Interhall season opens with lopsided wins
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Pasquerilla East 28, McGlinn 0
Pasquerilla East came out on top Sunday in its 28-0 victory against a young McGlinn squad. The Pyros got off to an unfortunate start to the season when a key defender was injured only a minute and thirty seconds into the first quarter, but the team quickly recovered to take control of the game.
The Pyros’ win rested on the arm of sophomore quarterback Hana Jenks, the reliable hands of junior receiver and captain Noelle Gooding and the quick feet of sophomore running back Sydney Boll, as well as a tight defense that made two key interceptions to put their offense in scoring position.
Gooding said her team did well to overcome injuries and get the win.
“I think we did a great job,” Gooding said. “We obviously started off pretty rough with a huge injury on our team’s defense, but we came back totally and played great.”
Gooding also credits a coaching staff headed by Irish junior quarterback Malik Zaire for the win. Zaire said the Pyros need to keep improving.
“We’re getting better,” Zaire said. “But we’re trying to be the best team in the league, so we’re working for that.”
McGlinn struggled to generate offensive momentum and riddled by defensive fouls, but senior captain Megan Fabry said her team is optimistic about its season.
“We’re a really young team,” Fabry said. “We have a lot of new players and players coming back from abroad from last year, so I think it’s just a matter of time before we start clicking, and I think we’re really going to be unstoppable after that.”
The Shamrocks will be looking to use lessons learned this Sunday to improve as they face Lewis at 5 p.m. Sunday at Labar Practice Complex. Pasquerilla East will hope to improve to 2-0 as it faces Badin at 4 p.m.
Farley 35, Badin 12
Farley started off strong in its defeat of Badin on Sunday in a high-scoring, intense battle, 35-12.
Returning junior quarterback Lizzy Moulton led the Farley offense to the win, throwing long, accurate passes and rushing aggressively. On the defense’s part, there was fierce play all across the board.
Farley senior captain Ali Buersmeyer said her team achieved its goals of performing cohesively and maintaining a strong shape.
“Going in, we really wanted to organize and connect on passes and have good forward momentum,” Beursmeyer said. “We definitely did that today. I was also proud of how our defense adjusted to the changes [in the lineup] after half time. All in all, there was great play on both sides of the ball today.”
Despite the large difference in the final score, the Bullfrogs looked to be within reach for most of the game, moving the ball on offense both through the air and on the ground.
Badin came close to the end zone on multiple occasions but struggled in the red zone, having one touchdown taken back as a result of a penalty and an interception.
Farley looks to continue its success Sunday when it faces Pangborn at LaBar Practice Complex at 4 p.m., while Badin hopes for more progress and a win when it meets Pasquerilla East at LaBar, also at 4 p.m.
Dillon 31, O’Neill 0
Dillon earned a 31-0 victory over O’Neill in it season opener, but not without cost as the Big Red lost a player to injury for the remainder of the season.
Dillon’s defense started strong, as sophomore Jack Myers intercepted the ball from O’Neill junior quarterback Keenan Bailey on the first pass of the game. The Big Red failed to convert the turnover to points, however, later fumbling the ball on their own one-yard line.
After the recovery, O’Neill responded with a fumble of its own, which led to the first touchdown by Dillon. From there on out, it was smooth sailing for the Big Red.
Dillon added three more touchdowns as it pulled away from the Angry Mob, and a difficult 35-yard catch made by sophomore receiver Jeff Melsheimer came in between rushing scores from junior running back Paddy Toole and junior running back Tyler Dale. Dillon freshman quarterback Michael Cahill also added three points in the kicking game with a field goal.
The Big Red lost sophomore David Durkin due to a broken leg, but sophomore captain John Walsh said the team was prepared to perform without him.
“We lost a key player today,” Walsh said. “Durkin broke his leg, but the rest of the team looked good because we are so well coached. We are looking forward to week two.”
The Angry Mob was unable to put up any points on the scoreboard, but junior captain Keenan Bailey responded positively.
