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Women’s Interhall Football: Whirlwinds blow away PW to advance to finals

Patrick Stynes and Alex Barker | Tuesday, November 13, 2007

On the frozen fields of Riehle East, Welsh Family proved it deserved the No. 1 seed when it cruised to a 13-0 victory over the ladies of Pasquerilla West on Sunday.

Junior quarterback Jennifer Gargula and senior receiver Katherine Hart led an efficient and precise offense that controlled the clock and chewed up time with key third-down conversions.

Early on, Welsh Family looked out of sync – the pressure seemed to throw off the Whirlwind’s timing. While Gargula evaded the pressure a few times and scrambled, the drive ultimately ended in an interception by sophomore defensive back Cynthia Curley.

On the ensuing possession, however, Pasquerilla West looked equally outmatched on the offensive side of the ball, with a long run brought back by a penalty, a fumbled snap, and a pocket that collapsed frequently due to pressure from freshman defender Cari Pick.

Later in the drive freshman quarterback Grace Orians completed passes over the middle, but once again, similar to the first Welsh Family drive, the offensive attack ended with an interception.

“We’ve done pretty much the same thing all season. We have a potent offense and a defense that shuts down any offense that steps out on the field,” Whirlwinds coach Mike Kaiser said. “We just played our game.”

The next drive the Whirlwind was fueled by the Gargula-Hart connection. After both teams traded red-zone penalties, the junior quarterback hit sophomore Mary Rodriguez for a touchdown.

The Purple Weasels could not make anything happen on their next drive, ending the half, and their struggles on offense continued as they ended their drive to open the second half by turning over the ball on downs.

Gargula and Hart once again took over the game on the offensive side of the ball. After a first down run by Demetria Hueth, Gargula hit the senior receiver on a quick slant for the touchdown and the 13-0 lead.

The interior line, spearheaded by the attack of Pick and senior Whitney Endsley did not allow Pasquerilla West to get any momentum, and the Whirlwinds once again found themselves victorious.

“Welsh Family had our number all year. They are a really talented team,” Purple Weasels coach Paul Wallenberg said. “Any loss is disappointing, but we have a lot of returning talent, and I have a lot of hope for next year.”

Cavanaugh 12, Farley 0

Cavanaugh played a nearly perfect game, shutting out Farley’s Finest on Sunday at Riehle Field.

The semifinal loss ends Farley’s impressive playoff run and sends the Chaos to the championship game at Notre Dame Stadium.

“It’s a great step in the right direction,” Cavanaugh coach Giff Fitzgerald said. “It has been a very frustrating season losing more games than we expected this year.”

The Chaos ended the season well and managed to sneak into the playoffs as a No. 6 seed. In their first game of the playoffs, they upset Pangborn to advance to the semifinals.

Sunday was more of the same as Cavanaugh played a nearly flawless game on its way to the shutout victory. Junior quarterback Katie Dunn was the story of this game, using both her arm and her legs to boost the Chaos offense. She threw two touchdown passes and had a number of key fourth down runs to extend drives.

“[Dunn] is seeing the field real well right now,” Fitzgerald said. “After this game, I think we are definitely where we want to be as a team.”

Even after the tough loss, Farley was still very pleased with the season.

“They certainly have heart,” Farley rector Sister Carrine Etheridge said. “They don’t call them the Finest for nothing. I am so proud of all of them.”

Cavanaugh’s tough defense flustered Farley’s offense for a majority of the game by forcing long fourth down situations and creating turnovers down the stretch.

“Cavanaugh played really, really well,” Farley coach Matt Barcus said. “A couple of plays and penalties did not go our way, but we just didn’t play well enough to win the game.”

Farley’s defense has been strong, but their offensive struggles have been apparent all season long.

“We’ve struggled this season on offense until we played Walsh,” junior captain Jenny Rolfs said. “It really hurt us today though. Cavanaugh’s defense played well and made big plays.”

Cavanaugh will move on to face the undefeated juggernaut of Welsh Family in the interhall championship game at Notre Dame Stadium at 12 p.m. on Sunday.