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Women’s Interhall Football: Pangborn knocks off defending champ PW to stay in playoff hunt

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pangborn 13, Pasquerilla West 9

Pangborn edged Pasquerilla West 13-9 Sunday in a game where both teams traded points and momentum from start to finish.

Pangborn improved to 2-1-1 on the year, putting the team back into playoff contention.

“We played great against a good Pasquerilla West team,” Phoxes coach Mike Mattingly said. “We were able to capitalize on their mistakes.”

The game began with an impressive drive from Pasquerilla West, the two-time defending champion. Freshman quarterback Grace Orians marched her team down the field to put the ball in the end zone for the first touchdown of the day – a pass to freshman Mary Forr. The Orians converted the extra point to make the score 7-0.

The Phoxes failed to answer on their next two drives, but interceptions by freshman Kathy Poploski and sophomore Meghan Bescher gave Pangborn excellent field position.

Pangborn brought the score to within one on a touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Gabby Tate to sophomore Annie Kotz. Another connection, this time to Bescher for the extra point, brought the teams to a tie.

“The receivers did a great job of getting open. They had a lot of pass rush, but our offensive line did great,” Tate said.

The Purple Weasels made a risky call to go for it on fourth down in their own territory late in the first half, and it cost them a turnover on downs.

Taking advantage of the mistake, Tate threw for another score to Bescher as time ran out, giving the Purple Weasels a 13-7 halftime lead.

Pasquerilla West stalled on its next drive deep in Pangborn territory and turned the ball over on downs for the second time. The Weasels made up for it, however, by sacking Tate in her own endzone for the safety, bringing the score to 13-9.

Both teams traded punts and interceptions until the final whistle.

Pasquerilla West coach Paul Wallenberg still has high hopes for his team.

“It was a tough game. We are at .500 right now, but the sky is the limit,” Wallenberg said. “We will make the playoffs and we will be in the stadium for the third year in a row.”

The Phoxes think this victory is a good sign.

“If we can beat [Pasquerilla West], we can beat anyone. But we really need to keep working if we want to advance,” Mattingly said.

Welsh Fam 22, Lyons 6

Welsh Family has “bring it” written on the back of its bright orange uniforms. On Sunday, the team certainly did.

Welsh Family took down Lyons 22-6, improving its record to 5-0 on the season.

Led by the passing attack of junior quarterback Jenni Gargula, Welsh Family dominated the play on both sides of the ball.

The team used a short-passing game plan instituted by coach Mike Kaiser. Gargula piled up three passing touchdowns and completed 16 of 20 passes. She also threw her first touchdown to sophomore Mary Clare Rodriguez. The other two touchdown passes went to junior Kristy Szczepaniec.

“A win is a win,” Gargula said. “We still need to keep working and improving, but we got the win and that’s all that matters.”

Welsh Family’s defense allowed only a fourth quarter touchdown and forced one interception, one turnover on downs and three sacks.

“I thought the defense played great as usual, shutting them down for most of the game, and the offense did well executing the plays,” Kaiser said.

For Lyons, the game plan was to get the ball into the hands of its two playmakers, freshman running back Neva Lundy and sophomore quarterback Claire Connell. Lundy or Connell touched the ball on more than half of the offensive plays, but the Welsh Family defense was able to contain the duo and hold them to the single touchdown.

“We came out strong, but we just weren’t able to execute on offense,” senior captain Judith Kaczmarek said. “That will be our last loss this season,”

Lyons coach Matt Gelchion said he will re-think the team’s tradition of guest pre-game speakers. Sunday’s speaker, his roommate Joe Mancuso, was unable to yield the results that Gelchion had hoped for.

The highlights of Mancuso’s speech included comparing Welsh Family’s large roster to the population of China and describing the Lyons team as a “steaming heap of perfection with a side of mash potatoes.”

On Thursday, undefeated Welsh Family will face off against Badin. Lyons will take on Lewis Thursday.

Farley 6, Howard 6

In a matchup between two vaunted defensive units, Farley (2-0-2) and Howard (1-1-2) struggled to a 6-6 tie Sunday at Riehle Field.

In the first half, neither offense was able to score any points despite decent drives by both teams.

