Purple Weasels suffer first loss
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Welsh Family 7, Pasquerilla West 0
By Tori Llorens
Welsh Family bested previously undefeated Pasquerilla West on Sunday with a 7-0 victory.
Pasquerilla West (3-1) started its offensive effort by marching up the field, but the Whirlwinds (3-1) held strong on a goal-line stand to deny the Weasels any points.
The second quarter was riddled with penalties and incomplete passes on both sides, but after a long throw, Welsh Family managed to score a touchdown and the extra point. The Weasels did not connect on the passes needed to put them on the board before the half ended.
The third quarter contained substantial back-and-forth action, highlighted by a Whirlwind sack that pushed the Weasels back to the 5-yard line.
Although the pressure was high in the fourth quarter, Pasquerilla West made progress down the field and was able to hold Welsh Family when on defense. However, with a missed snap and four incomplete passes in the final three minutes of the game, the Weasels did not have the final push needed to force a tie.
Senior Weasels captain and linebacker Bernie Jordan said the loss can help Pasquerilla West.
“It’s better now than later,” Jordan said. “We’re not happy with it, but there’s a positive that we can see what we did wrong and change it. We have a fire in our bellies and sometimes it’s better to get a loss early so our confidence can keep building.”
Both Pasquerilla West and Welsh Family take the field again Tuesday at Riehle Fields at 7 p.m. The Weasels play Walsh and the Whirlwinds face Lyons.
Morrissey 20, Knott 0
By Anthony Zappia
Morrissey defeated Knott 20-0 Sunday in a showdown of playoff hopefuls.
Morrissey (2-1) ran the ball early and often out of its wing-T offense with mixed success. However, it was ultimately a long catch-and-run off of a screen pass to sophomore wide receiver Matthew Botek that gave Morrissey its first points of the game.
In the first half, Knott (1-2) moved the ball thanks to a few long completions and multiple timely pass interference penalties. Yet senior captain and running back Casey McCaffrey said Knott’s inability to complete passes reliably kept the Juggerknotts out of the endzone.
“We had a couple long passes,” said McCaffrey. “But overall we had no consistency on offense.”
Early in the second half, senior defensive back Pete Ciuffo intercepted a Knott pass and returned it for a touchdown. McCaffrey said that play was a turning point in the game.
“The pick-six was a big play,” McCaffrey said. “That kind of changed the tide of the game.”
For the remainder of the game Morrissey continued to wear down the Knott defense with runs, eventually scoring its third touchdown on the ground. Meanwhile, Knott continued to struggle moving the ball throughout the second half.
Getting a resounding win was important, Morrissey sophomore quarterback and captain Declan Zidar said.
“That’s an especially big win because we lost our last game,” Zidar said. “And it’s always good to get a pretty convincing win.”
Knott falls to 1-2 while Morrissey jumps to 2-1. Both teams face quick turnarounds before Thursday games with important playoff implications. Morrissey takes on unbeaten Siegfried at 8:15 p.m. while Knott will play Alumni at the same time, each at LaBar Practice Complex.
Stanford 7, Keenan 6
By Maureen Schweninger
Stanford came out against rival Keenan with a statement 7-6 win on Sunday.
The Knights (2-1) took the lead early with a 65-yard touchdown pass in the first two minutes of the game. Keenan’s defense twice intercepted Stanford (3-0), which was held to 12 total yards of offense in the first half.
Keenan missed another chance to score after a fumbled snap late in the second quarter. With the Stanford offense still struggling, it became a battle of two defenses, senior captain and linebacker Dan Babiak said.
“Our linebackers and our D-ends were getting great pressure on their quarterback,” Babiak said. “That was our biggest thing, that our blitzes were working.”
Stanford’s defense held Keenan scoreless for the remainder of the match, despite the Knights’ mobile quarterback, senior Aaron DiGenova, and his 227 passing yards for the day. The tide turned Stanford’s way after a botched punt in the fourth quarter left Stanford only ten yards from the end zone. Senior captain and receiver Mikey Koller said the missed snap on the punt was the mistake that cost Keenan the game.
