Men’s Interhall: Knott prepares for undefeated Keenan
Observer Sports Writers | Friday, November 9, 2012
By KYLE FOLEY
Second-round playoff action continues Sunday, as No. 3 Knott squares off against No. 2 Keenan with a trip to the championship game in Notre Dame Stadium on the line.
Coming off a 14-0 shutout against Fisher in last Sunday’s quarterfinals, Knott (4-1-0) will look to stay on pace offensively.
“I loved our ability to run the ball and our defense [against Fisher] especially because we had several starters out with injuries,” senior captain Joe Beglane said. “Fisher’s quarterback is a big guy, and it was tough to stop him on the run. I would like to see us run-defend better against Keenan’s quarterback.”
Meanwhile, Keenan (4-0-1) continues to use the team motto of “One step at a time.” After losing as the top seed in the first round of last year’s playoffs, the Knights have taken each game of the season one step at a time, senior captain Andrew McDonough said.
Similarly, Beglane said the Juggerknotts hope to maintain their composure and avoid looking too far ahead.
“I like our chances if we can execute and not let them have any big plays,” Beglane said. “We just have to focus on one game at a time. We cannot lose focus and start thinking about the Stadium.”
Last Sunday, Keenan shut down a dark-horse Alumni team in a hard-hitting game that turned on Keenan’s performance in the trenches. McDonough said the Knights would look to succeed up front against the Juggerknotts, as well.
“In order to be successful, we need to control the line,” McDonough said. “If we do this, it allows us to establish a run game, which in turn opens up the field for our receivers. If we can do this, I feel very optimistic about the outcome of Sunday’s game.”
The depth of the Knights squad has helped carry the team to an undefeated record thus far, McDonough said.
“We live by ‘Next man up,'” McDonough said. “If someone goes down, we have the young guys to help us out. It is this depth that has contributed to our team unity and has enabled us to win.”
Sunday’s matchup promises to be a hard-hitting contest. With a trip to historic Notre Dame Stadium on the line, Knott takes on Keenan on Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar Fields..
Contact Kyle Foley at [email protected]
Sorin vs. Keough
By D.H. KIM
Coming off important victories in last weekend’s quarterfinals, No. 1 Sorin and No. 4 Keough meet in Sunday’s semifinals with a berth to the championship game on the line.
In its quarterfinal matchup, Sorin (5-0) overpowered Dillon’s defense and shut down the Big Red offense to earn a 14-0 shutout..
Meanwhile, Keough (4-0-1) needed every minute to put away a tough Siegfried squad in its quarterfinal showdown. With 30 seconds left in the second half and the score tied 6-6, Keough junior quarterback Seamus Donegan threw the game-winning, six-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Mitch Patin.
Donegan said he anticipates a tough defensive battle this weekend.
“Both teams will have solid defenses this week, and we have to continue that,” Donegan said. “I don’t know much about Sorin, but we try not to worry and just play our football.
After the Kangaroos committed several turnovers against Siegfried, Donegan said his team would focus on maintaining strong possession of the football.
Keough will also look for contributions from senior cornerback Joe Williams and senior defensive lineman Robby Toole, who were both critical in holding Siegfried to six points, Donegan said.
Sorin, meanwhile, avenged its loss to Dillon in last year’s championship game by defeating the Big Red. Senior captain and running back Ryan Robinson scored both touchdowns in the semifinal game.
“We have always had a solid defense and that will be our key,” Robinson said. “We just have to keep doing what we have been doing.”
Senior quarterback Ted Spinelli is expected to play despite an injury that forced him out of Sorin’s game against Carroll several weeks ago. Although the injury provided a major scare for the Otters, Spinelli returned the next week and has put up solid numbers since.
Sorin and Keough will meet in a battle of strong defenses Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at LaBar Fields.
Contact D.H. Kim at [email protected].