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Pangborn snaps 4-year losing streak

Kevin O'Neill | Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Due to a stingy defense, an opportunistic offense and a controversial offensive pass interference call, the Pangborn Phoxes snapped a four-year losing streak by defeating the Walsh Wild Women 7-6 at the Riehle West Field.

The game was a hard-fought defensive battle, as neither team was able to mount a serious scoring threat until very late in the first half. Walsh quarterback Carrie Campbell described the struggles at the beginning of the game for the Wild Women.

“We just weren’t connecting,” Campbell said.

Meanwhile, the Pangborn defense was playing inspired football.

“Our defense just decided that they couldn’t beat us if they didn’t score, and our defense just wasn’t going to let them score,” said Phoxes captain Katie Murray.

When Walsh took over on their 24-yard line with less than two minutes remaining, both teams had combined to cross midfield once. In an effort to generate some offense, Campbell dropped back on a third down play and looked to complete a pass in the right flats. The ball was deflected and intercepted by Pangborn, giving the Phoxes tremendous field position at the Walsh 26-yard line.

The Phoxes did not waste time in taking advantage of the opportunity. On second down from the 26-yard line, Trish Conneely lined up to the right of quarterback Christina Dunn. Dunn handed the ball to Conneely on a reverse. Conneely ran left as the rest of the play flowed right. The misdirection worked to perfection as Conneely outran the fooled Walsh defense to the left sideline and into the end zone for the 26-yard score. Conneely scored the one-point conversion on a direct snap to make the score 7-0 Pangborn at halftime.

The defensive struggle continued for much of the second half, as neither team was able to cross midfield until Walsh took over the ball on their 37-yard line with four minutes remaining in the game. From this point, Campbell almost single-handedly led the Wild Women on a march to the Pangborn 1-yard line with six scrambles, including a 12-yard scamper on fourth-and-5 at the Pangborn 30-yard line. Finally, the Wild Women faced a fourth-and-goal from the 5-yard line following a clutch sack by Pangborn on third down. With the Phoxes’ defense expecting Campbell to run, the quarterback dropped back and hit a wide open receiver in the end zone to bring Walsh to within one point at 7-6. On the conversion try, Campbell found another receiver open in the end zone to tie the game. The play was negated, however, by a controversial offensive pass interference. The penalty resulted in a loss of down and a win for Pangborn.

Campbell voiced the frustrations of the Wild Women over the questionable call.

“Obviously, we disagree with the call,” she said. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s out of our hands. We had a good second half. We really took control. For the rest of the season, we’ll just play hard and have fun. This is a great group of girls.”

On the Pangborn side, there was nothing but jubilation. Four years of pent-up celebration was released as the Phoxes erupted into whooping, shouting and jumping as they left the field.

“Everything came together tonight,” Murray said. “We were ready for a win. We plan on winning next Tuesday against Farley, and we won’t settle. We’ll keep getting better and better.”