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



Interhall: Pangborn tops McGlinn; Carroll faces St. Ed’s

Joe Meixell | Friday, September 29, 2006

This weekend’s 1 p.m. game at Riehle Fields between the Stedsmen of St. Ed’s and the Vermin of Carroll features two of the smallest male halls on campus. It also features two teams headed in completely different directions.

Carroll opened its season with a bang, beating the Sorin Otters with a spectacular passing game. However, they are coming off a bye, so the Stedsmen have the advantage of an extra game.

Early season success has not been the case for St. Ed’s who lost its starting quarterback, John Brewis, in their season opener and have struggled to get back up to speed.

“It’s been hard because we lost our starting QB,” St. Ed’s captain Ge Wang said. “Our defense has been playing well. We haven’t given up a touchdown in either of our first two games.”

Wide receiver Corey Fitzpatrick feels prepared for Sunday’s matchup against the Vermin. After failing to capitalize on a 200-yard guarantee last week due to “poor play calling,” Fitzpatrick promises to redeem himself. He said he was spotted outside his dorm room doing a sit up and guaranteed that he’ll double his previous guarantee, accumulating 400 yards this week.

That guarantee could be tough to accomplish on a strong Vermin defense that held Sorin to zero passing yards in a second half that included an interception. However, if Fitzpatrick can capitalize, it could be the turning point for a St. Ed’s team that is desperately looking for its first win.

Knott vs. Sorin

The Interhall football picture is taking shape as the contenders separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

From here on out, a loss can be crippling.

That is why Sunday’s 3 p.m. game between Knott (1-1) and Sorin (1-1) at Riehle Fields is so pivotal. The winner will take a step closer to the playoffs, but the loser will be stuck on the outside looking in, and will need a lot of help to earn a post-season berth.

Two weeks removed from its defeat of defending champion Zahm, Knott is coming off a 16-6 loss to undefeated Siegfried.

“We were disappointed with the result last game, but we expect to be sharper this week,” Juggerknott quarterback Justin Beltz said. “This week in practice we’ve been working on taking care of the ball, having better timing, and not giving up the big play.”

One of the key players for the Knott offense will be wide receiver Jeff Skroup, who Beltz says has all of the team’s touchdowns this year.

Meanwhile, Sorin evened up its record last week with a solid 6-0 win over St. Ed’s. With all respect to the Stedsmen, this week will provide a much stiffer test to the Otters. However, that did not prevent Sorin captain Pete Lavorini from tossing out a bit of pre-game ballyhoo.

“I think that everyone knows how good we are,” he said. “I don’t know a lot about Knott, but they’re not that good.”

“One thing that I will say is that we’ll definitely be the better looking team out there, Sunday.”

The Otters may have a hard time maintaining that handsome image, as they face a stout defense anchored by middle linebacker Kevin Smith. Sorin will be helped by the return of receiver Kevin Tooke, who Lavorini said is coming back from a two-game suspension.

Defensively, Lavorini says that outside linebacker Chris Petersen will “bring the pain.” Beltz, however, feels that his team can have some success against the Otter defense.

“We’ve seen their defensive style before,” he said. “We’ve had some injuries this year, but with another week of preparation, we should come out on top.”

Lavorini begged to differ.

“[We have] the advantage in coaching and mental intimidation,” he said. “We just can’t beat ourselves, because we know they won’t.”

Stanford vs. Keough

The Stanford Griffins look to take advantage of their momentum, after a 13-7 win over Dillon last weekend, as they go head to head with Keough this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Stanford hopes to keep up its newly found defense against a struggling Kangaroo team, coming off of a 26-0 loss to O’Neill.

“Our defense needs to keep doing what we’re doing,” Griffins quarterback Brian Salvi said. “I think a lot changed at half time against Dillion last week because our defense realized that they weren’t playing like they should. Their adjustment came with their attitude. They’re a little more angry and playing with a little more intensity, and that’s what we need.”

With a win Sunday, Stanford would move to 2-1 and become part of a tight playoff race.

“Every game from here on out, after our loss to Alumni, is our playoff hopes,” Salvi said. “We’ve got to win every game from now on. We can’t expect 2-2 to get us into the playoffs.”

Keough is trying to do anything in its power to prevent a showing like last week. With their 0-2 record, the Kangaroos are trying to find a way to win their first game of the season.

“We’ve been practicing on our outside contain and our secondary,” captain Steve Humphrey said. “We switched up our defense a little bit. Our goal this game is to establish a running game first. We have a pretty solid quarterback so we’ll try to air it out as well.”

With the season still much in question, Stanford will try to be more creative on offense.

“We’ve been throwing in a couple different looks, something to make our offense a little more threatening with both the run and the pass,” Salvi said.

