Teams vie for playoff spots and seeding in Week 3 games
Knott def. Sorin
by Ellie Olmanson
The last game of the regular season ended with a 8-0 victory for Knott over Sorin.
Knott (1-2) started with possession and had clear control of the running game in the first quarter. Sophomore running back Kevin Bailey was the main force in the opening drive, eventually scoring for the Juggerknotts. Knott was unable to convert as it went for two, leading only 6-0 after the drive. This would be the only touchdown scored on the day.
Sorin sophomore captain Eric Requet talked about the first drive after the game.
“Today’s game started out rough and we were not able to come back,” Requet said. “First, we had a key player, Matthew Requet, not able to play due to illness. Then, a top lineman didn’t have his student ID so he could not play the first drive and that is when Knott was able to score.”
Midway through the first half, Knott freshman Zachary Mieczkowski went down with a bad ankle injury. After being golf-carted off the field, senior captain Carl Schiro said they used the event to rally for him.
“We had our guy, Zach, go down early in the game,” Schiro said. “He’s one of our best freshman, but we really used that for our motivation to rally for him. Defense was able to play really well, and offense had a good passing and running game.”
The next few possessions consisted of little movement of the chains for the two teams.
Knott’s Bailey was able to break the relative silence with a big 15-yard gain to put the Juggerknotts on the five-yard line. However, the Sorin defense let up little ground. Sophomore Nolan Adams and senior Shane Anderson on Sorin broke up what would have been a game-changing touchdown for Knott. Knott was in the same spot on fourth down and decided to hand it to Bailey, but Sorin senior lineman Jack Oros stopped the Juggerknotts and prevented any change of the score.
With three minutes to go in the half, Knott was in the red zone and had a chance to advance the score. Senior David Kelly on Knott ran to give the Juggerknotts first and goal, but Sorin’s defensive line was a wall. Eventually Knott attempted but missed a field goal, leaving the game at 6-0 Knott.
This missed field goal gave Soring poor field position. Knott senior Sam Blanchet had a major hit to set back Sorin even more. Two plays later, Blanchet got a safety for the Juggerknotts, putting up Knott 8-0.
Possession stayed with Knott, until Sorin intercepted the ball with 35 seconds in the half. After a failed halfback pass by Sorin, Knott intercepted and ran the clock out to close out the half.
The second half of the game was a battle of possession and movement of chains. During the fourth quarter, Knott punted the ball but Sorin was given a penalty of roughing the kicker, allowing Knott to continue with possession.
Right after the two minute warning, Sorin forced and recovered a fumble. The Otters turned to sophomore quarterback Xavier Lezynski to advance down the field. After pass interference on Knott, there was just under a minute and a half left with momentum in favor of Sorin.
Lezynski rushed for a first down, then passed for another. Another pass interference penalty was called, putting Sorin on the 20-yard line with one minute to go. Knott got a 15-yard sack to set the Otters out of the red zone. The game ended after a turnover on downs.
Senior Tom O’Connell talked about the team’s future in the playoffs.
“We started out pretty rough this year, but we’ve gotten better every single week,” O’Connell said. “We’re looking forward to playoffs and going into the postseason with a win.”
Looking into the playoffs, Knott will gain a vital coaching staff member. Former Notre Dame football alum John “Bumper” Schiro will take on the coaching role for the Juggerknotts.
Stanford def. St. Edward’s
by Cassie Corbin
Stanford continued its winning streak, remaining undefeated this week, beating St. Edward’s 19-0.
The Griffins (3-0) began with offensive momentum and put a quick seven points on the board. Senior captain Matt O’Brien said that Stanford viewed this game as grounds to try new tactics.
“From the start, we were confident,” O’Brien. “We knew coming in that this was going to be a game that would be very manageable for us. We tried to add some new stuff. This was just an opportunity for us to get better. For playoffs, we should be the No. 1 seed.”
However, contrasting from Stanford’s view, St. Edward’s (1-2) focused on defense. With many near-sacks of the Griffin’s quarterback and strong and consistent pressure, the St. Ed’s defensive line did its best to hold the Griffins’ offense. Senior co-captain Tim Sherman was impressed with his squad’s defensive efforts.
“We were a little undermanned today, but I’m proud of our effort. Overall, I’m pretty proud of us,” Sherman said. “It was a hard-fought battle. I really liked our penetration on defense. We had three linemen, so getting to the quarterback was a challenge.”
Without a productive offense, however, it was difficult for the Gentlemen to make an impact. Stanford’s offense made catch after 20-yard catch and its run game was equally strong.
Sherman remains hopeful that a few more practices might be just what his offense needs to do well in the playoffs.
“Stanford is a big physical team and, you know, our offense wasn’t what we were hoping for,” Sherman said. “We’re going take some time to heal our bumps and bruises and get back to the playoffs.”
Before fall break, both teams plan to buckle down and concentrate on correcting deficiencies before the playoffs.
