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MEN’S INTERHALL BLUE LEAGUE – Long Touchdown Lifts Otters over Stedsmen

Jay Fitzpatrick, Catherine Kane, and Jack Thornton | Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sorin defeated St. Ed’s Sunday with the only score coming by Otter quarterback Stu Mora’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Tooke.

In what promised to be a very defensive-minded game, both teams delivered.

After a scoreless first quarter, Sorin drove into St Ed’s territory and, despite almost fumbling the shotgun snap, Mora threw a 40-yard bomb to Tooke for what would be the only touchdown of the game.

Neither team scored in the second half, mainly because of the turnovers by both teams.

St. Ed’s had three turnovers in the contest. Sorin captain Pete Lavorini recovered one fumble while Kevin Manning had a fumble recovery and an interception.

“We pride ourselves on defense,” Manning said. “We go for a turnover on every series.”

Lavorini was also impressed with his team’s performance.

“The defense stood everyone up today,” Lavorini said. “We also had a couple of big plays in some big series today on offense.”

Lavorini said that the win was in large part thanks to the effort put forth by Mora, who was 7-of-15 with one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Stedsmen, although they could never get the offense going, hung close the entire game in large part due to a great defensive effort.

Despite being down seven at the half and failing to effectively move the ball on offense, the Stedsmen came out strong in the second half, causing three Otter turnovers. Interceptions by Matt Pasluszni and Ge Wang and a fumble recovery by Kevin Bradley consistently gave St Ed’s solid field position and the chance to score.

The Sorin defense also stepped up the intensity in crucial situations to keep the Otters close. Lavorini recovered a fumble just after the Tooke touchdown, giving the Otters field position around the Stedsmen 27. But St Ed’s stopped Sorin on downs and took the ball back after four plays.

Stedsmen captain Dan Ward said that he was still impressed with his team despite the loss.

“We only slipped up once in the secondary,” Ward said. “One mental lapse can make a difference in a game.”

Next week St. Ed’s has a bye while Sorin will face Zahm.

Siegfried 9, Knott 0

Siegfried used a safety and an interception return for a touchdown to gain a 9-0 win over Knott Sunday.

In the first quarter, Siegfried’s Matt Whopperer intercepted a pass and returned it the length of the field for a touchdown. Kicker Pablo Nava followed successfully with the extra point as the Ramblers took the lead 7-0.

Throughout the second and third quarters, neither team was able to score. Both defenses remained solid, and both teams faced difficulty in moving the ball up the field.

Knott’s quarterback, Matt Whittington, had a hard time completing passes, often throwing the ball away three times in a row, forcing the Juggernauts to punt.

Siegfried’s offense, on the other hand, never threw the ball.

The Rambler defense scored all of the points, starting with the touchdown in the first quarter and ending with a safety in the fourth quarter.

The safety happened after Siegfried could not convert on the Knott 2-yard line after Marcus Bolden’s interception return set up the Ramblers.

Knott then took possession, and the Siegfried defense pushed the Juggernauts line backward, forcing a safety.

Knott captain Matt Whopperer and Siegfried captain Marcus Bolden were both proud of their team’s accomplishments.

“We did a lot of good things out there, both on defense and offense. We just shut them down, ” Whopperer said.

Bolden recognized his team struggled in many areas.

“We definitely have a lot to work on, but it was a very exciting win,” Bolden said. “And we can only get better from here.”

Zahm 14, Carroll 12

In a game defined by dramatic fourth-quarter drives, Zahm capitalized on its final drive and held off Carroll to win 14-12 in Sunday’s Blue League game.

Trailing by four points with a little over eight minutes to play, Zahm took the ball at its own 35. After completing only one pass in the first half, Bats quarterback Sean Wieland efficiently moved his team down the field, connecting with his receivers four times before stalling. Facing third-and-18 from the Carroll 32, a pass interference call on Carroll gave the Zahm a first down at the 15. Two plays later, Wieland found receiver Jake Richardville in the corner of the endzone for the go-ahead score.

“When we were driving down that field, I just kept thinking about yesterday at the [Notre Dame] football game,” Zahm captain Pat Gourley said. “It looked just like it.”

With a little over a minute left, Carroll quarterback and captain Kory Wilmot went to work. He completed five-of-six passes for 49 yards to bring the Vermin to the Zahm 16-yard line.

With only a few seconds left on the clock, Carroll opted to attempt the 33-yard field goal but Mike Johnson’s kick fell short, giving Zahm the win.

“We lost this game everywhere,” Wilmot said. “There’s no way the offense should only get two touchdowns and no way the defense should give up two.”

As the temperature approached 85 degrees, the heat proved to be a factor.

With only six total linemen on the team due to injuries, Gourley has stressed the importance of conditioning for the Bats.

“It paid off great for us,” Gourley said. “I still say we need to work harder, but I’m pretty happy about today.”

“I do think they out-conditioned us,” said Wilmot. “They didn’t have a full team, and they still drove down the field on us in the fourth quarter.”

After scoring the first touchdown of the game early in the second quarter on a two-yard run by Cameron Muhlenkamp, the Bats completed the two-point conversion with a pass to Seth Freiesleben. The Vermin then went for two after each of their touchdowns but failed to convert each time.

“We don’t score many times since it’s a short game, so if we feel we have the chance to get [the two-point conversion], we’ll take it,” Gourley said. “We have some nice receivers and nice tight ends that give us some favorable match-ups down there, and look at the score – that ended up being the difference.”

Wilmot was 12-of-24 for 146 yards with an interception and two touchdowns, both to Paul Tassinari. Despite his statistical success, he was disappointed with the outcome.

“It’s tough to lose the first game, and it’s tough to lose a close game,” Wilmot said. “This puts us at a disadvantage for the rest of year, and we just have to work even harder.”