Keenan hungry for revenge after last year
Alex Bender | Friday, November 13, 2015
When No. 4 Keenan takes on No. 3 Morrissey in the interhall football championship Sunday, revenge will be the Knights’ first order of business.
The stage of Notre Dame Stadium is nothing new to these two teams, as this year’s championship will be a rematch of last year’s, a game Morrissey won 3-0 on a 45-yard field goal.
Senior Keenan co-captain J.C. Sullivan remembers that game well and said the tough loss last season adds a little extra motivation to get the job done this time.
“We’re looking forward to getting another chance to go against those guys,” Sullivan said. “It was a great game last year, and we expect it to be a great game this year. We now know how they run their offense and what they like to do on defense, and we’re absolutely looking forward to having another shot at them.”
Keenan posted a 3-1 regular season record before defeating Siegfried and Dillon to make it to the championship game, something senior co-captain Jon Wiese said he is very proud of.
“We’ve had pretty much what we expected this season, which is a very stout defense, and our offense is coming along much better than we did last year,” Wiese said. “Overall, we’ve been really happy, especially with the development of the freshmen, and along with having a big core of our team returning this year, we very much expected to be back at the stadium this season.”
Getting back to the championship game might have been expected, but senior co-captain Seamus Ronan said winning it all will certainly prove to be challenging and as such, the Knights know a great deal of preparation has to go into this game.
“We respect Morrissey a lot,” Ronan said. “They’re a very disciplined team, so we’ve got some defensive schemes we’re going to try out like loading the box to stop the running game. We want to force them to make the plays and take the game to us, and we have ultimate confidence in our offense and what it’s capable of. We’re really excited to bring our passing game to Morrissey while trying to stop them on defense.”
As far as what players to expect big things from, Wiese and Sullivan mentioned senior quarterback Aaron DiGenova and sophomore defensive stars Tony Rogari and Peter Buseck.
“This year Aaron DiGenova, our quarterback, has really evolved and matured at the position and been a really big part of making our team more than just one-dimensional,” Wiese said.
“We’ve developed a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball with guys such as Tony Rogari and Petey Buseck, and we’ve also had a lot of strong performances from our freshmen, including [receiver] Lukas Cepkauskas, a guy that has turned into a legitimate offensive force,” Sullivan said.
Ultimately, junior captain Mikey Koller said Keenan is confident heading into the game.
“We feel that we’re a very strong team, and at this point it’s coming down to more of a mental game,” Koller said. “We just have to be mentally tough because we’re one of the most physically dominant teams in the league. As long as we overcome the mental battle, I think we’ll have a good chance to get the win.”
However, Sullivan said no matter the result of the championship game, he has been very fortunate to play alongside his teammates this year.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way this team has progressed and the way we have come together,” Sullivan said. “It’s always a special experience going out with this group of guys. We’ve made some bonds this season that just can’t be matched, and we’re really excited to get the opportunity to play in the stadium and have a shot to win the championship.”