Week One of men’s interhall gets underway
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Alumni def. O’Neill 28-0
Alumni soundly defeated O’Neill on Sunday afternoon, relying on a bottleneck defense and strong running game to power its way to a 28-0 victory in the opening game of the men’s interhall season.
After little action in the first quarter, the Dawgs opened up the game in the second quarter with 14 points on two long touchdown drives. The second half was much of the same, with the Dawgs scoring twice and the game being cut short in the fourth quarter, with the mercy rule being put into effect.
The Dawgs were led defensively by senior captain and middle linebacker Nick Lund, who praised his team’s strong effort and quality execution.
“We really just stuck to the basics,” Lund said. “I told our guys to go out there and hit people, do what we know, go forward with the basic plan, and we went out there and got ourselves a win.”
Senior running back Alex Alcantara led the way offensively for the Dawgs with two touchdowns, including one as time expired at the end of the first half and a long run in the third quarter that put the Dawgs ahead 21-0.
“I want to give a shout out to the offensive line, they did a really good job today,” Alcantara said. “We are definitely looking forward to getting after it next week.”
For the Angry Mob, the loss did not come as a surprise as they were playing with only twelve men throughout the game and could not practice effectively with limited reserves. Still, sophomore captain Charlie Puntillo took many positives out of his team’s performance.
“We learned a lot,” Puntillo said. “We didn’t get much practice, so we think of this like our first practice. We know what we need to fix offensively, and we’ll get a lot better.”
Alumni hopes to continue to continue its momentum next week against Keenan, while O’Neill searches for their first win of the season against Dillon. Both games are scheduled for October 2 at 3:30 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.
St. Edward’s def. Fisher 14-0
It was an energetic and defensive football game at LaBar Practice Complex as St. Edward’s pulled out a 14-0 victory over Fisher on Sunday afternoon.
On their second drive of the game, the Gentlemen took advantage of a Fisher punt that left them with strong field position. The Gentlemen quickly converted on an 11-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Both defenses came to play as Fisher and St. Edward’s each forced four turnovers throughout the course of the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, Fisher once again had difficulty on special teams when the Fishermen punter mishandled the snap and turned the ball over on downs on Fisher’s 8-yard line. This resulted in a touchdown pass by St. Edward’s in the corner of the end zone to take a commanding 14-0 lead with about a minute to go.
Trying to keep Fisher’s hopes alive, quarterback and senior captain Shannon Massey scrambled down the sideline to put his team in a position to score. However, Massey committed a turnover, fumbling the ball on the 43-yard line. The Gentlemen recovered the ball to secure the 14-0 victory.
St. Edward’s’ senior captain Phineas Andrews was pleased with his team’s overall performance of the game.
“We did pretty well,” Andrews said. “Our defense looked great, our special teams were solid, and our offense had some big plays. We committed a few turnovers and could’ve done better there, but it was a good first game.”
Although Fisher lost the game, Massey credited St. Edward’s with a solid game.
“They played well,” Massey said. “They won because they were the better team today and they were more prepared than us.”
Massey’s mission for Fisher is to prepare more, get after it and get used to hitting and making tackles again in order to be successful in the next game.
Meanwhile, Andrews expects his team to play just as well as it did for the upcoming game.
“We hope to play the same way as we did on defense and special teams, but we need to clean up our mistakes on offense and hopefully win another game,” Andrews said.
St. Edward’s will look to rack up another win in its next matchup against Carroll at 2:15 p.m. Sunday at LaBar Practice Complex, while Fisher looks to bounce back from this loss and clinch their first win of the season after a bye week next Saturday.
Siegfried def. Morrissey 12-6
With two Hail-Mary passes at the end of each half, Siegfried defeated the back-to-back defending champion Morrissey, 12-6.
Although the scoreboard was a reflection of who won at the end of the game, Ramblers senior captain Dan Verzuh admitted that luck contributed to his team’s win.
