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Morrissey takes down Knott

| Monday, November 10, 2014

No. 1 Morrissey battled through a defensive matchup to claim a 7-0 victory over No. 8 Knott in the first round of the interhall playoffs.

Morrissey (4-0) had the ball to start the game, and senior quarterback Ryan Lundquist drove the Manor down the field, scoring the game’s only touchdown on a scramble into the end zone from five yards out.

For the remainder of the game, both defenses dominated the contest as neither team could produce on their offensive fronts. The score remained 7-0 at halftime.

Knott (2-2) opened the second half with possession but was forced to punt. Morrissey started to move the ball with some momentum, before Knott junior safety Griffin Carroll halted the drive with an interception.

A sack of Juggerknott senior quarterback and captain David Taiclet by the Manor defense led to a turnover on downs and prevented Knott from capitalizing on Carroll’s interception.

Despite the Manor’s attempt to run out the clock, Knott took over from its own five-yard line with a little more than three minutes left in the game.

Taiclet and the Knott offense were able to move the ball until Morrissey junior cornerback Pete Ciuffo intercepted a pass and returned it all the way to the Knott 10-yard line, crushing Knott’s hopes for a late-game comeback.

Morrissey captain Erik Rayno praised the Juggerknotts and his team’s performance.

“Knott played tough, just like we knew they would,” Rayno said. “They have talented players, and they can both move the ball on offense and shut you down on defense. The defense did an outstanding job of pressuring Knott’s quarterback and keeping their offense in check. We have a couple of things to work on on offense, but I’m confident that with our starters back in against Stanford, we’re going to be all right.”

Taiclet said he was proud of Knott’s performance, especially defensively.

“Our defense was outstanding today; except for one big play, we were able to shut them down defensively, which is saying something since they are a much bigger team than us,” Taiclet said. “I think if you ask any of the teams that played or watched us play, they would say we were one of the best teams in Interhall. We had a ton of talent, but we were small.”

Morrissey will play the Griffins next week for a spot in the championship game, and Rayno said he believes his team is ready for the challenge.

“Stanford is a very big and very physical football team, so I think a lot of this week needs to be dedicated to creating a mental toughness just as much as a physical one.” Rayno said. “We know what we have to do, and our work is cut out for us, but we’re confident in our abilities as a football team.”

The Manor take on Stanford on Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

About Tyler Wojciak

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