Interhall squads battle opponents, heat in Week 2 action
Duncan def. Carroll
The Duncan Highlanders ran past the Carroll Vermin 20-0 in the 90 degree heat Sunday.
Duncan handed off the ball to junior running back Micah Rensch for the first three plays of the opening drive. After a big sack by Carroll, Duncan responded with a short pass to Rensch who broke multiple tackles to advance the Highlanders 20 yards and into the redzone.
Senior quarterback Matthew Kase drove through the pile to set up Rensch for the short touchdown. The first drive set Duncan up for a victory as they took the early 7-0 lead.
After the game, Rensch praised the line for their blocking on his touchdown play in the opening drive.
“Anytime you score a touchdown, you’re going to be pretty happy,” Rensch said. “But all of the credit goes to the linemen, of course, who work their butts off the whole game.”
The Carroll Vermin were not as easily able to move their offense. The first drive was littered with short gains and penalties which eventually forced a punt with no movement of the chains.
Freshman linebacker Jake O’Hara talked about the game plan and execution of the Vermin, who had only 14 players for Sunday’s game.
“Although our running game seemed to be working, we need to improve our passing game,” O’Hara said. “I thought we played really well for having a small team.”
The first play of the second quarter was a long connection for Duncan between Kase and senior receiver Declan Zidar to set up Duncan on the 25. The next play was a flea flicker to Rensch who dodged multiple defenders but lost ball control and fumbled. Rensch managed to recover his own fumble, and while the Carroll defensive line put pressure on Duncan, a high snap was contained by Kase and eventually led to a Zidar touchdown, stretching the Highlanders lead to 14-0.
Carroll freshman quarterback Andrew Fulwider had big rushing yards throughout the game, and many short passes. Fulwider completed a short pass to sophomore captain Kenneth Bryson who gained enough for a first down and put the Vermin just outside the redzone. However, Duncan’s defense forced Carroll to deal with a fourth down situation, Carroll decided to go for it, but its fourth down pass was intercepted by Duncan on the 10.
Duncan seemed to have the last minute of the half under control until Carroll forced and recovered a fumble after a 20 yard gain by Duncan. This change of momentum did not last long, however, as the defensive line of Duncan sacked Fulwider, who fumbled and gave possession back to Duncan.
After a big gain by Duncan and an unsportsmanlike call on Carroll, Duncan looked to be able to enter halftime with another score and a three-touchdown lead, but ran out of time before reaching the end zone, heading into the break up 14-0.
Carroll started the second half with the ball, but the Duncan defense would not budge. Highlander sophomore Steven Marvin kept a QB rush to a no-gain that could have shifted momentum in favor of Carroll. Carroll punted the the ball, but Duncan mishandled the catch and Carroll freshman Ryan Melotik recovered for the Vermin. Four downs later, Carroll could not convert so Duncan took over on the 45.
Kase was able to rush for 10 yards and throw for 30 yards on consecutive plays, bringing the Highlanders into the redzone. Rensch finished the drive with a rushing touchdown.
The Highlanders tried to go for two but the pass was broken up, in addition to a penalty on Duncan to give Carroll advanced field position, with the game midway through the fourth quarter and Duncan leading 20-0.
Fulwider was able to rush successfully multiple times in the following drive, but still faced a 4th and long situation. The Vermin went for it, but Fulwider was hit during his throw, causing the ball to be off target and out of bounds.
Duncan turned to the running game for the rest of the time in order to run out the clock and seal the victory.
In addition to the win, sophomore captain Kyle Tomshack said he believed there was still room to improve for his Highlanders.
“I thought we played well. We really picked it up from last week, but still lost our focus a couple of times,” Tomshack said. “For this next week we’re going to work hard at practice and get everyone on the same page.”
As a result of the postponed games last week, this is Duncan’s first win of the season. They are looking to take on Morrissey Manor next week. Carroll looks to redeem themselves against Fisher Hall. Both games will be played at Stepan Fields at 3:30 p.m.
Siegfried def. Sorin
On a hot early autumn afternoon, Siegfried roared back to defeat Sorin 15-12 in a come-from-behind thriller.
Sorin (0-2), despite deploying a backup quarterback, started off strong, beating Siegfried (2-0) early with a touchdown on sophomore captain Eric Requet’s halfback pass to Ryan Sullivan to go up 6-0. The Otters continued the onslaught in the second quarter with a 9 yard touchdown pass to senior Matthew Requet, just after a 70 yard completion courtesy of sophomore Xavier Lezynski.
At halftime, it was a one-sided affair, as Sorin was leaning on Eric Requet, who was constantly falling forward for extra yardage. The passing game was highly efficient as well, picking up chunk gains and moving the chains.
It was a completely different story in the second half, as Siegfried’s stifling coverage took control of the game. Interceptions by junior Ryan Pierson, sophomore Elijah Hager and senior Shane Johnson allowed the Ramblers to control the ball and put together scoring drives with good field position.
Two of the picks led to touchdown passes from junior quarterback Mikey Bernard to junior receiver Pat Link. A two-point conversion after the second score by sophomore running back Andrew Steiner made the lead 15-12 in favor of Siegfried, a lead that would not be relinquished.