“There were very two lucky plays during the first half that made a difference,” Verzuh said. “We had a three on two for that deep pass that Morrissey scored on, and somehow our guys ended up on the ground and their man ended up with the ball. The difference with this year’s team is that we managed to make the lucky breaks happen in our favor as well. We didn’t score any points with time remaining on the clock, both our throws were Hail Mary, lucky breaks to the end zone. In a very strong sense, you can say that Morrissey won that game.”
Morrissey senior captain Nick Sywyj said he was happy with his team’s performance and thought the Manor controlled the game despite the score at halftime.
“I think they got their six point conversion in the last play of the half, kudos to them,” Sywyj said. “We were in position, they got a lucky bounce, and that’s football. Both teams were in position, there were three tips, and they made the play. We didn’t give up and we went in and blocked the field goal keeping it tied at half.”
As the end of the game came down to the final four seconds, Siegfried’s sophomore quarterback Michael Bernard threw a long, floating pass caught by junior Max Krohn, resulting in the Ramblers’ victory. Even though Siegfried won, Verzuh has respect for his opponent and said his team will need to improve its performance for future games.
“Morrissey is a phenomenal team, they have a great line, big guys and a big push,” Verzuh said. “Their running game is unmatched. Our running game was not there this weekend and our short passes weren’t either, but it was a couple of lucky breaks that made the difference. Even though we technically beat Morrissey, we still have a lot to work on. … We need to fit our runs better and have better timing. We are either getting our handoffs down too early or too late and our blocks aren’t there when we need to have them. Otherwise our quarterback has to work his jitters out a little bit. I think we will be in great shape for the next couple weeks.”
As Siegfried moves on with a win, they have a bye next week, while Morrissey will play Duncan next Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.
Carroll def. Sorin 14-8
Carroll edged Sorin 14-8 Sunday to open up the interhall season.
Carroll had a consistent and balanced attack, with touchdowns coming from senior captain Anthony Vallera and freshman David Pribyl Pierdinock. Vallera felt his team was consistent on both sides of the ball and executed defensively.
“We were able to limit their big plays and get two stops inside the 10 and anytime you do that, you have a good chance to win,” Vallera said.
Despite the loss, Sorin junior captain Shane Anderson was pleased with his team’s performance on the first drive, while also noting areas where they need improvement.
“Our first drive, we walked away with a touchdown and since I have been here, that is the first fluid, cohesive drive we have ever had,” Anderson said. “We knew coming into this game it was going to be a trial and error work in progress, but we have to be better at stopping the run.”
A huge run into the end zone by PribylPierdinock broke the 8-8 tie, sealing the victory for the Vermin.
Sorin will face off against Dunne next Sunday, and Carroll will take on St. Edward’s, both set to kick off at 2:15 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.
Keenan def. Keough 3-0
Keenan and Keough opened their seasons on Sunday with a closely-matched, low-scoring game that resulted in a 3-0 win for the Knights. Both teams played tight defense, but struggled to convert in the red zone.
The only points of the afternoon came from a Keenan field goal in the second quarter by sophomore kicker Andrew Deye. Junior Keenan captain Greg Brainard said the Knights will work to improve their offensive production.
“The bottom line is we wouldn’t have won the game if he hadn’t made that field goal, so we’ll try to pick up the offense this week and turn our drives into touchdowns,” Brainard said.
Despite the loss, junior Kangaroos captain Danny Childers said that the Roos played solid defense and was confident they will learn from the game.
“I think we played well, and we can definitely build on this,” Childers said. “Our defense played very well. We stopped them on the goal line to force a field goal, so they didn’t get anything close after that.”
Both teams found most of their success in the run game, but Keenan gained a slight edge with several long completions from sophomore quarterback Daniel Lindstrom. However, Keough failed to complete any passes in the red zone and missed both its field goal attempts.
“We’re going to work on offensive efficiency,” Childers said. “We played well on offense, and we got a lot of yards, but we didn’t punch anything in. We need to make sure we get in the end zone next week.”
