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Women’s Interhall Football: Pasquerilla East clinches postseason berth

Observer Sports Writers | Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sports Writer
Pasquerilla East beat Cavanaugh 28-6 Sunday with an outstanding defensive performance, ensuring the Pyros a spot in the playoffs.
Pasquerilla East (4-1) shut down the usually potent offense of the Chaos (3-2), which averaged nearly 23 points per game through its first four contests. The only Cavanaugh touchdown came late in the fourth quarter, after the Pyros secured their lead.
The Pyros’ defensive effort featured four sacks as well as three interceptions by freshman Maddie McGovern. McGovern returned one of those picks for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Pasquerilla East’s offense capitalized on the field position and turnovers its defense provided. Pyros junior quarterback Macy Mulhall threw three touchdown passes, one early to senior running back Kiah Schaefbauer and two to junior receiver Nicole Ameli later in the game.
“I am overjoyed with how well we played,” Pyros senior captain and defensive lineman Caroline Kuse said. “We came out and we were ready for them. This game really got our spirits up, and I think that will really help us in the postseason.”
With its playoff spot secured, Pasquerilla East will take on Badin on Nov. 3 in its final regular-season game, while the Chaos play Farley the same day.
Contact Renee Griffin at [email protected]

Pangborn 7, Ryan 7
Sports Writer
In the battle of unbeatens, neither Pangborn nor Ryan captured the victory in their matchup Sunday, finishing in a 7-7 tie.
The Phoxes (4-0-1) and Wildcats (4-0-1) both brought strong offenses and defenses, which made for a competitive and intense game. Ryan struck first with a long touchdown pass, while Pangborn responded in the second half with a touchdown of its own on a pass from junior quarterback Liz Quinn to freshman receiver Anne Arnason.
Pangborn senior captain and defensive lineman Mary Kate Veselik said her team played well despite not having its full roster.
“We made great adjustments during the game, such as keeping strong on the offensive line,” Veselik said. “Though we were missing some of our key girls on offense, everyone stepped up their game and did what they could to help the team out, which I think made a huge difference.”
Veselik said sophomore receiver and defensive lineman Gracie Gallagher was impressive on both sides of the ball for the Phoxes.
“She’s such a playmaker,” Veselik said. “Almost every huge stop on defense and any big gain on offense was because of her.”
Ryan senior captain and offensive lineman Andrea Carlson said she was happy with the way the Wildcats looked on Sunday, regardless of the results.
“We went through the drives on offense and really stayed calm on defense, which was what we were focusing on in practice all last week,” Carlson said.
Carlson said freshman defensive lineman Shawn Hall’s performance stood out, as she had multiple sacks and consistent pressure on Quinn.
With neither team securing a win Sunday, Pangborn and Ryan will use a three-week break to prepare for their next opponents. The Phoxes play McGlinn on Nov. 3rd, while the Wildcats clash with Welsh Family on the same day.
Contact Rebecca Rogalski at [email protected]

Lewis 19, Badin 6
Sports Writer
An interception on the third play of the game by Lewis sophomore defensive back Katie Higgins set the tone, as the Chicks defeated Badin 19-6 Sunday.
On the following play, Lewis freshman quarterback Elaine Schmidt connected with freshman receiver Ana Grandinetti for a touchdown to give the Chicks (2-3) a lead they never conceded.
Another Higgins interception stymied a drive by Badin (0-5) midway through the second quarter, but it was her third pick late in the first half that pushed Lewis closer to victory. After the ball was deflected, Higgins picked the ball out of the air and returned it over 50 yards for the touchdown, putting the Chicks up 13-0 on the last play of the half.
“Our defense did a really good job, especially the defensive line as they put some good pressure on the quarterback,” Higgins said.
Badin’s offense, led by junior quarterback Brianna Leon, reached the red zone on a few occasions in the second half, and finally got to the end zone in the fourth quarter. Leon, who also had two interceptions defensively, led the Bullfrogs down the field, connecting with freshman Melange Gavin to cut the lead to 13-6, before a late Schmidt touchdown pass sealed the deal for Lewis.
“It was really exciting for us, as it was the first time we scored a touchdown since our first game,” Leon said. “It was our first time playing the whole game, and we had a lot of fun today.”
Both Lewis and Badin are off until after fall break, when the Chicks take on Pasquerilla West and the Bullfrogs face Pasquerilla East on Nov. 3.
Contact Alex Carson at [email protected]

