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WOMEN’S INTERHALL: Swarming Lyons defense keeps Pyros winless

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Welsh Family 15, Farley 7

Welsh Fam remained undefeated this Sunday when it came from behind to defeat Farley in an exciting battle of two previously unbeaten teams.

The game began with several turnovers. Farley (2-1-1) forced an interception on Welsh Fam’s first drive of the game. However, Welsh Fam (4-0) regained possession quickly, as its defense forced an interception and took the ball right back on a third down play.

After going up 2-0 on a safety on a fumble in the end zone, the Whirlwinds took over on offense.

A long pass that would have taken Welsh Fam far down the field was called back on a questionable sack. After this call, quarterback Jenni Gargula threw another interception. Farley capitalized on this error and scored, going up 7-2 at halftime.

However, the Welsh Fam offense turned the momentum around. Its defense consistently kept Welsh Fam in the game, forcing yet another interception to start off the Farley drive. This drive brought Welsh Fam completely downfield and ended with a touchdown when quarterback Gargula ran the ball up the middle for the score.

Its defense held onto the lead, putting constant pressure on Farley quarterback Emily Murphy. In addition, the Welsh Fam offense was anchored by Gargula, who was skilled at evading the defensive line in the pocket and consistently found her receivers, even through traffic.

“Being down is not something we’ve been used to,” Gargula said. “We did a really good job of staying focused second half.”

Gargula extended her team’s lead on a final touchdown pass that sailed through the hands of the defender to put her team up 15-7 in the final minutes of play.

“We faced adversity in the first half,” Welsh Fam coach Mike Kaiser said. “We were able to take what the defense was giving us though. It was a huge win.”

Farley left with its first loss of the season, although the Finest were happy with their performance

“We’re excited that we hung in with them,” Farley senior Courtney Haven said. “We just need to work on execution.”

Farley captain Jennifer Rolfs also remained positive even after the loss.

“Overall our defense played well and held a very strong offensive team to almost nothing for a lot of the game,” Rolfs said. “We hope to see them again in the playoffs.”

Lyons 12, Pasquerilla East 7

Lyons’ defense took care of its most recent victims Sunday, holding Pasquerilla East to one touchdown in its 12-7 win.

“The offense did what we needed to score, but the defense really won the game,” Lyons sophomore center Kelly Pierson said.

The Pyros (0-4) struggled on offense to start the game. Quarterback Caitlyn Lynch threw a pair of incomplete passes, and was sacked by the Lyons defense.

The Lions (3-1) wasted no time, completing two passes in a row, followed by a short pass to wide receiver Kelsey Christoffel for the Lyons touchdown. A failed extra-point attempt gave the Lions an early 6-0 lead.

The Pyros took over on offense, and Lynch completed a long pass to freshman wide receiver Nneka Ekechukwu. A pair of penalties against the Lions helped the PE drive, which brought them close to the goal line. A touchdown from Lynch to center Emily Meyer, with a completed extra-point conversion to Maggie Waller gave the Pyros a surprising 7-6 lead. But those would be the only points the Pyros would get.

“In the second half, the Lyons defense really stepped it up even more,” Pyros coach Scott Rice said.

The Lions asserted themselves in the second half, though, intercepting a pass from Lynch and running it back for the second Lyons touchdown of the game, giving the lead and the game back to Lyons, 12-7.

“For next week, we will mostly concentrate on making sure that we finish the game with as much excitement and momentum as we begin each game with,” Pyro junior captain and linebacker Liz Ruiz said. “We have all the right stuff for a win, we just need to put it all together now.”

Despite his team’s effort in the hard-fought win, Lyons coach Matt Gelchion could only come up with a trite metaphor to compliment his team.

“Our team is a paragon of unity and community,” he said. “I guess you could liken us unto onesie pajamas, with every part flowing into the next and no part superior. In other words, it was a total team victory”

McGlinn 14, Pasquerilla West 12

McGlinn has certainly had a flair for the dramatic this season, and Sunday was no different, as it came back to defeat Pasquerilla West.

PW (1-1-2) dominated the first half of play. Its defense was strong and forced several three-and-outs against a McGlinn (3-1) offense that could not convert drives into points.

Even when quarterback Sarah deGroot unleashed a 50-yard bomb that was reeled in for a completion on diving catch, the McGlinn offense could not finish the drive.

