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Women’s Interhall: Pangborn comes from behind to take Farley in overtime

Laura Coleti, Victoria Jacobsen, Joseph Monardo and David Kenney | Tuesday, November 2, 2010

No. 4 Pangborn showed just how badly it wanted to reach Notre Dame Stadium in the first round of playoffs against No. 5 Farley on Sunday. After Pangborn fell behind early, the Phoxes (4-1) recovered to force a tie at the end of regulation and scored a touchdown in the overtime period to win the game 25-19.

“This was a give-and-take game,” Pangborn senior quarterback Gabby Tate said. “It was one of the greatest flag football games I’ve ever played in. Either team could have won.”

The Finest (3-2) took an early lead when junior receiver Kaitlyn Vitale received a short pass through the middle in the end zone. Farley’s running game was effective in moving the ball down the field to gain better position. Vitale scored again on a similar series to make the score 13-0.

Pangborn answered just before halftime with a touchdown of its own. Freshman receiver Mary Kate Veselik received a long pass on the right side of the field and ran it in for a touchdown.

The Phoxes tied the game in the second half on special teams when they returned a Farley punt to the house for a touchdown. After exchanging touchdowns, the teams remained tied at the end of regulation. Pangborn’s tenacious defense held the Finest scoreless in overtime. When given their chance, the Phoxes made the most of their opportunity when Tate found Veselik in the left corner of the end zone for the deciding points.

“Both freshmen came up huge today,” Tate said. “Mary Kate kept her cool and played great. I’m expecting good things from her in the future.”

Farley’s loss was not for lack of effort, and senior coach Kevin Ritt was still pleased with the season the Finest had.

“This year was lots of fun. We peaked at the right time. I’m proud of our seniors,” Ritt said.

The Phoxes will battle No. 1 Howard next Sunday for the right to go to the Stadium.

“We lost to Howard in the regular season,” Tate said. “We know we’ve got our work cut out for us, but we’ve got a fair chance if we play as well [as we did today]. It will be a good game.”

Howard 7, Welsh Family 6

Without its starting quarterback, No. 1 Howard made up for it with a pair of sisters and ended any hopes of a No. 8 Welsh Family upset, defeating the Whirlwind in a close-fought game.

The Ducks were missing senior captain and starting quarterback Kayla Bishop, so sisters Kaitlin and Clare Robinson filled in, with freshman Clare taking over passing duties in the first half and senior Kaitlin replacing her for the second half.

Though Howard did not have its usual offensive firepower, the Ducks’ timely interceptions held down the Whirlwind passing attack. Kaitlin Robinson, who also played middle linebacker, had two interceptions in the first half, both of which occurred with Welsh Family just yards from a touchdown. She returned her second interception for a touchdown to give Howard the lead.

The Whirlwind fought back with a successful drive late in the first half. Junior wide receiver Charlotte Seasly caught a pass from sophomore quarterback Vicky Moreno in the end zone, but Welsh Family was unable to convert the extra point.

Both offensive units were stymied in the second half, which featured three punts, an interception and two turnovers on downs. The interception came courtesy of Clare Robinson, who also served as safety and rusher.

On game’s final drive, Welsh Family appeared to complete a long pass that would have put the Whirlwind within scoring range, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Welsh Family was unable to make a first down in the next three plays, and the clock expired as the Howard offense took the field.

“The game was really close,” Kaitlin Robinson said. “Welsh Fam came out strong but our defense held up and that’s why we were able to win the game. We made some good interceptions and good stops.”

“The game started off pretty slow, but we got to see that when our offense is more lackluster than usual our defense can really step it up and give us a big win,” senior coach Fritz Schoenhut added.

With the victory, Howard will play No. 4 Pangborn in next Sunday’s semifinals.

“We’re glad we’re still in it and we’re looking to repeat our title,” Kaitlin Robinson said.

