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Interhall: Wasikowski hauls in game-winning score

Bill Brink and John Tierney | Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Badin quarterback Katie Rose Hackney’s second-half interception sparked a 28-yard drive that ended in what proved to be the decisive score in Walsh’s 7-6 victory over the Bullfrogs.Wild Woman Mary Sullivan threw a touchdown pass to Laurie Wasikowski to lead Walsh in Tuesday night’s offensive struggle.The Bullfrogs hung around to keep it close. Badin began a drive with 1:15 left when Hackney connected with senior Meghan Charlebois twice, one for 48 yards and the next for 21 yards. The Bullfrogs found the end zone with 26 seconds left on a pass to Courtney Rains in the corner of the end zone.On the point-after attempt, however, Walsh had Rains covered tightly and the pass was knocked down to preserve the victory”We expected Rains or [wide receiver Lizzi] Shappell to get the ball, and we were surprised by the fade to Rains,” Walsh coach Brian Fallon said. “We thought the ball would go to Shappell because she’s taller.”Sullivan completed 13-of-24 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown and added 31 rushing yards.Hackney completed 8-of-20 passes for 89 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Hackney was hampered by four first half dropped balls by Bullfrog receivers. Walsh’s defense played strong throughout the game – closing passing lanes and deflecting numerous passes.”We didn’t make any changes on defense at the half,” Fallon said. “We gained confidence with the interception, and we got into a rhythm. Once we get that rhythm, we play very well.”

Welsh Family 12,Cavanaugh 0Welsh Family’s ball control offense wore out a tired Cavanaugh defense, riding long drives to a short victory. Welsh Family started the game with an eight-play drive that ended in a touchdown on Jenni Gargula’s quarterback sneak. Despite missing the conversion try, Gargula said the long drive set the tone for the game.”It’s really important to come out and score early,” Gargula said. “It got us pumped.”After Welsh’s next two possessions ended in punts, the Whirlwinds got back on track in their first possession of the second half with another eight-play drive that resulted in a touchdown pass to junior Kelly Bushelle. Locked between double coverage, Bushelle fought off the pressure and pulled the ball down between the defenders.Gargula threw a touchdown pass moments earlier that was negated by an illegal block. The Whirlwinds set themselves up with first-and-goal on the four-yard line after Cavanaugh was flagged for pace interference. The drive was jump-started by a 16-yard Gargula completion. She completed 6-of-7 passes for 29 yards on the drive.Gargula was pestered by the Cavanaugh defensive line the entire game, but was unfazed.”It didn’t affect our play,” she said. “I got around the pressure, but I didn’t notice it at the time, because I was looking downfield at my receivers.”After forcing a Cavanaugh turnover on downs, the Whirlwinds’ final possession was a time-consuming nine-play, 25-yard drive in which Welsh Family fooled the Chaos defense with several quarterback options.”We used the option near the end to keep the clock running,” Gargula said.Gargula completed 16-of-23 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown in the game. Cavanaugh got the ball with under a minute remaining, but quarterback Katie Dunn threw an interception to end the game.Cavanaugh could not gain momentum on offense throughout the matchup. Though it mixed up the calls with play-action passes, motion and options, the team failed to find consistency in their attack.Though Dunn remained calm under duress, Welsh Family’s defensive line forced Dunn to throw before the plays developed. “Our coached stressed pressuring the quarterback,” defensive lineman Meghan Mulhern said. “It makes a big difference when you put pressure on the quarterback. They have to make quick decisions, and that helps the secondary to make their decisions.”

Lyons 24,Pasquerilla East 0Lyons quarterback Claire Connell scrambled for three touchdowns and threw for one to lead the Lions to a 24-0 victory over Pasquerilla East Tuesday – their first win of the season.The Lions got off to a fast start, scoring on their second possession of the game. After three completed passes to three different receivers, Connell scrambled from 10 yards out to put Lyons up 6-0.Lyons’ defense was quick to match its offense, when Patti Pogge intercepted a Laura Adams pass on the third play of the ensuing Pyro drive with two minutes remaining in the first half. The interception set up a 15-yard touchdown scramble by Connell as time expired in the half to put Lyons up 12-0. In the second half, Connell rushed for another touchdown to put the Lions up 18-0. On the first play of the ensuing Pyro drive, Lyons junior Jo Anna Collins intercepted Adams’ pass. Connell’s touchdown pass in the final two minutes put the Lions up 24-0. Though the Lyons refused to take mercy on the Pyros, women’s interhall rules did – forcing the game to end.While the Pyros were unable to put any points on the board, they moved the ball effectively downfield early in the game. Their opening drive lasted eight plays, while the team moved the ball to the Lyons 10-yard line. The bulk of the Pyro offense came from receiver Caroline Nally, who caught seven passes, none of which came in the second half. Nally also sacked Connell once and handled Pyro punts.The Lions were elated after scoring their first victory of the season, and senior captain Cheron Wilson said it felt amazing – crediting the entire team with the victory. “Our energy was really high as a team. Everyone was executing and we’re really excited,” she said.Both squads play again on Sunday, but neither team will advance to the playoffs. The lack of postseason implications should have no effect on preparation for Sunday’s game, according to Pyro coach Nathan Dyer. “We play Sunday,” he said. “It’s a game, and we’ll play to win the game.”