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Women’s Interhall: Bloodied and bruised, Gargula torches Lyons

Vince Keneally and Jay Fitzpatrick | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

To say Welsh Family quarterback Jenni Gargula had a gutsy effort would be a dramatic understatement.

On her team’s first drive, Gargula was scrambling out of bounds when she had a head-on-head collision with Lyons defensive back Joanna Collins. Referees stopped play for 15 minutes as both players were examined and instructed to go to the hospital to receive stitches.

Because of persistent bleeding, officials forced Collins to be taken to Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center. She received treatment for a “deep temple laceration” and was released Tuesday night. But Gargula managed to convince officials that she could continue to play.

“Coming out wasn’t an option,” she said.

Gargula immediately returned to the game – medical tape covering her chin – to throw a touchdown pass on the very next play to give the Whirlwinds a 6-0 lead. She would add two more touchdown passes before halftime, both to her favorite target, Kelly Bushelle. Welsh shut out Lyons, 21-0.

“I have total confidence in Kelly,” Gargula said. “I know she’s going to come down with the catch even if she’s triple covered.”

Defensively, Welsh Family was equally strong, not allowing a first down in the first half, and coming up with two interceptions.

For Lyons, a team made up of mostly freshmen, the game was a learning experience.

“I’m proud of the way we played today,” said Lions coach John Harrington, “regardless of the score.”

Walsh 8, PE 0

On the opening drive of the game, Walsh defensive back Julie Campbell intercepted a pass from Pasquerilla East quarterback Laura Adams and returned it 50 yards for the game’s only touchdown in the Wild Women’s 8-0 win Tuesday over the Pyros.

Walsh’s secondary dominated the game, forcing seven interceptions, including one on each of the Pyros’ first four drives. Campbell was the player most responsible for the picks, as she caught three in the first half and tipped another to Emily Wilson to end the half.

“I thought we played spectacular [defense],” Walsh coach Brian Fallon said. “And we have great defensive backs and they helped us get the ball back on offense.”

Things were just as bad for Pasquerilla East’s offense in the second half. Three more interceptions stifled every scoring threat the Pyros could muster.

“When you give up that many turnovers, you’re going to lose the game,” Pyros head coach Nate Dyer said. “When the other team has that many turnovers, there’s nothing else we can do.”

The one highlight for the Pyros was their defense, which was able to shut out the Walsh offense. Pasquerilla East’s defense made multiple key goal line stands, including a forced turnover in the end zone that gave the Pyros a late chance to score.

“We just need to practice some more [to improve the offense],” Pyros captain and linebacker Molly Fox said.

Despite the defensive effort put up by Pasquerilla East, Walsh easily won the field position battle all game long.

“We really came together as a team our defense played a very strong game,” Walsh co-captain Mary Anne Lukeman said. “And our offense did a good job moving the ball down the field.”

Cavanaugh 13, Badin 0

Cavanaugh weathered the elements to earn its first win at Riehle West, shutting out the Badin Bullfrogs Tuesday. The Chaos sealed the deal with a Katie Dunn touchdown pass with only a minute remaining.

In the first half, both defenses would bend but neither would break. Each team failed to convert on red zone opportunities. However, the half’s best scoring opportunity came on a near interception from Badin captain Meghan Charlebois.

“I was probably five to 10 yards from making it all the way,” Charlebois said. “Sometimes it just doesn’t happen.”

Starting with their first drive in the second half, the Chaos went to the option – much to the delight of their quarterback.

“I love running the option – it’s great,” Dunn said. “We wanted to keep the ball on the ground.”

Keeping the ball on the ground, Cavanaugh marched down the field and capped off an impressive drive with a touchdown run from Dunn on an option keeper. But she was quick to pass on the credit.

“My offensive line led the way all night,” she said. “When I wanted to run I could run; when I wanted to pass, I had time.”

The Bullfrogs remained persistent, even when facing a 6-0 deficit. On the first play of the next drive they went deep down the sideline and completed a pass to wide receiver Courtney Raines, but the Cavanaugh defense stalled that drive.

Chaos captain Kerri Bergen loved what she saw from her team.

“This was a big statement for us,” she said. “It shows people the direction our season is going.”

Contact Jay Fitzpatrick at [email protected]