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Top interhall squads prepare to do battle

Mike Monaco, Nick Boyle, Scott Frano, Andrew Cardoza, James Southard, Ernst Cleofe | Friday, October 7, 2011

Two of the top teams in men’s interhall will square off Sunday when Carroll takes on Sorin.

The Otters (2-0) are coming off a bye week and will be well-rested when they take the field for the first time in 14 days. Their last victory, a 7-0 defensive battle against Zahm, left the Otters disappointed with their performance, junior quarterback Ted Spinelli said.

“We suffered a little bit of a setback in our second game,” Spinelli said. “We’re hoping to get back on track against Carroll.”

Sorin lacked an aerial threat in its second game, something it hopes to change against the Vermin (2-1).

“We need to improve our passing game,” Spinelli said. “We usually end up with a few big plays, but we didn’t get those against Zahm.”

Sorin will look to get junior receiver Ryan Robinson more touches, with the hope that he can jump-start the passing attack.

Carroll looks to put together back-to-back wins to close out the regular season. The Vermin know the season finale is vital as they look to earn a postseason berth.

“We view every game as a must-win,” junior captain Keith Marrero said. “We want to come out on top every week, but we are definitely viewing this [game] as a must-win for the playoffs.”

With just one game left to play and a playoff spot on the line, Marrero said Carroll will not hold anything back.

“Since this is our last game, we’ve sort of put it all out there as far as our playbook is concerned,” Marrero said. “Other teams like Sorin might have seen our [strategies], so we might try to change a few things up.”

Carroll and Sorin face off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields with playoff spots at stake.

Contact Mike Monaco at

[email protected]

Alumni vs. Knott

Alumni and Knott will both look to bounce back from tough losses and push toward the playoffs when they square off Sunday afternoon.

The Dawgs (2-1) are coming off a tough 13-3 loss to Siegfried, where the offense struggled to produce, sophomore running back Kevin Rolfs said.

“The offense wasn’t able to get going against Siegfried last week,” Rolfs said. “This kept the defense on the field the whole game, which led them to getting tired. We need to be better offensively this week.”

Alumni will look to come out firing Sunday and hopes the offense clicks.

“We need to eliminate turnovers against Knott and get our offense going from the start,” Rolfs said.

Coming off of a bye week, Knott (1-1) will look to come back strong from a loss two weeks ago to Siegfried, in which turnovers plagued the Juggerknotts.

“We fumbled twice on the 1-yard line against Siegfried and it killed us,” Knott captain and senior running back Dan Shaffer said. “We need to sharpen things up offensively and limit our turnovers on Sunday.”

Knott used its bye week to regain focus during practice.

“We’ve focused on details and fundamentals a lot during practice this last week,” Shaffer said. “We’re going to need to be mentally tough against Alumni if we want to win.”

Alumni and Knott look to improve their playoff chances when they face off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Contact Nick Boyle at [email protected]

Zahm vs. St. Edward’s

Zahm and St. Edward’s will meet this Sunday in the “Battle for the Shadow,” so named because of the dorms’ proximity to the Golden Dome.

St. Edward’s (1-1) got its first win last week in a 9-8 triumph over Fisher. The Gentlemen’s defense was immense against the Green Wave, holding off a late rally to escape with the win. Senior captain and linebacker Ryan Kim said he was happy with the defense’s improved play.

“We got some players back who were injured and that helped out a lot,” Kim said. “I think we were more aggressive and worked better together, communicating better on what we need to do.”

Kim said the rivalry would be an important aspect of the game, but said he also knows the results could make or break St. Edward’s season.

“I always like playing Zahm because there’s a big rivalry there,” Kim said. “But we’re 1-1, so this could determine whether or not we’re eligible for the playoffs, and that’s our goal.”

Zahm (0-2) is looking to get into the win column for the first time this year. Senior captain Ryan Costello said he saw some bright spots in his team’s 9-0 loss to Carroll last week.

“We have a really good defense, and we made some offensive progress,” Costello said. “We feel good about that, and we feel good about what the defense did once again. There are things to build on.”

Costello said this game has a little more importance to it than other games.

“There’s always a rivalry with St. Edward’s and last year on our Thursday night game, we came out and beat them and we took a lot of pride in that.”

