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Men’s Interhall Football: West Quad rivalry highlights final week

Observer Sports Writers | Thursday, October 31, 2013

O’Neill-Keough preview
Sports Writer

O’Neill faces Keough in a crucial game Sunday with huge implications for both sides’ playoff aspirations.
Keough (2-1) will make the playoffs with a win, and Kangaroos senior captain and quarterback Seamus Donegan said he expects a big performance, especially from his defense, which has only given up seven points this season.
“We are getting better every single week, so I feel that our record does not really reflect our true ability on the field,” Donegan said. “Our defense has been our greatest asset and I hope they can remain strong.”
Although Keough could still make the playoffs if it loses this weekend, Donegan said he does not want it to affect the Kangaroos’ play.
“Although there are wild-card implications if we were to lose, as far as I am concerned winning this weekend is our only option,” Donegan said.
At the same time, O’Neill (1-2) looks to snatch a victory from the Kangaroos and qualify for the playoffs through a wild-card pick.
“The team knows that there is something really special to play for this weekend, and I hope that the chance of being in playoffs pushes our players to the next level,” O’Neill junior captain and running back Donghoon Lee said.
Although the Angry Mob has not played for three weeks, Lee said he feels the long break will actually have a positive impact on the team, especially with the return of senior quarterback Brandon Boldt.
“The reason we lost our last game is because we simply didn’t have enough players,” Lee said. “Now that most of the exams are over, our team will be back to full strength and firing on all cylinders.”
With a playoff spot and rivalry bragging rights on the line, O’Neill and Keough square off Sunday at Riehle Fields at 1 p.m.
Contact Cornelius McGrath at cmcgrat2@nd.edu

Stanford-Keenan preview
Sports Writer

Stanford and Keenan will face off Sunday in a game dubbed by the two teams as the Battle of the Chapel.
“We share a building with [the Griffins] and there’s a chapel in between our dorms,” Keenan senior captain and receiver Jeremy Riche said. “Whichever team ends up winning this game gets their name listed first on the chapel. It’s been the Keenan chapel for the last two years.”
Stanford junior captain and offensive and defensive lineman Ruben Carrion said he expects the Griffins (0-3-0) to put up a hard fight against the undefeated Knights (3-0-0).
“We realize that playoffs may be out of the picture . . . but we’re definitely going out to try to win,” Carrion said. “If we get the win we can prove that we are a tough team even though our record may not show it.”
The Griffins hope to increase their offensive consistency before Sunday’s game, Carrion said. Junior quarterback Ryan Prom leads Stanford’s offense.
Riche said that the Knights also hope to make minor adjustments to their offense before the Battle of the Chapel.
“We’re undefeated but we still have a lot of things to work on,” Riche said. “We’re fine tuning our offense so that when playoffs come we’re ready for it.”
Sophomore Patrick Corry plays quarterback for Keenan. He will lead the Knights’ offense when Keenan takes on Stanford on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Contact Christina Kochanski at ckochans@nd.edu

Morrissey-Knott preview
Sports Writer

Both Morrissey and Knott need a victory and a Siegfried loss to have a chance at the playoffs as they battle Sunday.
The Manor (1-2) hope to rebound after a loss to Alumni while the Juggerknott squad is coming off their first win of the season.
With a playoff berth still possible, Manor junior captain and lineman Patrick Valencia said his team has taken major strides and showed extra intensity in practice.
“If everybody knows what they are supposed to do, the points will follow,” Valencia said. “Last game we shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers-if we execute better we will limit mistakes.”
Valencia pointed to junior quarterback Ryan Lindquist as a game-changer because of his accuracy and mobility. He said he believes Lindquist, when given time, can be a big-play machine against the Juggerknotts.
Knott (1-2) has finally turned the corner on offense, sophomore receiver and cornerback Jack Taiclet said.
“We made some route and personnel changes which contributed to our offensive firepower against Duncan,” Taiclet said. “Our running game has been solid all year and now with our passing attack working we’re going to be hard to stop.”
The team looks for continued chemistry from its two most potent offensive weapons, junior quarterback David Taiclet and sophomore receiver Griffin Carroll.
While on the bubble regarding the playoff picture, Taiclet said he remains confident.
“Our division is by far the best, so as long as we win I think we deserve a playoff spot,” Taiclet said. “The whole team is prepared to leave it all out on the field on Sunday.”
Morrissey and Knott will square off Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle fields.
Contact Brian Plamondon at bplamond@nd.edu

