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Women’s Interhall Football: Howard continues perfect season with win over BP

Tim Singler, Kaitlyn Murphy, Colin King, John Helms, Matthew Robison and Kelly Zenere | Tuesday, November 3, 2009

With an undefeated season on the line entering the final game of the season, Howard coasted to a 20-0 victory over Breen-Phillips.

The Ducks (6-0) entered the game undefeated and needed one more win to be able to secure one of the top seeds for the playoffs. Although they had already locked up a playoff spot, the game still remained vital for Howard.

Throughout the game, the Ducks held control of the contest.

Despite their win, the players know that they still have room to improve. Just one or two mistakes in a playoff game can cost a team a shot at the championship, junior captain Kayla Bishop said.

“We will be putting in plenty of time in practice to be sharp for the playoffs,” Bishop said.
Howard played a steady game and was consistent in the run and pass game. The Ducks also managed to capitalize on a number of Breen-Phillips turnovers. The Ducks converted a few of the turnovers into scores, with one of the interceptions being returned for a touchdown.

With the Ducks ending the season with a win and an undefeated record, this year’s team will remain in the history book. This is the first time that Howard has finished a season undefeated.

However, the season begins again as the teams enter into the playoffs.

“There is a brand new slate when we get in the playoffs,” Bishop said.

Despite a losing effort, Breen-Phillips (0-6) looks toward a more positive season next year.
Howard looks towards the playoffs as one of the top seeds and will face McGlinn Sunday at 1 p.m.

Walsh 13, Lyons 0
Walsh defeated Lyons 13-0 in its final test before the playoffs begin. The Wild Women finished the season 5-1, only losing at the hands of undefeated Pasquerilla West. Throughout the season, Walsh proved that it would be a force to reckon with in the playoffs, particularly because of its offensive capabilities.

Walsh took advantage of its talented quarterback, junior Amy Langnecker, in its victory against Lyons Sunday evening. While it was a quiet game offensively, Langnecker capitalized on Lyons’ penalties and on good field position provided by key defensive stops. She threw one touchdown late in the first half to put the Wild Women on the board. Their second touchdown came on a pass to junior Lindsay Schanzer.

Lyons did not score a single point this season and lost six games in the process. The team’s starting quarterback, senior Clair Connell, injured her knee in the season opener and never returned to lead the team. The offense was never able to regain pace without a consistent replacement quarterback.

Lyons’ sophomore receivers Caroline Maroney, Carolyn Henderson, and Katrina Rodriguez put forth a solid effort against Walsh, but were unable to string together enough plays to get to the end zone.

“It’s been tough since we lost our quarterback so early in the season,” Maroney said. “Next year we will have a permanent quarterback and it will be a lot easier for our offense to find a rhythm.”

The Lions’ defense put up a strong effort and held Walsh to the lowest number of points scored against Lyons all season. Such improvements inspired Maroney to speak about the future of the team.

“We have a very young team, so we plan on coming back stronger and more seasoned,” she said. “We may not have scored a point, but next year we are going to make the greatest comeback in interhall history.”

Henderson echoed Maroney’s high expectations for the future of Lyons football, and emphasized the importance of staying positive throughout the season.

“We didn’t just base the success of our season on wins or losses, and we had a lot of fun,” Henderson said.

Walsh will play Pasquerilla East in the opening round of the playoffs Sunday.

Badin 25, Ryan 0

Badin ended its season with an anticlimactic 25-0 rout of Ryan.

The Bullfrogs (2-4) scored early in the second quarter when sophomore receiver Ryan Cooney took a hand off and scampered 15 yards for a touchdown on an end-around.

“She has optimum cutting abilities,” Badin coach Michael Browder said. “She knows how to run with the ball and make moves. That’s just something that can’t be taught.”

On the Wildcats’ next possession, Bullfrog linebacker Ashley Okonta intercepted quarterback Kenzie Bowen and returned it for a touchdown. It was the first of six Wildcat interceptions. Okonta had two, senior cornerback Kelley Daniels one, and Cooney had three picks herself to pad her offensive statistics.

“We were very disappointed to have no shot at the playoffs coming into this game,” said Cooney. “So we decided to do just about whatever we wanted.”

And they did. The defense circled around Okonta before Ryan snapped the ball various times throughout the game in their circle-the-wagons formation.

“I could feel the energy of all my teammates as they circled around me,” Okonta said.
Aside from her interceptions and pivotal role as center of the circling wagon, Okonta did her part to energize her teammates.

Though the Wildcats did not challenge the Bullfrogs in the score column, they put up a fight in the comedy category. Ryan players came dressed for the game in costume.

“We wanted to have crazy, free-spirited outfits to match our game time emotions,” receiver Kayla Steinmann said. “Actually, we just didn’t change from Halloween last night.”

