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Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Observer

Men's Interhall Football: Separation Sunday

Fisher's defense held Zahm scoreless and forced two turnovers in the Green Wave's 14-0 victory over the Rabid Bats Sunday.

Fisher Quarterback Kevin Rabil was 8-of-13 passing for 106 yards, including a 20-yard completion to the Rabid Bat one-yard line on the team's opening drive. That set up senior Tom Hessert's one-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal.

Fisher safety John O'Connell intercepted a pass on the three-yard line near the end of the first half and also recovered a fumble in the end zone for the Green Wave's second touchdown.

The Green Wave defense is not physically imposing, but with their nickel defense, they don't have to be.

"We swarm to the ball, and we feel we can stop the run with six men," Fisher coach Ryan Bradel said. "That allows us to play a rover back in the defensive secondary who can clean up plays. We're not big, but we're quick."

A Fisher fumble gave Zahm the ball on its own one-yard line at the end of the third quarter, but three plays later the ball popped out of Rabid Bat running back Cory Brisee's hands and was recovered by O'Connell in the end zone.

"We weren't playing the type of football we should be playing," Zahm captain Sean Weiland said. "We need to come back in two weeks and play four good quarters of football."

Penalties also killed the Rabid Bats. An interception return for a touchdown was negated by a pass interference call, and a dead-ball personal foul in the end zone gave Fisher a first-and-goal on the four-yard line.

"It's always good to beat the defending champions," Bradel said. "We played inspired - we played with a fire in our hearts."

Siegfried 16, Knott 6

A 25-yard touchdown pass from Siegfried quarterback Max Young to wide receiver Gary Burke with 1:39 left in the fourth quarter proved to be the go-ahead score for the Ramblers as they beat Knott.

The touchdown pass was set up by a 30-yard completion to Kevin Kelly that put the end zone within reach.

A snap over Juggerknott quarterback Justin Betz's head was recovered in the end zone by Tom Martin to seal the victory

"We were dominated defensively," Siegfried head coach Patrick O'Brien said. "We made big plays, Kelly had a huge play and we made a great play in the end zone and pulled it out."

The first three quarters were characterized by mistakes. Betz was intercepted by defensive back Nick Harper, which led to a 25-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Young was intercepted by defensive back Joe Raupp, but on the very next play Harper came down with his second pick of the game.

Penalties and fumbles were also prevalent. Knott scored its only points in the first quarter - coming from a 12-yard pass to Jeff Skorup in the corner of the end zone.

The Juggerknott running game was led by Trey Patrick, who had 17 carries for 53 yards. In the second half, however, the Rambler defense keyed on the run and slowed down the rushing game.

"We sent more guys at [Patrick], especially cornerbacks," O'Brien said.

"Their defense played better in the second half, and with the lead we got conservative," Knott captain Matt Crosson said.

Burke was all over the field, catching the winning touchdown pass, intercepting Betz on defense in the final minutes and running a reverse.

The point-after attempt on Burke's touchdown was blocked, making the score 9-6.

Young was 5-of-9 for 79 yards and a touchdown. Siegfried was held to just 21 yards rushing, but its defense held Knott to only 35 yards passing.

Sorin 6, St. Ed's 0

Sorin running back Rob Gallic had 13 carries for 46 yards as part of a rushing attack that led the Otters to a 6-0 win over St. Ed's.

The only touchdown of the game was scored by Otter quarterback Casey McGushin on a 10-yard run in the first quarter. The point after was no good.

Gallic helped sustain Sorin's drives in the first half, averaging 3.5 yards per carry and keeping St. Ed's undersized defense on the field.

"My offensive line was making holes, and all I had to do was find daylight," Gallic said. "Our line got great push off the ball."

While the running game played well, the Otter defense also shut down the Stedsmen. In St. Ed's first possession of the second half, running back Zach Labrecque was stopped four consecutive times.

When Sorin was forced to punt in the fourth quarter, the ball was downed on the St. Ed's two-yard line. After three incomplete passes, Sorin intercepted the fourth-down throw to seal the victory.

St. Ed's was hampered by the loss of starting quarterback Jon Brewis last week to a broken finger. Backup quarterback Nick Strom got the start Sunday.

"Strom was great for us last week and good for us today," St. Ed's head coach Jon Heintz said. "He hadn't had much time playing with St. Ed's though."

McGushin was pressured but he made many plays out of the pocket, usually rolling to his right when he felt backside pressure. However, he also threw two interceptions, including one in the end zone - both to defensive back Matt Posluszny.

The second pick, on fourth-and-goal, ended a possible scoring drive.

After the second interception, Strom threw a 44-yard pass to Labrecque down the left sideline. St. Ed's could not capitalize, however, and were shut out.

"Sorin controlled the line of scrimmage and got great penetration on defense," Heintz said. "We went to a passing attack, but we had trouble stringing plays together."

"We played hard," Sorin captain Pete Lavorini said. "But when you're playing against a girl's dorm, it's not that hard."

Morrissey 18, Alumni 0

The gridiron battle between Alumni and Morrissey Sunday was dominated by the complete Morrissey defense in an 18-0 Manorite win.

Despite four offensive turnovers, the Manorite defense was able to prevent Alumni from crossing the goal line. After last week's bye, Morrissey showed up ready to play, and they never let up.

On its first possession, Morrissey marched down the field and was able to drive the ball into the end zone on a short run. The extra point missed wide right, but the Manorites had an early 6-0 lead.

The pressure was on the Dawgs to put some points on the board, but they were unable to make significant gains against the fierce Morrissey defensive line. After having to punt the ball away, Alumni rallied when it recovered a fumble on Morrissey's next drive.

