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Lewis comes away with overtime victory

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, November 11, 2003

With the Welsh Family wind at its back, the Lewis Chicks flew into the stadium on a 14-13 victory in Sunday’s game. The outcome was far from certain as the two teams headed into overtime, usually not an option but necessary in this case to determine who would go on and who was done for the year.

In the end, a Lewis touchdown broke the deadlock and the Whirlwinds could not reciprocate before the end of the game. The Chicks are now one win away from an undefeated season.

Throughout the game, the defensive-offensive struggle gave evidence the teams were closely matched. Even the best of offensive performances was thwarted by the aggression of the defenders.

“They were well prepared to play against us,” Lewis senior Amanda DiOrio said. “They’d done their homework and studied our formations to hit us where it hurt most.”

Lewis and Welsh Family emphasized the passing game, though this frequently meant losing the play to the work of defensive players. By the end of the first half, Welsh was up on a score from a touchdown by Jamie McEldowney and the extra point.

“We came into the game really excited, especially with our lead at the start. Of course we were disappointed to lose, but our defense held them all the way to the end of the game, and we really played well,” Welsh quarterback Melissa Sands said.

Lewis had possession once again to open the second half, passing successfully at first but forced to punt by several incomplete attempts.

Welsh finally made the connection on a third down pass caught despite being tipped by a Lewis player. The Whirlwind receiver grabbed the next pass as well, but subsequent plays didn’t bring a Welsh first down. The team opted to punt and Mary Murphy made a strong 25-yard kick, received by Lewis’ Sheila Dawes. A penalty on the play, however, required the kick to be replayed.

Coming into the fourth quarter, the Whirlwind offense showed some lack of communication that cost downs. An overall strong offensive line enabled the team to progress down the field, but this was done several times by last second decisions by the ball-carrier rather than by planned play-execution.

A number of times, Sands had to run the ball when her teammates weren’t watching for the pass and giving her the opening she needed.

Lewis’ Mimi Lundgren made a strong return on a Welsh punt, which was followed by quick passing plays for the tying Lewis touchdown by Katie Clune.

“We didn’t have our head in the game in the first half, but we knew we wanted the victory, reminded each other of how hard we worked and made all the right changes and adjustments,” Lewis captain Erin Nasrallah said.

Neither team made much progress with their last possessions of the quarter, and the referees were forced to call for overtime to determine the playoff game winner.

The Chicks had the football first and scrambled for yardage. A 15-yard pass brought them within yards of the goal, and Erin Nasrallah made the game winning reception.

It looked as if the game would be forced into double overtime as Welsh skillfully brought the ball to the end zone for another score from McEldowney. The final extra point, however, was not completed, and the game ended in a 14-13 Lewis victory.