Morrissey def. Duncan
by Peter Baltes
In a game marked by turnovers and strong defensive play by both sides, Morrissey defeated Duncan on Sunday by a score of 14-0.
Both teams found a way to move the ball early on, but scoring did not come easily. On the first drive of the game, Morrissey (1-1) had a series of strong runs that brought it to the Highlanders’ 22-yard line, but it lost possession after a botched snap on fourth down.
For Duncan (1-1), it was the same story. The Highlanders’ first possession was also a promising one, as the ball was advanced all the way to the Manor’s one-yard-line on a methodical drive characterized by strong runs from junior running back Micah Rensch. As would happen multiple times in the game, the Manor’s defense held firm. A crucial false start penalty nullified a Duncan touchdown, and the Highlanders eventually turned the ball over on downs. Before the end of the half, another Duncan drive would proceed far into Morrissey territory before faltering again at the 27-yard line.
Duncan started the second half with possession and ventured to Morrissey’s 10-yard line after successful runs by Rensch and a successful long pass on fourth down, but again failed to convert their offensive efforts into points. This time, the drive ended in a missed field goal.
Morrissey’s first drive of the half spilled over into the fourth quarter. The Manor’s offense picked up a few first downs before the Highlanders forced a punt. However, there was a fumble on the return, and Morrissey gained possession on the one-yard line, scoring a touchdown not long thereafter, making the score 6-0.
Duncan made an effort to respond, but fumbled the ball around midfield, handing the Manor possession. Morrissey’s offense drove down the field and eventually scored on an 11-yard run. With a two-point conversion added, Morrissey went up 14-0.
Morrissey picked up their first win this week, and sophomore captain Tom Slevin praised his defense’s bend-but-don’t-break attitude, as well as the overall effectiveness of the Manor’s offense, led largely by a strong offensive line and junior running back Ryan Richelsen.
“It was definitely an outstanding defense first and foremost. We did really well, we forced some turnovers, and I think we capitalized off their mistakes,” Slevin said. “I think, furthermore, that we were able to get a good running game going and our passing too. I think all of those contributed to a really big victory for us today.”
Duncan played hard throughout the game, but the end zone ultimately proved too elusive for the Highlanders. Sophomore captain Kyle Tomshack was proud of his team’s efforts, but noted that turnovers and injuries had taken a toll.
“We played some really good defense, I thought we really figured it out from that point of view. We didn’t necessarily win the field position battle with some pretty key mistakes,” Tomshack said. “On offense, we had a couple of injuries that were throwing us off; we had to put some guys into positions they weren’t used to.”
Next Sunday, both teams will be resuming games that had been delayed due to weather in Week 1. Morrissey will try to start a winning streak as it faces Carroll, while Duncan will look to bounce back as it finishes its game against Fisher.
Dillon def. Alumni
by Hannah Wozniak
The tone for this year’s interhall rivalry between Dillon (2-0) and Alumni was set as Dillon defeated Alumni 8-6.
The Dawgs (1-1) scored the first touchdown of the game but weren’t able to complete their two-point conversion. Soon after, Dillon (2-0) answered with its own touchdown and converted its two-point conversion to go ahead 8-6 in the contest. The game ended when Dillon junior captain David Chao intercepted the ball from Alumni, securing the victory for the Big Red.
Despite the slow start and injuries, Chao was very impressed with his team’s performance, and the adjustments that were made after halftime. When asked how it he felt his team responded to untimely injuries Chao praised the team’s seniors.
“[Senior] Jack Mitchell is the hands down ‘biggest and baddest’ on this team,” Chao said. “Dylan Volanth, Pete McKeon and all the seniors set the tone — they hit hard and have no regrets when they come out onto the field. That’s by far who we look to and they stepped it up today.”
Despite the loss, Alumni senior captain Thomas Hellios said he was proud of his team’s performance.
“The boys came out pretty well,” Hellios said. “We were moving the ball, and we were stopping them on defense. Obviously, it was a close game. Games like that, it’s tough. It’s the devil in the details. Tiny mistakes will add up and that’s what happened today. We ended up out on bottom, but I think we can definitely come back, and we can obviously play with them. They’re a good team. My boys played well and played hard.”
Hellios also said the team would make some adjustments in practice this week.
“Hopefully, we will come back, we will get those guys ready to go and we will be ready,” he said.
Looking towards next week’s game, Dillon plans to capitalize off of this week’s momentum. When asked if they would make any changes for next week’s opponent Chao said he would focus on scouting.
“[We will] look at who we are playing,” Chao said. “[We will] try to see if we can get a scout, but really [we will] play to our strengths. [We will] try to set the pace with how quickly we run the ball and just run behind the big guys and make sure they get their touches.”
Next week Dillon will look to continue it winning streak when it faces O’Neill (0-2), and Alumni will look to bounce back when it faces Keough (1-2). Both teams will play at 4:45 p.m. on Ricci Family Fields.