“I’m proud of my freshmen,” Bailey said. “The foundation looks good; however, the scoreboard does speak for itself.”
O’Neill returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. for a matchup with Keenan at Riehle Fields, while Dillon has a bye week to prepare before facing Stanford on Oct. 4.
Ryan 28, Lyons 0
Calm and collected, Ryan easily bested Lyons on Sunday for a 28-0 victory and strong start to the season.
After catching three touchdowns from freshman quarterback Jennifer Moore, Wildcats senior captain and receiver Erin Clark said she was happy with her own performance and the outcome of the game as a whole.
”It was a really strong start to the season,” Clark said. “A lot of girls really stepped up. The first years who had never played in a game before just went in and hit the ground running, and a lot of the upperclassmen showed really good leadership today.”
Clad in yellow with black face paint, freshman Mia DiCara made an impact on the Lyons offense. Despite the loss, she said she had hope moving forward.
“We did a lot of learning throughout the game, but I thought it was a pretty positive experience for us,” DiCara said. “I think we’re going to work a lot on getting together as a team and working as a team and working on our plays.”
In moving forward, Clark said she still sees areas for improvement, especially in light of the high number of penalties the Wildcats drew.
“Little things really,” said Clarek. “Just making sure the defense is keeping up communication. Today, we had a couple plays where we hurt ourselves, lost yards here and then. Just perfecting that stuff so we’re not giving the other team any free yards. Working on timing. Sharpening up some things. Timing is everything.”
Lyons next faces Pasquerilla West at LaBar Practice Complex at 6 p.m. Sunday, while Ryan will face Breen-Phillips at 5 p.m. on the same day, also at LaBar.
Keenan 7, Keough 0
On a balmy afternoon at Stepan Fields, Keenan began its march back to the championship Sunday with a 7-0 shutout of Keough.
The first game of the season for both teams was a defensive struggle throughout, with neither side finding a consistent offensive rhythm. The deadlock was broken in the third quarter, however, when Keenan senior quarterback Aaron DiGenova, with the help of a tenacious offensive line, scrambled around the pocket and eventually found freshman receiver Lukas Cepkauskas wide open for a 60-yard touchdown down the field. The big third-down play drew the praise of junior captain Michael Koller after the game.
“I think we played well,” Koller said. “Our freshmen played really well today, and the offense really stepped up as a whole, because normally we don’t have a strong offense.”
Keenan’s defense was certainly up to the task of stopping the Keough offense, as the Knights consistently found their way into the backfield to disrupt plays early, taking advantage of their opponent’s shaky offensive line.
Keaough junior captain and quarterback Matthew Mooney said the offensive line was his team’s biggest weakness.
“We struggled blocking people up front today,” Mooney said. “We got in a lot of third-and-longs, and that stalled the offense.”
Senior Anibal Torres led Keenan’s relentless defense all day long, constantly breaking into the backfield and harassing Keough and Mooney, who was intercepted in the fourth quarter to seal the win for Keenan.
However, Mooney said he was pleased with the team’s performance.
“We played a really good team today, but I think our team competed against them well,” Mooney said. “Our defense played great; the difference was just one big play.”
Keenan looks to continue its winning ways at Riehle Fields on Sunday at 1 p.m., where it will face O’Neill, while Keough looks to enter the win column when it meets Stanford at Riehle Fields at the same time.
Morrissey 20, Duncan 6
Morrissey came out in full force against Duncan this past Sunday in a 20-6 finish. Sophomore captain and quarterback Declan Zidar said it was the Manor’s first step in retaining the interhall title.
“I think we played well — ran well, but the defense was great,” Zidar said. “Expanding the playbook is really the next step.”
The Manor featured a run game which seems to have only improved since last year. Despite Zidar saying last week he planned to emphasize the passing game, the team elected to run the ball on 25 out of 27 plays.