Zahm and St. Edward’s will meet in the “Battle for the Shadow” Sunday at 2 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Contact Scott Frano at [email protected]

Siegfried vs. Morrissey

Morrissey and Siegfried will battle it out Sunday as both teams look to make a late playoff push.

Siegfried (2-0) comes off an impressive victory over Alumni last week and has started the year undefeated. However, they realize Morrissey (0-2) will come seeking its first victory of the year.

“We expect Morrissey to play fast and hit hard just like they do every year,” Siegfried senior captain John Aversa said. “We’ve got to be sharp on both sides of the ball to stand a chance at winning this week.”

Siegfried hopes to shore up last week’s defensive miscues and improve the offense. Aversa said the Ramblers still feel the pain of losing to Dillon in the semifinals last year.

“We are just trying to get better every game and this is no exception,” Aversa said. “We use last year’s season as inspiration for every game we play this year.”

Meanwhile, Morrissey is looking to get its first win this year. The Manor came up short against Duncan last week. Morrissey junior captain Alex Oloriz said his team would be motivated to get a win.

“I expect my team to play hard for 48 minutes,” Oloriz said. “I expect our opponent will do the same.”

As one of the lowest scoring teams in interhall this year, Morrissey will look to improve its offense against Duncan. Oloriz expects the game to be physical and said it will be determined by the offensive line.

“Our big boys up front will make the difference,” Oloriz said.

Siegfried and Morrissey square off at 2 p.m. at Riehle Fields with each hoping to increase its playoff chances.

Contact Andrew Cardoza at

[email protected]

Dillon vs. Keough

Dillon and Keough square off Sunday in a contest that will determine their paths for the postseason.

Dillon (2-1) is coming off a 17-0 shutout win against Stanford. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Fink came out hot with two touchdowns to lead the team.

Junior captain Will Salvi said Dillon’s loss to Keenan two weeks ago motivated the team against Stanford.

“Last week, we had a chip on our shoulder because of the loss [to Keenan],” junior captain Will Salvi said. “That loss was my first of the regular season in my time here [at Notre Dame].”

The Big Red is looking to strengthen their playoff resumé after forcing two quick turnovers and gaining 195 total offensive yards last week.

“The only mentality we can have coming into this game is the knowledge that if we win, we should make the playoffs,” Salvi said. “If we don’t, we need to be lucky to get in.”

Keough (0-2) had a bye last week. The team only scored six points in its first two games. Despite the team’s record, the Kangaroos have reason for optimism following a close loss to Stanford, junior captain Robert Toole said.

“It’s really just problems with execution,” Toole said. “We’re hoping the offense gets on track and takes pressure off the defense.”

Toole said the defense is the team’s strength, holding Keenan to 100 yards and allowing just one score against Stanford.

“The defense has made a big impact in each game,” Toole said.

However, the offense’s nine turnovers have stifled any opportunity for points.

Dillon and Keough will square off this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Contact James Southard at [email protected]

O’Neill vs. Stanford

With the playoffs approaching, O’Neill and Stanford will meet Sunday in a game that could affect both of their post-season prospects.

Stanford (1-1) is coming off a tough 17-0 loss to Dillon. Stanford junior captain Paul Babiak said that after a game lost through mistakes, the Griffins hope to make changes.

“There were a couple of adjustments we could’ve made during halftime,” Babiak said. “We need to be able to do that next week.”

With an even record, the team will most likely need a win to earn a playoff bid. The playoff push and a heated rivalry make this game especially important.

“Two years ago, there was a brawl during our game with them, and since then things have gotten a little feisty,” Babiak said. “But we’re going to go in confident.”

O’Neill (0-2) has not had a great start to the season, including last week’s 35-14 loss to undefeated Keenan.

“So far we’ve been better than what has happened on the field,” O’Neill junior captain Alex Brolick said. “We’re just not executing.”

The playoffs appear out of reach for O’Neill, but the Mob will still have a chance to play spoiler.

“Last week, we played better on offense and we want to build off of that,” Brolick said. “Our offensive line did a really good job and we want to use that to improve our running game and give our quarterback time.”

Stanford and O’Neill meet this Sunday at 3 p.m. in a new chapter of a recent rivalry.

Contact Ernst Cleofe at [email protected]