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Men’s Interhall: Defending champions fall to unbeaten Dawgs

Kelsey Manning, Adam Llorens, Kristen Lasak, Katie Heit, Megan Golden and David Kenney | Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It was a defensive battle on Sunday as Alumni kept its perfect season intact by dethroning powerhouse Siegfried 6-0.

Siegfried (2-1), the two-time defending champions, was frustrated by Alumni’s steady run game from the outset. On the Dawgs’ first drive of the game junior running back and captain Dan Dansdill put Alumni (3-0) in the red zone with a pair of long rushes. Dansdill accumulated 60 yards rushing on the day.

On fourth-and-goal, freshman quarterback Will Cronin ran it up the middle for a touchdown and sophomore kicker Dan Finan missed the extra point, giving the Dawgs a 6-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

Alumni relied heavily on their run game with a total of 130 yards rushing to just 20 passing.

“[The run game] is what’s been working for us in the past few weeks and we are very confident in it so that was our game plan today,” Cronin said.

The Dawgs attributed much of their success to their offensive line, especially junior center Tim Curran.

“Our offensive line led us to victory,” Dansdill said. “Tim is the cornerstone.”

The Ramblers’ offense, on the other hand, was seriously hampered when senior quarterback Matt Meinert was injured in the first quarter and sat out for the remainder of the game.

Siegfried struggled to put drives together, and although sophomore replacement quarterback David Whitmore and sophomore running back Bryce Burton made a few significant gains, Alumni’s defense held tough.

“[Meinert getting hurt] obviously hurt their game offensively but our defense was awesome today,” Dansdill said. “We had a couple of guys playing positions they had never played before and everyone stepped up.”

While Alumni will seek its fourth win against Knott, Siegfried will take on Morrissey, both at 7:30 p.m. at LaBar Field Thursday.

Morrissey 6, Duncan 0

Both Morrissey and Duncan battled for the full 60 minutes on Sunday, but in the end, it was the Manor (2-1) that triumphed over the Highlanders (1-3).

The game was a defensive struggle from the outset and neither team scored a touchdown.

With the momentum on his side, Morrissey freshman quarterback Nick Conrad settled into his own game and was able to find his open receivers. One of the most spectacular plays of the game occurred on third down with Morrisey out of field goal range when Morissey sophomore tight end Taylor Stein hauled in a 20-yard halfback pass to put the Manor in position to put points on the board.

“In the heat of the moment, Conrad saw freshman wide receiver Andrew Gastelum open,” Stein said. “Instead of catching the ball, Gastelum tipped it right to me. It was one of the best passes we have completed all season.”

Morrissey junior kicker Rory Carroll nailed a 39-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to put his team up 3-0.

“I was a little nervous at first, as it was my first field goal attempt this season,” Carroll said. “I just kept a cool head and hit it through the uprights.”

In the second half, the Manor defense came up strong and forced a quick three-and-out for the Highlanders on their first possession. Morrissey then drove down the field, allowing Carroll again came up big as he nailed his second field goal of the game from 25 yards out.

“We came into this game wanting to get more completions so we have the option of throwing the ball more,” Conrad said. “I completed at least one pass to all four of my wide receivers, so I’d call this game a success.”

As for Duncan, their hopes of becoming the first team in dorm history to make the playoffs are slim to none. Although the Highlanders were able to move the ball through the air at times, the Morrissey defense proved to be too much for them.

The motto of the 2010 Morrissey team is “No Coaches, No Seniors, No Problem.” That motto will be tested like never before this Thursday as the Manor faces perennial championship contender Siegfried.

Carroll 10, Zahm 0

Despite a slow start, Carroll defeated Zahm to extend its win streak and move one step closer to their ultimate goal of a championship.

Both Carroll (3-0) and Zahm (0-3) failed to execute on offense during the first half. The Vermin offense, precise and powerful for much of the season, was plagued by penalties throughout the half. The tough, spirited Zahm defense held Carroll to only a few first downs in the half.

Zahm’s offense, led by sophomore quarterback Alex Bowman, showed improvement from previous games but failed to move effectively up the field. Relying heavily on the passing game, Bowman had problems connecting with receivers.

“We felt we played well,” Zahm freshman offensive tackle Scott Aufderheide said. “Our defense is strong and our offense is getting better. Our offense is clicking well, but isn’t there yet.”

Led by freshman quarterback Jack Gardner, the Vermin offense came out stronger and more determined in the second half.

“We started off slow,” junior running back Nick Tammerine said. “Our coach talked to us at halftime and we got our act together for the rest of the game.”

Carroll finally got on the scoreboard with a field goal to open the fourth quarter. From that point on, the Vermin looked much more like a dominant, undefeated team.

With just under three minutes remaining in the game, Carroll added to its lead as Tammerine ran for a long touchdown.

The Vermin defense held Zahm back and refused to give them the opportunity to score.

The Vermin won a tough game to remain undefeated and realize how important it is to keep working on their game.

“We feel ready for the rest of our games” Tammerine said. “We will work on tackling and staying positive.”

While Carroll looks to continue its winning ways, Zahm is still searching for its first win. After showing a marked improvement on offense, the team remains positive.

Carroll looks to keep its win streak alive this week against Sorin while Zahm looks to break through for its first win against St. Ed’s on Thursday night.

