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Men’s Interhall: Keough claims first interhall title

By Alex Carson | Sunday, November 24, 2013

All three of No. 4 Keough’s units – offense, defense and special teams – contributed to its first interhall title Sunday with a 12-0 victory over No. 2 Alumni at Notre Dame Stadium.

The Kangaroos (6-1) controlled the game from the start, as they forced an early three-and-out on Alumni’s first drive.

Senior Samuel Bungum blocked the ensuing Dawgs punt, allowing the Keough offense to take over on the 20-yard line.

Kangaroos senior quarterback and captain Seamus Donegan then converted an 11-yard pass to sophomore receiver Mitchell Patin to keep Keough’s drive alive on fourth down. Donegan connected with Patin again from four yards out a few plays later to give Keough a 6-0 lead. The Dawgs (6-1) stopped the ensuing two-point conversion when Donegan’s failed to complete a pass attempt.

“We watched [Alumni’s] semifinal game and were able to pinpoint some of the weaker areas in their secondary,” Patin said. “We made their defensive backs pick one receiver to cover, which made it easier for us to move the ball through the air.”

After both teams’ second drives ended in turnovers, Keough’s defense forced Alumni to  punt, and the Kangaroos took over on the Dawgs’ 41-yard line.

From there, Donegan worked the ball down the field and connected with senior receiver Kyle Gurrola for a 13-yard touchdown. Alumni stopped the two-point conversion again to keep the score at 12-0.

“Our defense came out really strong and shut them down early to give our offense a short field,” Donegan said. “It made things a lot easier for us to score.”

An interception by Keough freshman defensive back Matthew Mooney allowed the Kangaroos to go into the half up two scores.

After the break, Keough and Alumni traded punts. The Kangaroos were able to swing field position when Donegan’s pooch punt left the Dawgs 85 yards away from the end zone at the start of the fourth quarter.

The Alumni offense seemed up to the task, as sophomore quarterback Trevor Hurley connected with senior captain and receiver Jeff Kraemer on three occasions to pick up first downs. Alumni gained 81 of its 133 yards of total offense on the drive but stalled out after it failed to convert on fourth down on the Keough four-yard line.

“Today, [Keough] got the lucky bounces, and that’s just the way it goes,” Kraemer said. “It was a hell of a year and a lot of fun.”

Backed up in the shadow of their own goal line, the Kangaroos moved closer to the title when Donegan connected with Patin for a 29-yard gain. Keough punted shortly after the play, but Alumni’s last chance at a comeback ended with a Gurrola interception.

“I knew they were going to throw it deep, and we went into prevent [defense],” Gurrola said. “We wanted to make one last big play, and I was fortunate enough to make it. This is my last football game, and I’m going to remember it for the rest of my life.”

Donegan, who threw for 114 yards, said the victory was even more special for him, considering his team went winless just two seasons ago.

“[Winning the championship] means a lot,” Donegan said. “From going winless two years ago to even just get to the stadium was really special. To win it with my brothers, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Contact Alex Carson at [email protected].