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Dillon seeking revenge versus rival Alumni

Joe Meixell | Friday, October 3, 2003

“Whichever team wants it the most will win.”

So said Dillon captain J.T. Arseniadis, and likely when Alumni and Dillon square off this Sunday at the biggest game of their interhall seasons, the will to win will make all the difference.

Last year Alumni handed the Big Red their only losses, once during the regular season and again in the playoffs. Dillon overpowered Keough for a season-opening win last week and thinks that game is an indicator of the team’s strength.

“We have great skill players and our line has more depth than last year’s team,” Arseniadis said.

Still, they recognize the disadvantage of having played fewer real games than Alumni so far.

On the other hand, while Alumni would be happy to have the same results against Dillon, they are frustrated to have again started their season with a second-game loss to Morrissey.

Regardless of the record each team brings to the field, both are dedicatedly preparing and eager for the challenge of meeting their “favorite” rivals on the turf.

“Alumni is our biggest rival in the league [and] we are looking for revenge…The teams know each other well and we both get pumped up…This is always our toughest game of the season, both physically and mentally.  It means a lot to our two dorms,” Arsenaidis said.

The greatest strengths of the Alumni team right now are its defense and a solid group of experienced upperclassmen.

We have seven seniors who are our real captains and leaders…A large group of [us] has been playing together for four years,” Alumni captain Larry Rooney said.

Leading the team are seniors Chris Cottingham, Alex Roodhouse, Tom Kerestes, TJ Strachota, Corey Harkins, John Wahoske and Chris Seponski.

The Dawgs are satisfied with the quality of their play so far “except we know we can do better,” said Rooney. In practice they’ve focused on developing the fundamentals and their unity as a whole team.

A big loss for Dillon came in the form of a preseason knee-injury for defensive end/tight end Rick Hasty. The team looks to Ben Butwin and Kevin McCarthy to lead their attack and to Robert McBride, Dominic Eck and John Kelly as the backbone of the defense.

The Big Red also credits its veteran leadership as an important asset.

“We all have been in the system for a few years now and know what we’re doing,” Arsenaidis said.

O’Neill vs. Keenan

O’Neill and Keenan will take the field Sunday in what should be a very close football game between two teams looking to improve upon their seasons. O’Neill, who enters the contest at 1-1, and Keenan, who is a strong 1-0, will kickoff at 1 p.m. at the southern-most Stepan field.

O’Neill showed signs of solid play in a 6-0 win over Stanford in which tough defense proved to be a helping factor. At the same time, they suffered a tough 28-0 loss to Alumni in their opening week. O’Neill is looking to improve their consistency in order to solidify their position as contenders in their league.

“From a football standpoint, we are just looking to improve. We’ve made some mistakes, and we need to get points off turnovers,” said captain John Enterline.

“Our defense has been solid, and we are happy with last week’s shutout,” he added. “But we still need to work on better pass coverage. We need to create more points off turnovers.”

The team has been very pleased with the play of its offensive line, including Mike O’Donnell and Mike Milligan. This strong offensive line will be crucial in continuing to move the ball effectively on the ground as well as through the air.

“Our offensive line has really been great this year,” Enterline said.

Keenan has looked impressive in their opening game, beating Stanford 6-0 with help from an aggressive running attack. Tough defense and high intensity also proved to be factors in the win.

Running back Alex Staffieri played especially well in Keenan’s opening win, overmatching Stanford’s run defense. This same aggressive running attack could be instrumental in moving to 2-0.

Both teams are eager to further the success they have had this year, and eliminate the mistakes that they have suffered. With solid play from both sides, this Sunday afternoon match-up could be especially exciting.

Stanford vs. Morrisey

Morrisey and Stanford square off this Sunday in a critical game with playoff implications for both teams.

The Manorites look to continue their success this season after coming off a huge 9-0 victory over Alumni. The win last week put them at 2-0 on the season and has given the team a big confidence boost.

The Griffins have struggled in their first two games, but their 0-2 record doesn’t show the fact that the both games were decided by a margin of less than a touchdown.

“We’ve been working hard in practice to step up our play and make it into the playoffs,” said Stanford captain Dave Marques.

The success of the Manorites in their first two games has in large part been due to their dominant defensive play. Lead by Brian Dinsmore and Jason Wise, Morrisey’s defense has forced key turnovers and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Stanford likewise has had quality defensive play this year especially from safety Nick Befera who has anchored the defensive backs. On offense, Stanford will rely on quarterback Rich Whitney to provide a spark for the rest of his teammates.

After getting off to a quick 2-0 start this year, Morrisey realizes that they need to stay focused on their final two games.

“We’re hoping not to have a letdown from the big win last Sunday over Alumni,” said Morrisey captain Aaron Ronsheim.