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Men’s Interhall: Duncan takes first win in dorm history

Victoria | Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Duncan earned its first interhall football win in dorm history Sunday, beating Knott Hall 2-0.

“I felt like we dominated the whole game,” sophomore defensive end Chris Herlihy said. “I thought we were the better team.”

Although the Highlanders (1-1) were unable to score on the offensive side of the ball, the stifling Duncan defense was able to shut down the passing attack from the Juggerknotts (0-2), who managed just three first downs. The Duncan defensive unit has now held its opponents to a combined three points in their first two games.

The lone scoring play came in the second quarter, when Knott was forced to punt directly in front of its own end zone. The snap went high over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety, giving Duncan a lead they would hold for the rest of the contest.

Despite the fact that the Highlander offense failed to score, they showed noticeable improvement from last week’s game against Siegfried, especially on the offensive line.

“That’s the best the offensive has ever played,” Herlihy said.

Though it was a somewhat ugly win, the victory means quite a bit to the Highlander squad.

“We started three years ago with an all-freshman team, and we were the joke of the league,” junior linebacker and tight end Brent Leahy said. “But we improved each year, and now we’re led by juniors, and have strong sophomore and freshman groups.”

With their first victory under their belts, Leahy said the Highlanders will now be looking to contend in every game and qualify for the playoffs.

Duncan will next face Alumni, while Knott will battle rival Siegfried next Sunday.

Alumni 6, Morrissey 0

It took nearly two years and four long quarters, but Alumni is back to winning after a victory over Morrissey.

Alumni (1-0) dominated the first half, shutting down the Manor’s (1-1) passing attack, and grinding down Morrissey’s defensive front behind the two-headed rushing attack of junior running backs Barrick Bollman and captain Dan Dansdill. The duo drove the Dawgs down the field on two long second quarter drives, but they were unable to convert in the red zone, and the first half ended scoreless.

An early Alumni fumble to open the second half gave the Manor great field position, but they were unable to take advantage, and after four incomplete passes by Conrad, Morrissey gave the ball right back to the Dawgs.

The Dawgs continued to dominate with the inside run game, starting off the drive with a dive play by Dansdill that went for 42 yards. Dansdill, who finished the day with 94 yards on 12 carries, insisted that the credit for the run game didn’t lie in the backfield.

“It was all the offensive line,” Dansdill said. “It’s easy to run the ball when you aren’t touched until you’re four yards down the field.”

The drive was capped two plays later on another inside run, this time by Bollman, who went 23 yards untouched for the decisive score.

“It was one of our special plays,” Bollman said. “As soon as we saw how [Morrissey] lined up, we knew it was going to work.”

A blocked extra point gave Morrissey some hope for a win, but their last two drives ended in a punt and an interception, which sealed the game for Alumni, their first win after a winless 2009 season. On the other sideline, the Manor attributed their subpar performance to a lack of preparation.

“We weren’t able to practice at all this week, because everyone had midterms,” Morrissey sophomore captain Sean Baur said. “Our offense needs to get a little tougher and learn to play from behind.”

Morrissey will have plenty of time to improve as they head into their bye week. Alumni looks to continue their success next week against Duncan.

Dillon 15, O’Neill 7

Dillon slugged past O’Neill in a hard-hitting victory Sunday afternoon.

It was a tale of two halves as each team heavily struggled in one half while the other flourished. In the first half alone, O’Neill (1-1) junior quarterback J.P. McCabe threw for 150 yards and a touchdown, while throwing for only 42 yards in the second half. Meanwhile, the Big Red (1-0) labored in the first half, mustering only 72 total yards and went into halftime trailing 7-0.

“We gave up some really big plays on defense and were not able to get anything going at all offensively in the first half,” Dillon’s senior captain Jordan Smith said. “We looked pretty rusty out there but knew that we were going to have to cut down on mistakes in order to win.”

It appeared as though the rust wore off as the Big Red came out firing after halftime, swinging the momentum with a forced fumble, one of six turnovers for the Mob, early in the third quarter. Moments later, the Big Red drove the field and scored, taking the lead after a botched hold on the extra point attempt led to a two-point conversion.

Later in the fourth quarter, the Big Red added an insurance touchdown with a 60-yard pass from freshman quarterback Kevin Fink to sophomore receiver Will Salvi, who had a huge day with 106 yards receiving and two interceptions.

“We had excellent passing protection in the second half and

[Fink] was great in finding the open guy,” Salvi said.

Dillon will try to record back-to-back wins as they take on Keenan Sunday while O’Neill will look to regroup with a bye week.

Keenan 6, Keough 0

A physical, bone-crunching-hit-filled game between Keenan and Keough appeared headed to a scoreless tie, until the Knights managed a late touchdown to edge the Kangaroos and rack their first victory.

Keenan (1-1) ran a fade route from the 20-yard line to the back corner of the endzone with three minutes left. Sophomore quarterback Trevor Yerrick lofted the pass to sophomore wide receiver Alex Green, who snagged the ball to put his team on the board.

