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Battle for the Chapel highlights upcoming Interhall action

| Friday, October 9, 2015

Stanford vs. Keenan – Maureen Schweninger

Stanford faces Keenan this Sunday in the only shared-building rivalry on campus.

Griffins senior captain and linebacker Dan Babiak said the competition is friendly but focused.

“We have a connected chapel with them, so we’ve dubbed it ‘The Battle of the Chapel,’” Babiak said. “Everyone’s ready to go out there and hit some Keenan guys. We’re ready to beat them.”

Keenan (2-0) has rallied to win against Stanford (2-0) for the last four years. However, Knights junior captain and receiver Michael Koller said the Griffins have become an increasing threat.

“In the last year or two, we’ve become a lot more serious, because they’re definitely a good team,” Koller said. “There’s not any hatred between us, but it’s a fun rivalry. Our focus is kind of to just keep doing what we’re doing, and maybe go a little harder than we have before.”

Babiak said the Griffins’ dedication is their greatest skill this year.

“Every team is able to find athletes, but we really have a group of dedicated players who come to practice ready to get better,” Babiak said. “That has really stood out against other teams this season. Keenan can expect us to be aggressive on both sides of the ball. We’re going to be the ones making the hits.”

The Knights look forward to some defensive momentum going into this weekend.

“I feel like fans will see a lot of energy, especially on the defensive end,” Koller said. “That’s one thing that is pretty noticeable about our team.”

Only one team will survive undefeated after the game, which begins Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Stepan Fields.


Carroll vs. Sorin – Brenna Moxley

This weekend the unbeaten Otters take on Carroll.

Carroll (1-1) is returning from a bye week while Sorin (3-0) is coming off a close win against Fisher.

Carroll junior captain and receiver Anthony Vallera said he looks to take advantage of the additional time his team had to prepare for this weekend.

“Sorin has been one of the better teams in our division, but we’ve had an extra week to rest and prepare with our bye and our guys are excited to play,” Vallera said.

Sorin sophomore captain and safety Matthew Requet said he hoped he could see his team continue their winning streak.

“I think we will play well as our offense continues to improve under our new quarterback sophomore Shane Anderson,” Requet said.

Requet also talked about the impact his defense has made so far this year.

“The defense won the turnover battle last week, and I expect that to happen again this weekend,” he said.

Vallera said he was also confident in his expectations for the Vermin.

“If our defense keeps playing like they have been, and our offense takes care of the ball, then we should be able to win this game,” he said.

The Otters will strive to remain unbeaten against the Vermin on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields.


Siegfried vs. Duncan – Joseph Everett

Siegfried and Duncan, two teams going in different directions, will face off Sunday afternoon.

Siegfried (2-0) has started the season strong and is looking to make the playoffs. Ramblers captain and senior Grady Schmidt noted the importance of this game for reaching that goal.

“Basically if we win we’ve guaranteed ourselves a playoff spot,” Schmidt said. “We want to go undefeated, and a win this week would be the first step to getting there.”

Duncan (0-3) has lost of a couple of close games and seeks to finish its season with a strong performance. Highlander captain and junior Stephen Treacy says this game is big for Duncan moving forward.

“I think it would be huge to get a victory,” Treacy said. “I think the goal of the team is to put it all together for this final game.”

Treacy also said his team does not feel much pressure entering Sunday’s matchup.

“We’ve been more relaxed at practice because we’re looking to have more fun and do some different stuff,” Treacy said. “We’ll experiment and see what we can build on for next year.”

Schmidt, on the other hand, said the Ramblers are looking to improve in preparation for a playoff berth.

“We’ve been working on our timing in the passing game,” Schmidt said. “It really helped us last week, so we’re going to try to build off of that.”

Although Duncan might try everything to pull off an upset, Schmidt said he feels confident his team can clinch a postseason berth this week.

“We just need to play how we want to play,” Schmidt said. “We’re confident that if we can control the pace of the game, we’ll come away with a win.”

The two teams face off Sunday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. at Riehle Fields.


Dillon vs. Keough – Molly Murphy

Keough will play Dillon on Sunday at 3:30 pm at Stepan Fields with playoff hopes for both teams on the line.

Keough (1-2) is coming off a 20-0 win against O’Neill, which captain Matthew Mooney said was due to a strong offense and successfully executed plays.

“Last week we threw the ball well,” Mooney said. “We’ll keep looking to do that for this week.”

Although confident in its play, Mooney said the team feels the building pressure of this week’s game.

“We need to win this to keep our playoff chances alive,” Mooney said.

Dillon (1-1) is recovering from a close 10-7 loss to Stanford, but according to sophomore captain John Walsh, the Big Red will field a stronger team this week than last.

“The problem last week is we had six or seven guys that were either out of town at the Clemson game or injured, so this week we just have to get everybody back and healthy,” said Walsh.