O’Neill 26, Keenan 12

In Sunday’s showdown between Keenan and O’Neill, the Angry Mob’s aerial attack made the difference in the O’Neill win.

The Knights (1-3) took an early lead in the opening minutes of the game when senior quarterback Jamie Koepsel threw a long touchdown pass. After missing the extra point, O’Neill (2-2) took over and took only eight plays to punch the ball into the opposite endzone and tie the score at six. Just four plays later, O’Neill had possession of the ball again, and a 20-yard touchdown pass by junior quarterback J.P. McCabe gave the Mob a 14-6 lead.

Keenan answered with a methodical drive toward the end zone. Just before halftime, however, Keenan threw an interception that O’Neill returned to 40-yard line, effectively ending the half with the score 14-6.

Although the Keenan offense opened the second half with the ball, O’Neill quickly regained possession and tossed a 35-yard touchdown that helped O’Neill open up a 20-6 lead. Soon after, the Mob scored again on a long touchdown pass by McCabe.

In the closing minutes of the game, Keenan narrowed the defecit with a 30-yard touchdown pass to make the final score to 26-12.

“We dominated in every aspect of the game,” O’Neill junior captain Guy Schwartz said. “But they didn’t have their starting quarterback today. You could tell it really hurt them that he didn’t play.”

Keenan was hampered by injuries on the day, as sophomore quarterback Trevor Yerrick was out with an injury, forcing Koepsel into the starting lineup. He was later replaced by sophomore Alex Green.

“We were disappointed, but I’m very proud of the effort and dedication from everyone on the team,” Keenan senior captain Bart Dear said.

Despite the win, O’Neill needed to win big to help its playoff chances and was left underwhelmed by the result.

“We did really great,” Schwartz said, “But I’m a little frustrated because the point differential really does matter so it leaves a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.”

O’Neill will try to earn a playoff berth against Stanford on Thursday at 9:30 at LaBar Field, while Keenan wrapped up its regular season.

Dillon 27, Stanford 8

The battle of unbeatens quickly became a defensive clinic by the Big Red as Dillon dominated in their win over Stanford.

The Big Red (3-0) defense recorded three takeaways on the day with two fumble recoveries and an interception by freshman safety Ben Diaz on the first play of the second half.

“It was a good play. The defensive line gave a lot of good pressure on the quarterback. We were looking for the trick play all game and then we were ready for it,” Diaz said. “I went up, got the ball and came down with it. It worked out for us.”

Stanford (2-1) senior quarterback Tony Rizzo said there were two reasons for the turnovers.

“We had way too many [turnovers],” Rizzo said. “I think it can be attributed to two things- we played really sloppy, but mostly Dillon just played a really good game. They played aggressive on defense, and it looked like they knew what we were going to do, and they played well against it.”

Dillon opened the game with a touchdown and kicked two field goals later in the first half to take the lead at halftime, 13-0.

“We came out a lot better in the first half. We started off strong,” Dillon sophomore coach Lee Haruno said. “Our defense played great. Our captain worked hard to come up with schemes to contain them.”

With the victory, the Big Red wins the Green League title and have secured an automatic bid in the 2010 playoffs.

“Give credit to Stanford. They played hard, they played well. Their offense is very explosive, and we’re just happy to get away with the victory,” Haruno said. “They’ve got a lot of good playmakers on Stanford’s offense, and we were just happy to contain them.”

For Stanford, a win on Thursday would qualify the Griffins for the 2010 playoffs as well.

“We’ve got a game on Thursday. We are excited to bounce back and play well in that,” Rizzo said. “I feel like we can match up with anybody. We had a tough game today but we know what we need to work on.”

The Big Red will play Keough Thursday, while the Griffins will face O’Neill.

Fisher 28, St. Edward’s 12

Fisher found its offense and bolstered its playoff chances with a rout over St. Edward’s.

The Fisher offense started strong on its first drive, pounding the ball down the field with freshman fullback Joe Paggi.

Once the Green Wave (2-2) crossed into St. Edward’s territory, they switched up their attack and junior quarterback Pat Hertinstein hit senior halfback and team captain Michael McMahon for a 40-yard touchdown completion. Fisher then completed a two-point conversion attempt to take an 8-0 lead.

St. Edward’s (1-2) quickly responded, marching down the field behind senior quarterback Matt Abeling to get on the scoreboard.

The St. Edward’s defense seemed to be slowing down the Fisher attack until the third play of the ensuing possession, McMahon took a pitch left and sprinted down the sideline 73-yard Fisher touchdown.

As the first half drew to a close with St. Edward’s looking for a rally, Abeling led the Gentlemen through the air down to the Green Wave’s 3-yard line before scampering into the end zone to put St. Edward’s within two points at halftime.

The two teams butted heads for the entire third quarter, with neither team gaining much ground as physical play ruled the action. In the fourth, an Abeling interception halted a Gentlemen drive, and Fisher began to run out the clock with their signature bruising style.

The Green Wave continued to hand the ball to McMahon, and he eventually found the end zone for a final time on a 45-yard run to put the final score at 28-12.

Fisher felt it was their hard work that got them the victory.

“We had some good practices this week and tried to liven up the guys’ imaginations with our play calling,” McMahon said. “Whether we get to the playoffs is out of our hands now but that would be great.”

The Green Wave wrapped up their regular season Sunday while the Gentlemen play their final game this Thursday.