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Phoxes, Finest square off

Douglas Farmer, Matthew Wilsey and Ryan O'Connell | Thursday, October 9, 2008

After putting up 74 points in its last three games, Pangborn is not short on confidence.

That confidence will be put to the test Thursday, as the Phoxes will take on Farley (4-1), who is coming off of its first loss of the season.

Both teams are already focusing on life after fall break. A win Thursday for Pangborn (3-2) will assure it a playoff berth. Farley is already in great position for the playoffs, but wants more.

Last Sunday, Farley lost 15-7 to Welsh Family in a tough defensive battle. If not for two deflected interceptions going in Welsh Family’s favor, Farley could still be undefeated.

“It is definitely a goal of ours to make it to the playoffs,” Farley senior captain Jenny Rolfs said. “And [we would like to] get a chance to play Welsh Family again.”

Rolfs herself is especially hungry for a win. Sunday was her first game back from a rib injury. While not at full strength, she will play the rest of the season. A second matchup against Welsh Family, next time in the playoffs, is inspiring, Rolfs said.

Farley will collide with a team stronger than its 3-2 record indicates in Pangborn. The Phoxes began the season 0-2, but have since reeled off three dominating victories.

In the past three games, the Pangborn defense has seven interceptions, including four by safety Kaitlin Furrey. Sophomore quarterback Gabby Tate has had four rushing touchdowns and four more passing in the past two games alone.

Appreciating their recent string of victories, the Phoxes are intent on keeping the season rolling.

“We hope to finish the regular season strong,” sophomore captain Kathy Poploski said. “And establish momentum for the playoffs.”

This game will definitely affect seeding in the women’s playoffs. But each team is more focused on setting a pattern for the playoffs and building momentum.

The teams kick off tonight at 7 at the Riehle Fields.

Lewis vs. Breen-Phillips

Though a win is a win, no matter when it comes, a team’s first win can set the tone for the rest of the season.

Tonight at 8 at Riehle Field, Lewis (0-4-0) and Breen-Philips (0-2-2) will face off to determine which team gets its first taste of success.

Chicks captain Katie Sushinsky believes her team is close to breaking through.

“We have improved a lot in the last few games,” Sushinsky said. “In practice we’ve focused a lot on scrimmaging and trying to improve on our consistency. If we are able to come out and play two good halves of football like we know we can, we’re going to be successful. We feel confident going into this game.”

Although the Chicks will not be able to make the playoffs, they are still motivated to finish the season strong.

“We are always excited to play, no matter the outcome,” Sushinsky said. “It’s really important for us to end the season on a high note and gain some momentum heading into next year.”

Meanwhile, the Babes are also looking to rebound, coming off a tough loss to Walsh in which they led 21-7 at halftime but ended up losing on a touchdown pass on the last play of the game.

“In several of our games, we just haven’t been able to finish,” Babes captain Melissa Meagher said. “We’ve come as close as you possibly can to winning without actually winning. We are definitely right on the brink.”

Still, Meagher has her team working hard, and she recognizes that it still has a lot to play for.

“Our practices have been intense this week,” Meagher said. “We’ve run through our offensive playbook, and we’ve focused on new kinds of offense to give our defense a chance to see some different looks. We may still have a chance to make the playoffs if we win out, so the time to step up is now.”

Welsh Family vs. Badin

After an emotionally charged comeback win last week against Farley, Welsh Family finds itself positioned for a potential “trap game” against Badin at 9 tonight night at Riehle Fields.

Despite having a standout quarterback in Jenni Gargula and a defense which supplements its tenacious pass rush with a ball-hawking secondary, Welsh Family (4-0) hopes to avoid tripping up in a game against the Bullfrogs

“Even with the big win over Farley, we’re just going to try and stay focused and concentrate on winning tomorrow,” Gargula said.

Badin (1-2-1) is hungry to keep its playoff aspirations alive after a scrappy 7-6 victory over Lewis last week. With only one win, Badin cannot afford to drop another game, and with Welsh Family on the horizon, the Bullfrogs will need to pull out all the stops if they want to topple the powerhouse Whirlwinds.

The Bullfrogs played stingy defense against Lewis but the Whirlwinds, even with a few miscues against Farley, will provide a stiffer test. The onus will be on Badin senior Katie Rose Hackney not only to motivate her team, but also to pick apart the Whirlwinds’ opportunistic defense.

“The things we’ve worked on in practice this week have been the same as the previous weeks. This consistency has really helped us put together such a good season thus far,” Gargula said.

Relying mostly on young players, Badin will have to play like veterans tomorrow if it wishes to take down the Goliath that is Welsh Family.