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Dillon looks to continue domination as playoffs begin

Joe Meixell | Friday, October 31, 2003

It’s been two very different seasons for Sorin and Dillon, but this weekend that all means nothing as both teams look to advance in the playoffs.

Dillon has rolled through its schedule this year and emerged the only undefeated team in the league after a 14-8 victory over Keenan. With confidence from last year’s playoff success and this year’s dominant regular season, Dillon looks ready to play up to its No. 1 seeding.

Sorin’s season started with a thrilling 3-0 victory and ended with a huge 6-0 win. In their other two games, the Otters took difficult losses yet made it into the playoffs against tough odds.

Sorin realizes it has a powerful opponent to face but the team’s attitude remains upbeat.

“We’re facing the top seed and we have our work cut out for us, but we’re thrilled to have made it into the playoffs,” captain Collin O’Keefe said.

Dillon’s defense has been very solid with two shutouts and has allowed only 11 points all season.

On offense, Dillon has been strong and was explosive in its 42-0 defeat of Keenan. Key players on offense for Dillon include Robert McBride, Kevin McCarthy and Ben Butwin.

Sorin has had to face injuries all season and the upcoming playoff game will be no exception.

“We have some key players returning on defense but we’re still going to have to deal with injuries this game,” O’Keefe said.

Dillon’s undefeated play this season makes them the team to beat going into the playoffs.

The game will be played this Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle North.

No. 2 Siegfried vs. No. 7 Alumni

Sunday’s hotly contested interhall playoff game between the Siegfried Ramblers and the Alumni Dawgs will be a rematch of last year’s championship.

Not that either team needs any added incentive, though, for they both know it’s do-or-die time when the playoffs roll around.

“It doesn’t matter where we’re seeded. If we don’t come out there strong it will be an early exit,” Siegfried cornerback Nate Raschke said.

Both teams return nearly all of last season’s players and although Siegfried was victorious last year, anything can happen in Sunday’s game.

“We can’t look past Alumni or anyone else. Alumni is a good team and we can’t take it for granted that we’re the defending champs,” said Raschke, a junior.

“I know Siegfried is a great team. It will be a tough game,” Alumni wide receiver Corey Harkins said. “Being a senior, I really don’t want it to end quite yet.”

“We’re very confident. We’re excited to get a second chance at Sigfried,” said Alumni quarterback Chris Cottingham, recalling his team’s 14-7 loss in the Stadium last year.

Second-seeded Siegfried – 3-1 after a disappointing loss to Fisher – boasts a talented roster led by quarterback Bill Bingle.

“I’d put Bill up there against any other quarterback in the league. He’s real good,” Raschke said.

His opponents see him as a dangerous threat as well.

“He had some great games last year, especially against us in the championship,” Harkins said. “He’s very versatile. He can run and pass.”

The Ramblers are looking for running back Tim Breitbach to have a big game as they know how critical a strong running attack is to win.

They are also depending on wide receiver Jon Kaup.

Hoping to combat the strength and size of Alumni’s offensive line, Siegfried is counting on a strong performance by their defensive line as well.

“It’s important we shut down their running game,” Raschke said.

Seventh-seeded Alumni, for its part, is improved and back at full strength.

Cottingham and running back Alex Roodhouse lead the offense while TJ Strachota, at safety, is the defensive commander.

“We’ve had some unfortunate breaks along the way but we’re a pretty good team, and we have our game plan ready” Harkins said. “We’re confident we can go out there and give it our best.”

No. 4 Knott vs. No. 5 Keenan

Sunday’s game will not only be a battle for life in playoffs, but also for pride

After both teams missed the playoffs last year, No. 4 seed Knott will meet No. 5 seed Keenan in a first-round game.

The Juggerknotts want to prove how explosive their offense and defense have become since last season.

Knott annihilated Carroll 19-0 in the last game of the regular season and does not expect different results in the first round of the playoffs.

“We hit on all cylinders the last game and we’re going to take that into the playoffs,” Knott captain Drew Donovan said.

To achieve this goal, Knott will have to rely upon its improved offense, led by quarterback Ben Gilfillan and wide receiver Mike Peters and, along with the consistency of its defense which Donovan adds is both solid and the inner strength of the team.

But Knott will also need to stop Keenan’s offense if it expects to see life in the second round.

The Keenan offense is led by team captains quarterback Patrick Downey and receiver Reed Langton.

The Knights want to show they’re a “new and improved” team during the first round.

“We have a lot of new faces and we are a much more different team than last year,” Keenan team captain Patrick Downey said.

But despite Keenan being known for their underclassmen, the team continues to stand behind their veteran defensive line.

These two teams will meet Sunday at the Riehle South fields at 1 p.m.

No. 3 Morrissey vs. No. 6 Zahm

Two confident teams will square off in a playoff showdown on Sunday afternoon at the Riehle North Athletic Fields when the third-seeded Morrissey Manorites take on the sixth-seeded Zahmbies.

The undefeated Manorites head into the game boasting a powerful offensive attack led by quarterback Marty Mooney, tight end Dave Purcell and the running back tandem of brothers Steve and Nick Klein. Offensively, the Manorites look to first establish the run to set up the passing attack.

The Manor will also bring a talented defense led by middle linebackers Jason Wise and Brian Dinsmore. “Nobody has put together a drive on our defense.” said Ronsheim, referring to a unit that has allowed just one offensive touchdown on the season and shut out three of four opponents. “We’ll look to play solid defense and establish a good running game. It’s a simple formula. Our personnel is good enough to win and we have a lot of depth said Ronsheim.

The Zahmbies come into the game with confidence, having won their final two games of the season over Sorin and Fisher. The Sorin game was won behind a solid ground attack led by running back Eric Tarnowski, while Fisher was bested behind the passing of quarterback Mitch Knapke.

“We’re focusing on the offense this week,” captain Mike Maimone said. “We’re looking to balance it up.”

Defensively, the Zahmbies recognize the potential of the Morrissey offense.

“The key for us is to contain their offense.” said Maimone.