McGlinn 13, Cavanaugh 6

In a shocking upset, No. 6 McGlinn toppled regular-season juggernaut No. 3 Cavanaugh with stout defensive play and creativity on offense in a victory.

Both teams appeared rusty at the outset as the two sides traded punts for the greater part of the first half. The Chaos (4-1) scored first on a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Becca Cink to junior running back Brittni Alexander. The Shamrocks (3-2) would answer with a touchdown pass from junior Lauren Miller to sophomore Emily Golden as time expired to end the first half.

McGlinn would take the lead with its second score midway through the second half, when Miller and Golden connected for their second touchdown on the day. The Shamrocks followed up their touchdown with an interception by senior defensive back Caitlin Carlin, her first of two. Carlin was a standout for a McGlinn defense that picked off four passes on the day, including one by junior wide receiver/defensive back Kate Tucker on a Cavanaugh Hail Mary as time expired.

“We played to our strengths on offense,” Carlin said. “We were able to capitalize on the turnovers that the defense was able to force.”

Offensively, the Shamrocks showed some imagination with their play calling, repeatedly using the hook-and-ladder and moving the quarterback all over the field. McGlinn’s impressive performance was countered by a disappointing showing from the Chaos, who entered the game with an undefeated record.

“We just didn’t have the answers,” Cavanaugh senior wide receiver Holly Hinz said. “We knew they were a good team, we knew they had a powerful offense. Just all around our team didn’t have a great day.”

The Shamrocks realize how important their first round victory is, as they now have the confidence to make a deep playoff run.

“I think when you are ever the underdog and can pull off the upset,” Carlin said, “you just have to ride the wave of having momentum.”

As the Cavanaugh football season ends earlier than the players would have hoped, McGlinn gets set to enter the second round of the playoffs with momentum to carry it forward.

Pasquerilla West 19, Lewis 18 (OT)

No. 7 Lewis was fired up on Sunday and nearly pulled off a huge upset against No. 2 Pasquerilla West in its overtime loss to the Purple Weasels.

The Chicks made it clear they were going to give Pasquerilla West a challenge from the opening whistle. The Lewis defense danced onto the field and was able to hold the explosive Purple Weasel offense on a goal line stand. The Lewis offense was unable to take advantage of the turnover, however, and after three plays punted the ball back to the Purple Weasels. With a second opportunity, Pasquerilla West maneuvered its speed option offense down the field and senior quarterback Simone Bigi was able to sneak in for the score.

On the following Lewis possession, sophomore quarterback Connaught Blood took over the field. She ripped off multiple long runs shaking off Purple Weasel defenders left and right.

She capped off the drive with a 40-yard bomb, setting up the Chicks on the one-yard line, which allowed them to score a touchdown on the following play.

Not to be outdone, Bigi marched her squad down the field and put the Purple Weasels back on top. After the Pasquerilla West touchdown, Lewis took over with a minute left in the half. Blood marched her team down the field and scored on a one yard run with only seconds left in the half.

Both defenses locked down in the second half. Pasquerilla West’s defense broke up multiple pass attempts and Lewis’s defensive line, led by senior captain Sarah Ceponis, sacked Bigi for multiple losses. The teams traded the ball back and forth until regulation expired.

Entering overtime, Pasquerilla West scored on an end around reverse. After converting the extra point, Pasquerilla Westgave Lewis the ball back. The Ducks punched in a touchdown almost immediately, but could not convert the extra point, and the Purple Weasels emerged with a one point victory.

Despite the loss, Ceponis was proud of her team.

“We played real flag football out there today,” Ceponis said. “We wouldn’t want to go out any other way.”

Pasquerilla West senior captain Libby Koerbel was not as excited about her squad’s effort.

“The defense started out a little slow,” Koerbel said. “We felt good in practice this week, though, and we’re excited to go up against McGlinn on Sunday.”

Pasquerilla West will face McGlinn in the semifinals on Sunday.