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Sigma Chi wins second straight fraternity league championship

BY IAN MARTIN | NOVEMBER 02, 2009 7:20 AM

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The fields were muddy, but that didn’t slow down Sigma Chi.

Competing on a field that one player dubbed “The Swine Pit,” last year’s Fraternity League flag-football champions repeated with a 19-6 victory over Sigma Phi Epsilon.

“Our defense played better than we were expecting,” said Sigma Chi junior Chad Bruntz. “Giving up only seven [points] to that team is pretty impressive, so I think the defense was huge.”

Employing a varying number of defensive linemen, Sigma Chi kept the Sigma Phi Epsilon offense guessing the whole game. Sigma Phi Epsilon quarterback Sean Prendergast was apparently hurried every play, which forced him to throw off of his back foot much of the time.

With the combination of pressure and speed, Sigma Chi got a number of batted balls and one interception on the final play of the game.

Prendergast’s counterpart, senior Nate Ley, threw three touchdowns for Sigma Chi, twice finding Bruntz for the score. After the first quarter ended scoreless, Ley found Bruntz in the front of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

The drive was marked by penalties on Sigma Phi Epsilon, which was on the losing end of a number of close calls in the game.

After another defensive stop by Sigma Chi, the team converted on a deep connection from its quarterback. Ley floated the ball over a Sigma Phi Epsilon defender to open sophomore Dan Reichardt for a 38-yard touchdown.

The third quarter was nearly identical to the first quarter, with no scoring and sloppy play by both sides. But Bruntz scored again in the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on the victory for Sigma Chi.

While one team did win the game, neither team escaped the mud on the field. Both squads were already dirty from games earlier in the day, and they ran on a surface composed of more slop than grass.

Sigma Phi Epsilon receiver Jeff Thompson, who scored his team’s only touchdown late in the fourth quarter, said the biggest difference in the game for him was certainly “the dirtiness of the field.”

“It’s tough to get your footing out there,” he said.

Sigma Chi, however, will not have to worry about muddy jersies anymore. The team will move inside the Bubble for its final games of the year.

As winners of the Fraternity League, the team will now advance to the All-University championship, along with residence-hall champions Rienow 7 and two teams from the Open League.

In last year’s semifinal game, Sigma Chi lost to eventual runner-up Legit Ballers in a controversial contest.

Yet, the team members admit they enjoy playing outside more than inside the Bubble. This year’s squad, several players said, is very similar to last year’s and has numerous returning starters. And while they won’t know their opponent until late today, Sigma Chi players feel as though they can certainly compete for the title no matter who is on the other side of the ball.

“I think we can play with anybody,” said Bruntz. “We have a great quarterback in Nate, and I think we’ll be fine in the All-U.”


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