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WOMEN’S INTERHALL: Welsh Family downs defending champs, Lyons rolls

Eric Prister and Meghan McMahon | Friday, September 28, 2007

Welsh Family 6,

Pasquerilla West 0

Two seemingly unstoppable offenses were overshadowed by two stifling defenses Thursday as Welsh Family defeated Pasquerilla West 6-0.

The Whirlwinds, who had scored four touchdowns in each of their first three games, were held to only two first downs by an aggressive Purple Weasel defense.

Welsh Family’s defense enjoyed success of its own, recording five interceptions, including two by senior Angela McKenzie, and held Pasquerilla West scoreless.

“Our defense really stepped up and played a great game,” Welsh senior defensive coordinator Paul Carlson said. “Our goal was to make them throw … and we picked up five interceptions … that was the game plan.”

The Whirlwinds scored the only points of the game during their first drive of the second half. Junior quarterback Jenni Gargula completed a fourth-down pass to put Welsh Family in the red zone. Gargula capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to senior captain Kelly Bushelle, who made a fingertip grab in the back corner of the end zone.

Pasquerilla West threatened on its next drive, but Welsh’s defense stepped up again, sacking freshman quarterback Grace Orians three times and forcing a turnover.

Weasels offensive coordinator Justin Betz isn’t worried about the lack of offense, though.

“We just didn’t execute when we needed to. … We’ll make adjustments,” he said. “We’re still going to win the championship. Nothing changes.”

The Whirlwinds have championship thoughts as well.

“We plan to go undefeated and go to the Stadium,” Carlson said.

Both teams continue their title runs on Sunday, as Pasquerilla West, now 2-1, takes on Pangborn, and Welsh Family plays Lyons.

Lyons 27, Breen-Phillips 0

There was the option, the hook-and-ladder and the Statue of Liberty. And Lyons had a Fiesta at the expense of Breen-Phillips.

The Lions asserted their offensive dominance and trampled the Babes 27-0.

“It was a really big win, especially coming off a tough loss last week,” sophomore quarterback Claire Connell said.

Lyons’ offense looked as if it had stolen Boise State’s playbook. In its second drive of the game, Lyons perfectly executed a pair of 20-yard plays – Connell ran an option-pitch to junior running back Shannon Brady and a hook-and-ladder later in the drive. Connell completed the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Maria Petnuch.

Breen-Phillips responded on the next play with its only end zone visit of the game, an 85-yard pass from junior quarterback and captain Melissa Meagher. Unfortunately for the Babes, the touchdown was called back on a penalty.

Such was the Babes’ luck throughout the contest. The offense had some tremendous receptions and got as close as the 10-yard line, but the Babes were plagued with too many dropped balls to make it into the end zone.

“We need to start combining good plays in single possessions,” Meagher said. “Sometimes we make some really incredible catches of runs, but we don’t string them together.”

The Lyons offense was too much for the Babes to handle. Freshman running back Neva Lundy’s spin moves propelled the rushing game. Connell rushed for one touchdown and passed for three, two of which were to Petnuch. They even brought back the Boise State style with a Statue of Liberty in the second quarter, resulting in a 25-yard gain.

“We knew we had to turn things around,” Connell said. “This game will give us the momentum we need for going up against Welsh [Family] on Sunday.”

The win improves the Lions’ record to 2-1, while Breen-Phillips will go into Sunday’s game against Lewis 3-1.

Badin 13, Lewis 6, Suspended

The Badin-Lewis game was suspended and postponed at halftime due to lightning and weather, senior Bullfrog Ginna Dybicz said. The Bullfrogs led the Chicks 13-7 at the time of suspension. The game will be resumed at a later date.