The Dawgs were unable to take advantage of the turnover because once again the Morrissey defense proved to be too tough for the Alumni offense.

Morrissey's next offensive series seemed like déjà vu.

The Manorites had a long, steady drive down the field, but on first-and-goal Alumni intercepted the ball on the one-yard line. The Morrissey defenders were forced back onto the field again, but they kept the Dawgs scoreless heading into the half with a 9-0 lead on a field goal.

Morrissey was determined to not rest on its lead, and it came into the second half looking even sharper than they did in the first two quarters. The Morrissey defense continued to stop Alumni's runs and the defensive backs played strong man-to-man coverage.

The Alumni defense put up a good fight, but the Manorites were able to capitalize on their mistakes. The Morrissey quarterback found his receiver deep in the end zone for a 16-0 advantage.

Morrissey earned a safety to set the final score at 18-0.

Morrissey takes on Dillon Sunday, while Alumni has a bye next week.

O'Neill 26, Keough 0

O'Neill dominated both sides of the ball in its 26-0 victory Sunday over Keough.

The Angry Mob managed to push through the end zone on every possession during the first half. The Mob offense scored 19 points by the end of the second quarter - in addition to the shut-out of the Roos' offense - to give O'Neill momentum.

O'Neill started the game with the ball and marched down the field for an early touchdown. The extra point was wide right, but the defense was pumped by the 6-0 lead and stormed the field to prevent Keough from gaining any ground.

After being forced to punt, Keough looked for a big defensive stop. It looked like the 'Roos were going to be able to stall O'Neill's drive, but the Mob running back saw a hole and dashed 20 yards into the end zone.

Keough couldn't catch a break as O'Neill intercepted quarterback Matt Bruggeman's pass intended for a receiver downfield. O'Neill took full advantage of the turnover and quickly added seven points for a 19-0 lead at halftime.

The Keough defense composed itself at the beginning of the second half, and the Mob offense was unable to make any plays. The Kangaroos, encouraged by a strong defensive stop, made their first big move toward the end zone.

But O'Neill recovered a fumbled on the goal line after a Keough drive and sealed the 'Roos' fate.

The Angry Mob offense managed to score another touchdown with a 15-yard run before time expired, making the final score 26-0.

Keough will look for its first win of the year against Stanford next week, while O'Neill hopes to continue its stellar defensive effort Sunday against Keenan.

Stanford 13, Dillon 7

Stanford and Dillon both sought first wins of the season Sunday, but it was the Griffins who emerged victorious.

"[Our motivation is to] get some wins this year and get into the playoffs," Stanford's Matt McQueary said.

After working hard all week in practices, putting in new formations and plays, each squad was hungry for a victory. The Stanford offense took the field first.

On the third down of the first series, Ryan Shestak came up with an interception to give Dillon the ball.

After a long complete pass to Brian Coughlin, a first-down run by Alex Duffy and a recovered fumbled snap, Big Red quarterback Joseph Garigliano completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Coughlin. The extra-point was earned on a run by Duffy to put the Big Red up 7-0 in the first quarter.

The ball changed hands four more times before, with one minute left in the half, Stanford's Bob Huguelet sacked Garigliano for a loss of four yards.

After a timeout, the Big Red converted on a fourth-and-inches for a first down on the 26- yard line. With just over 30 seconds left in the half, Dillon's Garigliano threw a series of incomplete passes, beginning with a dropped pass in the end zone by Paul Kuppich. The Stanford defense ended the half without allowing the Big Red offense to capitalize on their field position.

"[We knew Dillon would be] running up the middle and throwing over the top," McQueary said about his team's halftime preparation.

The second half began with the Big Red on offense and a 14-play series that ended in a field-goal attempt. Dillon tried to convert the fourth down with a fake field goal but was unsuccessful - the pass was incomplete in the end zone to Kuppich.

Stanford took the field with enough time for three plays before the third quarter ended. After a mix of handoffs, pitches and passes, the Griffins found themselves on the Big Red 13-yard line with six minutes left in the game.

Dillon called a timeout to regroup and design a defensive attack to keep Stanford from tying the game.

The Griffins' Tregg Duerson and Rick Loesing ran in the next two plays, leaving Stanford on the two-yard line with just under five and a half minutes left to play.

Loesing scored the Griffins' first touchdown on a handoff on the drive's 17th play. However, a fumbled pitch to Duerson on the two-point conversion left Stanford down 7-6 with 3:20 left in the game.

Dillon's next possession would lead to a turnover on downs from a failed fake punt. With 1:24 left to play, Stanford ran a reverse with Matt McQueary throwing a long pass broken up by two Big Red defenders at the 20-yard line. One of these defenders, Josh Stull, suffered a full-break to his left tibia during the play.

He was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment.

The Griffins' offense continued driving after the game moved to a new field and scored another touchdown on a short pass to McQueary with a minute left. The extra point attempt was good with a run by Duerson to make it 13-7 Stanford.

The Stanford squad would not let up one inch after this score and Huguelet recorded his second sack of the game with 56 seconds left for a loss of three yards. The Big Red offense felt the pressure, completed two quick passes for a first down and spiked the ball for some time. With 11 seconds left, Garigliano threw a long pass intercepted by Stanford's McQueary to end the game.

"We played well the first half and did not make much adjustment during halftime," Dillon's Alex Duffy said. "But they did, so that is why they were able to move the ball on us."

Dillon will play Morrissey Sunday, while Stanford faces Keough.