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Interhall Previews: McGlinn faces Howard in hopes of claiming 1st

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, October 7, 2008

McGlinn vs. Howard

McGlinn will try to vault to the top of the standings in the Blue League when it faces off against Howard on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Riehle Fields.

The success of the Shamrocks (3-1) hasn’t been realized so far by the Ducks (1-2-1), but Howard knows it can beat anyone if its offense can perform to its potential.

“We need our offense to do a better job of being more consistent,” team captain Kayla Bishop said. “We’re going to look to our receivers to make more catches and have fewer dropped balls.”

Bishop said that too many dropped balls were key in a disappointing tie last Thursday against Pasquerilla West.

She is confident, though, that wide receiver Kristen Jeffries and running back Beth Gribble each have the ability to steady the Ducks’ offense.

The Shamrocks, meanwhile, find themselves in position to take sole possession of first place with a victory tomorrow.

The raw talent of the Shamrocks has been an integral part of the team’s success this year, especially that of wide receivers Lourdes Meraz and Stephanie Grandits, as well as defensive lineman Casey Robertson.

“I think we have more natural athleticism than most teams out there,” team captain Sarah deGroot said. “We have a lot of great freshman this year and a lot of great athletes on the team.”

Sunday, McGlinn fought hard for a 14-12 victory against PW, overcoming a 12-0 deficit for the victory. A second half resurgence enabled the Shamrocks to scrape away with the victory, a testament to their heart and determination.

Thanks to their defense’s ability to keep each game within reach, the Shamrocks know they are never out of contention.

“The last game we definitely relied on the defense to hold us the second half and get some quick turnovers,” deGroot said.

DeGroot acknowledged that her team traditionally struggles at the start of games, but she hopes they can reverse the trend and start fast against Howard.

“We’ve relied on the second half to make adjustments,” she said. “[We want to] work on getting ahead early and not putting so much pressure on ourselves in the second half.”

Lyons vs. Pasquerilla West

Thanks to a few big wins including a victory over last year’s champion, Lyons has already clinched a playoff spot heading into Tuesday’s game against Pasquerilla West.

For PW (1-0-2), making the playoffs will be a difficult task that will certainly require wins as opposed to more ties. Last week’s disappointing tie against Howard didn’t slam the door on the Purple Weasels playoff hopes, but it definitely didn’t help their cause.

Lyons (3-1), on the other hand, is sitting comfortably atop the Blue League. They’ve been impressive in every game but their lone loss, with their offense and defense combining to form a very well rounded team filled to the brim with talent.

If PW is to win this game, it’ll have to establish more consistency on offense while maintaining what has thus far been a stellar defense. Jordan Johnson will lead a pass rush that has thus far been more than able to put quarterbacks in pressure situations, which have led to turnovers and sacks.

Today’s game pits Lyons, a team pumped and anxious to prove itself amongst the league’s best, against PW, a team desperate for another win as they try to find their way into the playoffs. While it may seem as though PW will play with a heightened level of intensity that Lyons, in its current position of having already clinched a playoff berth, cannot match, Lyons should not be overlooked, for the Lions are just as actively pursuing a win.

“We’ve been playing with a lot of fire and we’re going to keep playing with that same intensity because we’re out there to prove that we’re no fluke,” Lyons coach Matt Gelchion said.

Pasquerilla East vs. Cavanaugh

For Pasquerilla East and Cavanaugh so far this season, it has been a tale of two different teams.

Going into their matchup at 8 p.m. tonight at Riehle Fields, the Chaos are 2-1-1 while the Pyros are 0-4. Cavanaugh is coming off its first loss of the season, a tough defeat to Lyons, but still can’t be counted out as a threat to defend their championship season from last year.

The Pyros, on the other hand, have lost their last three games all by less than a touchdown.

“We’ve been very close but not quite there the last few games,” captain Tara Pillai said. “It’s all about consistency because we have signs of being a good team but we just haven’t put it all together.”

The Chaos enter the game with a confident, yet fun-loving, attitude as they attempt to recover from their first lost of the season last week.

“Cavanaugh’s greatest strength year in and year out is that our love for flag football make’s Palin’s and Biden’s love for Israel pale in comparison,” senior quarterback and captain Katie Dunn said. “And like them, we are just trying to continue the tradition.”

The Pyros are remaining optimistic despite a tough start to the season.?

“We know we are very close to getting that elusive win,” Pillai said. “Hopefully it all comes together tomorrow.”?

Cavanaugh is hoping to capture another win before the playoffs with strong senior leadership from middle linebacker Megan Ladrie