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Chaos hang on in defensive showdown

John Witty, Laura Myers, and Kevin Henry | Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Two winless teams, plenty of high spirits and a dash of rain made Tuesday night’s game between McGlinn and Cavanaugh a close defensive struggle that went down to the wire.

In the end, Cavanaugh claimed its first win of the season with a 6-0 victory on a controversial last-second call.

“We’re really excited for our first victory,” Chaos senior Kim Halpin said. “Our offense was stringing plays together and it was our first shutout this season.”

With seconds remaining, McGlinn’s offense scrambled to line up near the Cavanaugh (1-2) end zone, but the Shamrocks couldn’t get a final play off before the whistle. Junior quarterback Sarah deGroot hurriedly took the snap, then sneaked the ball into the end-zone as the McGlinn (0-3-1) sideline erupted, only to hear the signal from the referee that time had run out before deGroot had hiked the ball.

“Unfortunately, we used all our last time outs,” McGlinn coach Brendan Ryan said. “We had an issue with the referee, but we just needed a bit more time.”

The only offensive production for either team came late in the second half when Cavanaugh drove down the field with two long passes, two fourth down conversions and a touchdown pass from quarterback Katie Dunn to team captain Tarah Brown.

After a failed extra point attempt, the score stayed 6-0 in Cavanaugh’s favor the rest of the game.

“This was our best offensive game by far,” Chaos senior Katie Zedler said. “But we also stopped them in the red zone and had a couple interceptions.”

Cavanaugh pressured the McGlinn quarterback all night, and McGlinn’s defense came up with two interceptions of its own. The wet conditions at Riehle Field also contributed to some dropped balls and slips on running plays for both offenses.

Walsh 14, Howard 12

A little rain and a lot of mud could not stop the Walsh offense as the Wild Women ran over Howard 14-12.

Scattered showers, which began an hour before the game, caused many slips and falls on both sides of the ball, but both teams’ offenses were able to create many long drives.

“We love playing in the mud,” Walsh junior defensive back Mary Campbell said. Campbell played an integral part in holding the Ducks to two touchdowns, including breaking up a long pass near the end of the game.

Walsh, which is now 4-0 and in first place in the Blue League, won the toss and elected to start off with the football. But Howard junior Laura Giezeman intercepted Walsh senior quarterback Mary Sullivan’s second pass to give the ball to the Ducks.

Although facing a short field, the Howard offense, led by freshman quarterback Kayla Bishop, was unable to score. After recovering the ball on their own 20, it took the Wild Women only three plays to march down the field and score a touchdown on a run by sophomore Meghan Hadley.

“The offense was very good with staying with the play until the whistle blew,” Walsh offensive coach Chris Cugliari said. “Even if there wasn’t an opening right away, they waited and found one.”

The Ducks took over and put together a nine-play touchdown drive but were unable to convert the extra point. During the drive, Bishop completed seven-of-eight passes, including a touchdown pass to Giezeman. For the game, Bishop was 14-of-19.

“We showed a lot of promise on offense,” Ducks sophomore captain Mary Jenkins said. “We made several good passes.”

Both teams scored again in the second half, with the Ducks once again failing to convert the extra point.

Walsh defensive coach Jeremiah Herman was pleased with the win.

“These are the games you’re supposed to win,” he said. “We came in No. 1, Howard came in number two. We really made a statement.”

Jenkins had one final thought for the Wild Women.

“We’ll see them in the playoffs,” she said.

The Ducks’ next opponent is Farley on Sept. 30, and the Wild Women hope to remain unbeaten as they take on the Finest on Oct. 2.

Farley 7, Pasquerilla East 0

Defense was the name of the game in this one. With a great team effort, Farley beat Pasquerilla East 7-0 Tuesday night and moved to 2-0-1 for the season.

“Our defense has been amazing, our whole defense from last year returned to play this year and their experience has been key,” Farley junior captain Jenny Rolfs said after the game.

Rolfs said that she felt the offense was improving as well.

“Passes are starting to be caught and people are starting to come on the same page,” Rolfs said.

Pasquerilla East’s defense though was not shabby, either, pitching a shutout until Farley scored near the end of the second half. But the unit’s pre-game guarantee of a win did not pull through for them.

“The guarantee definitely gave us some motivation and had us fired up,” Rolfs added with a smile.