Siegfried senior captain Drew DeBaker had high praise for the recovery his defense made.
I think we came out flat in the first half and that it showed on the scoreboard,” DeBaker said. “We really battled in the second half and thanks to three interceptions we fought our way back into the game.”
Eric Requet was not shy to identify the root of the Otters’ second half problems.
“I think our team played very well in the first half,” Requet said. “We came out strong but then got lazy in the second half. We had an early lead that we should have held onto but mental mistakes late in the game killed us.”
Siegfried takes on Dunne next week, while Sorin looks for its first win as it faces Knott. Both games are Sunday at Ricci Family Fields at 1:00 p.m.
Fisher def. Morrissey
During Sunday’s brutal heat, the Fisher Green Wave and the Morrissey Manor endured battle that resulted with a 19-6 win for the Green Wave, cementing its victory in the interhall football cross-quad rivalry of 2017.
After winning the toss, the Manor’s offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, allowing Morrissey to gain first down after first down in their opening possession. However, in a quick change of pace, Fisher took control of the ball and quickly scored the first touchdown and extra point of the game. Morrissey sophomore captain Tom Slevin said his team’s inability to sustain a strong start hindered its success.
“We made a lot of mental mistakes in the first half and I think that really put us behind the eight ball,” Slevin said. “They did a good job of setting the tone. An early touchdown is always going to put you in a hole.”
Riding on this momentum, the Green Wave’s offensive line aggressively forced the ball up the field, often leading the way for sophomore quarterback Griffin Baker. Fisher senior captain Dan Ridzik said the offensive line’s performance was a big key to the team’s overall success.
“Our tackles were wearing down the defensive ends and [we] were able to run inside and run outside and [we] were able to do it effectively,” Ridzik said.
Despite being down 19-0 at the top of the fourth quarter, the Manor were eager to get their offense on the field one more time After a 20 yard catch earned them a first down, the Manor used the momentum to score their first touchdown and bring the score to 19-6. Running out of luck, though, the Manor lost the ball in an interception during their attempted two-point conversion.
Despite the loss, Slevin is optimistic about next Sunday, and is hopeful for a win next week.
“I think we will implement some new plays and stick to the same defense,” Slevin said. “Our defense has been playing really well. If we get some practice in and clean up our mental mistakes, we will be okay.”
Fisher will look to continue their win streak as they take on the Carroll Vermin (0-1) this Sunday, and the Manor will look for their first interhall win when they face the Duncan Highlanders (1-0). Both teams play at 3:30 p.m. on Ricci Family Fields.
Keenan def. St. Edward’s
On a hot and humid afternoon Sunday, Keenan defeated St. Edward’s 27-0, achieving its first win via stifling defensive play and a potent air attack.
Neither team found a way to score in the opening quarter of the contest, and it appeared for a while that the game would be a defensive battle. Keenan’s second offensive play of the game resulted in an interception, and the Gentlemen (1-1) struggled to gain positive yardage on their first possession as well.
After an exchange of punts to open the second quarter, the Knights (1-1) seemed to find an offensive rhythm. Junior quarterback Dan Lindstrom led a methodical drive down the field, capping it off with a 4-yard touchdown run to put Keenan up 7-0.
On the following possession, St. Edward’s picked up a few first downs before fumbling the ball inside the red zone. Keenan responded promptly, moving down the field on a long pass to junior wide receiver J.D. McElenney and then scoring on a 20-yard touchdown pass just before halftime, making the score 13-0.
The second half began in electric fashion, with junior defensive back Lukas Cepkauskas intercepting a Saint Edward’s pass and returning it for a touchdown after evading would-be tacklers. Cepkauskas would also score the final points of the game in the third quarter, hauling in a 7-yard Lindstrom pass for a touchdown.
Junior Keenan captain Dan Neuson was pleased with the Knights’ performance in the game, especially after suffering a defeat last week against Stanford.
“We were really happy to come out and prove that we could lock down a game plan, figure a team out and consistently shut them down on offense and really drive with our own offense,” Neuson said. “They had a big win over Zahm the previous week, so we knew couldn’t take this game lightly.”
Neuson specifically praised the performance of several players including Lindstrom, McElenny, Cepkauskas and senior Greg Brainard, who made key plays as both a wide receiver and a defensive back.
“We’re really happy to see those big plays, it shows that our team is firing and ready to work,” he said.
Alex Schelhorn, the senior captain for the Gentlemen, said his team played with plenty of tenacity despite the final score. He cited the run defense, led in this game by sophomore defensive end Ben Cook and junior linebacker Joe Trzaska.
“Obviously not the end result we wanted,” Schelhorn said. “I thought we showed some good signs, though, and I thought our run defense played well. There was some great penetration on defense, a couple times they got it past us on the long ball.”
Next week, both teams will look to improve their record to 2-1. Keenan will face Zahm, while St. Edward’s will take on Stanford, with both games being at 2:15 p.m. at Ricci Family Fields.