July 1, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Gold team used a potent aerial attack to score 20 first-half points and would not look back en route to a 20-7 victory Saturday afternoon in Notre Dame Stadium in the Blue-Gold flag game, the culmination of the Notre Dame Monogram Club’s fourth annual Football Fantasy Camp.
The winners had several stars, but quarterback Mike Haveard of Pensacola, Fla., led the way, finishing 12 for 13 passing (missing on only his final attempt) for 144 yards and two touchdowns. The brilliant first-half performance by the 44-year-old allowed Gold to build a 20-0 advantage; he connected on 10 of 10 passing for 135 yards and two touchdowns – while also scoring the team’s other TD on the ground.
The Gold team – coached by Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Haywood and several former Irish stars – also put together a stifling defensive effort that did not surrender a first down until the second quarter and did not allow Blue – which had just 30 yards of total offense in the first half and finished with 108 – into the red zone until the fourth. Chris Secreto from Redmond, Wash., pulled down two of the Gold team’s five interceptions – including one that he nearly returned for a score only to be tackled on the one-yard line – and also registered four tackles. John Harris from Holmdel, N.J., provided much quarterback pressure and ended with three sacks. Tony Frogameni of Sylvania, Ohio, led all players with six tackles, while Frank Bagatta of Smithtown, N.Y., and Blaine Morehead of Waxhaw, N.C., notched four each. Gold also got interceptions from South Bend native Tim Demarais and Jack Nealon from Dallas, as well as Frank Bagatta, Jr. – who was one-half of one of the camp’s five father-son duos.
Another Gold standout was Jeff Balitsos from Franklin, Tenn., who led all receivers with six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. John Van Soest of Paterson, N.J., scored eight points, with a touchdown reception and a pair of extra points. He also boomed a 60-yard punt. Jeff Pace from Dallas, Pa., had a seven-yard carry in the second half to lead the squad in rushing in a game featuring much defensive penetration by both sides.
The Blue team was led by Granger native Matt Edmonds, who scored its only touchdown and was the team’s top defender, leading the way with five tackles, including a sack. James Barry from St. Charles, Ill., was dangerous every time he touched the ball, finishing with a game-high 84 all-purpose yards (42 receiving, 33 on returns, game-high nine rushing). One of his most-electric moments came in the closing seconds of the first half, when he returned a missed field goal 33 yards.
Gold wasted no time in taking control of the action, as Haveard drove his squad down the field to open the game, covering 64 yards in five plays and eventually hitting Balitsos in the corner of the end zone for a six-yard score. Those two also connected on the first play from scrimmage, which was a 29-yard completion that set the tone for the game. The extra-point attempt sailed wide.
After a three-and-out from Blue, the Gold team again moved straight down the field, as Haveard threw five consecutive passes – all completions – to lead his squad 59 yards down the field. It ended with him hitting Van Soest across the middle for a nine-yard score to go ahead 13-0 with 2:22 remaining in the opening period.
The Gold squad went up 20-0 late in the second quarter, when Haveard snuck the ball into the end zone from the one after Secreto fell just short of returning his interception for a touchdown.
It appeared as though Gold was on its way to a shutout until Edmonds led his Blue squad on a 50-yard drive in the closing seconds, finally sneaking the ball up the middle as time expired to get on the scoreboard.
Blue got interceptions from Chris Alley of Tazewell, Va., and Chicago native Joe Colgan, who also had three tackles. Bart McGloin of Wheatfield, N.Y., saw much time at quarterback for Blue, finishing 7 of 15 for 70 yards passing. Robert Haberkorn of Cape Girardeau, Mo., – one of three participants who have been at all four Football Fantasy Camps – also had a pair of receptions.
Participants in the Football Fantasy Camp reported to campus on Wednesday evening and took part in four practice sessions with current and former Notre Dame coaches and former Irish players providing the instruction. The camp wraps up on Sunday morning. For more information, please see www.ndfootballfantasycamp.com and www.globalfootball.com.