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Men’s Interhall Football: Manor takes shot at revenge in unbeatens’ clash

Kevin Baldwin, Chris Allen, John Helms, Megan Finneran, and Matthew Robison | Friday, October 9, 2009

Morrissey and Siegfried meet Sunday with both teams hoping to follow up big wins last week.

This will be a grudge match for the undefeated Manor, whose playoff run last year was ended by the same Ramblers squad that went on to win the championship.

Morrissey, which beat Duncan 15-0 last weekend, will hope to maintain its undefeated season with a balanced offense, led by senior quarterback Danny Deveny.

“We’ve used a successful aerial attack, but we’d like to mix it up with a run-pass mix to utilize talent more efficiently,” Morrissey senior Phil Yuhas said. 

The dynamic Manor defense was essential in shutting down the Highlanders last week, and even some freshmen stepped up and made play, including defensive end Taylor Stein and tackle Sean Baur. 

Siegfried will counter with an effective offense that routed Alumni last week 34-0. 

Junior Matt Meinert is a dual threat at quarterback, with a proven ability to both pass and run with great skill.  Ramblers senior captain Dex Cure emphasized teamwork and coordination as fundamental to the Siegfried game plan. 

“We’re going to play hard, play as a team,” Cure said. “That’s what we do”. 

Siegfried has a solid defense known for their speed and putting up impressive numbers, which will challenge the Morrissey offensive line on every play.  

The defending champions are certain to be a formidable threat to the Manor’s undefeated season, intensifying an already heated rivalry. It will be a test of will for both teams and a hard earned victory for whoever comes out on top.  

“We’re pumped,” Yuhas said. “We lost to them in the playoffs last year so this is a huge motivation for us”.

Kickoff will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Field.

Dillon vs. Keough

As the playoffs draw nearer, Dillon and Keough face off Sunday in a match-up that could be crucial to playoff positioning.

“We know it’s going to be a tough test,” Dillon junior captain Jordan Smith said. “The winner’s probably going to be in the playoffs and the loser’s probably out. We have to be ready and come out and meet the challenge.”

If Dillon meets the challenge, it will likely be with its defense that has been stout all season. The Big Red gave up 12 points in last week’s loss to Stanford, but early-season opponents struggled to score a touchdown against them.

“We’ve had a good defense for a few years now, and our upperclassmen have helped to carry over that tradition,” Smith said. “The freshmen have also been flying all over the place and hitting people real hard all season.”

Keough will need to concentrate on its running game if it hopes to make a dent in the impenetrable Dillon defense.

“A win against Dillon would definitely help our effort to make the playoffs,” Keough sophomore captain Ryan Cordell said. “We want to go out and try to establish our running game. We’ve been making strides in that department each week and we’re going to have to continue to improve there to make the playoffs.”

The game will likely be physical as both teams see themselves as strong in the trenches. Keough will look to block its way to a playoff spot.

“We’re going to go out there and play our game. It all starts up front with us,” Cordell said. “If we can win the battle in the trenches, we should be in good shape”

The two teams will face off in a fierce battle for a remaining playoff spot Sunday.

Alumni vs. Knott

Knott and Alumni meet on the field Sunday coming from different directions in terms of their record.

Knott (1-0-1) has started off the season well so far, and looks to continue their success coming off its bye week.

“We’ve had a very encouraging season thus far,” Knott senior captain Aidan Fitzgerald said.

The Juggerknotts are one of three undefeated team in the blue division so far this year, along with Morrissey and Siegfried. In their last game two weeks ago, Knott tied the defending champion Ramblers in a tense rivalry game.

“We were a little disappointed we couldn’t pull off the win, we had a couple of opportunities that slipped by,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m sure they were too. Both teams had their chances.”

The Dawgs (0-2-1) on the other hand are still in search of their first win of the season. Last week Siegfried dismantled Alumni 34-0 in the Dawgs’ worst loss of the season.

The Ramblers’ big win over Alumni puts added pressure on the Juggernauts, in a division where every win is crucial. With Morrissey and Siegfried undefeated, the Juggernauts are fully aware that one of the three will be on the outside looking in. A loss to the Dawgs, currently at the bottom of the division, would significantly hurt the Juggerknotts’ chances.

“We’ve got to win. This is a big game for us,” Fitzgerald said. “Every game is so important with such a short schedule.”

In their third game and fourth week of the season, Fitzgerald believes the team is just hitting its stride.

“So far we’ve all clicked, it just hasn’t been at the same time,” he said. “I think we finally got it together. It’s bound to happen sooner or later.”

Kickoff is 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Riehle Fields.

