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Men’s Interhall: Green Wave grabs defensive victory from St. Ed’s

Alex Stembaugh | Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The anticipated defensive showdown between Fisher and St. Edward’s certainly lived up to the hype, as the Green Wave (1-0) emerged with a 6-2 victory in a scrappy, low-scoring game.

Fisher set the tone early with a strong opening drive, led by 38 rushing yards from junior quarterback Joe Paggi, who . Paggicapped the first possession with a two-yard touchdown run to take the lead.

“We did really well on that first drive,” Green Wave senior captain Matt Hart said. “We just need that intensity and consistency on offense throughout the whole game.”

The Fisher defense pressured the St. Edward’s offense and forced punts on each of the Gentlemen’s first two possessions. St. Edward’s (0-2) was able to pick up two first downs with a series of completions by junior quarterback Paul Rodriguez to sophomore tight end John Wetzel before it was the Green Wave halted the drive.

The Fisher offense, however, had difficulty getting the ball to the quarterback. After four bad snaps – one recovered by St. Edward’s – for losses totaling over 30 yards, a fifth snap sailed over Paggi’s head. He recovered it in the end zone and was tackled by St. Edward’s junior defensive end Jon Chepkevich for the safety.

“We had a lot of good penetration on defense, forcing a few turnovers,” Chepkevich said. “On offense we couldn’t really get it worked out yet, but our defense came up big when we needed it.”

Fisher’s defense recovered a fumble and had three interceptions, enforcing what the Fisher defense likes to call a “no-fly zone.”

“Our defense played exceptionally,” senior captain Matt Hart said. “We operated today with a no-fly zone, and a no-run zone as well.”

Fisher looks for a win against Zahm on Sunday, while St. Edward’s has the weekend off before taking on Zahm on Oct. 7.

Contact Alex Stembaugh at [email protected]

Carroll 10, Zahm 0

Sports Writer

Carroll beat Zahm 10-0 in a battle of quarterbacks Sunday.
junior In their first possession of the ball, the Vermin (2-0) ran the ball down the field but came up just shy of the touchdown. Forced to kick a field goal, Carroll took a 3-0 lead.

At the beginning of the second quarter, senior running back David Stitcher rushed into the end zone from a few yards out for ddthe first Vermin touchdown.

“[The offense] has some things to work on but we played a lot better than last week,” junior quarterback Tommy Spoonmore said. “We want to make sure we keep working and keep our passing game open.”

At the end of the first half, Zahm (0-2) drove the ball down the field with only 1:12 remaining. With the ball on the 15-yard line, senior quarterback Alex Bowman threw three incomplete passes and the Zahmbies were unable to put any points on the board.

Last season, Zahm scored just one touchdown, something the Zahmbies are looking to change this season.

“Our goal for the season is to score a touchdown,” freshman defensive back Ryan Tang said.

Although the offense was unable to score, the Zahmbies stopped the Vermin from scoring any points in the second half. The defense was led by sophomore defensive back Sam Zappa and Tang. Zappa made many key tackles and forced a fumble late in the game.

The Zahmbies look to get their first win of the season against Fisher on Sunday, while Carroll tries to stay undefeated against Sorin the same day.

Contact Sarah Connors at [email protected]

Dillon 14, Stanford 0

Sports Writer

Despite facing strong play at the line of scrimmage from Stanford, Dillon ran the ball to a 14-0 victory Sunday.

In the first half, Dillon (1-1) tried to pound the ball up the middle, but the Stanford (0-2) defense clogged the lanes and held the Big Red to small gains. In the fourth quarter, however, Dillon took control after several interceptions. Stanford senior captain Paul Babiak said turnovers made all the difference.

“The turning point was turnovers,” Babiak said. “We’d get to the red zone and not be able to capitalize. … It’s frustrating knowing we dominated on the line and didn’t get the win.”

Babiak said Stanford has a lot of work to do in the coming weeks.

“We just have to start from the ground up, at square one,” Babiak said.

Senior defensive back Ben Ferry was the star of a solid Big Red defense. He had four interceptions, including the game-changer at the end of the third quarter that led to Dillon’s first touchdown. Junior captain Kevin Fink said field position on the play was key.

“In the second half we got better field position,” Fink said. “Our defense gave our offense some breathing room.”

Dillon took advantage of big blocks to run in two fourth-quarter touchdowns, both following interceptions. Ferry said staying focused on its approach allowed the offense to score late.

“We made a commitment to running the ball, and the two or 3-yard runs turned into big plays behind big [senior offensive lineman] Rob Burkett and his beard,” Ferry said.

Dillon will look to continue its momentum against Keough on Sunday, while Stanford will try to rebound against O’Neill on Sunday.

Contact Samantha Zuba at [email protected]

Siegfried 15, Alumni 8

Sports Writer

In a heated contest of rival defenses, Siegfried edged Alumni 15-8 in a game that evens both teams’ records.

The Ramblers (1-1) found success with freshman receivers Grady Schmidt and Spencer Judd, who combined for Siegfried’s two touchdowns and one two-point conversion.