Lyons 19, Farley 7
Sports Writer
In a battle of two struggling teams looking for an offensive spark, big plays were key for a 19-7 Lyons win over Farley on Sunday.
Lions freshman receiver Taylor Sears began the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Just before halftime, sophomore receiver Alexa Lodenquai added a 25-yard reception to set up a touchdown for Lyons (3-3).
While big offensive plays helped the Lions reach the .500 mark, it was the defense that stepped up and showed improvement this week, senior captain and receiver Christina Bramanti said.
“Our defense did a whole lot better,” Bramanti said. “We were on top of it today.”
Adding to her big day on offense, Sears added a late interception to help seal the win for the Lions.
“Taylor is a really solid player,” Bramanti said. “She is definitely living up to our expectations for her.”
The Finest (1-4) could not capitalize on their jet-sweep option offense. Despite her team’s shortcomings, senior receiver Maria Massa said she focused on the positive side of the game for Farley.
“We had a pick six, and our running game was working for us,” Massa said. “We have a big game coming up. We’ve been saving up some trick plays for Cavanaugh.”
Farley will put some of those trick plays on display when it takes on Cavanaugh on Nov. 3, while the Lions finished their regular season with Sunday’s victory.
Contact Matthew Garcia at [email protected]

Howard 20, McGlinn 14
Sports Writer
Howard emerged victorious in a close 20-14 game against McGlinn on Sunday.
The Ducks (4-2) and the Shamrocks (2-3) were tied 7-7 at halftime, but the second half of the game proved to be crucial, as multiple lead changes occurred.
Early in the second half, Howard senior quarterback and captain Clare Robinson scored a 20-yard run that gave the Ducks the lead.
But the Shamrocks fought back quickly. Senior Kaitlyn Keelin made a key interception, which resulted in a 60-yard touchdown run for McGlinn.
Howard answered at the end of the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass from Robinson to sophomore Stephanie Peterson to regain the lead. Strong defense by the Ducks allowed them to run out the clock on their final possession and solidify their victory.
McGlinn senior receiver Tara Crown said the Shamrocks were disappointed with the results.
“I think we could have beaten them but it just didn’t happen,” Crown said. “It’s hard to go into this long break with a loss.”
Crown said the team will try to boost its determination and drive during the break.
“We have all the talent, we just need people to want it more,” Crown said.
Howard senior center Amelia Vojt said the Ducks were proud of the game they played.
“We played really well today,” Vojt said. “We started out a little slow but once we got moving we all really came together.”
Both teams will take the next two weeks off but will return to action with McGlinn playing Pangborn on Nov. 3 and Howard will likely earn a spot in the playoffs.
Contact Alexandra Lane [email protected]

Welsh Family 19, Breen-Phillips 6
Sports Writer
In spite of a late Breen-Phillips offensive surge, Welsh Family was able to hold on to its lead for a 19-6 victory Sunday.
The Whirlwinds (2-3) scored on their first possession of the game on a long fourth-down pass from junior quarterback Alisha Anderson to junior receiver Natalie Branch. This was the first of the pair’s two touchdown connections on the day.
Defensively, Welsh Family forced multiple incompletions and shut out the Babes (0-5) in the first half.
In the second half, Breen-Phillips caught fire offensively with a strong rushing attack led by freshmen dual-threat quarterback Emily Affinito and running back Andrea Rodriguez.
Breen-Phillips’s only score came off a 32-yard rush by Rodriguez.
“Our run game today was much better than before especially because of Andrea’s impact today,” Babes senior captain and linebacker Molly McNerney said. “We’re looking to play a complete game offensively [as our season progresses].”
The Babes began to orchestrate a comeback, after forcing the Whirlwinds to go three-and-out in the fourth quarter, but they were stopped at the goal line on their following drive by Welsh Family’s stifling defense. With a strong defense, Anderson said Welsh Family is going to continue working on its passing attack in order to push its playoff hopes.
“We can improve on completing our passes and making sure our routes are run well,” Anderson said.
The Babes, still looking to their first win of the season, play their next game against Walsh on Nov. 3, while the Whirlwinds continue to play for a playoff spot against Ryan on the same day.
Contact Manny De Jesus at [email protected]