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Women’s Interhall Football: Seperation Sunday

MICHAEL BURDELL, ANDREW KOVACH and COLIN REIMER | Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cavanaugh looked impressive on both sides of the ball Sunday as they defeated Lyons Hall 20-6 Sunday.

With great quarterback protection, Cavanaugh’s offense blew by Lions’ zone defense, completing pass after pass en route to 13 first-half points. The Chaos were able to take advantage of shallow-zone coverage to complete long passes when they needed them most.

The Lions showed improvement from last week, driving down field three times and threatening the Chaos defense. But a lack of pass protection was an issue, as Cavanaugh was able to put pressure on the quarterback throughout the game.

Numerous penalties against Lyons, indicative of their inexperience, stifled many drives – but Cavanaugh head coach John Harrington has confidence in his ever-improving team.

“Our game is definitely an evolving process,” he said. “Looking back on last week, we are definitely improving. We are trying to pick up the tempo with quicker passing and play-calling. We made improvements on both sides of the ball.”

Harrington also added the Lions need to improve the play of their secondary. Lengthy passes set up all three Chaos touchdowns.

Cavanaugh’s back-up quarterback Aileen Wu saw a good amount of playing time and had an impressive performance Sunday.

“Our girls were excited and ready to play today,” Wu said. “The girls on our offense are amazing. They played good and hard. You can expect to see more of what we showed today in the weeks to come.”

Cavanaugh’s defense was equally impressive against Lyons. The Chaos stopped a driving Lions offense on multiple occasions and allowed six points throughout the game.

Badin 28, Welsh Family 18

Two late interceptions by the Whirlwind secondary helped erase a 12-point halftime deficit to beat Badin Sunday – clinching a playoff berth in the process.

The Whirlwinds began the second half with an interception that was returned for a touchdown, cutting the lead to five.

On the ensuing drive, the Bullfrogs turned the ball over on downs. The Whirlwinds took over and threw an 18-yard touchdown to take the lead.

The Bullfrogs were able to get off to an early lead thanks to effective play calling by the coaches and precision-passing by quarterback Katie Rose Hackney.

Badin began the game strong on both sides of the ball, establishing a zone defense that would not allow Welsh Family to establish anything offensively.

The Bullfrog passing attack was polished in the first half, showing no signs of weakness. Receivers ran tight routes, varied patterns and were consistent with their receptions. Hackney was sharp with her passes, hitting a variety of receivers all over the field.

Not to be outdone, the Whirlwinds defense increased their intensity in the second half, intercepting two passes – one for a touchdown – and created a turnover on downs.

“At half time we got it together,” Whirlwinds freshman Demi Hueth said. “We adjusted and our defense played great. We got down early, but our team showed we can still be tough.”

Hackney credited the coaches of Welsh Family and the persistence of the entire Whirlwind team.

“I would like to point out the excellence of [Bullfrog receiver] Kelly Daniels,” she said. “She had a great touchdown catch and adds a lot to our offense, especially as a freshman.”

Pangborn 20, Howard 6

A dominating performance by the Pangborn offense – led by Meghan Bescher – propelled the Phoxes to a victory over Howard Sunday on West Quad.

Pangborn quarterback Katie Mooney led the offense on two scoring drives, one resulting in a Meghan Bescher score and the other a Brynn Johnson touchdown reception.

But Bescher made her presence felt more in the defensive backfield, where she picked off five errant passes.

With Pangborn leading 14-0 in the second half, the Ducks attempted a trick play, which Bescher turned into six more Phox points. After a quick screen to the right sideline, Howard’s receiver took a step back with the ball and looked to heave a deep pass downfield.

Flushed out of her pocket by a tenacious Pangborn defense, she had no other choice but to run to her left and throw a deep ball across her body. Bescher was there, picking off the pass, zig-zagging across the field and finally crossing the goal line.

“It’s key that we were putting pressure on the quarterback,” she said. “We played tight coverage and it’s been working so far.”

Each team scored only six points in their week-one victories and knew more points than that would be necessary to win this game.

Howard’s offense was neutralized for the majority of the contest, but a scoring drive in the game’s final minutes put the Ducks on the board.

Pangborn coach Tom Holder noted that his team’s offense struggled in the first half but were able to recover. He also knows that after today’s dominating victory, his team’s potential is nearly limitless.

“When we get the kinks worked out, we’re going to be a scary team,” he said.

Pangborn will try to notch another victory against McGlinn at 9 p.m. Thursday, while Howard will try to get back to their winning ways against Farley at 7 p.m.

