Men’s Interhall Football
Observer Sports Writers | Friday, September 27, 2013
Knott – Siegfried Preview
By ALEX CARSON
It’s the start of Flanner Cup Week for rivals Knott and Siegfried, but the two teams are looking at Sunday’s game in different ways.
“We don’t put an extra emphasis on the game,” Knott (0-1) senior captain James Hodgens said. “We take every game equally. They’re a good team, so we place a bit of extra emphasis on it because of that, but not because it’s against our neighbors.”
However, the Ramblers (1-0) are taking a different approach in the build-up to Sunday’s game, senior captain John Moore said.
“This game is pretty important to us,” Moore said. “It’s not just another game for us, and as the start of Flanner Cup Week, we take it really seriously. [Knott] beat us for the first time in around a decade last year, so we’re ready to get out there and redeem ourselves.”
The Juggerknotts fell 3-0 last week to Alumni, but Hodgens said he saw many positives in the loss.
“We played really well on both sides of the ball, and I was really proud of our young team to start the year,” Hodgens said.
Hodgens said junior quarterback David Taiclet and freshman defensive lineman Steven Wyatt played well in last week’s game.
“We’re working on getting more familiar with our scheme this week, and we plan on using our running backs more, especially talented freshman Luke Joseph,” Hodgens said. “We also have a strong receiver core and trust them to run their routes and beat any defender.”
Knott and Siegfried will renew their rivalry Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Riehle Fields.
Contact Alex Carson at firstname.lastname@example.org
O’Neill – Stanford Preview
By CHRISTINA KOCHANSKI
After losing their respective opening season games, O’Neill and Stanford look to earn their first victories when they square off Sunday.
Both teams are adjusting to new quarterbacks, with senior Brandon Boldt throwing for the Angry Mob (0-1-0), and junior Ryan Prom leading the offense of the Griffins (0-1-0).
Freshman players have been crucial in the early part of the season. O’Neill’s starting line-up includes three freshmen, and the Grffins have also put their newcomers into key roles. Stanford senior captain Ruben Carrion said he believes his team’s freshmen have transitioned smoothly onto the team.
“The freshmen have been great,” Carrion said. “I know my freshman year there was a steep learning curve, but they’ve shown that they belong on the field.”
O’Neill senior captain, linebacker and running back Donghoon Lee expects defense to be the critical factor of the game.
“I’m expecting a tight defensive battle,” Lee said. “[The Griffins] are a division rival and we play them every year. They’re a tough, hard-nosed team.”
Both teams are looking to bounce back from Sunday’s losses. Stanford’s loss was made all the more painful thanks to the tight margin of defeat, Carrion said.
“We only lost by three on Sunday, and we were disappointed with the outcome, so we’re definitely looking to … come out with the win this Sunday,” Carrion said.
The Angry Mob and the Griffins will try to even up their season records when they battle Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.
Contact Christina Kochanski at email@example.com
Fisher – Sorin Preview
By BRIAN PLAMONDON
Sorin looks to open its season with a victory Sunday against Fisher, who is also searching for its first win.
The Otters (0-0) will face a Green Wave (0-0-1) squad looking to improve its red-zone offense. Junior captain Matthew Nagy said he liked what he saw from the Fisher offense in its 3-3 tie with Carroll, with the exception of its goal-line play.
“We got to the 1-yard line twice and only came away with a field goal,” Nagy said.
Nagy said the Green Wave offense has a variety of options, the most important of which is senior dual-threat quarterback Joe “Hundo” Paggi.
“[Paggi] had a pretty good first game,” Nagy said. “He can still improve a little in taking charge of the offense and calling plays.”
Nagy’s optimism is supported by a team consisting of predominantly juniors and seniors, and a strong defense.
For Sorin seniors, this season presents one last shot at the glory of another Interhall Championship. The Otters won the championship three years ago but were defeated in the championship game each of the past two seasons.
Although it returned roughly half its roster, Sorin will move forward without many of its key players from last year, including the quarterback who led them to three straight championship appearances, Ted Spinelli. The team will rely on senior captain and defensive lineman Dan Yi to lead the defense and maintain the Otters’ historically strong standard of play.
