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Women’s Interhall Football: Orians leads Purple Weasels to shutout victory

ANDY RENNER, ANDY ZICCARELLI and JOHN WHITTY | Friday, September 21, 2007

Pasquerilla West utilized its defense to claim a 12-0 victory against Lewis at Riehle field Thursday night.

Once again, quarterback Grace Orians led the Purple Weasels offense. The freshman completed four of four passing attempts, one for a touchdown, to give the Weasels an early 6-0 lead.

PW looked as if it was going to cruise to an easy victory when they intercepted Lewis on the ensuing Chick possession. However, the Lewis defense stepped up and held PW scoreless for the rest of the half.

“We had their quarterback in trouble,” Lewis defensive coordinator Michael Scholl said. “We were able to get to their quarterback before she could get to the outside. We have a lot of senior leadership and we did a great job in coverage.”

However, the Lewis offense was also held in check by the swarming Weasel defense. PW forced the Chicks to throw four interceptions and kept Lewis on their own half of the field for most of the game.

“When you’re behind early, you have to go deep,” Lewis coach Perry Shoemaker said. “We had lots of spots open, we just couldn’t hit anyone. It’s easy to play defense with a lead.”

PW utilized their defense effectively and was able to earn a shutout.

“When you get a shutout it speaks volumes,” PW coach Paul Wallenberg said. “Our girls are in great shape. We can only get better on defense.”

While the Weasel defense was rolling, the offense was sputtering. The Weasel offense was hindered by penalties that kept it from building up momentum. A superb run by Orians at the opening of the second half was negated by a holding penalty.

“They didn’t keep us out of the end zone; we kept ourselves out of the end zone,” PW senior captain Tina Martinek said.

The Weasels were able to score one more time, however. Once again, Grace Orians was able to bounce outside and take the ball to the house, giving PW a 12-0 lead that would last the rest of the game.

Lewis will try to rebound against Welsh Family on Sunday, while PW looks to continue their journey towards Notre Dame Stadium against Welsh Family next Thursday.

Badin 6, Pangborn 6

It was a hard-fought game full of momentum swings, but in the end, neither Badin nor Pangborn could capture their first win of the season. Despite the outcome, Badin coach Tim Flannery was still pleased with his team’s performance.

“The defense was a lot better today,” Flannery said. “We got some turnovers, and that was the biggest thing.”

The Bullfrog defense was up to the task, intercepting Pangborn freshman quarterback Gabby Tate twice. Both came at key moments in the game.

With Pangborn driving early in the first half and poised to take the lead, the Bullfrog defense stood tall and got an interception in the end zone, stealing a potential touchdown. The second interception came with less than two minutes to play in a tie game, halting a potential go-ahead drive.

Though the Badin defense made some key plays, the Pangborn offense was able to strike first. With the game scoreless in the second half, Tate connected with receiver Meghan Bescher for a 30-yard gain. The very next play, she found Bescher again in the end zone, giving the Phoxes a 6-0 lead. Tate ended the day 14-of-21 passing.

Not to be outdone, Bescher led the Pangborn defense with three interceptions on the day, including two in the final two minutes, thwarting any Badin hopes of a last-minute drive.

“She is a heck of a player,” Flannery said. “She made some nice plays.”

Offensively for Badin, junior quarterback Katie Rose Hackney finished 13-of-21 passing on the day, including a 40-yard strike to sophomore receiver Kelley Daniels.

“I think we found the right mix for what we are trying to do on offense,” Flannery said. “We moved the ball better today.”

Playing a big role in the offense was junior receiver Courtney Rains. Down by six, and with the Bullfrog offense facing a fourth down near midfield, Hackney found Rains for a 20-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Later that drive, the two connected again on a fourth and goal to tie the score up at 6-6.

Each team had their chances to win in the final two minutes, but the defenses stood tall. The Phoxes had two interceptions, both by Bescher, to halt the Badin offense, while Badin added one of their own. Eventually time ran out with Pangborn driving, leaving both teams still in search of their first win of the year.

Welsh Family 26,

Breen-Phillips 0

“We ready for BP!”

That was the rallying cry for Welsh Family before their game against Breen-Phillips – and the Whirlwinds lived up to their promise.

The Whirlwinds improved to 2-0 by beating the Babes 26-0 and dropping BP to 0-2 on the season. Welsh Family dominated the Babes with a balanced attack on both sides of the ball.

“We improved on our flag pulling, lining up on defense, and overall better execution,” Whirlwind coach Mike Kaiser said. “Anytime you win 26-0, it feels good.”

Both teams could not capitalize on their first possessions, but Welsh Family struck first with a long run by junior quarterback Jenni Gargula, followed immediately by a touchdown pass to receiver and senior captain Kelly Bushelle.

“I’m really happy with how we played,” Gargula said. “On both sides of the ball, everyone played to their potential.”

After the first touchdown, both the offense and defense for Welsh Family were too much for the Babes. While Gargula had four touchdown passes and the offense churned out long passes and runs, the Whirlwind’s defense was just as good.

Welsh Family stifled the Babes. With no first downs and no drive reaching Welsh Family territory, BP couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm. Though disappointed, the Babes remain optimistic about some areas of their game.

“Our defense was a lot stronger tonight than our last game,” said Babes sophomore Emily Styrmoe. “We really improved there.”

Both teams look forward to their next game in hopes of keeping momentum and improving.

“Although we had minimal struggles,” said BP freshman Jasmine Williams, “we’ll be back on Sunday.”

For Welsh Family, it’s business as usual.

“We’re really looking forward to the next game,” Bushelle said.