Heading to Rock’s house
Chris Michalski and Kyle Smith | Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Welsh Fam 14, Pasquerilla West 7
Same scenario, same result.
On another cold November Sunday, top-seeded Welsh Family eliminated fourth-seeded Pasquerilla West from the playoffs, just like they did last year.
This game, though, was much closer than last year’s, and came down to the last drive to decide the winner.
The Purple Weasels came out tough, scoring on their first offensive drive. Quarterback and captain Cara Davies found receiver Cynthia Curley in the left corner of the endzone for a score, and Davies added the extra point with a run of her own.
After Welsh’s subsequent failed drive, it looked as though the Purple Weasels would go into halftime up 7-0. But with 38 seconds left in the half, Whirlwind quarterback and captain Jenni Gargula made three long passes over the middle, with the third landing in the hands of receiver Meghan Mulhern for a game-tying touchdown.
Late in the second half, the Whirlwinds added seven more on a touchdown pass to Caroline Shakour.
The Purple Weasels needed a score on their next drive, and as they marched methodically down the field, hope was high on the Pasquerilla West. sideline. A pass interference call prolonged the drive and gave the Purple Weasels first and goal from the five-yard line. However, Welsh Family defender Katie Rehberger shut the door on the Purple Weasels’ comeback with an interception in the endzone.
With only seconds left, the Whirlwinds could take a knee and start their celebration as they had once again reached the Stadium.
“Even though we got down early, we stayed composed,” Gargula said. “We didn’t get down on ourselves and we knew we would win the game.”
The Whirlwinds will play for the championship next Sunday against McGlinn.
McGlinn 12, Farley 7
No. 2 McGlinn held off No. 3 Farley 12-7 Sunday afternoon, becoming the first Shamrocks’ team to ever reach the championship game.
Farley looked sloppy out of the gates, as quarterback Emily Murphy’s first pass of the day was intercepted by Casey Robertson, giving McGlinn prime field position.
The Shamrocks capitalized on the turnover as team captain and quarterback Sarah deGroot quickly connected on four of six passes for 40 yards, including a five-yard touchdown pass to Robertson. The extra-point attempt was unsuccessful, and McGlinn led 6-0.
On the ensuing possession, Farley threatened, led by Murphy, who broke down the Shamrocks defense on the ground, running twice for 41 yards.
Faced with a fourth-and-four, Murphy threw an incomplete pass, but the Finest got new life when defensive pass interference was called. Murphy took advantage, capping off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass. The extra point attempt was successful, and Farley surged ahead for a 7-6 lead.
McGlinn fought right back, as deGroot connected on back-to-back deep throws, a 31-yard pass to Kathleen Stanley and a 36-yard touchdown pass to Lauren Miller. Again, the Shamrocks couldn’t convert the extra point, but reclaimed the lead, 12-7.
On its next possession, Farley quickly turned the ball over as Murphy’s first pass was picked off again by Robertson, who had an outstanding overall performance for the Shamrocks.
“Everyone was really proud of her,” McGlinn captain Sarah deGroot said. “She has been really clutch for the team the whole year.”
The first half ended with McGlinn still clinging to a five-point lead.
Farley’s defense valiantly kept the Finest within striking distance in the second half, but their offense was unable to muster a second half rally.
Desperate to score, Farley resorted to using all four downs on their final three possessions, but the Finest were constantly thwarted by the stellar play of the Shamrocks’ defense, and McGlinn held on for the 12-7 victory.
With their victory, the Shamrocks now move on to the biggest stage – Notre Dame Stadium to fight for the championship, where they will face No. 1 seed Welsh Fam.
“We’re all pumped to go to the Stadium,” deGroot said. “We couldn’t be more excited.”