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Women’s Interhall Playoffs: Extra point failures doom Ducks vs. PW

Alex Barker, John Whitty, Mike Gotimer and Andy Ziccarelli | Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Howard failed on both its extra point attempts and fell to defending champion Pasquerilla West 13-12 Sunday in its first appearance in the playoffs.

“We have struggled with extra points all season,” Ducks captain Mary Jenkins said. “We played very well on defense in the second half, but we just could not convert when we needed to on offense.”

A conversion gave Pasquerilla West the victory, however. Freshman quarterback Grace Orians made the difference in the game with a pass to freshman Mary Forr to score an extra point for the Purple Weasels.

“It was a disappointing loss for us. Our inability to convert really hurt our chance to win,” Jenkins said.

The bright spots for Howard included two touchdown passes by freshman quarterback Kayla Bishop to Jenkins.

Pasquerilla West’s strong defensive play was the key to its success, as it has been all season. PW’s defensive backs had two interceptions and knocked down passes on each extra point attempt.

“We played well as a whole. We looked a little rusty coming back from fall break, and it definitely showed on offense,” senior captain Tina Martinek said. “I am definitely happy to win the game, but we will have to play much better to beat Welsh Fam.”

Howard will return all of its players next year and will look to build on this year’s playoff appearance.

The Purple Weasels will move on to play Welsh Family in the semifinals this Sunday for a chance to make a second consecutive championship appearance.

Welsh Family 14, Lyons 0

In a game that was much closer than the score indicated, Welsh Family beat Lyons 14-0 Sunday to advance to the semifinals.

Although the Whirlwinds came into the match heavily favored with an undefeated record and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, the Lions played tough defense and held the Whirlwinds to their second-lowest point total all season.

In the end, it was two touchdown passes by Whirlwind junior quarterback Jenny Gargula that separated the teams. Welsh Family team captain Kelly Bushelle replaced Gargula in the second half.

“I was playing with a torn bicep,” Gargula said. “We decided to throw [Bushelle] in there when the game was under control.”

Gargula’s injured arm doesn’t seem to be stopping the Whirlwinds on their quest for the championship. In addition to the two touchdown passes, Gargula completed 15 of 22 passes with only one interception, which she threw right before halftime. The Welsh Family defense recorded its fourth shutout of the season.

“We’re just motivated to get to the stadium,” Bushelle said.

Although the game marked the end of the season for the Lions, they kept up the intensity until the last minute, yelling words of encouragement and playing tough defense. With close drives deep into Welsh Family territory late in the game, the Lions managed to keep the game close, but the Welsh Family defense recorded three sacks and prevented Lyons from getting any offensive rhythm.

Still, the Lions remain optimistic and look forward to next year.

“Our defense did a great job and made key plays when we needed them,” senior co-captain Katie Mackin said. “The underclassmen on the team will make Lyons a force to be reckoned with next year.”

“It was really fun to make it to the playoffs,” junior co-captain Judith Kaczmarek said.

Welsh Family will face Pasquerilla West on Sunday.

Cavanaugh 18, Pangborn 6

Cavanaugh dominated on defense from start to finish Sunday and upset Pangborn 18-6 to advance to the semifinals.

The game was scoreless at the half because both teams had trouble finding an offensive rhythm. Despite the slow start, Pangborn dominated the game early.

The Phoxes intercepted two Cavanaugh passes, then marched deep into Cavanaugh territory. Pangborn looked poised to score, with a first and goal from inside the Cavanaugh five-yard line, but the Chaos defense solidified and stopped the march.

Cavanaugh used its goal-line stand as a springboard for its defensive success for the rest of the game. The Chaos put constant pressure on Pangborn freshman quarterback Gabbie Tate as they racked up sacks and forced Tate to rush her throws.

Cavanaugh put the first points on the board in the middle of the second half during the first of three straight drives that led to scores. Cavanaugh’s first score came when junior quarterback Katie Dunn connected with senior wide receiver Elisa Suarez, which put the Chaos up 6-0.

After stopping Pangborn deep in their own territory, Dunn then connected with senior wide receiver Sarah Van Mill for her second touchdown pass of the game. The Chaos led 12-0.

Dunn capped off Cavanaugh’s scoring with a late touchdown run that made the game 18-0.

Pangborn spoiled the Cavanaugh shutout when Tate connected with sophomore wide receiver Meghan Bescher for a long touchdown pass.

The No. 6 seed Chaos look forward to their game Sunday against Farley, billed as “one game to the stadium” by the Chaos coaches.

Farley 21, Walsh 19

Walsh mounted a furious second-half rally Sunday, but its comeback bid fell just short when it lost to underdog Farley 21-19. The loss was the first of the season for Walsh.

“We made the big plays,” Farley junior captain and wide receiver Jenny Rolfs said. “We finally did this game.”

Walsh came out firing, completing a reverse pass to sophomore wide receiver Sierra Smith on the second play of the game for 25 yards. However, Walsh was turned away on a fourth-and-goal to end the threat.

Farley struck first, relying heavily on the arm of quarterback Emily Murphy and the soft hands of Rolfs. Midway through the first half, Murphy connected with Rolfs on back-to-back plays, the second of which was a 30-yard touchdown. The score gave Farley a 6-0 lead.

The Finest struck again, taking a 12-0 lead before a 55-yard touchdown catch by Smith brought Walsh within 12-7 at halftime.

The Farley defense dominated the action at the beginning of the second half.

“We switched to a zone defense,” Rolfs said. “Last time we played Walsh, we played man-to-man and it didn’t work very well.”

After opening up a 19-7 lead on another touchdown pass from Murphy, the defense shut down the high-powered Walsh attack, allowing no first downs and forcing an interception and a safety on the first three drives of the second half. The safety gave Farley a 21-7 lead.

“That safety is what won us the game,” Rolfs said. “Our defense played very aggressive.”

The Walsh attack finally started to click with seven minutes to go in the game. Senior quarterback Mary Sullivan led the Wild Women down the field on an impressive four-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. After the extra point cut the deficit to 21-14, Walsh’s defense again held and gave the ball back to its offense with two minutes left.

A gutsy fourth down completion to sophomore wide receiver Megan Hadley kept Walsh’s final drive alive, and Sullivan scored on a quarterback sneak to bring Walsh within two points.

However, the two point conversion failed, and the score remained 21-19.

Farley will advance to the next round of the playoffs Sunday against Cavanaugh.