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Underdog Howard holds No. 1 Welsh Family to a tie

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, October 5, 2004

With a season on the brink, Sunday’s game between Howard and Welsh Family came down to a thrilling defensive stop at the one-yard line.

With a key goal line stand, Howard (0-3-1) kept Welsh Family (3-0-1) out of the endzone and escaped with a tie against the No. 1 ranked team in the women’s interhall polls.

“Coming off that game, we’re so excited for the rest of the season because everything came together for us and to tie the number one ranked team was something we’ve been working for all semester,” Howard captain Callie Whelan said.

The Ducks took an early lead in the first half by scoring the first touchdown of the game. The Whirlwinds struck back with a touchdown score and extra point conversion to make the score 7-6. Then Kacey Rak intercepted a pass and ran it back to the six-yard line. Welsh Family took advantage of the turnover and scored to make the score 13-6.

But the second half was a completely different story. The Whirlwinds failed to click on offense and the incompletions piled up as receivers dropped passes.

“It was a breakdown for us on all levels,” Welsh Family captain Mary Pendergast said. “We were doing things that we don’t even do in practice. We were missing holes and we were not making plays, not catching passes. That’s why it was so awful for us because we felt it was in our hands and we let it slip away.”

The turning point of the game came half way through the second half. Howard’s Alicia Miramontes intercepted a Welsh Family pass and took it back 25 yards for a touchdown. After converting on the extra point, the Ducks found themselves in a position to tie or even steal the game from the Whirlwinds.

“The whole thing about the game today was that our team came together,” Whelan said. “Individually, the efforts put forth were amazing but things clicked as far as the team went that made everyone’s role so important.”

After trading punts, the time ticked down to 1:58 left before Welsh Family began its final push. Using consecutive screen passes and a quarterback scrambles, the Whirlwinds drove down to the Howard 10-yard line. On the final play of the game, Lauren Hoeck, Welsh Family’s quarterback, got free for a scramble that took the ball all the way to the 1-yard line before Miramontes again came up with a huge defensive stop, sealing the score at 13 points a piece for the two teams.

Lewis 0, Lyons 0

Sunday’s game between Lewis and Lyons resulted in a disappointing tie.

Both teams’ defenses came out strong by blocking passes, catching interceptions and stopping runs all throughout the game.

At the end of the first half, Lyons found themselves in a dangerous position. After a penalty against their defense, Lewis was inches from a touchdown.

“Defense really came through during the goal line stand. They did a great job defending their end zone and shutting Lewis down” Lyons coach Mike DeMartini.

The Lewis defense forced several turnovers in the game, but Lyons was not to be outdone. Late in the second half, Lyons’ defense intercepted the ball. Instead of capitalizing on the turnover however, the Lyons’ quarterback threw an interception only two plays later. The Lyons’ defense, not to be overshadowed by Lewis’, responded with yet another turnover. In a huge play, both a Lyons’ defender and a Lewis receiver had their hands on the ball, wrestling for it until they hit the ground and the referee called it as an interception.

Lewis caught one interception in the first half and three in the second.

“I really credit defense for their four interceptions,” Lewis Captain Sheila Dawes said. Junior safety Lauren Mullins cause two of the turnovers, while sophomores Kate Altschaefal and Mia DeLaRosa each had one.

“We’re going to go back and play even better on Thursday, everyone’s got to keep going,” Dawes said.

Pangborn 33, Off-Campus 7

Prepared and focused, the Pangborn Phoxes (3-1-1) routed Off-Campus (0-4) Sunday at Riehle fields, mixing the option, long runs and tough defense. The win was Pangborn’s third straight, while Off-Campus lost their fourth straight.

“We started off pretty fast. We weren’t going to underestimate them at all,” Pangborn’s Kara Tully said. “We were really prepared.”

On the second play from scrimmage, the offensive rampage began. Pangborn running back Brynn Johnson took the hand-off from quarterback Katie Mooney near the Phoxes’ 30-yard line and dashed 70-yards to the end zone, putting Pangborn up 7-0.

Any hope for Off-Campus to tie the score on their ensuing drive faded when the Phoxes’ freshman cornerback Amanda Dunlavy picked off an Off-Campus pass.

Turnovers and defensive touchdowns lifted the Phoxes. Brittny Heinrich intercepted two passes including one returned for a touchdown.

“We just came up really big on defense. Pretty much every time they would try to throw the ball, we would intercept it or bat it down,” freshman Stephanie Lewis said.

Pangborn’s strong defensive and offensive lines also played an important role in the victory.

“We take our jobs pretty seriously,” Lewis said.

The Phoxes boasted an insurmountable 33-0 lead by the time Off-Campus punched in a late touchdown.

“Even though we were up by a lot, we were still working on plays, both ways, that we might need in the playoffs,” Lewis said.

As the postseason approaches, the Phoxes see room for improvement.

“After every game, we are always told we can do better. We don’t let wins and losses affect what we do,” Dunlavy said. “We’ve been practicing really hard, and it shows on the field.”

Underdogs at the beginning of the season, Pangborn has established themselves as an interhall force.

“No one really thought we were going to be really good this season,” Lewis said. “It’s cool to come in as a freshman and win a lot of games, more than we have in the past.”