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Men’s Interhall Football: Quest for repeat continues

Andrew Owens | Thursday, November 12, 2009

When one thinks of football at Notre Dame Stadium, the image of gold helmets glimmering in the crisp sun on a fall afternoon likely comes to mind. But for the second straight season, it could be the white helmets of Siegfried shining in the sun at the Stadium.

For senior captain Dex Cure, an opportunity lies ahead to go down in Notre Dame lore if the Ramblers can win their final two games, the second of which would be on a field with a more storied history and tradition than arguably any other in the country.

The Ramblers claimed the championship last season with a 14-13 win over Keenan, due in large part to the athleticism and leadership of Cure.

“It was a great experience that millions of people have probably dreamt of doing that we were able to actually experience,” Cure said.

Cure and then-senior starting quarterback Max Young led the way offensively last season, using both experience and talent to defeat the Knights in the championship game. This season, the Ramblers have not missed a beat with junior Matt Meinert at quarterback.

It has not been an easy ride this season for the Ramblers as they have attempted to repeat as champions. They entered the postseason as the No. 7 seed and as underdogs to first-round opponent Sorin. The Ramblers defeated the Otters 10-6 to advance to Sunday’s semifinals.

“Beating Sorin was a great accomplishment for our team,” Cure said. “They were a great team and had a great defense, and we were happy to come away with a win.”

The Ramblers will face off with Knott Sunday. The two teams tied earlier this season. The Juggerknotts enter the game with a suffocating defense and a prolific offense, led by quarterback Aidan Fitzgerald and wide receiver Jeff Skorup. The duo connected for two touchdowns in Sunday’s 21-0 win over Carroll.

Despite being only one win away from their second consecutive appearance in the Stadium, the Ramblers are not taking anything for granted.

“This team is not looking ahead to the Stadium,” Cure said. “Knott is looking scary good. Their quarterback is a true athlete that nobody has been able to stop yet this season. We were lucky to get a tie in the first game. I just hope our luck hasn’t run out.”

One might think that Siegfried has some added pressure this postseason because of last year’s success. Cure, however, said the Ramblers are not too stressed over it.

“I don’t think the team has felt too much pressure,” Cure said. “Every year is a different team with a different identity.”

The Ramblers have a golden opportunity to finish off one of the best two-season stretches in league history with back-to-back championships. For Cure, it marks the opportunity of a lifetime to play at Notre Dame Stadium for the second straight year and cap off his illustrious career with another championship.