Women’s Interhall Football: Ryan overpowers McGlinn to finish undefeated
Brian Hartnett, Issac Lorton, James Southard, Peter Steiner, Ernst Cleofe, and Jonathon Warren | Monday, October 31, 2011
By BRIAN HARTNETT
In a high-powered offensive battle, Ryan outscored McGlinn 25-19, capping off an undefeated regular season and securing the No. 2 seed in next week’s playoffs.
Ryan’s offense showed great efficiency from the onset, as the Wildcats (6-0) scored on their first possession when junior quarterback Maya Pillai found senior receiver Grace Johnson on a 13-yard touchdown pass. After McGlinn senior quarterback
Lauren Miller scrambled for a touchdown to tie the game, the Wildcats responded by marching down the field for two quick scores. Pillai threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Johnson and senior running back Brianna Curtis scored on a one-yard touchdown run for the Wildcats.
Pillai found the end zone again with just a few minutes left in the game, this time running the ball herself for a touchdown to seal the Ryan victory.
“It feels really good to get this win and finish undefeated,” Curtis said. “We plan to keep the momentum going and feel really good going into the playoffs.”
McGlinn (4-2) put forth a strong offensive effort, but was unable to keep up with the pace of Ryan’s. Miller had great success in throwing the ball deep in the second half on two scoring plays to freshman receiver Emma Collis with long touchdown passes of 19 yards and 39 yards.
“We set up the offense with some short passes in the first half and then made the adjustment to throw more long passes in the second half,” Miller said. “We missed some opportunities, but it was tough to keep Ryan at bay.”
No. 2 Ryan will take on No. 7 defending-champion Howard while No. 6 McGlinn will take on No. 3 Farley in Sunday’s quarterfinals.
Contact Brian Hartnett at [email protected]
Welsh Family 7, Lyons 6
By ISAAC LORTON
In a contest that came down to the wire, Welsh Family topped Lyons 7-6.
The momentum seemed to be in favor of the Lyonites (3-3) when they scored on a 57-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Kat Rodriguez to junior receiver Erica Miller with two minutes left in the game.
However, the Whirlwinds (4-2) held strong, stopping the two-point-conversion from 10 yards out. Welsh Family then ran the clock down to seal the victory.
“I was just hoping the defense would get that stop,” Welsh Family senior captain and receiver Charlotte Seasly said. “Without that win, we would not have gotten a playoff berth.”
The Whirlwinds’ early second half touchdown came on a 15-yard pass from junior quarterback Vicky Moreno to senior wide receiver Natalie Baldasare, topped off by a 5-yard one-point conversion pass from Moreno to Seasly.
“Vicky put the ball exactly where it needed to be and that makes my job easy,” Baldasare said.
Not converting for the two-point-conversion was a huge let down for Lyons, Rodriguez said.
“It was a hard loss,” Rodriguez said. “If it happened again, we would still go for the win. We made that gamble going for it and it was tough not to get it.”
Although it was a hard loss for the Lyonites, they still made the playoffs as the last team in and are going to target specific weaknesses of the teams they have observed over the year.
“We have played all of the teams now in the playoffs and are preparing for what they can do,” Rodriguez said. “We have to finalize our defensive schemes and add some new plays on offense based on what we’ve seen.”
The No. 4 Whirlwinds will face No. 5 Pasquerilla West, while No. 8 Lyons will face undefeated No.1 Cavanaugh in Sunday’s first round of the playoffs.
Contact Isaac Lorton at [email protected]
Farley 24, Pasquerilla West 0
By JAMES SOUTHARD
Farley’s stifling defenders shutout the Pasquerilla West offense and moved in on an enviable playoff spot after soundly winning 24-0 on a dark, wet Sunday evening.
Led by senior receiver Kaitlyn Vitale, who accumulated 40 yards of offense on Farley’s second scoring drive and three interceptions from senior defensive back Katie Smith, the Finest (5-1) rode a tide of big plays and defensive consistency to a convincing victory.
“Coming out from the start, our defense shut them down,” senior captain Analise Althoff said.
The win boosted Farley’s playoff position and gave them momentum headed into the postseason.
“The first series on offense, we marched the ball all the way down the field for a score. We definitely came ready to play,” Althoff said.
Pasquerilla West (4-2) had its bright moments, but penalties, turnovers and offensive stagnancy haunted the team. The Purple Weasels only garnered 25 yards of offense in the second half, and the defense allowed too many Farley trick plays to get the best of them.
“We’re just looking for consistency. We know we can get those big plays and big stops,” senior captain Alison Lindeen said.
Pasquerilla West is still looking to make a deep playoff run, and the team is maintaining a positive outlook.
“We’re still a good team. We had a lot of new girls come out and play, and we learned a lot this season,” Lindeen said.