Their offense also remained in Halloween mode. An array of quadruple reverse passes was not tricky enough to get the Wildcats into the end zone.

The game ended true to form, as Bullfrog freshman receiver Tommasina Dolel caught her first touchdown pass of the year, but most importantly, earned her first crack at the Badin touchdown celebration.

Badin and Ryan capped their seasons with opposite results, but both teams enjoyed the process.

Pangborn 20, Cavanaugh 13
Two playoff teams faced off in their final tune-up of the regular season, as Pangborn edged Cavanaugh 20-13.

Pangborn (4-2) clinched a playoff berth with the win, taking the third seed from their division. The Chaos (3-3), who clinched a playoff berth with their 14-0 win over Lyons on Thursday, wind up with the fourth slot.

The Phoxes, coming off a 27-0 thrashing of Ryan on Thursday, didn’t miss a beat jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first half. Junior quarterback Gabby Tate threw a long touchdown pass and the Phoxes took advantage of an interception deep in Chaos territory, punching it in to go up two scores.

“We didn’t play as well in the first half,” Cavanaugh sophomore wide receiver Brittni Alexander said. “They shut us out and then it was tough to come back.”

But the Chaos did make a game of it. They scored two touchdowns of their own, on a 15-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Rebecca Cink to Alexander and a quarterback run. But the Phoxes added another touchdown of their own on another deep pass by quarterback Tate, and pulled away just enough to get the victory.

“We played okay. It definitely wasn’t a bad game for us,” Alexander said.  “We could have played better but [Pangborn] played a good game.”

Both teams now turn their attention to next Sunday and the playoffs. Pangborn will play Farley and Cavanaugh will take on Howard.

McGlinn 25, Lewis 21
McGlinn entered its game against Lewis needing a win to advance to the playoffs, and halted Lewis’ spoiler attempt with a 25-21 victory.

Both the Shamrocks (3-2-1) and the Chicks (1-5) scored on their first offensive possessions, marching down the field on 65-yard drives. While McGlinn had a balanced attack, utilizing both the run and pass, Lewis decided to run it down the Shamrocks’ throats, attempting only one pass on an 11-play drive that ended in a touchdown on a quarterback sneak.

After the teams went back and forth on the scoreboard for most of the game, it all came down to the final two possessions. With 1:50 remaining, Lewis scored on a 50-yard run, making the score 21-19.

When McGlinn took over with only 1:20 left on the clock, it seemed time was running out on both their drive and their season. However, the Shamrocks rallied, running a picture-perfect late game drive that ended in an aerial connection in the end zone as time was nearly expired. The Chicks had one last chance for a “Hail Mary” heave, but the Shamrocks ended the game definitively with a sack.

“We were expecting to win,” Shamrock senior captain Emily Dore said. “And we did. Our offense just looked awesome out there.”

Having now made it into the playoffs, Dore said McGlinn has some preparation to do.

“On defense we need to work on flag-grabbing,” she said. “But overall our team played well.”

The Shamrocks are certainly looking forward to a strong performance in their opening playoff game.

“It’s really exciting,” Dore said. “We want to get back to the Stadium, and today’s win gave us a lot of momentum heading into the playoffs.”

Sunday McGlinn will take on undefeated Pasquerilla West to begin its title defense.

Pasquerilla East 0, Farley 0
Farley and Pasquerilla East will both enter the playoffs after a scoreless tie this past Sunday. Both teams played solid offensively, but the defenses performed even better and stifled any scoring threats.

The Finest (3-1-2) came out ready to win today but their offense was stopped multiple times in the red zone. Its not that the offense couldn’t get down field they just couldn’t get past the goal line. Captain Emma Klosterman felt that the Finest did well on defense but their offense definitely needs work.

“We need to make plays in the end zone,” Klosterman said.

The Finest’s defense on the other hand played an almost perfect game. In the second half both sophomores Katie Smith and Kaley DeNicola had interceptions, but the offense could not produce.

“Our defense was in gear,” Klosterman said. “The offense just couldn’t produce.”

The offense for the Pyros (3-2-1) also struggled to get down the field this game. Freshman quarterback Erica Cherard did a great job in the passing game, but Farley’s defenders were everywhere.

Senior captain Tara Pillai said that the Pyros offense needs some work before their first playoff game.

“Our offense was [full of] frustration,” Pillai said. “We have a lot to do before we start the playoffs next week.”

The Pryos defense was only frustrating to Farley, stopping the Finest passing and running game. After the Pryos’ intercepted passes their defense really stepped up to get the offense back onto the field.

“[Our] defense did great today,” Pillai said. “We just need to get our offense back on the same level.”

Pasquerilla East will face Walsh Sunday in the first round of the playoffs, while Farley plays Pangborn.