Duncan-Siegfried preview
Sports Writer

In the regular season finale, Duncan takes on Siegfried in the teams’ first matchup in two years.
Last year, the Highlanders (0-3) and the Ramblers (2-1) were set to play in the season finale, but Duncan was forced to forfeit the game.
“We’re motivated to play Duncan, especially since we could not play them last year,” senior captain and lineman Jack Moore said. “[Not playing the game] killed our momentum last year which led to a playoff loss in our next game.”
The Ramblers will focus their dominant running attack with freshmen running backs Lucas Joseph and Dan Verzuh taking the handoffs, Moore said. He said his team is optimistic about its offense leading it past the Highlanders and to a deep playoff run.
While Siegfried has its eyes set on the playoffs, Duncan still hopes to win its first game of the season.
“[Our goal] is to finish strong on a strong note,” Highlanders junior captain and center Alan Keck said. “We’re hoping to do our best to carry some momentum into next season.”
The Highlanders worked on improving their pass defense, which gave up multiple passing touchdowns in their last matchup, Keck said. Offensively, Duncan is going to rely heavily on junior running back Eric Krakowiak.
This matchup between the Ramblers and the Highlanders will take place Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle fields.
Contact Manny De Jesus at mdejesus@nd.edu

Carroll – Zahm Preview
Sports Writer

After a two-week break, the Zahm and Carroll squads prepare to return to action as they face off in the final weekend of regular season games Sunday.
The Zahmbies (0-3) look to put a tally in the win column after two consecutive shutout losses to Sorin and Fisher.
“It would be really nice to get a win this week,” senior captain Joseph Rice said. “That’s what we’re shooting for.”
Despite its record, Rice said Zahm is keeping a positive attitude and feels good about its chances against the Vermin (2-0-1).
“We’re just going to do the best we can to keep playing hard and put some points on the board,” he said. “I think we’re hitting our stride right about now.”
The Vermin hope to pick up some momentum as the playoffs approach, senior co-captain Mike Russell said.,
“The important thing for us is to not let up on energy because it’s been such a long time since we’ve played,” he said.
Russell said Carroll has been on a roll since its opening-week tie with Fisher.
“I’ve been impressed,” Russell said. “Our defense has played really well, and I think we’ve also done a good job limiting turnovers since the first game.”
Russell said that the team is focused on maintaining intensity after halftime, which has been one of the few concerns for the Vermin.
The Zahmbies and the Vermin play Sunday at 3 p.m. at Riehle Fields.
Contact Andrew Robinson at arobins6@nd.edu

St. Edwards-Sorin preview
Sports Writer

Sorin and St. Edwards are prepared to end the season with a win Sunday.
The Otters (1-1-1) look to bounce back from a close loss to Carroll, and the Gentlemen (1-2) will try to finish strong after consecutive losses.
For St. Edwards, the desire for a victory goes beyond the immediate goals of this season.
“They’ve beaten us the last two seasons, and we would love to give them their comeuppance,” senior captain and safety Andrew Blonigan said.
On the other side, despite the recent loss, Sorin sophomore captain, receiver and safety Jake Yurek said he likes his team’s attitude.
“We are going in feeling good, working hard and on an upswing,” Yurek said. “We’ll be looking to air it out, put up some points and end the season on a good note.”
Yurek said to watch for big plays from the tandem of sophomore running back John Pearl and junior quarterback Pat Power. Sophomore outside linebacker Galvin Loughran will anchor the Otters defensively.
The Otters will be up against an eager St. Edwards side confident in its talent, Blonigan said.
“We are extremely pumped and optimistic,” Blonigan said. “We have a mad dog in [junior middle linebacker] Brendan Flynn, and [senior] quarterback Paul Rodriguez comes to battle every game and is our spiritual leader.”
The teams will kick off Sunday at 3 p.m. at Riehle fields as they fight to finish their seasons with a win.
Contact Josh Dulany at jdulany@nd.edu