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Women’s Interhall Football: Robertson and Chaos power past Bullfrogs

KEVIN BALDWIN, MATTHEW ROBISON, COLIN KING, BARRICK BOLLMAN and TIM SINGLER | Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cavanaugh used two touchdown runs by its quarterback to top Badin 14-7 Sunday.

Sophomore quarterback Megan Robertson ran the ball in on the Chaos’ first possession to give them a quick 7-0 lead.

After a long defensive struggle for both teams, Badin managed a touchdown in the second half to tie the game. But the Chaos responded on the very next possession with another spectacular touchdown run by Robertson after a key block from sophomore running back Brittni Alexander sprung the quarterback free.

The Bullfrogs had one final chance to score in the last minute of the game after a pass interference call gave them a first down in Cavanaugh territory, but the Cavanaugh defense foiled Badin’s desperation passes with pressure on the quarterback and excellent coverage on the receivers.

Chaos captain, senior Sarah Cline, was pleased with her squad’s performance, pointing out that they played well on both sides of the ball.

“I’m very proud of our team, especially the defense,” Cline said. “The defensive line held strong and put constant pressure on their quarterback.”

The Bullfrogs remain optimistic, undaunted by the early season loss. The young team gave a solid performance and fought until the last down.

“We stayed competitive until the end,” said senior captain Kelley Daniels. “The freshmen were great, defense was fabulous and the offense set up some great potential plays.”

Daniels is already looking forward to next week, confident her team will rebound from this loss to face their next challenge, Walsh Hall on Sunday.

“We’ve got to focus, sharpen our routes and be ready to play,” she said.

Badin will also face Walsh Hall this week, on Thursday.

“We’ll be ready for Walsh,” said Cline. “We’re always ready.”

Breen-Phillips 22, Pasquerilla East 0

Despite a winless 2008 campaign, Pasquerilla East came out firing against Breen-Philips Sunday, shutting out the Babes.

Senior captain and quarterback Tara Pillai led the Pyros with a strong performance. Pillai proved to be a dual-threat as she used both her passing prowess and running agility to pick apart the Babes’ defense.

Pillai threw two touchdowns and ran for a third. On the Pyros’ first offensive play from scrimmage in the second half, Pillai scrambled out of the pocket, danced and weaved through the entire BP defense, and ended up in the end zone 45-yards later. On the three touchdowns, the Pyros were able to complete 2-point conversions twice.

The Pyros’ defense was similarly dominant, forcing several turnovers on downs and intercepting the Babes’ quarterback once. They also had a handful of timely sacks to stall BP drives.

Of course, Pillai was satisfied with the Pyros’ performance as well.

“We won,” Pillai said. “It’s our first win in two years. We had a shutout, and our offense scored three touchdowns.”

Breen-Philips’ offense was simply unable to put a solid drive together against the strong Pasquerilla East defense. Despite several drives that garnered first downs on big plays, each drive eventually screeched to a halt, forcing the Babes to punt or go for it on fourth down, which resulted in a handful of turnovers on downs.

However, the Babes are confident in their ability to continue improving as the season progresses.

“We have a brand new team, a brand new quarterback and a lot of young players,” senior captain and safety Stephanie Wuerdeman said. “This game gave us the opportunity to see a lot of things we can’t see in practice.”

The Babes have work to do on both sides of the ball, but made several promising offensive plays and had a handful of crucial stops on fourth down.

“We need to work on routes and most of our offense,” Wuerdeman said. “The defense also needs to tighten up.”

Despite the loss, Wuerdeman said she was “definitely satisfied” with the team’s performance, but the Babes remain hungry for their first victory in over a year.

“This loss is just going to make us angry,” said Wuerdeman. “We want to come out next week even stronger and play to win.”

Likewise, the Pyros’ are not going to let this win satisfy them, and they are hungry to keep the winning ways going.

“We are going to keep moving forward,” Pillai said. “We’ll take every game one week at a time.”

Farley 7, Lewis 0

At the end of its first game, Farley’s defense had given up as many points as it had before the game started. The Finest used the shutout and a second half touchdown pass to top Lewis.

Farley sophomore quarterback Megan Bastedo completed a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Laura Yoviene for the game’s only touchdown after neither defense allowed any lee-way in the first half.

“We all played really well,” Bastedo said.

While the scoreboard may not indicate it, the Chicks played a solid game. Freshman running back Connaught Blood was responsible for some of the team’s big offensive gains, and the defense effectively shutting down Farley’s passing game in the first half. Two critical interceptions by freshman Mara Catlaw and sophomore Margot Debot ended two Farley drives, and a big sack stopped a third threat in the first half.

“Our D-line was pretty intense,” Lewis sophomore Brandy Cerne said.

The Chicks are confident they will learn from the mistakes of the loss to build their program up to where it needs to be to finish with a winning season.

“We still looked good,” Cerne said. “We’ve got some small problems to work out in practice.”

The Finest defense did an excellent job containing the Lewis offense, with a crucial second quarter sack as well as forcing numerous turnovers. Big playmakers included sophomore Clare Cooney, who made a clutch interception in the first half and helped regain the team’s momentum after a disappointing offensive drive, as well as sophomore Katie Smith, who switched between offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

“Katie Smith really stepped up and made plays,” junior captain Emma Klosterman said.

Klosterman commended her team’s performance in the absence of many key players, especially on offense.

“It was awesome,” she said.

