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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

Dillon upsets top-seed St. Edward’s as interhall playoffs begin

No. 8 Dillon 14, No. 1 St. Edward’s 0 — Tony Zappia

No. 8 Dillon upset top-seeded St. Edward's, 14-0, in the first round of the playoffs Sunday.

On its opening drive, the Dillon offense marched downfield for the first score of the game. It appeared the St. Edward’s defense had stopped Dillon’s fourth-and-goal attempt from the 1-yard line. However, while being tackled, junior running back Tyler Dale lateraled the ball to a teammate who was able to score.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Big Red sealed their victory by scoring on a quarterback sneak by sophomore captain and quarterback Jack Walsh.

Walsh said many individual pieces were key to the Big Red’s victory.

“The defense worked well, the line played well, the short passing game worked well and running back Tyler Dale had a great game,” Walsh said.

Though St. Edward’s fell short, junior captain and lineman Phineas Andrews said the season was a success.

“We had a great season overall. We’re one of the smaller dorms, so we’re not expected to do much in the playoffs. We had a great regular season, and we thought we had a real shot,” Andrews said.

Meanwhile, Walsh said there’s still work to be done for Dillon before its next playoff game against Keenan.

“We’ll get some good practice in this week, put some new plays in and hopefully get a win,” Walsh said.

Dillon will take on the fourth-seeded Keenan on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.


No. 4 Farley 8, No. 5 Pasquerilla West 6 — Alex Bender

In what turned out to be a nail-biting finish, No. 4 Farley walked away victorious Sunday at LaBar Practice Complex with an 8-6 win over No. 5 Pasquerilla West.

Pasquerilla West broke the scoreless tie late in the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown pass from junior Hannah Butler to junior Tess Wemhoener, putting the Purple Weasels up 6-0.

Farley started with the ball in the second half, but its drive quickly ended when senior Pasquerilla West captain Maddie Bray came up with an interception, her first of two on the day.

As time began to dwindle, Pasquerilla West drove the ball down inside the Farley 10-yard line before a defensive stand kept the Finest’s chances alive.

Farley’s offense finally came alive late in the fourth quarter. In a drive which saw a long fourth-down conversion, Farley was able to punch the ball into the end zone thanks to a one-yard run by junior quarterback Lizzy Moulton. The Finest were then successful on the two-point attempt when Moulton found sophomore Sydney Manista in the corner of the end zone. The Weasels were unable to muster an answer, thus securing the Farley victory.

Farley captain Ali Buersmeyer said she was elated with the result of the matchup.

“It was an awesome game and a great team win,” Buersmeyer said. “Our defense came up big as did the offense late in the game, and we’re excited to be moving on.”

Bray said she was proud of her team after the game.

“It was a tough loss, but we put forth a good effort,” she said.

After not making the playoffs last year, Farley is now just one win away from Notre Dame Stadium. The Finest play top-seeded Welsh Family on Sunday at 1 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.


No. 2 Stanford 6, No. 7 Fisher 0 — Dominic Iannelli

No. 2 Stanford defeated No. 7 Fisher, 6-0, in the first round of the interhall football playoffs Sunday at Riehle Fields.

For the first three quarters of the game, it was a defensive battle, with the biggest series of plays coming on a goal-line stand by Fisher’s defense which resulted in a missed field goal by Stanford.

The first and only score of the game came on a touchdown run by Stanford senior Michael Grasso in the third quarter. However, the Griffins were unable to convert the extra point.

Fisher had two more chances to tie the game but was stopped on fourth down on one possession, and Stanford sophomore Aaron Lopiccolo snagged the game-clinching interception on the second.

Throughout the game, Stanford switched between quarterbacks, working in dual-threat freshman Chase Jennings for the first time this season. Dan Babiak, Stanford’s senior captain, said the offensive change saying his goal was intended to throw the defense for a loop.

“We're gonna do what works and that was working for us this game,” Babiak said. “We were throwing different looks at the defense, and I think it confused them and made them uncomfortable.”

Babiak pointed to the whole team’s combined effort as the key to the game.

“In the trenches guys were firing off the ball, on defense we were wrapping up tackles, our corners were locked in tight coverage, and on offense we were catching balls and running great routes,” Babiak said. “Everyone was doing their job, and that's how you win football games.”

Fisher captain junior Shannon Massey said he was proud of his team despite the loss.

“Everyone came out and played hard,” Massey said. “We held an undefeated team to six points. I'm proud of the way they worked today and how they've worked all season.”

Stanford advances to the semifinals, where the Griffins will meet No. 3 Morrissey at 4:45 p.m. Sunday at LaBar Practice Complex.


No. 2 Howard 13, No. 7 Cavanaugh 0 — Joe Everrett

The higher-seeded Ducks pulled out the 13-0 victory over Cavanaugh on Sunday to advance to the semifinals.

Howard started strong, with senior quarterback and captain Stephanie Peterson getting her team on the board on the first drive with a 15-yard touchdown run. Then, after running a trick play involving laterals, Peterson connected with a receiver on a 41-yard touchdown pass to cap an impressive first quarter for Howard.

However, Peterson left the game in the second quarter with a minor knee injury, limiting the Ducks offensively. From there, the game was largely a defensive struggle.

Howard senior co-captain and wide receiver Maria Ianni praised the Ducks’ defense in light of the unforeseen injury to the team’s star quarterback.

“The defense got their first shutout and really stepped up,” Ianni said. “Unfortunately we lost [Peterson] after starting out really strong, but hopefully she’ll be back for our next game.”

Cavanaugh looked to find opportunities to cut into the lead, but the Chaos were stopped three times inside the red zone by the Howard defense.

