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Women’s Interhall Football: Whirlwinds blank Chicks, Shamrocks shut out Babes

Andrew Owens, Matthew Robison and Kevin Baldwin | Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sparked by the inspired play of freshman quarterback Victoria Moreno, Welsh Family defeated Lewis 26-0 to win its second game of the season.

Moreno threw for three touchdowns and added another on the ground as the Whirlwinds offense clicked on all cylinders.

“We’re feeling good on offense,” Moreno said. “Almost all our receivers caught a ball. It’s a team effort. The offensive line gave great protection.”

It was the final game of the season for the Whirlwinds, who finished with a 2-3 record. The finale was their best game of the year.

“It’s the first time we have had a really good offense and a solid defense at the same time,” Moreno said. “We’ve been practicing a lot and we are connecting more.”

The Chicks, meanwhile, drop to 1-4 and will conclude their season with a game against McGlinn after break. They faced the Whirlwinds without their starting quarterback, who went down last week because of a broken finger.

Freshman Connaught Blood, normally a receiver for the Chicks, started at quarterback. The offense was able to move the ball at times but was not able to punch it in for a touchdown.

“We played alright on offense,” Blood said. “We could’ve played better. Sometimes we are clicking and sometimes we aren’t. We have a good offense but tonight was just an off-night.”

The defense, despite allowing 26 points, had some bright spots to build on for their final game. Sophomore defensive lineman Lizzy Snow led the way with three sacks.

“I know I can rely on my linebackers, so I know I can go straight for the quarterback,” Snow said. “I had some help from the other linemen and we were able to get around the offensive line quickly and go around the outside.”

After allowing 20 first-half points, the defense made some adjustments and held the Whirlwinds for most of the second half.

“We started off slow,” Snow said. “The coaches talked to us at halftime and really raised our spirits. We started playing like we should have the whole game in the second half.

McGlinn 21, Breen-Phillips 0

Despite Breen-Phillips’ desperate need for a win, McGlinn’s aerial attack was too much for the Babes to handle and the Shamrocks rolled to a 21-0 victory.

McGlinn junior wide receiver Kathleen Stanley was satisfied with her team’s performance.

“We played a complete game tonight,” Stanley said. “Offensive, defense, both sides of the ball were clicking.”

The lopsided score does not indicate the intensity for the majority of the game. After a series of back and forth possessions between the Babes (0-3) and the Shamrocks (2-1-1) that resulted in punts and turnovers on downs, McGlinn finally broke through with 45 seconds remaining in the first half with a the first of two passing touchdowns on the night.

Despite the loss, Babes’ senior captain Stephanie Wuerdeman thought her team performed well and improved over previous losses.

“We played really well on both offense and defense,” Wuerdeman said.

The Babes were upset with a couple of pass interference penalties that were called in the red zone to give the Shamrocks first downs and a great chance to score, which they ended up doing on a 20-yard quarterback run.

Even though the Shamrocks were able to connect on a few long plays offensively, the Breen-Phillips defense was able to hold them on a few possessions.

“Our offense has to be more consistent,” Stanley said. “We did get a few long passes, but we need to do it more regularly.”

Both teams have seen drastic improvement in the last couple weeks.

“We get better every time we practice,” Wuerdeman said. “Our quarterback is getting a lot more used to the timing of everything and scrambling when she needs to.”

For McGlinn, those improvements were a marked rise in defensive intensity and better communication.

“I was really impressed with our defense tonight,” Stanley said.

For the Babes, this loss is another in a long streak, but they will not let it get them down.

“We just need to keep our spirits up,” Wuerdeman said. “As long as we keep improving we know we can go out there and play to win.”

The win puts the Shamrocks in playoff consideration, but they have to keep the winning ways going.

“This win will give us a lot of confidence,” Stanley said. “But hopefully it won’t make us complacent.”

Howard 27, Pasquerilla East 6

Howard kept its winning streak alive with a 27-6 win over Pasquerilla East under the lights Tuesday night.

“We’re super pumped that we’ve been doing really well in the regular season,” senior captain Mary Jenkins said. “It really helps that we’re really deep so we can put someone at almost any position.”

Sophomore Jenny Gassner was essential to the Ducks’ offense, playing the unfamiliar position of wide receiver, yet scoring two touchdowns and several crucial first downs that brought her team within scoring position. Howard utilized its dominant passing game as junior Kaitlin Robinson tallied a touchdown in addition to several key plays on the other end of the ball.

The Howard defense was impregnable, effectively shutting down the Pyros’ passing game, swarming to receivers and pressuring the quarterback into tallying two sacks by Robinson and an interception by junior captain Kayla Bishop.

“We have the mentality that offense wins games but defense wins championships,” Jenkins said. “When we’re having rougher days on offense, defense always shows up.”

The Pyros seemed poised to mount a comeback in the second half as the agile Tara Pillai scrambled for numerous gain and completed a 25-yard pass that brought the team within a few yards of the goal in the second half. Junior Meehan Lenzen scored the Pyros’ only touchdown.

“It was a tough game,” senior captain Liz Ruiz said. “Our defense wasn’t really ready for it but we’ve got a lot of time between our next game, so hopefully we’ll get a spot in the playoffs.”

Indeed, the Pyros intend to rehearse their defensive capabilities to match their competitors in order to make the cut for playoffs.

“We have a short defense yet we’re fast but we’re short so when you’re going against a tall defense like Howard we have some issues. We don’t let our fire die out,” Ruiz said.

The Ducks will take on Breen-Phillips after break in their pursuit of playoff glory.

Pasquerilla East will challenge McGlinn in hopes of adding one to their win column.