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Women’s Interhall Football: Welsh ekes past Walsh in opener

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Welsh Family Hall opened its season with a win on Sunday, dealing Walsh Hall a heartbreaking 8-6 defeat on a two-point conversion caught by a diving Demetria Hueth.

The excitement picked up in the second half when Welsh Family opened with an impressive and time-consuming drive. They marched down to the Walsh goal line, aided by two Wild Women penalties for 20 yards.

On fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Kelly Bushelle – who gave the Walsh defensive problems all game – caught a touchdown to put the Whirlwinds up 6-0.

After Welsh Family elected to go for two, the Wild Women jumped offsides, committing another costly penalty. The conversion was completed from the five-yard line – instead of the ten – Hueth made a diving catch on the left side of the end zone.

Walsh responded with a time-consuming touchdown drive. With less than two minutes remaining, the Wild Women found themselves with a fourth-and-goal at the Welsh Family goal line.

Marrie Brenner punched it in with a touchdown run.

After the two-point conversion was overthrown, it appeared as if the Whirlwinds could exhale.

On the first play of the next series, however, the Whirlwinds were picked off deep in their own territory by Walsh defensive back Julie Campbell. Campbell ran it back to within five yards of the end zone.

It appeared as if the Wild Women would be able to take the lead, but the defense had other ideas.

“We had to stop them – we just knew we couldn’t let them score,” Whirlwind captain and defensive standout Brittany Scott said.

With less than a minute to go, the Welsh Family defense came up with their second goal-line stand of the came and clinched the victory.

“They did a great job of covering out receivers, and their weak-side blitzes really gave us trouble,” Walsh captain and starting halfback Laurie Wasikowski said. “We just couldn’t get open.”

Pangborn 6, Farley 0

Pangborn prevailed in a defensive showdown at West Quad Sunday, defeating Farley Hall by a single score.

The Phoxes’ touchdown came in the middle of the first half when wide receiver Meghan Bescher found herself open in the back of the end zone for the reception.

Neither offense ever clicked – the exception being Pangborn’s one touchdown drive. The Farley offense was stifled all day by a relentless Phoxes pass rush.

“That’s definitely something we’ve been working on,” Pangborn captain Katie Riemersma said. “We were right there on all the running and the passing plays.”

The Finest quarterback was under pressure all game and never had enough time for her receivers to get open.

Farley nearly caught a break at the end of the first half. With seven seconds left in the half, Pangborn opted to try a Hail Mary pass from midfield.

The ball was under thrown, however, and intercepted by Farley defensive back Anna Persley. Persley streaked down the sideline, and got by two defenders before her flag was pulled just short of the end zone.

Farley stepped up late in the second half after getting great field position from a Chrissy Andrews interception. The Finest drove deep into Pangborn territory and had a first-and-goal with less than two minutes remaining.

However, the Phoxes pass rush forced an errant throw that was picked off on the goal line by Bescher.

Offensively, both captains stressed that there was room for improvement.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we definitely got it done today,” Riemersma said. “We’ll be looking to improve for next week”.

Farley captain Kim Crehan said offensive organization was a problem.

“We need to get organized on offense and make sure everybody knows their options on the different plays,” she said.

She thought the experience her team gained against a tough opponent was very valuable.

“Now that we have a game under out belt, I think you’re going to see a lot of improvement,” she said.

Howard 6, Lewis 0

Quarterback Sheena Ketchum’s deep ball to wide receiver Megan Savage provided the difference between two evenly-matched teams at West Quad on Sunday afternoon, propelling Howard to a victory over Lewis.

Despite playing solid defense for almost the whole game – including a Kate Altschaefl interception early in the first half – the Chicks (0-1) could not stop the one big play of the game, a fly down the left sideline that covered nearly two-thirds of the field.

“She was wide open, it’s usually pretty easy to get the ball to her,” Ketchum said.

Savage also attributed her height advantage over the Lewis defensive backs as a reason she was able to make the play midway through the first half.

Howard coach Justin Cheers was impressed with his team’s cohesiveness in the victory.