“The game could have been better,” Cavanaugh senior captain Katherine Kaes said. “We had a couple tough breaks, but if we played to our potential it would have been a different game.”

Howard moves on to face No. 3 Ryan at LaBar Practice Complex on Sunday at 2 p.m.


No. 3 Morrissey 14, No. 6 Sorin 6  —  Maureen Schweninger

No. 3 Morrissey outlasted No. 6 Sorin with a heavy ground game in its 14-6 postseason win Sunday.

Senior running back Hunter White and sophomore captain and quarterback Declan Zidar led the Manor to victory. Zidar said his team showcased its strategy and strength during the first possession of the game, a 78-yard touchdown drive.

“That was pretty big to start the game off,” Zidar said. “First drive of the game, we run down the field and take up the whole quarter in the process.”

The Otters held Morrissey to a three-and-out following halftime and gained further momentum after a muffed punt set up their ensuing 30-yard touchdown run. Morrissey was forced to punt on its next two possessions.

Zidar, who attempted only four passes and did not have any completions, said the apparent imbalance in offensive play is not a concern for the Manor looking ahead.

“I don’t see a huge problem with [our play selection],” Zidar said. “I think we have a solid running game, and we’ll stick to what works.”

Sorin sophomore captain and safety Matt Requet said he was pleased with the Otters’ performance on defense.

“Our defensive line especially played a heck of a game,” Requet said. “Morrissey is a great running team, and they didn’t do a whole lot of running.”

Sorin managed to contain the explosive Manor ground game for most of the day, but White finished with 78 yards on 21 carries, punching in the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Morrissey’s run game will be put to the test in its semifinal against No. 2 Stanford on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.


No. 3 Ryan 24, No. 6 Lewis 6 — Tobias Hoonhout

It was a story of two halves Sunday, as Ryan pulled away to earn a 24-6 win over Lewis in the opening round of the interhall playoffs.

Ryan started with the ball and, led by senior quarterback and captain Erin Clark, looked to get the passing game going, especially to freshman receiver Lauren Longo. The Lewis defense held firm, however, and the Chicks got the ball after a fourth-down stop.

On the other side, Lewis’s offense tried to get the run game going with senior captain Hannah Skrbis, but the Wildcats also played solid defense as the game began to turn into a defensive battle.

In the second quarter, Lewis finally broke the deadlock with a 15-yard touchdown catch by Skrbis to put the Chicks up 6-0. Ryan attempted to answer before the half ended, but penalties hurt the Wildcats and the half ended with Lewis on top.

The second half, however, saw a reversal of fortunes. The Wildcats began to dominate the game on both sides of the ball. Clark scored on a 10-yard run to tie the game, and then the defense, led by back-to-back pick-sixes by junior Shawn Hall and freshman Allison Perez, stymied the Chicks’ offense and helped Ryan put 24 unanswered points on the board to win the game.

“Our defense did an unbelievable job of anticipating the Lewis offense and really made big plays when they needed to,” Clark said. “I couldn't be more proud of the effort the team showed today, especially against a strong opponent like Lewis.”

“I’m pretty proud of how we evolved throughout the season,” Lewis captain Penny Vorissis said. “And I’m not ashamed of how we played tonight.”

Ryan now moves on to play No. 2 Howard on Sunday at 2 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.


No. 4 Keenan 7, No. 5 Siegfried 0 — Brenna Moxley

No. 4 Keenan Hall shut out No. 5 Siegfried, 7-0, in a hard-fought defensive battle Sunday.

Freshman receiver Lukas Cepkauskas made a 20-yard touchdown grab to put the Knights up in the fourth quarter, and junior Keenan captain Michael Koller said the catch was a key play in the game.

“We needed to get more points on the board [early], but that was a clutch drive at the end of the game,” Koller said.

Siegfried started off the game with an interception by sophomore Sean McMinimee, but Keenan responded with an interception of its own by senior Jon Wiese.

Turnovers proved to be a problem for the two teams, as they combined for a total of three fumbles and three interceptions. Siegfried junior cornerback Jake Maier said turnovers and mistakes hurt his team.

“Misplaying killed us,” Maier said.“We played a little bit short, and we missed some big opportunities.”

With the win, the Knights continue on in the playoffs, hoping to make the championship game for the second year in a row. Koller said his team has to make some adjustments if it hopes to continue moving forward.

“We need to get special teams on point, and ball security is huge,” Koller said.

Keenan will face No. 8 Dillon on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex.


No. 1 Welsh Family 32, No. 8 Pangborn 0 — Molly Murphy

No. 1 Welsh Family defeated No. 8 Pangborn, 32-0, in the quarterfinals of the playoffs Sunday.

The Whirlwinds scored on their first possession after stringing together three consecutive pass completions to go up 8-0.

The Phoxes were forced to punt on their first possession, and Welsh Family took advantage by scoring again to go up 16-0, and the rout was on.

Pangborn’s offense continued to have difficulty generating momentum, with only two pass completions to go with two interceptions. Junior Whirlwind defensive back and captain Sharon Chiang had both of the interceptions for Welsh Family.

Chiang said Welsh Family now looks ahead to the challenge awaiting it in the semifinal game.

“I’ve heard Farley is really good so that [will] also be a really tough game, so we’ve got a week to get ready,” Chiang said.

Senior Pangborn captain and defensive lineman Molly Cullinan said she is proud of her team and its efforts.

“We came off [winning] the championship last year so we were here to have a good time, which we did. We had a lot of fun,” Cullinan said. “I hope the freshmen loved it as much as we do. Welsh Fam is a good team, we gave it our all but at the end of the day all we wanted was to have fun and we did.”

The top-seeded Whirlwinds will play No. 4 Farley at LaBar Practice Complex at 1 p.m. Sunday in the semifinals.