Women’s interhall play begins, Welsh Family wins title rematch over Howard
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, September 19, 2016
Lyons def. Lewis 18-6
Behind a strong rushing attack, Lyons defeated Lewis with a score of 18-6 Sunday in the first game of the interhall flag football season.
Three rushing touchdowns by senior quarterback Bella Bianco, along with three interceptions by her defense, sealed the victory for the Lions.
Although the game ended in a loss for the Chicks, junior captain Georgi Andrews feels that the young team gained valuable experience from its first game.
“More than half of the girls are freshmen,” Andrews said. “So they were able to get the rules under their belt.”
The Chicks looked dangerous on offense for much of the game, however, Andrews noted that the game was decided by a buildup of small mistakes.
“We need to work on the little things like flag guarding rules,” Andrews said. “Also getting the plays hammered out.”
Lewis will look to improve these little things for next week and for the rest of the season.
The Lions, on the other hand, hope to build on their strong start, according to their captains, junior Carly Meacham and senior Melissa Hoelting.
“We have a lot of good new girls this year,” Meacham and Hoelting said. “We’re really excited about our prospects for the season.”
Freshmen Fabi Shipley and Lily Merrigan played key roles at offensive line and receiver, respectively for Lions, leading other newcomers who added to the solid overall play. The captains praised the better play on both sides of the ball and the positive energy on the sidelines that aided in the victory.
Lyons will look to continue this positive energy and team play throughout the season.
The Lions will go head-to-head against Badin at 10 p.m. Monday at Riehle Fields and the Chicks will see their next action Sunday at 4 p.m. at Riegle Fields when they play Cavanaugh.
Pasquerilla West 21 def. Badin 14
Pasquerilla West and Badin opened the interhall season on Sunday with a hard fought game that resulted in a 21-14 victory for Pasquerilla West. The game consisted of a few costly penalties for both teams and frequent momentum shifts, with one lucky bounce that favored the Purple Weasels.
Despite losing the game, Badin captain Melange Gavin said she was pleased with her team’s performance and energy.
“I loved the effort, especially from the new girls we had come out today,” Gavin said. “We have been pretty rough in the past, so this was a promising first game for us.”
Both teams found the majority of their success through the air, but Pasquerilla West had one successful long ball that gave them the edge. Purple Weasels captain Monica Busse said she did not think the passing completions were a fluke.
“We started practice early this year and we kind of diversified our route tree, so we had a lot of options and that let us put in plays that fit well with our personnel,” Busse said.
The Bullfrogs went into the half trailing 13-7, but came out with energy in the second half, firing at all cylinders on both sides of the ball. Badin took the lead, but Pasquerilla West stuck to its game plan to come back and win.
“Everyone did their job consistently throughout the game which helped us win,” Busse said.
The Bullfrogs and Purple Weasels have a lot of good things to look forward to and build off of in the coming weeks, considering the big plays made today.
Badin will next take on Lyons on Monday at 10 p.m. at Riehle Fields and Pasquerilla West will face off against McGlinn at the same time and place.
Pasquerilla East def. Cavanaugh 12-6
Meagan Bens and Mia Berry
Pasquerilla East relied on interceptions to defeat Cavanaugh with a score of 12-6 in the women’s interhall opener.
Two minutes into the game, Maddie McGovern, senior cornerback for the Pyros, intercepted the ball inside the 20-yard line. On the next play, junior running back Sydney Boll capitalized on the turnover with a spin move and touchdown to put Pasquerilla East up 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.
A second touchdown soon followed as freshman cornerback Emma Shimek scored on a 40-yard interception return. Pyros senior captain Noelle Gooding said she was pleased with her defense’s first performance.
“I can confidently say I think our defense is definitely one of the best in the league,” Gooding said. “I’m really proud of those guys. They did awesome. I think we’re definitely going to come out and be able to get more wins.”
At the beginning of the second half, the Chaos managed to create their own string of interceptions, starting with senior captain Alyssa Anton. Anton hauled in the first inception on the first play of the second half, and thirty seconds later, she caught a touchdown reception — the first of the game for Cavanaugh. With two minutes left, the Chaos stole their second interception of the game.
Although Cavanaugh’s comeback efforts were stopped short when Pasquerilla East caught an interception with four seconds remaining to seal the win, Anton has an optimistic outlook for the rest of the season.
“I’m super excited,” Anton said. “I think we are looking better already than we did all of last year. We have a lot of freshmen, lot of young players, so I think everyone picked up on the offense and defense pretty quickly. Last year we had a smaller team, we definitely have more people this year. The program is growing and I’m glad to see that.”
The Chaos will take the field next on Sunday when they play Lewis at 4 p.m. at Riehle Fields and the Pyros will play McGlinn at 5 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields.
Welsh Family def. Howard 39-0
Welsh Family dominated on both sides of the ball Sunday evening, shutting out Howard 39-0 in the opener of the women’s flag football season.
Led by senior standouts Fran Mancuso and Ariel Navotas, the Whirlwinds raced to an early lead on a long, first-quarter touchdown run by Mancuso and never looked back. They scored again only a few minutes later on a catch-and-run by Navotas, who weaved her way through multiple defenders before charging into the end zone for the first of her two scores on the evening.
Welsh Family’s’ defense also came up big in the win, stifling Howard’s run and passing games throughout and totaling two interceptions.
Mancuso, who accounted for four of the Whirlwinds’ six touchdowns on the day, was very optimistic about her team’s chances going forward after such a resounding win.
“We can definitely keep this up all season,” Mancuso said. “We expect to be playing in the stadium this year, without a doubt.”
On the other hand, the Ducks were clearly dissatisfied with their scoreless performance. However, junior captain Alannah McCann had a positive message for her team after the game.
“I think it’s really important to have some adversity early in the season,” McCann said. “The same thing happened to us last year and we ended up in the stadium, so we’re very optimistic about how we can adjust things and move forward.”
With the win, Welsh Family moves further into the regular season with an offense and a defense that are both clicking on all cylinders, while Howard look to put this tough loss behind them as it prepare for its next game.
Welsh Family will face off against Ryan on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Riehle Fields, while Howard will take on Flaherty at 7 p.m. at Riehle Fields on Tuesday.