Typically one to utilize a deep receiving corps, Yerrick looked mostly to Green on Sunday.

“[Yerrick and Green] have just been gelling very well,” Keenan senior co-captain Jamie Koepsel said. “We have some other very good receivers. It was just today we were able to get some underneath routes to Alex.”

Keenan’s defense, led by sophomore lineman Tyler Gregory, wreaked havoc in the Keough (0-2) backfield, leaving the Kangaroos bruised and battered. The Knights ended with seven sacks.

Despite the strong defensive effort and the ability to move the ball, special teams issues nearly cost Keenan the win. The Knights had two field goals blocked before they put up the winning score.

“We had the opportunity to get some field goals but we were unable to convert,” Koepsel said. “I think that’s a major thing we need to be working on.”

In the end, though, it was a special teams mishap by Keough, that led to the Knight win. A bad snap on a punt allowed Keenan to take over at the 20-yard line and they scored on the next play.

Keough also had a 45-yard touchdown pass early in the game called back for offensive pass interference.

“Two plays were the difference in the game,” Keough senior captain Kevin Laughlin said. “That’s it. It was extremely even otherwise.”

Despite the result, Keough was happy to have played better than their opening contest.

“The fact that we moved the ball and had two or three scoring opportunities was a big plus, so we improved a great deal,” Laughlin said.

Next week, Keenan battles Dillon while Keough looks for their first win against Stanford.

Carroll 27, St. Edward’s 13

In their season opener Sunday, a determined Carroll team stunned St. Edward’s with an impressive victory. The game marked the debut of several standout Vermin freshmen, especially quarterback Jack Gardner and cornerback and receiver Bobby Dorman.

On the first drive of the game, Carroll’s quick first down set the tone for the rest of the contest.

“There were definitely some first-game jitters,” Gardner said. “But we got out there and made some yards on the first drive, and we felt pretty confident after that.”

The smothering Vermin defense stopped the Gentlemen’s first possession with a safety by sophomore captain Keith Marrero. A field goal by freshman kicker Connor Miller later gave the Vermin a 5-0 lead.

St. Ed’s responded with a quarterback sneak into the end zone by senior Matt Abeling. The lead was short lived though, as Dorman intercepted an Abeling pass at the 10-yard line and ran it the length of the field for the touchdown. Miller converted on the extra pointl for a 12-6 lead.

Another Abeling touchdown and extra point regained the Gentlemen’s lead, but it was to be their last.

Gardner found his primary receiver in Dorman, and the two led the charge downfield. Gardner found the middle open on a fake option for the touchdown, and tossed it to freshman receiver Tom Spoonmore on the conversion.

From there the Vermin defense went to work on the Gentlemen, hassling a veteran quarterback with 12 incompletions and a sack on the day. Finally, a second Dorman interception, 50-yard rush and touchdown sealed the Vermin victory.

Captain Keith Marrero attributed the freshman duo with much of Carroll’s opening day success.

“I can’t say enough about Jack and Bobby,” Marrero said. “They were the players of the game.”

The Vermin hope to continue their success next week against Zahm, while St. Edward’s will face Fisher.

Sorin 14, Fisher 6

From the first play to the final knee, Sorin dominated Fisher.

The Otters (1-1) used their size and speed advantage to put away the Green Wave (1-1).

Sorin set the tone of the game from the first play as their linebacker corps hit senior Fisher tailback Michael McMahon and made him cough up the ball.

The Otters made it look easy on their first drive, as

sophomore quarterback Ted Spinelli tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jon Beckerle on a third-and-four play.

“Our wide receivers had a definite size advantage over their cornerbacks,” Beckerle said. “I made a move to get open and [Ted] Spinelli delivered a perfect pass.”

Sorin also used a opportunistic mentality to score points.

“Going into the game, our game plan was to go down the field and throw deep balls,” Spinelli said. “Fisher’s cornerbacks did a good job of keeping everything in front of them, but the one time they slipped up, I took advantage.”

After stopping the Green Wave on their next drive, Sorin again opened up the field as senior tailback Michael Browder took off for a 60-yard run on first down and capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.

Leading the Otters’ offensive line was freshman Taylor Nutter who recorded six pancake blocks.

“Our offensive line overpowered their defensive front and made it easy for me,” Browder said. “On the touchdown run, the left side of the line gave me a huge hole and I punched in the end zone.”

It was not only the Otter offense that came to play. The defense held their ground with their toughness, causing five overall turnovers including three interceptions of junior Fisher quarterback Pat Hertenstein.

The Green Wave caught Sorin by surprise on the final play of the third quarter when Hertenstien threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to McMahon on a second down play.

Fisher had a chance to tie the Otters on their last drive late in the fourth quarter but all Green Wave hopes were shot down immediately when Hertenstein threw an interception on the first play of the drive.

Both teams are looking to improve their records to 2-1 next week. The Green Wave will battle with Carroll while Sorin will face off with Zahm.