seem like a good team, so we need to practice well and step up.”

Reed admitted that the Mob’s 0-2 start is disappointing but said he thinks his team is on the brink of turning things around.

“We didn’t start as well as we would like, but we’ve shown some improvement and are looking forward to our first win,” he said.

O’Neill will look for major contributions from Reed and junior running back Jon Savakus in order to challenge Keough’s defense.

On the other side, Keough sophomore captain Charlie Magiera said he is excited about the Kangaroos’ impressive start and wants to atone for last year’s loss to O’Neill.

“We’ve been having a very promising season so far, which makes us look forward to it even more, especially since they beat us last year,” Magiera said. “It was a very bitter loss, and we’re looking to avenge it.”

Freshman center Jason Hofmeister was not around for last year’s loss, but the Kangaroos have nonetheless relied on his dominant presence this season.

“Jason is the anchor of the line,” Magiera said. “He has the experience necessary to get our line together, so we’re hoping for a big game from him.”

O’Neill and Keough will clash Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Riehle Fields at Stepan.

Contact Samantha Zuba at szuba@nd.edu