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Notre Dame Posts Shutout for Month

October 24, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER

October is turning out to be the most productive month ever for the Notre Dame High defense.

The Knights (6-0-1) have posted three consecutive shutouts and have not allowed a touchdown since Sept. 23 against Saugus. They have surrendered only two touchdowns all season.

Tackle Tim Volk, a junior transfer from Westlake, has five sacks and 16 tackles for losses. Linebacker Tom Curiel leads the team with more than 50 tackles. A secondary that last season was burned for an 88-yard touchdown pass with 1:38 left in a Southern Section Division III semifinal loss to Valencia has given up few completions longer than 25 yards.

"It's a point of emphasis," defensive coordinator Joe McNab said of not allowing big plays.

McNab hasn't forgotten the fourth-down pass that cost the Knights a victory against Valencia.

"That was a coaching blunder," he said. "I took it personally. We weren't deep enough [in coverage]. It still haunts me."

The competition becomes tougher when Notre Dame hosts Chaminade (4-2) on Friday in a Mission League opener. For the first time, the Knights will face a team that can run and pass effectively.

"They definitely provide a test," Coach Kevin Rooney said. "They use a lot of formations and motion that throws people off."

Another element in Notre Dame's defensive success has been the kicking game. Nick Folk's kickoffs into the end zone force opponents to start at the 20-yard line. Folk also has been an effective punter.

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Crespi (0-7) played one of its best games of the season before losing to St. Bernard, 25-15, on Friday. The Celts had pulled to within 18-15 with 3:50 left.

Three sophomores started on the Celt defensive line--Kurtis Hodgins, Jonathan Morquecho and Kevin Galdamez. Another sophomore, Michael Briggs, played well at defensive back.

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Wherever the ball is, linebacker Matt Sikorski of St. Francis is usually nearby. He leads the Golden Knights (6-1) with 52 solo tackles and 24 assists.

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