“Our offense was really working with the run and the pass,” senior captain and running back David Whitmore said. “Our running was setting up our passing, and that’s how we scored our first touchdown.”

Siegfried took control early with a touchdown from Schmidt on the game’s first drive, but most of the Ramblers’ yardage came from Whitmore’s carries. Still, the captain knows exactly where his team needs to improve.

“I saw improvement in our execution of the plays, but not in our mental focus,” Whitmore said. “That was a big problem in our last game and it was a problem again today.”

On the other side of the ball, Alumni junior captain Tom O’Sullivan had mixed emotions about the game. The Dawgs (1-1) briefly led the Ramblers 8-7 after a safety, a touchdown pass to freshman receiver Tyler Thompson and a failed two-point conversion.

“We’re pretty bummed,” O’Sullivan said. “We played well, well enough to win, but it was just one or two mistakes that could have been alleviated if we had practiced.”

O’Sullivan said his team struggled to come together for a strong practice in the week leading up to the game and that in the future more emphasis will be placed on expanding the offense.

With both teams looking to secure a winning record, Alumni faces Knott and Siegfried squares off against Morrissey on Sunday.

Contact Lesley Stevenson at [email protected]

Keenan 21, O’Neill 0

Sports Writer

Keenan’s motto all season has been to finish the job. After Sunday’s 21-0 shutout win over O’Neill, the Knights (2-0) are one step closer to that objective.

“We played really well,” senior captain and quarterback Andrew McDonough said. “All phases of the game: offense, defense, special teams.”

The defense was once again the story for the Knights, tallying four sacks, including two by senior defensive lineman Tyler Gregory, and an interception by freshman defensive back J.C. Sullivan on the 3-yard line to end O’Neill’s final drive.

For O’Neill (0-1), it certainly wasn’t the start to the season they had hoped for, junior captain Eric Reed said.

“[It was] very disappointing,” Reed said. “Keenan’s a very good team and we probably were a little more unprepared than we thought.”

Not only was O’Neill shut out, but they also lost starting freshman quarterback Jack Larson to an ankle injury. With Larson out, O’Neill hoped to control the game with its rushing attack, but the Angry Mob was held to just nine yards rushing on 15 carries.

“We have to improve our running game, that is our main priority,” Reed said. “We need better attendance at practice. People didn’t know their blocks.”

Keenan was able to stonewall O’Neill’s rushing attack even without starting senior linebacker Adam Holzmeister, who was sidelined with a sprained ankle.

“We told the young guys all week it’s your chance to step up,” McDonough said. “They really did that and played one heck of a game.”

McDonough shined once again for the Knights, going 10-for-15 for 163 yards and two long touchdown passes, a 40-yard completion to freshman receiver John Gregory to put the Knights up 14-0 before the half, and a 30-yard score to junior receiver Jeremy Riche on fourth down to make it 21-0.

McDonough got it going on the ground as well, leading his team in rushing with 72 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

With two dominating wins to start the season, Keenan’s goals are sky high.

“If we can do this all year, I see no reason why we shouldn’t be in [Notre Dame] Stadium,” McDonough said.

Keenan has a bye before taking on Stanford in the Battle of the Chapel in two weeks, while O’Neill looks to rebound against Stanford on Sunday.

Contact Alex Wilcox at [email protected]

Morrissey 7, Duncan 3

Sports Writer

With help from a couple decisive penalties, Morrissey won its first game of the season, leaving a struggling Duncan squad empty-handed.

The Manor (1-0) started the scoring with a third-down catch by freshman receiver Cooper Cohen, who ran an extra 50 yards for the touchdown.

“It was very exciting,” Cohen said. “It was fun to be out here today. … It was a little messy but we came out with a win.”

From there, the battle came down to penalties and turnovers.
Duncan (0-2) fought through a second quarter drive to secure a field goal, and just before the half the Highlanders thought they had taken the lead with a touchdown pass to junior receiver Robbie Hammer. The play was called back due to an illegal formation penalty.

Morrissey’s defense then stopped a field goal attempt, which kept the score at 7-3.

“It was a bit of a rough game,” Duncan junior captain Gerrit Hobson said. “The blocked field goal was pretty disappointing.”

Turnovers plagued both teams but never resulted in points. In the middle of the second half, Highlanders sophomore Eric Krakowiak intercepted a pass at the Morrissey 30-yard line. The ensuing drive, however, ended with an interception by Morrissey junior defensive back James Peterson. The Manor immediately lost the ball on a fumble recovered by Duncan senior Neil Eveld, but they regained control on an interception by junior defensive back Andrew Gastelum.

“We knew our defense coming into the game was going to be our strong point and that showed when we had those two big interceptions,” Morrissey senior captain Taylor Stein said.

The Highlanders played without their usual starting quarterback, junior Josh Whelan, and instead rotated between sophomores Matt Garcia and Pete McGinley.

“I thought they both did a great job today,” Hobson said. “I was really proud of them.”

Duncan will look for its first win when it takes on Siegfried after a bye this weekend, and Morrissey will square off with the Ramblers on Sunday.

Contact Lesley Stevenson at [email protected]