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Men’s Interhall: Stanford bests Keough in defensive battle

Jonathan Warren, Brian Hartnett, Isaac Lorton, Andrew Cardoza, Ernst Cleofe, and Meghan Roder | Monday, September 26, 2011

Stanford 7, Keough 0

In a battle of defensive wills, Stanford overtook Keough, winning its first game of the season 7-0.

The game was locked 0-0 until a 20-yard touchdown run by freshman Dan Groom in the second quarter decided the game for the Griffins (1-0).

“Overall, we looked great at times and bad at others,” junior captain Paul Babiak said. “We had some first-game jitters. We have some kinks we need to work out, but everyone was really happy with how the game turned out.”

Despite a strong performance from the offensive line, Stanford’s offense struggled against the Kangaroos’ defense.

“At times we looked really sloppy, and we just need to work that out in practice,” Babiak said. “We have a lot to work on, but it’s very doable. We looked very strong, and I think we’ll continue to show that.”

The Kangaroos (0-2) failed to score on the Griffins, as the offense committed six turnovers and failed to gain any kind of consistency.

“We made a lot of mistakes and committed a lot of turnovers on offense,” junior linebacker and captain Robert Toole said. “Our defense continued to be a bright spot for us.”

Strong performances from sophomore safety Michael Fischer and junior linebacker Andy Heck aided in the Kangaroos’ defensive effort.

“Once we work out some execution issues, we’ll greatly improve our chances of winning out the rest of this season,” Toole said.

Keough next takes on Dillon on Oct. 9, while the Griffins look to remain undefeated against Dillon on Sunday.

Sorin 7, Zahm 0

One touchdown was all that Sorin needed to remain undefeated, as the Otters beat Zahm 7-0 in a close defensive struggle.

Sorin (2-0) finally broke through in the third quarter when junior receiver Ryan Robinson caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in double coverage from junior quarterback Ted Spinelli, the end result of a methodical 65-yard drive.

“We ran a basic hitch-and-go route, and I was able to use my elevation to go up and beat the defenders to the ball,” Robinson said.

Robinson’s touchdown proved to be the one offensive highlight in a game marked mostly by defensive stops and turnovers.

Sorin received its big break late in the second quarter when it forced a Zahmbie (0-1) fumble on Zahm’s 18-yard line. However, the Otters wasted the opportunity just plays later, when Zahm senior linebacker Greg Bennett intercepted a Spinelli toss in the end zone. The Otters also missed a crucial 30-yard field goal at the end of the first half.

“We got the victory, but we are not happy with the way we played,” Robinson said. “The Zahm defense really threw us for a loop.”

Zahm’s defensive scheme, called the “Pizza Formation,” held the strong Sorin offense in check. However, the Zahmbies’ offensive struggles prevented any comeback attempts, as the offense was only able to muster one first down on the day.

Bennett, one of the leaders for the Zahmbies, concluded that the team needed to make some drastic changes heading into the upcoming game.

“There needs to be a coup-d’état on this Zahm team,” Bennett said. “I plan on starting as running back next week, and senior defensive end Luke Lennon should be our new kicker.”

Sorin takes the field next on Oct. 9 against Carroll, while Zahm looks to gain its first victory when it takes on Carroll on Sunday.

Alumni 6, Duncan 0

Alumni showed off its strong defense with its second straight shutout, keeping Duncan on its heels and ultimately emerging from the hard-fought defensive battle with a 6-0 victory.

“I was really proud of our defense,” senior running back and captain Dan Dansdill said. “We like to rotate our defensive players a lot to keep them fresh, and it worked again today.”

Along with this mobile defense, Alumni (2-0) stuck to a smash-mouth running offense. The Dawgs ran for 128 yards, with Dansdill running for 55 yards and sophomore running back Kevin Rolfs running for 51.

“We have a strong offensive line,” Dansdill said. “So we let them work on people and run behind them.”

There was not much of a passing game without the services of starting sophomore quarterback Will Cronin. However, freshman quarterback Tyler Barron filled in, getting the job done.

“Tyler did a great job stepping in and leading our offense,” Dansdill said.

The lone score came on a quarterback sneak, as Barron punched it in the end zone from one yard out after the Highlanders fumbled on their own 30-yard line.

The Highlanders failed to get their offense running against the Dawgs’ stout defense.

“We couldn’t run the ball very well today, so we had to resort to passing,” junior right tackle and captain Neil Eveld said. “Once they figured that out, it was hard to pass as well.”

Duncan (0-2) struggled with key turnovers and penalties, which crippled its offense.