Sorin vs. Carroll

After a bye week for Sorin and a narrow win against Zahm for Carroll last weekend, the Otters and Vermin appear ready for this weekend.

Sorin (2-0) comes into this game with little doubt of their capabilities. Carroll (2-0-1) is also confident, but still remembers their loss to Sorin last season.

“We plan to minimize the mistakes,” Carroll junior captain Nick Ruof said about their game plan to take on the Otters.

Looking at past games, the Sorin offense has already proven itself to be a powerful one. Both of their wins have racked up double digits, which is more than Carroll’s offense has been able to do in any of their three games thus far.

The Otters rely on freshmen Ted Spinelli at quarterback, freshman Ryan Robinson at tight end, and sophomore Bobby Felden at running back on the offensive side. Together these three have shown their ability to work together and convert to score.

“We don’t really know what defense Carroll runs, but if things go as they should, our offense should be fine,” junior Sorin captain Michael Browder said.

While Carroll’s offense may not have scored as much as Sorin so far, its defense has stepped up, keeping its past three competitors to seven points or less. Junior defensive back Odaro “Nigerian Nightmare” Omusi and junior linebacker John Ashley lead the Vermin defense. These veterans have set up a powerful defense in hopes of setting of Sorin’s pass-heavy offense.

If the Carroll offense can step up its game one last time before playoffs and continue its powerful defense, it has a good chance of ending the Otters’ undefeated streak. But if the Otters continue to perform as they have been, the Vermin may not be able to stop them.

Both teams are currently undefeated, but after this matchup, which kicks off 1 p.m. Sunday at Riehele Fields, either the Vermin or the Otters will have to chalk one up in the loss column.

Zahm vs. St. Edward’s

With only one game left before playoffs after this weekend, Zahm and St. Edward’s are both looking to shake up the results.

St. Edward’s (1-1) is a stronger team than its record may show, with its only loss being to Carroll by one point. The Gentlemen hope to improve their standings against Zahm (0-2) Sunday.

The Gentlemen return multiple key players from last year, including junior quarterback Matt Abeling, junior wide receiver Sean Reed and senior tight end Joe DeMott. The entire team is excited to take on Zahm and ready to come one step closer to playoffs. A win here will put them in a good place for the final week of the regular season.

“We’ve been meshing like the Mighty Ducks. To get ready for Zahm, we have been feeding the pythons at Rolfs to really get in beast mode,” senior Andy Nester joked.

After its victory over Fisher last week, St. Edward’s is looking for another win.

The Rabid Bats may be 0-2, but they are not ready to give up just yet.

“In all essence we have been beaten off of a handful of plays. This week we return some key players and all we can do now is win this game and make the play-off scenario a little bit more interesting,” senior Jarred Carter said.

Last week, freshmen cornerbacks Sam Beres and Roberto Aran shone through against Carroll, and this week with the return of juniors Xavier Murphy and Dylan Fernandez, Zahm hopes to turn over a new leaf.

“In order to win this week we must correct the mistakes that have taken place thus far,” Carter said.

The Rabid Bats have already improved since their first game, narrowing their loss from 20-0 against Sorin to 6-0 against Carroll. With the veteran team of junior Greg Bennett and Carter, the team hopes to pull together to come out with a win.

Zahm and St. Edward’s will face off Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Field.

Stanford vs. O’Neill

Heading into the matchup between Stanford and O’Neill Sunday, the two squads could not have more different experiences in the past two weeks.

Stanford has dominated in its first two outings, defeating Keough 16-0 and Dillon 12-7. O’Neill, on the other hand, has struggled out of the gate 0-2.

The Mob is still confident in their ability to put up a strong performance against the Griffins, however.

“If we go out and play hard, we can come away with a win,” sophomore wide receiver Julian Murphy said.

The Griffins have hopes of playing in the Stadium and are looking to keep an undefeated season alive.

“We’re looking to go out and take care of business and secure a playoff spot,” senior cornerback and captain Christopher Gill said. “It’d be nice to go into the last game against Keenan and know that it’s nothing more than a game for playoff positioning.”

Stanford will look for its defense to make the difference this week, as it has proven stingy so far, not even allowing a point.

“If the defense can continue dominating opposing offenses, I’m confident our offense can get a few scores and put us in a position to win,” Gill said.

O’Neill may have a few tricks up its sleeve, however, that Stanford might be unprepared for.

“We put in some new plays,” Murphy said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to catch them off guard.”

To their credit, the Angry Mob is using the slow start as motivation.

“The 0-2 start just makes us prepare harder,” said Murphy. “It makes us hungrier for victory.”

The Griffins and the Mob will meet on the Riehle Fields at 3 p.m. Sunday.