“Our defense did a great job this week. We just need to work on the offense by using more short quick plays,” Farley captain Jenny Rolfs said. “[Senior] Anna Pursley and [sophomore Caitlin] Shepherd did a good job defending this week.”

However, early in the second half, Howard sophomore captain Mary Jenkins intercepted a pass, giving the Ducks possession on the Farley 10-yard line. Three plays later, they were able to punch it in for the score. They converted the extra point initially, but it was called back because of an illegal blocking penalty.

Since Farley was having problems moving the ball, it looked liked Howard was going to hold on for the win. However, on the second-to-last drive of the game, Farley was able to move the ball down the field. A fourth-down pass from Rolfs to freshman receiver Kelly Weber gave Farley its only touchdown. Farley’s run for the extra point was stuffed.

Howard had a chance to win it at the end but a pass that would have won the game fell incomplete.

Farley captain Jenny Rolfs said the Finest defense was once again solid but the offense needed improvement.

Farley has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, but needs a win or a tie in its game against Cavanaugh tonight to qualify.

Cavanaugh 13,

Pasquerilla East 7

In a game with two teams that had a lot to prove, Cavanaugh defeated Pasquerilla East Sunday after a wild final five minutes by a score of 13-7.

“We had a good team effort today,” senior captain Tarah Brown said. “It was our best offensive game of the year, and we also scored our first extra point of the year.”

Cavanaugh came out strong on its first drive, with junior quarterback Katie Dunn completing her first five passes on the game. The drive culminated with a touchdown pass from Dunn to Brown. The Chaos were unable to convert the point after the touchdown, however, leaving the score at 6-0.

From that point until the five-minute mark in the second half, the game turned into a defensive battle. On the first two Pyro drives, Cavanaugh forced a turnover on downs and an interception. Pasquerilla East returned the favor, however, with its own turnover on downs and interception on Cavanaugh’s two possessions after its opening scoring drive.

The Cavanaugh defense was tested throughout the game but didn’t give up an offensive touchdown. However, the Pyros still found their way onto the scoreboard late in the game.

With about five minutes remaining, Cavanaugh was able to stop them on fourth down after the Pyros had marched deep into Chaos territory. On their first offensive play following the turnover, Cavanaugh threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. P.E. was able to put the ball in the end zone for the extra point, which gave the Pyros a late 7-6 lead.

Although Cavanaugh had not moved the ball well early in the game, its offense came to life when it took over with about three minutes left in the game. P.E. was able to force Cavanaugh into a fourth-and-long situation with less than two minutes left to play, but quarterback Katie Dunn found senior wide receiver Elisa Suarez for the first down.

On the next play, Dunn again found Suarez, who was downed at the one-yard line. Dunn then connected senior wide receiver Sarah Van Mill for the game-winning touchdown with under a minute left in the game.

With the win, Cavanaugh improved to 2-2 on the season, while P.E. fell to 0-2-2.

Lewis 6, Breen-Phillips 0

Lewis snuck past Breen-Phillips Sunday, beating the Babes 6-0 and getting its first win of the season.

“It was great to finally get a win today,” Chicks sophomore quarterback Catherine Guarnieri said. “We were 0-7 last year, so this is the first time I’ve ever experienced a win.”

After a scoreless first half, Lewis completed an 80-yard drive that resulted in the only touchdown pass of the game to freshman receiver Chrissy Nypaver. The Chicks failed to convert for the extra point, but took the lead to make the score 6-0.

Babes junior quarterback and captain Melissa Meagher was impressed with her team’s defensive performance.

“Our defense played fantastic today,” Meagher said. “They kept the pressure on the entire game.”

Freshman Kristin Moore kept BP’s defensive line solid with a sack and a deflected pass.

The BP offense, on the other hand, struggled to move the ball down the field. In the first half, freshman Gabby Moriel caught a perfect pass from Meagher for a 30-yard gain. The resulting first down was one of only three for the Babes.

Meagher had a difficult time finding open receivers. She was sacked four times. The Babes ended up punting on every possession except their last, when the Lewis defense forced a turnover on downs.

“We need to work on getting offensive plays together and strengthening our offensive line,” Meagher said.

Lewis hopes to make Sunday’s win a turning point for its season.

“We are a good team and we have a lot of fun,” Guarnieri said. “We can only go up from here.”