“We can’t make mistakes,” Eveld said. “Turnovers and penalties kill drives.”

The Highlanders look to improve next week as they seek their first win against Morrissey, while the Dawgs hope to shut out Siegfried.

Siegfried 9, Knott 0

It took one big play from Siegfried senior defensive back Will Gesicki to help the Ramblers defeat Knott 9-0 in an interhall grudge match.

Gesicki recovered a fumble on the second defensive drive of the game and returned it 47 yards for a Rambler touchdown. It was all Siegfried (1-0) would need to defeat Knott (1-1).

“All I knew was once I saw that football, it was my job to pick it up and go the distance,” Gesicki said. “I got a great bounce and managed to take it back to the house.”

The slick field and wet football resulted in a very sloppy game, with the two teams combining for only 173 yards of total offense. The conditions resulted in four botched quarterback snaps, two fumbles, one interception and a poor snap on an extra point that was never kicked.

The key play in the game occurred in the second quarter when Knott fumbled the ball on Siegfried’s one-yard line. That was its only trip to the red zone in the game.

The Ramblers’ defense played well, containing junior quarterback Jake Coleman in the pocket and holding him to only nine passing yards. The Ramblers were led by senior defensive end Mike Dineen, who had four sacks, two forced fumbles and 13 total tackles.

“Our defense’s great line pressure helped our guys on both ends of the field,” Dineen said. “It really closed up the field for them.”

The Ramblers look to continue their winning streak against Alumni on Sunday, while the Juggerknotts hope to recover against Alumni on Oct. 9.

Fisher 6, Carroll 0

Fisher outlasted Carroll in a grueling battle, emerging with a 6-0 win after scoring the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.

From the start of the game, both teams were locked in a defensive matchup while the offenses struggled to make progress down the field.

Fisher (1-1) relied heavily on its running game and proceeded to wear down the Carroll (1-1) defense. In the fourth quarter, the offense finally broke through by stringing together solid gains through the air with quick passing routes.

Sophomore quarterback Joe Paggi scored the only points of the game with a designed inside quarterback run from inside the five-yard line.

The Green Wave held on to win after two costly penalties by Carroll. On the next Fisher drive following the touchdown, Carroll jumped offsides on a fourth-down punt, allowing Fisher to run down the clock further. Then on the subsequent Carroll drive, sophomore quarterback Jack Gardner threw a deep pass that was picked off by the Fisher defense. The interception, Gardner’s second of the game, halted what had been Carroll’s strongest offensive drive and sealed the Fisher win.

The win gives the Green Wave their first victory of the season after a disappointing loss to Sorin in its opening game.

“Last week was a tough one ⎯ our offense had trouble,” Paggi said. “It’s nice to be back up and win this week.”

The loss brings the Vermin to .500, and going forward they look to reduce the mental mistakes that have hurt them in the first two games of the season.

“We came out and had a lot of mental mistakes,” junior captain Keith Marrero said. “For us, the game was lost between the ears.”

Carroll looks to rebound against Zahm next week, while Fisher hopes to start a winning streak against St. Edward’s.

Keenan 14, Dillon 6

Keenan was a cohesive force that took the game by storm in a 14-6 win over Dillon.

From the bench to the starting lineup, the Knights (2-0) were ready to play against the Big Red (1-1).

“This was a team unity win. Everyone was ready to go from the snap,” junior Andrew McDonough said. “Even though we were short-handed, we still came out on top. One of our captains, [senior] Erik Blackwood, was out and a few men were injured. Regardless, with [sophomore] Jeremy Riche, [junior] Kevin Walsh and [senior] Nick Burley, we did what needed to be done and took control. Our offensive line was unstoppable.”

Junior receiver Nate Carr made himself comfortable in the end zone, snagging a touchdown reception. Along with Carr, Riche caught a shoestring pass and ran it into the endzone to score the second touchdown.

On the other side of the line, Dillon’s defense kept it in the game while the offense struggled.

“The blame [falls] on the quarterback. I made too many mistakes today,” sophomore quarterback Kevin Fink said. “Keenan put us in a position where we had to throw the ball to make some plays, and I didn’t make good enough decisions. The credit has to go to Keenan. Keenan has a good offense and they beat us fair and square.”

Dillon’s defense was its saving grace. Senior Evan Wray had an impressive interception that kept the fire burning for Dillon towards the end of the game, and freshman Colin Terndrup brought refreshing intensity to the field, but it was not enough to hold off Keenan.

Both teams will take the field next Sunday at 3 p.m. at Riehle Fields, as Dillon faces Stanford and Keenan takes on O’Neill.