Beyond players returning, Dillon is also expanding its offensive playbook this week, Walsh said.

Keough will take on Dillon this Sunday at 3:30 pm at Riehle Fields.


Morrissey vs. Knott – Tony Zappia

Morrissey takes on Knott this week in a contest of teams looking to bounce back from losses.

After defeating Duncan in its first game, Morrissey (2-1) lost a close contest to Alumni. Sophomore quarterback and captain Declan Zidar said injuries and unlucky plays contributed to the result.

“We went up 7-0, but then our running back got hurt,” said Zidar. “Alumni blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown to tie it, and then they scored late to win. It was kind of a heartbreaker.”

Losing the game was difficult, but losing senior running back Connor White to injury could be an even bigger loss for Morrissey. White, a critical part of Morrissey’s wing-T offense is questionable for Sunday’s game after receiving stitches in his hand following the injury. Zidar said if White cannot play, Morrissey may be forced to alter its strategy.

“We have a good freshman running back,” Zidar said.  “But we’ll probably pass more if Connor can’t go.”  

Knott (1-1) knows the importance of a win in this game, senior captain and running back Casey McCaffrey said.  

“Morrissey won it all last year so it’ll be a tough game, but we really need a win,” McCaffery said.  

As for how Knott is planning to get this win, the Juggerknotts will rely on a combination of different offensive looks and solid run defense, McCaffrey said.

“We play both out of a pro-set and a spread pretty equally well, and they are pretty heavy-running, so we will try to stop that first,” McCaffrey said.

The Juggerknotts will attempt to rebound from last weekend with a win over the defending champion Manor on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

Knott sophomore David Kelly celebrates a touchdown reception during a 28-25 victory over Duncan on Sept. 27 at Riehle Fields. Knott is 1-1 on the season and faces Morrissey this Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Riehle Fields.Alarisse Lam | The Observer
Knott sophomore receiver David Kelly hauls in a touchdown reception during a 28-25 victory over Duncan on Sept. 27 at Riehle Fields. Knott is 1-1 on the season and faces Morrissey this Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Riehle Fields.


Farley vs. McGlinn – Alex Bender

Farley takes on McGlinn Sunday in a tale of two seasons.

Farley has gotten off to a hot start this season, and The Finest are heading into Sunday’s contest with a 3-1 record, including a win last week against Pasquerilla East.

Senior Farley captain Ali Buersmeyer said she believes this game could truly be a game of inches.

“All of our games have been pretty evenly matched, so we expect a close one in this game, too,” Buersmeyer said. “We’re hoping to stay strong and continue our momentum and do what needs to be done.”

McGlinn (0-4) has yet to get that coveted first win, but has put up a fight in every game to this point and hopes to continue that attitude in this matchup, senior captain Megan Fabry.

While wins have been tough to come by for McGlinn, senior captain Megan Fabry said the effort has always been there.

“Our team has a lot of heart this year,” Fabry said. “We haven’t won a game yet, but everyone is still very upbeat and having fun. Despite our record, I am so pleased with the season and effort the girls have put in. In this game, I expect everyone to go out and play their hardest. We’ve been doing that all season, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Farley looks to solidify its playoff position while McGlinn seeks its first win of the year at 5 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.


Howard vs. Lewis – Elizabeth Greason

Lewis will take on Howard in a game with playoff implications for both teams on Sunday.

Both the Chicks (2-0) and the Ducks (2-1) have had strong seasons so far and are looking to secure positions toward the top of the leaderboard. Both teams have also learned to adjust as the season has progressed.

Chicks’ senior captain Penny Vorissis emphasized her team’s ability to adjust to whatever an opponent brings to the field.

“We’re just going to have to make some very astute observations up front and be able to adjust our plays accordingly,” Vorissis said.

Ducks senior captain Stephanie Peterson also discussed the importance of having a flexible game-plan.

“Once we figure out what an opponent is like, we try to make adjustments, such as playing two safeties instead of just one,” Peterson said.

Peterson is also excited about her team’s accomplishments this season.

“We’ve got good chemistry and have learned to celebrate everything,” Peterson said. “We have good leadership and great commitment.”

Both captains know where their teams need to improve if they are going to come out on top of this match-up.

Peterson said the Ducks have been working on their defense.

“We’ve been working on flag pulls,” Peterson said. “It’s actually really difficult.”

Vorissis said the Chicks are working to get more plays in their playbook.

“We’re slowly learning which plays work under which circumstances,” Vorissis said. “We’ve really been working on getting our offensive plays on lock.”

Despite any improvements that need to be made or any successes so far, both captains said they know this will be an important game if they are going to achieve their goals of reaching the championship.

Lewis and Howard will face off at 4 p.m. on Sunday at LaBar Practice Complex.

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