Leading 6-0 at the half, PW continued to dominate as its defense forced another interception. The Purple Weasels took advantage of the opportunity, and scored another touchdown on the quick legs and long passes of captain Cara Davies. Their attempt at the extra point failed, putting them up 12-0.

However, this was the last time PW would score.

McGlinn took over on offense. On a key third down play, deGroot completed a pass to continue the drive. The re-energized offense finally finished a drive, running in a touchdown almost 30 yards. The two-point conversion was successful. The Shamrocks now trailed by four.

Minutes later, on another bomb by deGroot that easily floated into the hands of her receiver, the Shamrocks scored again, taking the lead for the first time all game with time running out for PW.

A tight McGlinn defense held the two-point lead for the last minutes, locking up the victory and handing PW its first loss of the season.

“This is exactly the momentum we need right now,” said captain Sarah deGroot. “The team has really meshed.”

This is the second game in a row that McGlinn has come from behind to win in the second half.

“The girls never doubt themselves,” McGlinn coach Craig Wiborg said. “We know we have good players.”

In addition to the confidence the Shamrocks exude, McGlinn is dynamic on both sides of the ball and adeptly makes adjustments.

“In the first half, PW was dictating us,” McGlinn coach Keith Creasy said. “We put ourselves in control the second half. That is what gave us the win.”

Walsh 25, Breen-Phillips 21

Trailing by two points and with only seven seconds to score, Walsh quarterback Amy Langnecker threw the ball deep to Lindsay Schanzer, who made the catch and raced past the goal line to snatch a victory for the Wild Women.

“It was an amazing end to a cold, rainy day of football,” Walsh captain Kehau Meyer said.

The Wild Women (2-2) had an incredible finish to the game despite a rough start on both sides of the ball.

“Our offense struggled at first to hold on to the ball,” Meyer said. “Breen-Phillips made an interception in the first few minutes of the game, scored, and unfortunately Walsh’s offense was unable to make connections for a while. We were mostly upset because the rain really took away from our strong passing game”.

The Babes (0-1-2) had a 21-7 lead as the first half ended.

“We played a great first half and got off to a big lead,” Breen-Phillips captain and senior quarterback Melissa Meagher said.

However, the second half was all Walsh.

The Wild Women scored a touchdown but missed the extra point to bring the score to 21-13. The Walsh defense then held Breen-Phillips offense, allowing the Wild Women to score yet another touchdown and bring the score to 21-19 after a missed 2-point conversion.

With three minutes left in the game, Walsh’s defense played aggressively and, thanks to a sack by Alexa Doyle, forced the Babes’ offense to punt. Walsh had 21 seconds left to score and, after making a first down, spiked the ball to stop the clock with 7 seconds left. Needing a touchdown, Langnecker made a clutch throw to Schanzer, who adjusted to the pass and caught it over her shoulder for the score.

“Amy was intercepted twice but came back to win a big game for Walsh,” Meyer said. “Also, I’m proud to say that our defense, which was struggling earlier in the season, played hard and did its best to keep BP from running out the clock”.

“Obviously we are disappointed with the loss,” Meagher said. “But we know that we’re a great team and we’re looking forward to winning a lot of games throughout the rest of the season”.

Although this was a huge win for the Walsh Wild Women, they are taking this season one game at a time.

“We are looking forward to the next game which we hope has much better weather,” Meyer said.

Pangborn 25, Lewis 12

The wet conditions of Sunday’s game against Lewis didn’t bog down Pangborn, as it took down the Chicks 25-12.

The Phoxes’ (3-2) success, according to captain Andrea Ragsdale, was due to their explosive offense.

“We really came alive in the second half,” she said.

Pangborn’s strong quarterback and wide receiver play led to four touchdowns, two of which came within two minutes of each other. Most of its scoring drives were the results of short passes followed by long runs afterwards.

The Phoxes’ defense, however, was equally impressive, forcing three interceptions, one of which came on a Lewis drive that would’ve tied the game.

The Chicks (0-4) struck early with an interception return for a touchdown by captain Kristie Shushinsky, but could not generate much offense afterwards.

Despite the loss, Shushinsky recognized her team’s improvement throughout the season.

“We did a really good job of moving the ball downfield,” Shushinsky said.

Coach Perry Schumaker added: “We had some great plays and amazing catches,” he said. “We just need to learn how to put everything together”.

Despite its inability to make the playoffs, Lewis is approaching these games with the same tenacity as they have all season.

“We’re keeping our heads high and aren’t rolling over for anybody,” Schumaker said.