Pasquerilla West 20, Farley 0

Earlier in the week, Pasquerilla West’s captain Maureen Spring called her defense the team’s “rock.” Sunday against Farley, they lived up to that billing, shutting out yet another opponent as the Purple Weasels pulled out a victory over Farley.

The defense was able to contain Farley’s short passing attack, limiting quarterback Brittany Baron to 11-of-19 passing for 73 yards and three interceptions.

“The key to the game was the defense,” Spring said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have had such great field position to work with throughout the game.”

But perhaps the thing that stifled Farley’s upset bid the most were a pair of critical and controversial penalties.

In the first half, the Finest drove the ball into Purple Weasel territory threatening to score, when an unsportsmanlike foul on a Farley fan derailed the drive’s momentum.

“We all felt that penalty contributed to our inability to convert on offense,” Farley captain Kim Crehan said. “We had just marched down the field and would have most likely scored, given our great field position.”

Pasquerilla West converted on a key Spring interception late in the first half when she and quarterback Cara Davies connected for a 10-yard strike to make it 7-0.

The score could have been higher had the Purple Weasels converted earlier in the game following an interception by senior Annie Brusky. But Farley answered back with an interception by freshman Chrissy Andrews.

A controversial play occurred late in the second half. With the score still 7-0 and the Purple Weasels deep in Finest territory, Davies was intercepted by Megan Hurt in the end zone.

Farley’s defense was then called for a rare “bull rushing” penalty that gave Pasquerilla West a first-and-goal.

Several plays later, Spring made a tremendous catch in the corner of the end zone, adeptly dragging one foot to make the diving catch.

“The quarterback gave me a tremendous pass,” Spring said. “I wasn’t really thinking about where I was on the field. I just wanted to make sure that I caught it.”

After stopping the Finest on their ensuing possession, the Purple Weasels embarked on another scoring drive led by Davies, who finished 9-of-21 for 98 yards and two scores.

Davies converted a key first down with a 28-yard completion inside the Farley 10-yard line and capped off the final scoring drive with a four-yard scramble.

“Although it wasn’t a great game, the score definitely did not reflect how we played today,” Crehan said. “We take consolation out of the fact that it was 7-0 the majority of the game.”

Farley will try to rebound Thursday against Howard. Pasquerilla West will have to wait until Sunday to play Lewis.

Breen-Phillips 25, McGlinn 6

McGlinn simply couldn’t shut down the Tara-Tara combination.

Senior Tara Johnson and sophomore Tara McCarron combined for three touchdown receptions as Breen-Phillips rolled to a victory Sunday over an inexperienced Shamrock team. The Babes used a methodical, potent short-passing attack to pick apart the underneath coverage of the McGlinn defense.

Melissa Meagher led the offensive onslaught for Breen-Phillips, completing 13-of-24 passes for 173 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

The Babes struck early and often, as Sarah Ball intercepted McGlinn quarterback Stephanie Grandits on the opening drive of the game. On the ensuing play, Meagher connected with Johnson from 18 yards out.

McGlinn tried to answer, driving close to midfield on their next possession. But Grandits was intercepted again, this time by Christie Golubski.

On the Babes’ first play following Golubski’s interception, Meagher hit McCarron on what seemed to be a harmless check-down pass. But the shifty receiver avoided several Shamrock tacklers and scampered for a 52-yard touchdown.

In just two offensive plays, the Babes led 12-0. In a battle of two young teams, that early edge proved vital.

“We have a young team,” Breen-Phillips captain Megan Ohlenforst said. “We learned from our mistakes in our earlier games, and were able to click in this one.”

McGlinn captain Maddie Boyer had similar feelings about her team.

“Everyone’s young and we’re mainly freshmen,” she said. “We haven’t had time to get in a groove. Last game our defense was able to score for us, but this week they couldn’t.”

Breen-Phillips forced two interceptions in the first half, as Golubski pulled in her second of the day, and freshman Sam Vadas snagged one before the half. The latter set up a late touchdown pass from Meagher to Ohlenforst, stretching the lead to 18-0 at the break.

Meagher found Johnson one more time in the second half, this time from 26 yards away, making it 25-0.

“This was our first win in a while,” Ohlenforst said. “Once we got the first interception and touchdown, they felt the taste of success and built off of it.”

Despite the disappointing performance, McGlinn rallied late to get an eight-yard touchdown pass from Grandits to end the shutout. It was one of the few bright spots for the quarterback, who finished 10-for-20 for 81 yards.

“We have to have our corners stay in our zone,” Boyer said. “Everyone’s talented and eager to play, but most of them are new to the game. This was a learning experience.”

Both teams are in action Thursday as Breen-Phillips tangles with Lewis and McGlinn faces Pangborn.