The Keenan defense recovered a fumble, notched one interception and two sacks over the course of the game. Brainard was pleased with the Knights’ performance and said they met their defensive goals for the week.
“A big thing for us going into the game was staying strong on defense, and we were able to hold them to zero points,” Brainard said.
Keenan takes the field next against Alumni on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the LaBar Practice Complex. After a bye week, Keough will face Dillon at 3:30 on October 9 also at the LaBar Practice Complex.
Stanford def. Duncan 15-13
Stanford scored a late touchdown with just 30 seconds remaining in the game, avoiding an upset to Duncan and winning the game, 15-12.
Stanford started the game by displaying its running capabilities with freshman Brandon Garcia, who had lengthy runs to set up a 28-yard field goal. An impressive touchdown reception by sophomore Alex Barone spurred the Griffins to a 9-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Duncan came out strong with sophomore Ryan Fitzgerald rushing in a touchdown to cut the lead to three. Later on, Fitzgerald caught a 40-yard pass to give Duncan its first lead of the game, 12-9, with 1:33 remaining in the fourth. Stanford’s comeback drive was aided by a holding call on the defense that gave it an additional 10-yards. That penalty was followed by a 19-yard reception by sophomore Peter Ryan, which set up first and goal with less than a minute remaining.
The Griffins decided to return to their run game that aided them in the first half and once again Garcia broke free to give Stanford a touchdown and the lead with 30 seconds remaining. The Griffins’ defense came through when they needed it the most and ended the game with a sack.
After pulling out a close victory, senior Stanford captain Kevin Kohler was pleased with his team’s grit.
“I like that people stepped up and buckled down when we really needed them to,” Kohler said.
Kohler wasn’t the only one impressed with his team’s performance. Duncan junior captain Thomas Staffieri was also very impressed with his team’s play.
“I thought we were able to move the ball on offense pretty well,” Staffieri said. “We didn’t have much of a running game last year and today we were able to move the ball up and down the field. I am very proud every player played their responsibility, in the end it just didn’t come out the way we wanted.”
And while Duncan fell short in its opening game, Stanford junior captain Kevin Kohler applauded the Highlanders’ effort.
“That second touchdown was just an unbelievable catch and throw,” Kohler said. “Hats off to them. They played great for a team that was 0-4 last year. They gave us everything that they had, and it was a great game. I think [Duncan] is going to have a successful season.”
Next week, Stanford hopes to continue its momentum when it faces Knott at 1 p.m. at LaBar Practice Field. Duncan will still be in search of its first win when it plays two-time defending champion Morrissey next week at 1 p.m. also at LaBar Practice Field.
Welsh Family def. Ryan 19-7
Welsh Family continued to show its defensive prowess by only giving up one touchdown to the offensively dynamic Ryan team, winning the game 19-7.
The game was close all the way until last play with Ryan coming within 15 yards of scoring to tie the game at 13, but a Welsh Family defender picked off the pass and returned it for a touchdown to end the game.
Welsh Family senior captain Ariel Navotas praised the Whirlwinds defense’s ability to hold off the Wildcat offense and to relieve pressure for the offense.
“Our defense came out and played their game, especially our defenders that got interceptions … and held [Ryan’s offense] when [our offense] could not do our job and that is where I think our strengths are,” Navotas said.
However, there are areas where Navotas felt the Whirlwinds could improve.
“[We need to work on] getting our routes together because I think some of ours are not as sharp as we would like them to be,” Navotas said.
Ryan senior captain Shawn Hall felt that giving up an early lead was what most prevented her team from getting the win.
“We came out a little bit flat-footed and they scored on the first play of the game,” Hall said. “I think we cannot take any plays off, as we saw as a result of [the early Welsh Family touchdown].”
Despite suffering a loss, Hall was optimistic about the team’s effort.
“We adjusted well … throughout the game, and the momentum we played with toward the end of the game [was good],” Hall said.
Welsh Family will face Walsh on Sunday at 5 p.m. and Ryan will face Flaherty on Tuesday at 7 p.m, both at Riehle Fields.