Walsh 18, Pangborn 12

Walsh pulled out all the stops to beat Pangborn Sunday, utilizing everything from trick plays to “secret” ones.

Junior wide receiver Lindsay Schanzer scooped up a punt and sprinted untouched to the end zone in the waning minutes of the game for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown for the Wild Women.

“We called it our secret play because no one really knows the rules on kick returns, and well, it worked,” Schanzer said.

The play capped an improbable comeback for the Wild Women. They trailed by as much as two touchdowns to Pangborn as the Phoxes came out firing early. Pangborn’s defense forced two quick turnovers to give the ball to a potent offense led by junior quarterback Gabbi Tate. Tate orchestrated two nearly flawless touchdown drives, tossing a touchdown pass to standout senior wide receiver Meghan Bescher and then running one in herself.

“We’ve worked very hard on our offense, and even with the outcome, this game affirmed what we’re trying to do,” Tate said.

The Wild Women closed the gap to a single touchdown when quarterback Amy Langnecker fired a touchdown pass to Kat Leach in the waning seconds of the first half.

In the second half, Walsh faced a fourth-and-three at midfield. Langnecker took the snap and rolled right to draw the entire Phox defense. No one noticed Langnecker had flicked the ball to senior captain Meghan Hadley until she was 15 yards downfield and heading for the end zone to tie the game.

Hadley’s run set the stage for Schanzer’s punt return heroics.

“The ball bounced right to me, most of Pangborn thought the play was already over and even I did too,” Schanzer said. “But the coach yelled at me to pick it up and I caught it and ran until I scored.”

The Walsh defense stalled the Phoxes on their final drive with two sacks. Junior Amanda Spiegelberg cemented the Wild Women’s comeback victory with an interception in the final minute.

“This was a huge win for us,” Hadley said of Walsh’s victory. “We came back from behind and showed everyone we’re a fighting team and not going to take no for an answer.”

As for the Phoxes, the loss proved a step in the right direction.

“Today was a great effort,” Tate said. “We gave it our all and even though it’s a sad loss, we’re still very excited about this team.”

Pasquerilla West 12, Ryan 6

In an exciting game between the newcomer and the established power, Pasquerilla West prevailed over Ryan 12-6 despite a valiant Ryan comeback that fell short.

The Purple Weasels’ defense came up with two big fourth down stands near the end of the game to come up with the win.

“We had every confidence in the defense to make a stop and shut down Ryan,” Pasquerrilla West senior coach Justin Betz said.

After both teams traded three-and-outs to start the game, Pasquerilla West finally broke through with a quarterback sweep by junior Simoni Bigi. The Purple Weasels followed on their next drive with the successful utilization of the option. Bigi pitched to freshman running back Alice Yerotun for a long run to the 3-yard line. They followed up with the same play to walk in for the score.

Throughout the first half, Ryan was unable to create much offense. “We knew our offense wasn’t moving the ball, so we put it on the defense to step up with a big play,” Ryan senior coach Justin Smith said. “We focused on shutting down the option since the [Pasquerilla West] passing game wasn’t working.”

Not only did the Ryan defense shut down the Purple Weasel option attack in the second half, but they also took their coach’s words to heart and made a huge interception, which led to a touchdown on a toss.

Despite this setback, the Purple Weasels were able to shut down the Ryan comeback attempt.

“We came out a little flat in the second half and Ryan exploited our overconfidence,” Pasquerrilla West senior captain Cynthia Curley said. “But after Ryan scored that touchdown we switched the intensity back on. I was proud of the way the girls refused to panic. Defense stepped up after that score and only allowed one more first down the rest of the game”

The game showed a lot about both teams. The Purple Weasels will focus on improving for next week. Ryan showed the ability to play with any team in the league after playing a close game with an established power.

Howard 13, Welsh Family 12

An extra point conversion was all that separated Howard and Welsh Family Sunday, as Howard was able to convert one more than the Whirlwinds did en route to a 13-12 victory and scoring the biggest upset of the season so far.

Junior quarterback Kayla Bishop completed the winning conversion to senior Mary Jenkins late in the second half to create Howard’s winning margin.

“[Jenkins’s conversion] was a key play in the game,” Bishop said.

The game started out in favor of the Ducks as they recovered a Whirlwind fumble on the opening drive of the game deep in Whirlwind territory. Bishop capitalized on the opportunity as she completed an eight-yard touchdown pass that gave the Ducks the lead within the first two minutes of the game.

Welsh Family began the game slowly with the turnover and a string of incomplete passes. Despite this slow start, the Whirlwinds offense clicked and they tied the game halfway through the first half. Welsh Fam looked comfortable heading into half timem, as an interception by junior Sam Miller led to a touchdown to take over the lead with under a minute left.

Howard came out in the second half with a solid drive completing six out of seven passes with the final completion resulting in a 10-yard touchdown catch. The key conversion followed the touchdown.

An interception in the second half by sophomore Kristyn Jeffries helped Howard seal the victory.

With the win, the Ducks know that they still have a long season to play.

“It feels great to win, but we are going to take it one game at a time,” Bishop said.

The Whirlwinds will not be down and out following the loss. They know that there are still plenty of games left and a playoff seed to fight for.

“We have a young team,” senior captain Stephanie Vossler said. “But it was a great learning experience for us.”

“Welsh Fam only loses one game each season, this year it won’t be in the playoffs,” senior captain and quarterback Demi Hueth added.

Each team looks to take that experience into the next game of the season.