Siegfried vs. Fisher

Sunday’s 2 p.m. meeting at Riehle Fields between the Siegfried Ramblers and the Fisher Green Wave will be a clash of the unbeaten for the top position in the Blue League. In addition to that top spot, a win could also secure a place in the postseason for either squad.

Fisher is coming off a big win in its season opener against last year’s champions, the Rabid Bats of Zahm. According to Fisher captain Tom Bupalino, the secret to that victory was winning the battle in the trenches.

“Our key to success was our offensive line controlling the game,” he said. “We really established the line of scrimmage early. Our defensive line and offensive line handled the game.”

Siegfried is no stranger to victory either, coming out on top against the Juggerknotts of Knott Hall and the Stedsmen of St. Ed’s. A solid running game and a defense that has only allowed six points in two games are the two main reasons for the Ramblers’ early season success.

However, the Green Wave is prepared for the Ramblers on both sides of the ball.

“We know they run a complicated offense, the wing T, so we just have to communicate and complete our responsibilities defensively,” Bupalino said. “Their strength is on defense. They have good safeties and a good senior middle linebacker. We’ve added a few wrinkles to our offense that could exploit different weaknesses in their defense.”

In a game where both teams have already tallied an early season shutout, the opening drive will be critical. The first team to generate points could sit on that lead for the rest of the game. The play of the respective quarterbacks, Kevin Rabil of Fisher and Max Young of Siegfried, will be important in the early minutes.

That fact won’t be lost on either team.

“We need to score early. The opening drive is big,” Bupalino said. “Our team is more organized than we were last year. We have an intense group of guys that really want to make it to the Stadium.”

Dillon vs. Morrissey

There is a lot on the line for both the Manorites and the Big Red as Morrissey meets Dillon at 2 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields. While Morrissey is fresh off an impressive 18-0 win over Alumni, Dillon has fallen short in two close losses.

In its win last week, Morrissey shut down the Alumni offense with a swarming, tenacious defense that stopped drives in several key situations and even forced a safety.

The offense, led by quarterback Joe McBrayer, put together several steady drives and will look for much of the same Sunday. The Manorites did turn the ball over four times, and this is something that captain Steve Klein would surely like to avoid against the Big Red.

“We were sloppy during some parts of the game, and in order to keep winning we will need to eliminate the turnovers,” Klein said.

The Morrissey defense has its sights set on Dillon quarterback Joseph Garigliano and the rest of the Big Red’s attack.

“I was real happy with the way the defense came out and shut them down,” said Klein of their victory over Alumni.

He also feels that the cohesiveness of the defensive unit is crucial for the team’s success.

“The key is that the defense plays as a whole, it is not about individuals,” he said.

Keenan vs. O’Neill

Sunday’s 1 p.m. showdown between Keenan and O’Neill at Riehle Fields will be a battle of unbeatens. O’Neill (2-0) will look to continue its dominance after a decisive win over Keough last week. Keenan (1-0) wants to keep its winning ways alive after an off week.

Last week, O’Neill exploded on the offensive side of the ball, something of which Keenan is well aware.

“Our main focus has been our defense this week,” Knights captain Matt Gibson said. “We know O’Neill has a good passing game and we have worked on adjusting to their scheme.”

The passing game that Gibson is referring to is led by quarterback Matt Bruggeman and is complemented by a solid running game. O’Neill’s focus this season has been on working as a team.

Angry Mob captain Pat Conley feels that the game is about much more than a single position or player.

“Every player on our team has a job,” he said. “We don’t have any stars because if our linemen don’t block well, our running backs will have nowhere to go. If our running backs don’t hit the correct holes, we won’t move the ball down the field and score.”

Keenan looks to be up to the challenge to stop the attack as it has an experienced defense led by senior linebackers Adam Fischer and Alex Staffieri. The defense has confidence after a late goal-line stand in the waning minutes of its game against Keough two weeks ago.

On the offensive side of the ball, Keenan is also led by Staffieri, who spearheads a strong Knight running game while senior quarterback J.J. Vega directs the offense. Conley is well aware of Keenan’s strength as the O’Neill defense has concentrated on tackling and being aggressive on the defensive side of the ball.

“Our defensive line will have to control the line of scrimmage to stop the strong running attack of Keenan,” Conley said.

While many of the skill positions get the recognition, Gibson agrees with Conley that it will have to be a total team effort.

“The offensive and defensive lines have played well to this point, and we look for them to keep it up,” Gibson said.

As both teams look to stay in the playoff hunt, this game holds great importance. Conley commented on how Keenan gave O’Neill trouble in their contest last year.

“We plan to learn from it,” he said. “We are looking forward to another great matchup between two strong teams.”

It may be more than pure skill at this point as both teams will look for experience to prevail as well.

“Senior leadership will be key,” Gibson said.