“The team came together today,” he said. “We had a great offensive drive. The defense stood strong, held them off, and the team played great.”

After heading into the break with a 6-0 lead, Howard controlled possession for most of the second half but was unable to add another score. The failure to score again proved costly for the Ducks late in the game, as a strong punt return by Lewis gave them the ball deep in Howard territory with just a few minutes remaining.

The Ducks’ defense was still stopped the Chicks’ drive after a crucial fourth-down play with less than one minute left.

Howard then took a knee and sealed its first victory of the young season.

The Ducks will face Breen-Phillips this Thursday, while Lewis looks to right its ship against McGlinn.

PW 20, Breen-Phillips 0

Pasquerilla West left no doubt why it is the defending champion with a 20-0 victory over Breen-Phillips Sunday – highlighted by three touchdown passes from quarterback Cara Davies.

Davies hooked up with her receivers early and often Sunday, throwing a six-yard touchdown to wide receiver Maureen Spring on the team’s first drive of the game. She also threw a touchdown to receiver Jane Stoeckert, before she threw another to Spring to end the scoring.

The Babes (0-1) were able to move the ball effectively at times, but never found the end zone. Constant pressure from the Purple Weasels’ defensive line made it hard for Breen-Phillips to cross the goal line.

Davies credited her teammates for the big victory.

“We have a lot of returners who know what they’re doing, and we are all really comfortable with each other,” she said.

As to her three touchdown passes, Davies again pointed to the play of her receivers.

“Our receivers ran long routes and they were my first options all the time,” she said.

Davies wasn’t the only member of the PW squad to dole out praise to the team’s receivers.

“We ran good routes, made some good passes and had some great catches,” PW coach Matt Whittington added.

Refusing to let the Purple Weasels offense steal the show, the defense stepped up the challenge as well Sunday.

A Babes pick in the second half gave them possession of the ball deep inside PW’s territory, but the Weasel defense held strong. The PW secondary also stepped up near the contest’s conclusion when the Babes began to move the ball.

But a series of incomplete passes allowed time to expire and PW to walk away with the shutout still in hand.

Breen-Phillips takes on Howard this Thursday, while the Purple Weasels look to continue their winning ways against Pangborn.

Badin 13, PE 0

It all ended with a trick play.

What appeared to be a simple sweep left turned into a reverse that allowed Badin captain Meghan Charlebois to run 30 yards for a touchdown that sealed the deal against the Pasquerilla East Pyros.

With 10:12 left in the second half, the Bullfrog offense, which had relied mainly on the arm of sophomore quarterback Katie Rose Hackney, gave the ball to their senior captain to finish off the Pyros.

After the game, Charlebois was humble about her run.

“It was really just great blocking by my teammates, especially junior Ginna Dybicz,” Charlebois said.

For most of the first half, neither offense could get anything going. Both defenses played well and refused to give up big yardage. The great defensive efforts included two interceptions by PE freshman Anne Horst.

“Anne really played great, making two good interceptions,” Pasquerilla East captain Molly Fox said.

The stalemate ended with about seven minutes left in the first half when Hackney took over. Through a combination of screen passes and scrambles, Hackney marched the Bullfrog offense down the field and capped the drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Courtney Rains.

Hackney finished 10-of-21 for 100 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Badin head coach Charlie Doar was pleased with his team’s performance and said the strategy was simple.

“We wanted to make sure we got time for our talented freshmen while still making sure our veterans got touches,” Doar said.

On the opposite side of the ball, the Pasquerilla East offense just couldn’t get going. The passing game, led by Caroline Nally and Laura Adams, struggled, completing just two passes on the day.

The Pyros then turned to their running game. But the Badin defense was quick off the line and repeatedly snuffed out PE’s play of choice – the quarterback option. Despite the limited offense, PE head coach Nathan Dyer was not discouraged.

“Our team played great today with the exception of two big plays, which were [Badin’s] only scores. We executed pretty well on offense, but we can still improve our passing game,” Dyer said.

Next week Badin takes on Cavanaugh while PE will face Walsh.