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INTERHALL FOOTBALL: Stanford can’t hold lead, falls to Morrissey

Becki Dorner and Chris Hine | Friday, October 14, 2005

Stanford came out strong against Morrissey Thursday with an early touchdown, but it was not enough to hold off the Manorites, who were firing on all cylinders in the last regular season game at RiehleWest, an 8-6 Morrissey win.

Stanford scored first on a halfback pass, yet failed on the two-point conversion. Afterwards, it appeared that the game was destined to become a defensive showdown with both teams holding their own until Steve Klein of Morrissey picked off a Stanford pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Captain Nick Klein of the Manorites then punched in the two-point conversion, which would be enough to earn the victory for Morrissey. But the win was not without a few close calls.

Stanford threatened to go ahead in the final minutes of the game, completing a long pass for first-and-goal, but the Morrissey defense held them for four plays.

Klein conveyed the final moments of the contest were especially tense.

“We had some flashbacks to last week, when we lost to Dillon on a last-minute touchdown, but this time, our defense came through,” he said.

The Manorites will need that kind of last-minute intensity in the upcoming playoffs. They are ready to continue their success, but Klein said a lot is up in the air depending on placement.

“We will be interested to see how the seeding goes, with such a relatively even talent level in our division,” he said.

Keenan 12, O’Neill 0

The Keenan defense had four interceptions while the offense capitalized on good field position to beat the Angry Mob of O’Neill Thursday night at Riehle Field.

Keenan solidifies its spot in the playoffs, while tie-breakers will determine the fate of O’Neill.

The Knights’ offense was led by the quarterback/wide receiver combination of Rob Coly and Jim Zenker, who connected three times for 95 yards, and by the legs of Alex Staffieri, who had 11 carries for 50 yards, including two touchdowns.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Staffieri powered his way into the end zone from three yards to score his second touchdown.

The TD came after a 20-yard punt return by John Wood to the O’Neill 39, and a 36-yard Zenker reception to the 3-yard line.

On O’Neill’s next offensive play, Wood intercepted quarterback Matt Hughey.

Keenan then went three-and-out, while its defense forced O’Neill to turn the ball over on downs. The teams traded interceptions (Robby Rhinesmith intercepted Coly while Brandon Paul picked off Hughey) before Keenan ran out the clock.

Trailing 6-0 after the half, O’Neill had the ball on the Keenan 35 thanks to an interception by Eric Papp.

But on third-and-one fourth-and-one, the Keenan line held and forced a turnover.

Neither team could kick field goals due to the fact that the field had no goal posts. Two possessions later, Staffieri scored his second touchdown to make it 12-0.

Through the first quarter the teams went scoreless.

Toward the end of the quarter, a Keenan interception allowed its offense to start on the O’Neill 26.

The Knights scored eight plays later early in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Staffieri to make it 6-0.

On the drive, he had five carries for 22 yards, with most of those yards coming after contact.

“He’s a great runner,” Keenan coach Richard Grant said. “When he gets stuffed, he can move the pile.”

O’Neill seemed poised to score on the ensuing drive. Behind the legs of fullback Pat Connelly, (six carries for 44 yards), O’Neill took 11 plays to drive down to the Keenan 13. On third-and-goal from the 6-yard line, Hughey was intercepted by Vince Lyzinski to conclude the half.

“Our team will work to sharpen things up and sharpen our intensity,” Grant said.

Hughey was impressed with the the Keenan defense.

“They played big up front,” Hughey said. “Towards the end of each drive, we had to pass and they had really good coverage.”