“It just came down to one missed snap,” Koller said. “We honestly did everything else perfectly. It was the best game we ever played.”
Stanford capitalized on the opportunity in just three plays, finishing the game with a one-point lead and its first victory over Keenan in five years.
“This is big for us,” Babiak said. “It really sets up a good foundation for the playoffs. I’m strongly convinced [Keenan and Stanford] are the best two teams in the league, so we anticipate seeing them again.”
The Griffins doused their rector, Fr. Bill Dailey, with Gatorade following the hallmark win. The two dorms’ shared chapel will be called Stanford-Keenan Chapel until the two teams meet again.
Stanford plays O’Neill under the lights Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex, while Keenan plays there at 5:45 p.m. against Dillon.
Dillon 14, Keough 8
By Molly Murphy
This Sunday, Dillon defeated Keough 14-8, redeeming itself after last week’s loss to Stanford.
Dillon (2-1) was able to work the ball down the field immediately, with 32 running yards and 16 passing yards on their first possession to score and end the quarter ahead 7-0.
At the beginning of the second quarter, a 10-yard penalty against Dillon gave Keough (1-3) field position at the 45-yard line. After a promising drive, Keough found itself at the 35-yard line with 4th and 14 to go after a sack by the Dillon defense pushed the Kangaroos back 8 yards.
Deciding not to punt, Keough threw the ball for a 30-yard gain on the play, setting the team up on the 5-yard line. Junior Keough running back Conor Kinasz ran the ball in for the touchdown, and the Kangaroos executed the two-point conversion to go up 8-7 on Dillon.
Keough was able to stop Dillon at the 10-yard line to end the half ahead by one, but the Big Red began the second half the way they began the first: with a touchdown on their first possession. Dillon gained 50 running yards and 15 passing yards to lead Keough 14-8, a lead they were able to hold for the remainder of the game. Despite the loss, junior Keough captain Matthew Mooney said he was proud of his team’s efforts, noting the defensive stop at the 10-yard line.
“We fought hard; Dillon had a good team,” Mooney said. “We had a big stop in the first half too.”
Sophomore Dillon captain John Walsh was similarly proud of his team’s play despite missing key players.
“We focused on the run and that worked out well, but there were some good pass plays too,” Walsh said, “We were missing one of our safeties which made it harder but some guys stepped up and the line played really well.”
Dillon will face Keenan on Thursday at 5:45 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex while Keough will have a bye week.
Sorin 18, Carroll 12
By Brenna Moxley
Sorin stayed undefeated this weekend with a close 18-12 win against Carroll.
The game started off well for the Otters (2-0-1), with their opening drive resulting in a touchdown.
Their next possession began after an interception by senior Galvin Loughran. He later ran for a touchdown, making the score 12-0 after a second failed 2-point conversion attempt.
Carroll (1-2) responded late in the half with a touchdown caught by senior receiver and captain Anthony Vallera.
The Vermin opened the second half with an interception snagged in the end zone by junior Sean Brown. Freshman Jackson Hignite of Sorin responded on the following drive with a pick of his own in the end zone.
Carroll tied the game up at 12 with a pass from sophomore quarterback Tyler Troxell to junior receiver Eric Richelsen. (Editor’s note: Richelsen is a graphic designer for The Observer.)
With one minute left in the fourth quarter, Sorin sophomore quarterback Shane Anderson threw a long pass to senior Jake Yurek for an Otter touchdown.
Vallera said the defensive breakdowns and poor ball security were the major problems for the Vermin in the loss.
“We played hard, but we gave up too many big plays and had too many turnovers,” he said.
Sophomore Otter captain Matthew Requet explained that the outcome of this game was the deciding factor for a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.
“This win is our ticket to playoffs,” he said. “We started off with turnovers, but in the end made some big plays and now playoffs is what matters.”
Carroll and Sorin both play at LaBar Practice Complex at 9:30 Thursday with Carroll facing off against rival Fisher and Sorin taking on St. Edward’s.