The Green Wave and the Otters will meet Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Riehle Field.
Contact Brian Plamondon at firstname.lastname@example.org
By EVAN ANDERSON
Alumni looks to notch another shutout this Sunday against Duncan, who aims to start off strong after a Week One bye.
The Dawgs (1-0-0) dispatched Knott 3-0 last weekend on a field goal in the final minute. It was a strong defensive effort in support of sophomore quarterback Trevor Hurley. Senior receiver and captain Jeffrey Kraemer said he expects a better performance on both sides of the ball this weekend, particularly offensively.
“We have to give [Hurley] more time to throw, and we missed some assignments in the run game,” Kraemer said. “I think having a game under our belts will be an advantage. … Hopefully, we’ve worked out the kinks by now.”
Duncan (0-0-0) has not yet had that opportunity to play, but junior captain and center Alan Keck said the team’s practice sessions were strong and he hoped a preseason focus on discipline would help the Highlanders avoid typical first-game hiccups.
In particular, Keck said he was optimistic that his team would run the ball effectively on Sunday behind the running back tandem of junior Eric Krakowiak and freshman Carter Bench.
“Krakowiak was probably our No. One player last year, and we expect that he will have a strong year again,” Keck said. “We’ve also been very impressed with [Bench]. He’s shown the skills necessary to be a force for us.”
The Highlanders and Dawgs will battle Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Riehle Fields.
Contact Evan Anderson at email@example.com
St. Edward’s – Carroll Preview
By ALEXANDRA LANE
With the first game of the season in the books for each team, St. Edward’s and Carroll both have a lot to play for Sunday.
St. Edward’s (1-0) had a successful opening week, beating Zahm 15-6. Although they came out victorious, the first game was not without incident for the Gentlemen, as senior defensive end Jon Chepkevich broke his jaw during the action. The team will play this week’s game in his honor, senior co-captain Andrew Blonigan said.
After he saw what the team had to offer last week, Blonigan said he is excited for the team this season.
“There are a lot of really generous guys,” Blonigan said. “They have a lot of grit. These guys were born to fight, and that’s what they do for us out on the field.”
The Vermin (0-0-1) are looking to improve on their tie with Fisher in their opening game. Their defense held the Green Wave to just three points, but their offense was unable to capitalize and managed only a field goal.
Senior co-captain Mike Russell said he thought the Carroll team can put everything together and have a good year but must first improve its ball control against St. Edward’s.
“The focus of this game will be to limit turnovers,” Russell said. “We had a couple costly turnovers in our first game. If we limit those on offense, I think we would have a really good chance to win.”
St. Edward’s and Carroll will match up Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Riehle Field.
Contact Alexandra Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dillon vs. Keough
By RENEE GRIFFIN
In the second week of the season, Dillon and Keough will face off Sunday in what promises to be a defensive battle.
The Big Red (1-0) hope to keep their momentum going, while the Kangaroos (0-0) will try to start off strong in their first game of the year.
Defense should be a major factor in the game, Dillon senior captain Nate Steele said, as the Big Red beat Stanford in a 3-0 shutout last week where points were hard to come by on both sides. Steele said believes his team can keep up its strong play thanks to a good mix of experience and young talent in his front seven.
“We played good defense last week and I see no reason for our defensive success not to continue,” Steele said. “We’ve got two freshmen linebackers who have really stepped up, and an all-upperclassmen front four.”
Keough senior captain Seamus Donegan said the Kangaroos’ defense should be solid as well, though it has yet to see any game action.
“It’s hard to say at this point what our biggest strength will be because we haven’t played, but I think our speed will be helpful, especially on defense,” Donegan said. “If we can stop people on defense, it makes the offense’s job a lot easier.”
Being a game behind Dillon may make Keough’s task more difficult, Donegan said, but he is optimistic that his team can still prevail.
“I think the first game is the toughest, so it’s another obstacle for us to overcome,” Donegan said. “We get to use the extra week as more preparation, though, so what we lack in game experience we make up for mentally.”
Keough and Dillon will kick off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.
Contact Renee Griffin at email@example.com