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Sunday, June 16, 2024
The Observer

McGlinn, Breen-Phillips start season off with victories

Good things come to those who wait.  Such was the case for McGlinn Sunday as they took a thrilling season opener 7-0 over Lyons on the strength of a late fourth quarter touchdown drive.

While the Shamrocks were undoubtedly pleased with the game's results, the contest began on a rather ominous note for McGlinn.

Lyons defensive back Juliet Hobbs picked off McGlinn quarterback Bridget Meacham on the game's first play, setting up a prime scoring chance for the Lions. However, they were unable to take advantage of the turnover as senior quarterback Roxie Trevino's pass fell incomplete on fourth and goal from the eight.

"We've only been practicing for three days and a lot of the offensive linemen are inexperienced," Trevino said in explanation of McGlinn's relentless pass rush that recorded three sacks and forced several errant throws.

The failed first-half opportunities continued to mount for Lyons as they were unable to capitalize on a pair of interceptions by senior defensive back Becky Wynne.

Following yet another squandered red zone trip by Lyons to begin the second half, McGlinn used a crucial sack by senior Sarah Blake on a Lyons fourth down at midfield as the momentum - swinging catalyst that sparked the game-winning drive.        

After three consecutive completions, a short run and a dropped pass, the Shamrocks faced third and goal from the 18.  Dropping back, Meacham found sophomore receiver Raquel Ferrer down the right sideline for a 14 yard gain with 2:40 left.  Following a timeout, Meacham once again hit Ferrer on a curl just inside the goal line to break the scoreless tie.  

"We wanted to hit one of the girls running the out route," Ferrer said.  "I was just trying to beat [the defender] to the spot; when I saw Bridget looking at me, I knew it was coming."

Re-energized by the emotional victory, McGlinn anxiously awaits its contest with Pasquerilla East on Thursday.

"We have to work on our offense a little, but our defense was super strong," Ferrer said.  "We got some of the first game jitters out of the way and we're ready to take it to PE."

While the last second score predictably demoralized Lyons, Trevino is confident better results are in store against Badin on Thursday.

"It's just a matter of getting our timing," Trevino said.  "We should be 110 percent better by next week."

Breen Phillips 24,

Pangborn 12

Even through a torrential rainstorm on Sunday afternoon at the West Quad athletic fields, it was easy to see that Breen-Phillips would be a force to be reckoned with in the coming season as they raced past Pangborn 24-12.

The game got off to a roaring start as Pangborn took the opening possession and ran a double pass as the first play of the season. As the Breen-Phillips defense reacted to the first pass behind the line of scrimmage, the ball sailed over their heads and into the waiting arms of a Pangborn receiver who made a terrific catch on the under-thrown ball for a 30-yard gain.

The Breen-Phillips defense recovered and forced a Pangborn turnover on downs, to get the ball to their offense, led by quarterback Traci Kazmerski. Pangborn's defense came out strong by sacking Kazmerski twice on the opening possession and forcing a 3rd and 23 while shifting the momentum to the Phoxes' side.

It was on that play that Breen-Phillips seized control and never looked back. As the Breen-Phillips sideline said, "We never punt!" Kazmerski faded back and found receiver Tara Johnson running behind the Pangborn defense for a 45-yard touchdown pass to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Babes after a failed conversion attempt.

"It was just a fly pattern and I got behind the coverage and just ran it in," Johnson said after the game.

The Breen-Phillips defense made an interception to thwart the next Pangborn drive and then Kazmerski accounted for another score, this time running the ball in three yards on 4th and goal to make the score 12-0 after another failed conversion attempt.

For the rest of the half, the Breen-Phillips defense continued to frustrate the Pangborn attack, a fact that could have been attributed to a lack of a game ball as Pangborn's freshman quarterback was forced to throw a ball she wasn't used to.

With the Breen-Phillips defense in complete control, Kazmerski and the Babes offense got the ball back with 2:00 left in the half and ran a two-minute drill to perfection, utilizing the combination of Kazmerski's short, accurate passing, and opportunistic scrambling to mount yet another scoring drive.

Kazmerski capped the 41-yard drive with a 1-yard quarterback draw to make the score 18-0 in favor of BP at the half.

During halftime the threatening skies finally let loose with a hard, driving rain that delighted the two teams, both of which cheered as the rain got progressively harder. For a time, it appeared as though the downpour had given new life to Pangborn as they quickly got on the board with a 7-yard scoring strike to cut the deficit to 18-6. Kazmerski and the Breen-Phillips offense answered on the very next series, covering 50 yards, most of it on the legs of the star quarterback. Although a 25-yard touchdown run on a Kazmerski naked bootleg was inadvertently blown dead, it proved to be only a temporary postponement of the inevitable as the BP quarterback ran it in from seven yards two plays later on the same naked bootleg to make the score an insurmountable 24-6 late in the 2nd half.

Pangborn continued to fight, scoring one more touchdown on a 68-yard slant pattern to give the game a final score of 24-12 and give the Phoxes and captain Katie Murray something to build on for the rest of the season.

"We just need to get in some more practices and gain some experience," Murray said. "We are 75-90 percent freshmen, but we have some great athletes in that class. We have a lot to build on."

Although Pangborn will undoubtedly improve as the year goes on, Sunday Breen-Phillips announced themselves as a contender in the Blue League.