The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



One undefeated team to fall in Dillon-Keenan matchup

Joe Meixell | Thursday, October 16, 2003

The Dillon football team looks to preserve its perfect record Thursday night as they face the 2-0-1 Keenan Knights.

The Knights finished flat last weekend against Morrissey, allowing 12 unanswered points and ending in a tie.

“Morrissey is one of the top teams here,” said junior Reed Langton, a Keenan running back and defensive end who scored two touchdowns on Sunday. “We came out ready to play and showed we could hang with the best teams in the league.”

Dillon, on the other hand, is coming off of a 42-0 demolition of Stanford.

“I think we played very well and consistently,” said Kevin McCarthy, a junior who plays left tailback and wingback for the Big Red. “We’re looking to take first seed, so it’s important to come into playoffs number one.”

It looks to be a battle on the ground this weekend, as both teams cite the running game as one of their strengths.

“We have three good running backs that can take the ball and get yards,” Langton said. “We need to stop [Dillon’s] run; they’re a running team so you can never be too good at stopping… they’ll keep running until they score.”

“We have a lot of backs and a lot of motion,” McCarthy said. “The misdirection keeps the defense on their toes.” Defensively, “our defensive backs are amazing-all veterans,” he said.

The Knights defense has allowed only 12 points this season. They also have strong players on both sides of the ball.

“Seniors Brian Long and Ryan Crochet really handle the line,” Langton said. “We have a lot of freshmen this year, and they’ve really stepped up. We’re predominantly a freshman team.”

“Dillon and Keenan is a pretty big rivalry,” he said. “We’ve both been traditionally good at interhall football, so we both have some tradition. It’s a big game every year…they always come ready to play.”

McCarthy agreed.

“We played [Keenan] this exact same game last year – the last game of the season,” he said. “We knocked them out of the playoffs, so we know they’re looking to come and get us. Every team guns for us and we have to take it one step at a time.”

The game will be at 7 p.m. at the west Riehle field.

O’Neilll vs. Keough

Although this game might not mean much in the overall standings of interhall football, it will not affect the mindset and strategy of O’Neill and Keough. Neither team can make the playoffs this year, but they are still coming to play Thursday night at 8 p.m.

If O’Neill wins, they will be 2-2, but most of the tiebreakers are against them.

“We’re going to still try to play our game,” said captain John Enterline. “This season has been a little disappointing, and we want to end on a good note with a win.”

Enterline said that this game would come down to whoever executes and whoever is more physical.

O’Neill wants a little revenge from last year’s loss to Keough.

“It would be a nice change if we pulled off the victory and beat our next door neighbors and rivals,” Enterline said.

However, there is a bright side for O’Neill.

“The freshmen this year have been phenomenal,” Enterline said. They have really matured throughout the season. The freshmen have really produced this year, and this has been a pleasant surprise.”

Freshman quarterback Matt Hughey has showed signs of greatness and some key freshmen on the offensive line have really helped the team.

“This is great for the future of O’Neill football,” Enterline said.

On the other side of the ball, this has not been a good year for Keough. They have been outscored by a combined 52 points in their first three games, and have not scored a touchdown this season.

They have only managed a field goal in a loss to Dillon.

Despite their lack of offense, the Keough defense has been steady. They, however, have one flaw – they give up big plays in almost every game.

These plays come at crucial junctures of the game and are very hard to overcome. Keough must play the full four quarters and not give up game-changing plays against O’Neill.