Farley 20, McGlinn 0
By Alex Bender
Farley emerged victorious Sunday at LaBar Practice Complex with a 20-0 win over McGlinn.
Things got going early for Farley (4-1) as the Finest marched down the field efficiently on the opening drive before punching it in with a quarterback sneak by junior Lizzy Moulton that put the Finest up 6-0.
The first drive for McGlinn (0-5) was not as successful as it was forced to punt, but after a series of turnovers by each team, the score remained within one possession at halftime.
The second half opened up with McGlinn again struggling to get anything going as its drive came to a quick stop when the Farley defense came up with another interception.
This time, Farley capitalized with a touchdown pass to sophomore Sydney Manista and converted the 2-point conversion to go up, 14-0.
Each team would see its next couple of drives stalled before eventually Farley tacked on another touchdown which brought the game to its final score of 20-0.
On the Farley side, senior captain Ali Buersmeyer said she was pleased with her team’s performance.
“We were extremely happy that we were able to play our game today,” Buersmeyer said. “We stuck to the game plan, and fortunately, it worked out well for us.”
Despite the loss, McGlinn captain Megan Fabry remained positive.
“We were really shorthanded today, which made things tough,” Fabry said. “But you can’t be disappointed when everyone is putting in their best effort.”
Howard 18, Lewis 12
By Elizabeth Greason
Howard turned the momentum of a game that could have turned into a blowout and came back to take down the only remaining undefeated team in its division, Lewis, with an 18-12 win.
With Lewis (2-1) leading Howard (3-1) 12-0 at halftime and with the Ducks yet to complete a pass, the Chicks were poised to continue their undefeated season. Lewis senior Hannah Skrbis played an integral role in the Chicks’ early success, catching a long pass to get the Chicks to the Howard goal line, setting up their first touchdown. Skrbis also scored Lewis’ next touchdown.
A strong Howard offensive drive to start the second half led to a touchdown by senior Ashley Henry, providing a much needed turnaround for the Ducks.
Howard senior captain and quarterback Stephanie Peterson said the team’s second-half success was due to better effort.
“We felt like our energy was really low during the first half, so we tried to get that back up,” Peterson said. “And the coaches helped us adjust. We ended up running the ball more in the second half.”
Peterson ran the ball in to tie the game at 12, and the Ducks took the lead when freshman Karly Treuting intercepted the ball on a Lewis fourth-down attempt deep in Howard territory and ran it back for a touchdown.
Lewis senior captain Penny Vorissis said the Chicks have a lot to work on going forward.
“We need to make sure we really get connections,” Vorissis said. “Our defense really needs to work on pushing the quarterback inside. I think we’ll be okay, but it was a tough game.”
Siegfried 27, Duncan 0
By Joseph Everett
Siegfried overpowered Duncan on Sunday at Riehle Fields to take a 27-0 win.
The Ramblers (3-0) built a comfortable 20-0 halftime lead, and the defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions in the second half, to secure the shutout. Duncan junior captain Stephen Treacy said that team depth was once again an issue.
“This game was a rough one,” Treacy said. “We had a lot of injuries from throughout the season and were down to 14 of the 24 guys we had day one, so obviously, that presented some difficulties.”
Duncan finished its season winless, but Treacy said he sees a bright future for the Highlanders.
“I’m pumped for next season’s team,” Treacy said. “We will be returning every single player, as well as a couple of guys who we are studying abroad right now, so I think teams should watch out for what we’re gonna bring to the table.”
Siegfried junior receiver Jake Maier said his team played up to its potential.
“I think we played really well,” Maier said. “We were rolling on offense and played lockdown defense all game long.”
The Rambler offense was a balanced attack of running and throwing all game long, with Schmidt catching several key third-down passes to keep drives alive. Maier said the performance was key for Siegfried’s march toward the playoffs.
“I think we’re in a pretty good spot,” Maier said. “We need to play one more good game to get a strong seed, but regardless of where we end up, I think we’ll do well.”
Siegfried wraps up its regular season against Morrissey on Thursday at 8:15 p.m at LaBar Practice Complex, while Duncan is done for the year.