Women’s Interhall Football: Lyons ‘D’ makes late stop to top Cavanaugh
Charlie Spokes, Chris Masoud and Tim Land | Wednesday, October 1, 2008
With Cavanaugh’s undefeated season on the line and 37 seconds left, there were 46 yards between Chaos quarterback/captain Katie Dunn and another win for the defending champions.
But Caroline Henderson had something to say about that.
Lyons pulled out a hard-earned 14-12 victory as the defensive back intercepted a Dunn pass and set up her offense to kneel-out the clock.
Henderson’s pick capped off a good night for the Lions.
“We did the same things we’ve been doing all year,” Lyons coach Matt Gelchion said. “We’ve gotten better as the year has gone on. Tonight, the girls did it all.”
Cavanaugh (2-1-1) opened up the scoring in the first half with a screen pass from Dunn for a touchdown on fourth down from the 2-yard line. An interception return to the end zone on the extra point from Lyons captain Claire Connell made the score 6-1.
Lyons responded near the end of the first half with a touchdown run from Connell. The PAT gave Lyons an 8-6 edge.
“Our offense has a lot of talent,” Gelchion said. “We knew that if the offense executed, we would score. Tonight, they went out and executed.”
Lyons started with the ball after halftime and picked up right where it left off. Connell connected on a hook and ladder that ended up in sophomore Neva Lundy’s hands for a 30-yard gain. On the next play, Connell hit Lundy again for a 20-yard touchdown to put Lyons up 14-6.
Cavanaugh responded on its next possession with a 60-yard touchdown run on an option play to the right side. The Chaos could not complete the two-point attempt and trailed 14-12.
After a three-and-out by the Lyons offense, Dunn led her offense onto the field with five minutes remaining. Cavanaugh drove to the 10-yard line before losing the ball on downs to a resilient Lions defense.
“The composure of our defense after that long run kept us in the game,” Connell said. “Nobody panicked, they did what they were supposed to do [and stopped them].”
Another three-and-out set up the final Cavanaugh comeback opportunity. But again, the Lions’ defense stayed strong as Henderson intercepted Dunn with 32 seconds left.
“We’ve got a team of playmakers,” Lyons defensive coach Rick Raley said. “We just had to put them in a position to make a play.”
Afterwards, the Lions were ecstatic about handing Cavanaugh their first defeat of the season.
“That was a big win, we knew that was the team to beat in our division and it gives us lots of momentum,” Connell said.
The Lyons coaches, however, were quick to point out the importance of staying focused.
“From here on out, we just need to stay away from being complacent,” Raley said. “Now we need to practice even harder because we have a target on our backs.”
Pasquerilla West 6, Howard 6
Howard’s playoff prospects dimmed Tuesday night, as the Ducks were unable to pull of a win against Pasquerilla West and settled for a 6-6 tie.
The aggressive Howard (1-2-1) defense came out with intensity in the first half. The Ducks forced back-to-back interceptions from PW quarterback Cara Davies.
“The safeties did a great job of reading the quarterback,” Ducks captain Kayla Bishop said. “The pressure from the defensive line was great.”
The momentum from the defense carried onto the offensive side of the ball, as Bishop led the Ducks downfield on their second drive.
Bishop found receivers Krysten Williams and Laura Giezeman with quick passes, poking holes in the PW defense. Bishop ran the ball in the end zone from two yards out to complete a nine-play drive and give the Ducks a 6-0 lead going into halftime.
But the Purple Weasels (1-0-2) offense came alive in the second half, as good blocking and precise routes by the receivers began to wear down the Duck defense.
Senior quarterback Davies found a rhythm, evading Howard tacklers and putting the ball on the money. She connected with junior receiver Cynthia Curley on a 12-yard touchdown pass, tying the game 6-6.
Timely defense prevented either team from scoring again, as neither team gave up any big plays.
The Howard defense was led by the strong play of the defensive line and Laura Giezeman, who caused havoc in the secondary.
On the PW end, the agile Jordan Johnson had another strong performance, recording two of the three PW sacks.
“Jordan had a great game as usual,” PW captain Davies said. “She pressured the quarterback all night, which is saying something considering how good of an athlete Bishop is.”
The Purple Weasels know they must emerge from their next game with a victory to reach the playoffs.
“We’re undefeated, but ties don’t do anything for us,” Davies said. “We have to take care of the ball, make better decisions, and get a ‘W.'”
McGlinn 14, Pasquerilla East 13
It has just been that kind of season for Pasquerilla East.
On a cold, rainy Tuesday night, the Pyros (0-3) saw McGlinn (2-1) snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a 14-13 comeback victory.
The Shamrocks, trailing 13-0 with five minutes left in the game, were the beneficiaries of a controversial pass interference call on Pyros captain Tara Pillai, who seemed to be in perfect position to knock down the errant pass.
Instead of the game ending on McGlinn’s fourth down, Sarah deGroot and the Shamrocks rallied, cutting the lead to 13-6 with a 10-yard touchdown strike.
With the Pyros only needing to run out the clock, quarterback Caitlin Lynch, who had played solidly all game, threw an ill-fated pass right into the outstretched arms of McGlinn defensive back Casey Robertson.
After another touchdown toss three plays later, Shamrocks coach Keith Creasy decided to roll the dice, electing to go for two points instead of playing for the tie.
On the two-point try, deGroot dropped back in the pocket and delivered a fade into the corner of the end zone, where freshman Lauren Miller made a difficult catch to give the Shamrocks a 14-13 lead.
The Shamrocks defense then picked off Lynch for the second straight series to seal the victory.
Despite opening the game with a 60-yard touchdown and dominating the first half, Pasquerilla East just couldn’t close out the game.
“After playing such a good first half, it’s really a shame we could not pull this one out,” PE coach Pablo De Luna said. “We got a little complacent at the end and it cost us.”
The Shamrocks hope this will become a season-defining game for a team that, with the talented deGroot, looks to be a major threat for the rest of the season.
“This is a really great win for us and I’m really proud of the girls,” Creasy said. “Our defense and offense both stepped their game up in the second half. Because of that, we’re 2-1 instead of 1-2.”