Teams vie for playoff spots as season winds down
Knott v. Siegfried
By Darcy Dehais
On Sunday, Knott and Siegfried will culminate Flanner Cup Week in a Mod Quad rivalry game, as both teams work to secure spots in the playoffs.
Each year, the Juggerknotts (0-1) and the Ramblers (1-0) participate in a series of contests during Flanner Cup Week, ending with the rivalry game. Siegfried senior captain Dan Verzuh said he is looking forward to the intense matchup.
“We have arm wrestling competitions and eating competitions, but the football game is always the crowning tone that sets the level of competition,” Verzuh said. “Of course, we all know a lot of guys from the dorm next door, so it’s a bit more of a personal rivalry for us.”
Both teams will go into the weekend with one game under their belt: Siegfried defeated Morrissey two weeks ago, while Knott fell to Stanford last weekend. Knott senior captain John Tulloh said the Juggerknotts are looking for a win this weekend to push themselves toward postseason qualification.
“We need to win, and we need to win big,” Tulloh said. “We are down in the point differential after last week, so we’ve got some work to do, but I think it’s within reach.”
Verzuh said Rambler interior linemen freshman Erik Nygren and junior Drew DeBaker are some of the biggest and strongest players on the Siegfried team. He said he expects a strong showing from his defense against Knott.
“I would say our biggest strength is our tackling,” Verzuh said. “I was really impressed with the way our team was able to rally the ball on every snap against Morrissey and bring them down. Sometimes, you give the guy two or three yards after contact, and that can be the difference between a whole series of first downs and three-and-out.”
Tulloh said the Juggerknotts are eager to obtain their first win of the season.
“We’re really excited about it,” Tulloh said. “Siegfried is always a good team, and we’re looking forward to the challenge, especially after last week.”
Knott and Siegfried kick off Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.
Carroll v. Dunne
By Meagan Bens
With only two games left in their regular seasons, Carroll and Dunne will compete to add another victory to their records.
Not knowing much about the opponent, Carroll senior captain Anthony Vallera said every player on the Vermin (1-1) must be prepared.
“Obviously, Dunne’s a new dorm, so I don’t have anything to base it off of,” Vallera said. “But they got a full squad, 24 guys, which is five more than us, so we are going to have to show up and give it our all. Their rector was also the rector of Carroll last year, so there is a little extra incentive to win.”
With the responsibility to build the new team, Dunne senior captain Joseph Schudt said there is no specific strategy for the Sentinels (1-0) while facing Carroll other than focusing on their own performance.
“We have to continue executing plays well and having everyone play well,” Schudt said. “Our biggest strength is that all the guys play hard, they never take a play off … It’s been interesting building the team, and it’s been fun. It’s my fourth year playing, and the year depends on whatever that team puts into it that season. Any team can change from year to year.”
As long as the Vermin have most of their players at the game, Vallera said he believes they can match up against anyone.
“We are a solid team,” Vallera said. “We have great running backs, great receivers, our quarterback is top notch and as long as we have everyone, I am confident we can play anyone. Last year, we had a bunch of injuries, so we didn’t make the playoffs, but if we stay healthy, we can go pretty far.”
Despite it being the Sentinels’ first season, Schudt said the team is capable of making the playoffs.
“We have enough talent and smarts to get through,” Schudt said. “We have two games left, and if we win at least one, I believe we can make it in, and if we win both, we are definitely in. I think it’s a feasible to say we can make it.”
Carroll will face Dunne at 2:15 p.m. Sunday at LaBar Practice Complex.
Stanford v. Morrissey
By Mia Berry
Week three of this season features a rematch of last season’s semifinal matchup when Stanford faces Morrissey.
En route to its back-to-back championships, the Manor (0-2) defeated the Griffins (2-0) in the semifinals and cut their season short both years, but Stanford is looking for revenge this season.
While Morrissey has officially been eliminated from playoff contention, Stanford is looking for a win against the back-to-back champions in its final regular season game. Griffins senior captain Kevin Kohler said he is looking past Morrissey’s record this season and treating the Manor like the team they have proven to be in the past.
“We have a lot of respect for what they’ve done in years past,” Kohler said. “They’re a hell of a team. I know they’re a much stronger team than their record suggests. If a couple plays went in their favor, we’re looking at a 2-0 — instead of a 0-2 — team. We’re treating them like two-time defending champs. Nothing less. But there’s no question we would love to send them home with an 0-3 record.”
For the first time in three years, Morrissey will not advance to the playoffs after suffering two close losses to Siegfried and Duncan. Despite this, Morrissey is still looking for a victory against Stanford, according to Manor senior captain Nicholas Sywyj.
“It’s about pride, and it’s about going out, never giving up and playing together as a team,” Sywyj said. “Every time we step out on the field, we play to win the game. That’s what we do.”
The matchup between the two teams will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.
Keough v. Dillon
By Kyle Barry
Keough and Dillon will each look to grab its first win of the season when they square off this Sunday.
The Roos (0-1) will now look to improve on the offensive side of the ball after allowing just three points in their loss to Keenan two weeks ago, junior captain Danny Childers said.
“Our defense played very well,” Childers said. “We stopped them on the goal line to force a field goal, so they didn’t get anything close after that.”
Childers said he expects the Kangaroo offense to be more efficient in order to finish off drives with touchdowns this weekend.
“We played well on offense, and we got a lot of yards, but we didn’t punch anything in,” Childers said. “We need to make sure we get in the end zone.”
For the Big Red (1-0), this weekend will be the first real test of the season after they got a victory via forfeit by O’Neill last weekend. Big Red junior captain John Walsh said he feels his team will be able to bounce back from a second week off.
“It was disappointing that we didn’t play last week, but it’s understandable and we have to deal with it,” Walsh said.
Walsh, the two-time captain for Big Red, said he is confident his team will be fine come game time, as it currently is at a disadvantage, due to their lack of experience.
“I still think we’ll be alright starting the game,” Walsh said. “We’ll make adjustments while the game is being played.”
Walsh said senior defensive tackle Mark Fronk will be the heart and soul of the Big Red defense.
“Fronk is a guy who is strong and loves the game of football,” Walsh said. “He’s instinctive, and he will be one of the best guys on our football team.”
From an offensive standpoint, Walsh said he wants Dillon to move the ball effectively and control the ball in order to have success against the Roos.
“We’re not practicing five days a week like high school football, so if we can keep our defense off the field as much as possible and keep them rested, it’s easy for them to make stops,” Walsh said.
Keough and Dillon will battle it out at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at LaBar Practice Complex.