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Men’s Interhall

Undefeated Morrissey takes on Stanford in semifinals

| Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sunday afternoon, Morrissey and Stanford will meet on the gridiron to decide who will earn a spot in the championship at Notre Dame Stadium.

A Morrissey quarterback drops back to pass during the Manor's 28-0 victory over Duncan on Oct. 5.Annmarie Soller | The Observer
A Morrissey quarterback drops back to pass during the Manor’s 28-0 victory over Duncan on Oct. 5.
The top-seeded Manor (5-0) are undefeated and will square off against the red-hot Griffins (3-1-1), who have not lost since their opening game against Keenan on Sept. 21.

Morrissey captain and junior running back Erik Rayno attributed this season’s success to effort and focus.

“Everyone on the team knows that we all need to do our jobs on Sundays to win, and we all take pride in making sure we do just that,” Rayno said. “Our success on the field has been a product of that and a product of us really buying into the team aspect of this game, as we work very well together.”

Meanwhile, Stanford captain and junior Dan Babiak said the Griffins emphasizes a similar team concept.

“Our success doesn’t come from one individual player or play that we run,” Babiak said. “The key this year, as opposed to previous years, is that we have 22 guys who all play for each other.”

Rayno said the level of competition Stanford will bring is higher than ever before.

“Stanford is capable of playing lights-out football on both sides of the ball once they get rolling,” Rayno said. “That being said, we’re still going to approach this game like any other. Start the game as strong as possible, and don’t let off the gas until the final whistle blows. They need to know we’re here to play, and momentum will be huge in this game.”

Likewise, Baiak said Morrissey poses a threat to the Griffins.

“Attacking Morrissey is a difficult task,” Babiak said. “They are a tough team because they are very organized and disciplined. Offensively, they run a wing-T. It is tough to defend in interhall because we don’t get to practice five times a week like a high school or college team would be able to. We came up with a good gameplan to target their strengths though, and I think it will end up being a good football game.”

There is much at stake for the four remaining teams in the playoffs, with a chance to play in Notre Dame Stadium hanging in the balance.

Rayno added that his team has prepared for the big matchup.

MensInterhall NEWSusan Zhu | The Observer
“The days of Morrissey’s ‘talent over preparation’ motto are over,” he said. “We’ll be ready for Sunday.”

The winner of this game earns a spot against the winner of the Keenan-Siegfried semifinal in Notre Dame Stadium a week from Sunday.

This semifinal matchup between Stanford and Morrissey will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.

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