No. 3 Farley will meet No. 6 McGlinn and No. 5 Pasquerilla West will line up against No. 4 Welsh Family to kick off the postseason.
Contact James Southard at [email protected]
Badin 23, Breen-Phillips 22
By PETER STEINER
With a 14-point lead at halftime, Breen-Phillips looked as if it would win its first game of the season. Badin pulled out a late victory in the end though, with an impressive performance from junior running back Ashley Okonta.
Breen-Phillips (0-6) jumped out to an early first-half lead with two touchdowns from sophomore quarterback Molly Toner.
The lead was not enough, however, as Badin (2-4) came storming back with two touchdowns from Okonta to take the lead 15-14 with five minutes remaining in the second half.
Breen-Phillips quickly countered with a 70-yard touchdown run from Toner. After a successful two-point conversion, the Babes went up 22-15 with only two minutes remaining.
Trailing by one touchdown, Badin marched the ball down the field with key passes to senior receiver Ryan Cooney and eventually scored on a 5-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Carli Fernandez. Down by one, Badin successfully completed a two-point conversion to win the game.
“We finally got our stuff together and made it happen,” Okonta said. “We actually produced the results that were expected, which was winning.”
The Babes, meanwhile, were disappointed they could not hold on to win the game, Toner said.
Toner, who amassed 222 yards of total offense, did identify a bright spot for Breen-Phillips though.
“We had a rough season, but I felt this game was our full potential,” Toner said.
The season is over for both the Babes and Bullfrogs. While the seniors of Badin and Breen-Phillips will move on, both Toner and Okonta said they are looking forward to getting a few more wins next season.
Contact Peter Steiner at [email protected]
Cavanaugh 13, Howard 0
By ERNST CLEOFE
Cavanaugh will enter the playoffs as the undefeated No. 1 seed after earning a shutout win against defending-champion Howard in a grueling 13-0 match. Facing tough defenses and weather conditions, each team struggled to move the ball down the field on a consistent basis.
Cavanaugh (6-0) earned a quick score on its first drive with a 40-yard passing play from senior quarterback Rebecca Cink to senior receiver Brittni Alexander. After the score, neither team could capitalize on drives into the opposing team’s side of the field.
Late into the second half, Howard (2-4) tried to utilize short passes to move the chains for a comeback. But the Ducks failed to convert on a fourth-and-short, and Cink sealed the win by throwing another touchdown pass to give the Chaos a 13-0 victory.
“It’s great to finish undefeated, even though things got a little difficult with the rain and weather,” Cavanaugh senior captain Maggie Fahrenbach said.
Despite the undefeated season, the Chaos hope to continue improving to prepare for post-season uncertainty.
“In the playoffs, everything changes with everyone starting without a record,” Fahrenbach said. “We just need to stay focused and improve on the defense we just implemented.”
The Howard passing game ran into difficulties from Cavanaugh’s pressure on the quarterback.
“It was a defensive battle and we played as hard as we could,” Howard junior quarterback Katharine Mack. “We’ve fought hard and we always played as a unit.”
In the first round of the playoffs No.1 Cavanaugh will play No. 8 Lyons, while No. 7 Howard will take on undefeated No. 2 Ryan.
Contact Ernst Cleofe at [email protected]
Walsh 7, Lewis 6
By JONATHON WARREN
In a penalty-filled, defensive struggle, Walsh upset Lewis 7-6 to eliminate the Chicks from playoff contention. Walsh’s defense was too strong for Lewis, who tied their lowest offensive point total of the season.
“The defense was so crucial,” Walsh junior quarterback Kat Leach said. “They really stepped up and were the heart of the team today.”
Junior defender Alex Meyer and sophomore defender Anna Carmack each recorded two sacks for the Wild. Walsh (1-4-1) scored in the first half on an 11-yard pass from Leach to freshman receiver Maggie Fisher. The converted extra point was enough to secure the Walsh’s first win of the season.
“We wanted to prove that you can never count Walsh out,” Leach said. “We threw a wrench in the playoffs, and now we’re just looking forward to next year.”
Lewis (2-4) struggled to gain offensive momentum, partly due to penalties. Despite committing eight penalties, the Chicks pulled within one point of Walsh in the second half with a 33-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Connaught Blood to sophomore receiver Colleen Haller. A failed extra point, however, kept Walsh in the lead.
“I think we’re all appalled at the penalties,” Blood said. “We’re a little in shock that we had to wait so long between plays and couldn’t gain momentum because of it.”
Blood played with an injured ankle and was called for flag-guarding penalties three times, but still managed to rack up 92 rushing yards.
“It was really hard to get in a good rhythm,” Blood said. “I didn’t play as smart as I could have, and it was hard for me to be as mobile as I normally am because of my ankle.”
With the season over for both teams, Walsh and Lewis will look to rebuild for next year’s campaign.
Contact Jonathon Warren at [email protected]