Senior running back Hunter White finished the day with over 100 rushing yards. He was met with little resistance and scored all three Morrissey touchdowns. Although White lost the ball in a second-quarter fumble, Duncan was unable to capitalize on the turnover.
The Highlander offense was left to play catch-up all game, hitting nine of 18 passes and struggling to get its run game on its feet. Its lone touchdown came late in the fourth quarter, barely avoiding a shutout.
On the other side of the ball, the defense, led by junior captain and defensive end Steve Treacy, was simply not able to win the battle at the line of scrimmage.
“Miscommunication up front really killed us,” Treacy said. “The scheme we had didn’t really work out for us, but we made some adjustments and played a really good second half. We played tough, and I’m proud of that.”
The Highlanders look to review their zone blocking schemes before facing off against Knott this Sunday at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields, while Morrissey will continue its title defense against Alumni in the same location at 3:30 p.m.
St. Edward’s 3, Fisher 0
St. Edward’s emerged victorious Sunday, defeating Fisher, 3-0, in a defensive struggle which saw more turnovers than points scored.
However, what this matchup lacked in points it made up for in drama.
Early on, Fisher attempted to wear down the St. Edward’s defensive line with the power run, but having its only drive of the first quarter thwarted on fourth down, Fisher opened up the playbook and mixed passes and runs for the remainder of the game.
Fisher’s junior captain Shannon Massey said his team could have used more practice to better its offensive woes.
“To be honest, we just didn’t have enough practice time to install everything we wanted,” Massey said. “We played hard; we just didn’t have enough time.”
St. Edward’s offense also struggled early as relentless blitzing forced the Gentlemen to begin running an option attack.
The game remained locked at 0-0 well into the fourth quarter. However, in a game with few successful long passes, it was ultimately a lengthy completion which set up St. Edward’s sophomore kicker Brandon Ryan to kick the go-ahead field goal with five minutes remaining.
“I was really glad we got the kick, especially since we hadn’t practiced it that much,” St. Edward’s junior captain Phineas Andrews said.
Freshman cornerback Brian Ball sealed the game for St. Edward’s with an interception in the end zone on Fisher’s ensuing drive.
Summing up the win, Andrews said there is work to be done.
“It feels good to get the win,” Andrews said. “And our defense played really well, but our offense is still working some things out.”
Both teams will be looking to shake the rust off going forward as the Gentlemen face Carroll on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Riehle Fields, while Fisher has a bye week before facing Sorin on Oct. 4.
Walsh 18, Breen-Phillips 6
Walsh’s defense was just too much for Breen-Phillips to handle Sunday night at the LaBar Practice Complex. The Wild Women defeated the Babes, 18-6, to earn a week one victory in their quest to a playoff return.
Walsh junior co-captains Courtney Davis and Moira Tripp said they were excited about their team’s performance.
“I’m really proud of how we played today,” Tripp said. “We have a pretty young team, and they seem to learn things pretty quickly.”
Walsh’s stingy defense and the performance of freshman quarterback Catherine Moseley led the Wild Women to the victory.
“Our freshman quarterback, Catie Moseley, did a great job today,” Davis said. “She definitely had the biggest impact on the game.”
The Babes offense struggled to move the ball and was held scoreless for the first three quarters. Dropped passes and poorly executed handoffs plagued the Babes.
Breen-Phillips sophomore captain Megan Resnik credited the mistakes to her team’s youth and inexperience.
“We are a very young team, and this is the first time a lot of these girls have played flag football,” Resnik said.
Despite the loss, Resnik said she took some positives out of her young team’s performance.
“I was impressed how we gradually got better, which usually is the opposite of what happens,” Resnik said. “We started to pick up the speed of the game as the game went along.”
The Wild Women look to polish up their game as they head into next week’s matchup with Cavanaugh at 6 p.m. at LaBar Practice Complex, while the Babes will look to rebound after Sunday’s loss, when they take on Ryan on Sunday at 6 p.m.