Interhall champions crowned inside Notre Dame Stadium
Women’s Championship — Ryan 19, Welsh Family 12
Ryan Hall won the rematch of the “Battle of West Quad,” downing Welsh Family Hall 19-12 in the interhall flag football championship game Sunday afternoon.
After to losing to Welsh Family two years ago in the championship game, Ryan came out ready to play, defeating the Whirlwinds in convincing fashion.
Ryan’s offense started the game off strong, propelling the Wildcats to an early leard.
“We had a rocking first half and we scored all 19 of our points. Our offense was on full throttle,” senior captain Jenny Moore said.
While the offense was lighting up the scoreboard, the defense also provided a spark, forcing turnovers to keep the offense rolling.
“We had a big pick on the second drive, we were dominating,” Moore said.
Ryan went into half with 19 points on the board and a lead, but Welsh Family was ready to challenge Ryan in the second half.
“They came out with a bunch of energy in the second half,” Moore said.
That energy was evident on the defensive side of the ball, as Ryan was unable to score in the second half, putting pressure on its defense.
While the whole team was firing on all cylinders, the defense stepped up and propelled Ryan to a championship. Welsh Family scored two late touchdowns to make the score 19-12, and the Whirlwinds had the ball with less than two minutes left, attempting to complete a late game-winning drive.
“They had a fourth down play late in the game and we needed a big stop and we got one,” Moore said.
Winning a championship, and doing it against Welsh Family, has been meaningful to all of the Ryan football team, Moore said.
“There has always been a good rivalry between Ryan and Welsh Fam because we are sister dorms, both on West Quad and good at sports,” she said. “There are a lot of crossover friendships on the team, so it is always great when we play them.”
Not only is there personal and dorm rivalries between the players and teams, but this game had extra importance since Welsh Family defeated Ryan two years ago in the stadium, Moore said.
“Knowing that they beat us two years ago is something we haven’t forgot, and we instilled that,” she said. “This was a big game and getting the win was huge.”
Ultimately, for Moore, the true value of this season for Ryan transcends football.
“I have been on the A team for four years, and playing with these girls has been a family for me,” she said. “Girls from years ago have been sending me texts, which goes to show that it’s more than football, it’s about the community and the girls who have been a part of it. I’m really proud of our team and what we accomplished.”
Men’s Championship — Siegfried 6, Stanford 3
In a rematch from the opening week of the season, the Siegfried Ramblers got their revenge on the Stanford Griffins, and hoisted the 2018 interhall tackle football championship trophy after a 6-3 victory.
Mikey Bernard, the Siegfried senior captain and four-year starting quarterback, said he was filled with emotion after the game.
“It’s pretty incredible,” he said. “After four years coming here, we’ve been working really hard and we thought this year we had a really good chance at it, and it’s fun to see it come to fruition.”
From the start of the game, it was clear that the game would be won on the defensive side of the ball. The first points of the game were scored on a field goal by Stanford with 47 seconds left in the first half after a roughing-the-kicker penalty gave the Griffins new life.
Unfortunately for Stanford, the lead didn’t hold. Bernard and the Ramblers got the ball back with 47 seconds remaining and marched down the field with the help of Bernard’s stellar arm. With 18 seconds left, Bernard heaved a 30-yard bomb to wide receiver Jack O’Neill, who caught the ball over a pair of defenders in the back left corner of the end zone to put Siegfried up 6-3 right before the half. While the two point try failed, the touchdown would be all the points Siegfried would need.
Despite Bernard’s performance, he made it clear that the Ramblers’ defense is what allowed them to get the win.
“Defense, defense, defense. They had those two big pics on their last two possessions, pretty incredible,” he said. “We were lucky on offense, only put up six points, our receiver Jack O’Neill made a hell of a play in the corner there, and our defense really won it out for us.”
In the fourth quarter, Siegfried was set up with first and goal after a pass interference on Stanford in the end zone came on a 4th and 3. On third and goal, Bernard put up a fade to the back left of the end zone which was intercepted, Stanford took over with six minutes left and all the momentum necessary to set up a game-winning drive. Stanford drove the ball close to midfield before a pass was deflected by a Siegfried defensive back into the arms of another defensive back, effectively sealing the win for the Ramblers.
In addition to what the championship means for him as a player, Bernard said it means even more to Siegfried Hall as a whole.
“As a player, it’s pretty awesome,” he said. “I play a lot of these sports actually so football has always been the most fun, and it’s really the one that we’re most passionate about in Siegfried. The last couple of years we haven’t really shown that but, it was pretty cool to show that today.”
Bernard said getting revenge on Stanford for the loss in the beginning of the season made the championship that much sweeter.
“I got a couple of my best friends on the team over there, so it was pretty incredible to beat them out here,” he said.
Siegfried proved that they were the better team on both sides of the ball Sunday, and were able to pull out the championship win under the lights at Notre Dame Stadium.