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Women’s Interhall Playoffs: Headed to the House that Rock built

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Sometimes, even Whirlwinds get blown away.

Welsh Family’s undefeated season was spoiled Sunday in a 21-0 loss to Pasquerilla West in the Interhall semifinals.

Behind two interceptions from defensive back Brigid Bulfin – one of which was returned 23 yards for a touchdown – and two touchdown passes from quarterback Cara Davies, the Purple Weasels were able to shut down the previously potent Whirlwinds.

After a slow start by both teams in the opening 11 minutes, Bulfin intercepted a Jenni Gargula pass on the Purple Weasel 12-yard line. The Pasquerilla West offense did not let her efforts go to waste.

After driving to the Whirlwind 21-yard line, Davies rolled to her right on fourth-and-1 and found receiver Maureen Spring at the 17-yard line. Spring spun away from two defenders immediately after catching the pass and ran unimpeded down the right sideline into the endzone.

The ensuing Whirlwind drive ended prematurely when Bulfin caught her second pick of the half, this time taking it untouched all the way for a touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0.

Pasquerilla West tacked on a final score with 7:45 left to play in the second half when Davies converted another fourth-down, going back to Spring for a seven-yard touchdown.

Purple Weasel defensive back Caitlin O’Connell clinched the game for Pasquerilla West with one final pick of a Gargula pass, this time with five minutes remaining on the clock.

The Purple Weasel sideline erupted after finishing the shutout against the No. 1 team.

“It feels great to beat Welsh Fam. They’re a great opponent and we really needed to execute well to beat them the way we did,” Spring said.

Pasquerilla West will play Pangborn in a rematch of last year’s championship game. The teams already faced off once this season, with the Phoxes escaping by the slimmest of margins in a 13-12 game.

“We need to execute the way we did today to beat Pangborn,” Spring said. “They’re a really good team and we’re excited to play them.”

Pangborn 20, Farley 7

Early in the first half Sunday, Pangborn wide receiver caught a short pass and then ran downfield 35 yards for the touchdown in one of several big plays for the Phoxes in their semifinal win over Farley.

The win puts the Phoxes back into the championship game for the second year in a row.

“We are excited about playing in the stadium again this year. We are definitely planning on coming out on top,” Pangborn quarterback Katie Mooney said

In its opening drive, Pangborn’s offense was met by strong pressure from Farley’s defensive line. After the Finest forced the Phoxes to punt, Pangborn’s defense took the field and refused to yield. Farley quarterback Brittany Baron’s attempts to move the ball down the field were stopped by the Phoxes, setting up a Farley punt.

Farley was determined to keep the game in reach, and on its first possession after the Bescher touchdown answered back with one of their own. Baron threw a short 5-yard pass into the endzone to even the score at 7-7.

The Phoxes responded quickly, adding six more points when Mooney dropped back and found another receiver open in the endzone. A quarterback sneak stretched the lead back to seven and put the Finest away.

With just seconds remaining in the half, it looked like Farley would be down by a single score, but the Phoxes wanted to insure their lead. On the first play of the drive, Mooney launched a deep pass for the game’s final score, putting the Phoxes up 20-7 and sealing the game.

After such a high-powered first half, the two defenses came out strong after the break. Both defensive lines stuffed the opposing team’s rushing attack and both secondaries provided excellent pass coverage.

Farley did make one final charge toward the goal line deep in the fourth quarter, but Finest comeback hopes vanished when Baron’s pass was intercepted on the 5-yard line.