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Siegfried knocks off Carroll

| Monday, November 10, 2014

No. 6-seed Siegfried held the offense of No. 3-seed Carroll out of the end zone en route to a 14-0 upset win Sunday.

The victory over the Vermin advanced the Ramblers (3-2) to the next round of the interhall playoffs. The Ramblers scored what would prove to be the winning touchdown on their first play from scrimmage, as freshman wide receiver Sean McMinimee beat double coverage to catch a 30-yard pass along the left sideline. The secondary failed to catch up to him, and McMinimee sprinted another 35 yards downfield for the touchdown.

Carroll’s unfavorable start continued as an errant pass resulted in a Siegfried interception just a few plays later. However, the Vermin defense stood stout for the remainder of the quarter, holding Siegfried out of the red zone and forcing a punt to keep the score within six points after the first quarter.

The beginning of the second quarter brought more setbacks for a beleaguered Carroll offense, however. On a fourth-down play at their own goal line, the Vermin holder bobbled the snap and was tackled in Carroll’s end zone for a safety to bring the score to 8-0.

The Carroll defense played close man coverage on the ensuing possession and earned an interception of their own. Carroll sophomore running back, linebacker and captain Zachary Dodd said he was satisfied with the work of his team’s defense.

“I think our defense did a pretty good job,” Dodd said. “Giving up a 65-yard touchdown on the first play of the game is tough thing to bounce back from, but I thought we responded well. We didn’t give up any offensive touchdowns the rest of the game, and our turnovers gave us some great opportunities, but unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize. Overall, I think the defense played a good game, just came up a little short.”

The half concluded with no further scoring from either team, leaving the score 8-0 at the start of the third. Carroll adjusted its offensive game plan after half time, abandoning its methodical running game in favor of a more focused short-yardage passing attack. A lengthy drive fueled by a 40-yard reception placed the Vermin in the red zone, but McMinimee intercepted an under-thrown pass to reclaim possession for Siegfried.

Neither team would find the scoreboard again until late in the fourth quarter, when a deep ball from the Carroll offense found its way once again into the arms of McMinimee, who ran the ball back for a defensive score. The game clock ran out moments into Carroll’s following possession, solidifying the Ramblers’ 14-0 win. The Siegfried defense, particularly McMinimee’s two interceptions, prevented Carroll from mounting a second-half comeback.

“The first [interception], I knew he wasn’t going to beat me on a fly,” McMinimee said. “The quarterback was a half step too late throwing it. The other one, he just put a little too much on it to the outside. I knew he was a big tall guy and he was coming deep, so I just played outside and he threw it right to me.”

McMinimee said he was pleased with the performance of a Siegfried squad that went .500 in the regular season.

“We’re a low seed here, but I don’t think that’s indicative of our team talent,” McMinimee said. “We dropped some games; we had some guys who weren’t here, who were hurt — so that kinda hurt. But today we were full strength, and we’re dangerous when we’re full strength.”

Siegfried will play Keenan on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at LaBar Fields.

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