Siegfried seeks revenge over early season loss
Grant DelVecchio | Friday, November 16, 2018
The Siegfried Ramblers face off against the Stanford Griffins on Sunday in the 2018 Interhall Football Championship at Notre Dame Stadium, a rematch of a regular season battle that resulted in a 14-7 victory for Stanford (5–1).
Despite losing to Stanford in the regular season, Siegfried quarterback Mikey Bernard is confident that he and the Ramblers (5–1) will come out victorious Sunday.
“We played them in the beginning of the year, tough loss 14-7 but, we kind of revamped our offense, grew into our team a little bit,” Bernard said.
Bernard, a senior from Detroit, studying accounting, is in his fourth year as the starting quarterback for the Ramblers, and is eager to finally get his shot at a championship.
After the loss to Stanford in the regular season, Bernard said the team came together to make some key adjustments, specifically in regards to the offense.
“We had a tough time getting the ball out a little bit in the pocket so we added a couple of tight ends and another running back in the backfield to kind of help with protection, and it’s been really good us,” Bernard said.
The Ramblers have not been to the championship in at least four years. The players, as well as the members of the hall, are all eager to finally be back.
“Entering the season, this is our senior year, it’s my fourth year starting at quarterback, we were pretty excited about it,” Bernard said. “It’s the second year with our coaching staff, we’ve got a lot of good juniors; kids who grew up in the program, and we’re all very excited to go out and compete.”
Having spent four years with this one goal in mind, the senior class of Ramblers couldn’t be more excited to end their careers in the Notre Dame Stadium.
“This is the culmination right here. We’ll definitely have a good student section out there and people will be pretty excited to be there,” Bernard said. “For the dorm, we haven’t won since I’ve been here, we haven’t been to the stadium since I think two years before I got here so it’s been awhile, it’s been one of our goals, and honestly we’re pretty excited to be there.”
One of the most notable aspects about the Ramblers season has been the role of their underclassmen.
“We have a freshman on our [offensive line], two sophomores on the [offensive line], a couple of really good defensive backs and linebackers that have been really good for us,” Bernard said.
At the same time, with underclassmen playing key roles on the team, the leadership of the upperclassmen has been essential to Siegfried’s path to the championship.
“The juniors and seniors have been big,” Bernard said. “I think we only have four seniors on the team, one of which is out with a concussion, so it’s really been kind’ve junior-led, and honestly, they’ve been playing pretty incredible.”
While the offense has been given new life since the changes made during the regular season, it is Siegfried’s defense that has held the team together and is the biggest reason the Ramblers will be playing in Notre Dame Stadium on Sunday.
“Our defense has played really well,” Bernard said. “The last couple of games honestly they’ve kept us in the game, there were couple of errant throws, and a couple of errors by the offense, and they’ve been playing really well so I would say they’re on top of their game right now.”
In terms of Bernard’s role at quarterback specifically, the senior noted that his style of play features a good balance of running and passing and considers himself a dual threat in the pocket.
One major pro going into Sunday’s championship for Siegfried is the fact that they haven’t dealt with any major season-ending injuries throughout the season — one concussion is the only injury the team has sustained thus far.
“Other than that one concussion everybody has been able to bounce back. We’re a pretty gritty team,” Bernard said.
Since losing their first game of the season to Stanford, Siegfried hasn’t looked back, as the Ramblers are currently on a five-game win streak. En route to the championship, Siegfried knocked off the Dunne Sentinels (3-2) and O’Neill Mobsters (3-3) in the playoffs.
The game against Stanford is an opportunity not only to get revenge for the loss earlier in the season, but also to win a championship and secure their status on campus.
“Let’s get this bread,” Bernard said, emphasizing the team motto heading into Sunday’s matchup.