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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

WOMEN'S INTERHALL FOOTBALL - BLUE LEAGUE: Bullfrogs fall 18-12 to Lewis

The Lewis Chicks came back from a 12-point deficit Sunday night to beat the Badin Bullfrogs for the second time in one week at Riehle West.

After being dominated for most of the first half, the Chicks took the ball down 12-0 and executed the two-minute drill like a team ready for the playoffs. Displaying efficiency, Lewis quarterback Elisa Valdez completed 6-of-9 passes on a critical 70-yard scoring drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Katie Klune.

"The biggest turning point was when the team relaxed after we got the first touchdown," Lewis captain Julia Burke said. "After that, we started playing with a lot more confidence."

In the second half, the Lewis defense put their team in the position to win by holding the Badin offense inside its own 20. After two consecutive three-and-outs by Badin, the Chicks tied the game with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Klune.

Badin and Lewis traded interceptions on their next possessions, but another three-and-out stand by the Chicks forced the Bullfrogs to punt, giving Lewis solid field position. The Chicks quickly capitalized and took the lead 18-12 with a touchdown to Joslyn Moya.

Badin took over the ball with less than three minutes left and began marching down the field, moving the chains twice. Just as things were looking up, a crucial sack by Kate Erdle stopped the momentum and an interception by Lauren Mullins - her second of the night - sealed the victory.

"It feels really good to get this win," Burke said. "Let's just say we've won two games fair and square now."

Due to Tuesday's heartbreaking loss, the Bullfrogs came out with a chip on their shoulder, showing more aggression and focus in the early minutes. The Bullfrogs opened the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown toss from Katie Rose Hackney to Courtney Rains to make it 6-0.

Lewis managed to march down the field and threaten, but key defensive plays by Badin kept the Chicks scoring.

"It's not that our offense wasn't clicking in the first half, it's just that we couldn't get it into the endzone," said Burke.

The game looked like it might be in hand when Badin captain Meghan Charlebois picked off an errant pass by Valdez and returned it nearly 60 yards to put the Bullfrogs up 12-0.

"We just had some unlucky breaks," Charlebois said. "Some critical plays killed us and their quarterback is pretty strong, so it's always tough to face her."

Walsh 19, Lyons 0

Walsh showed no mercy Sunday night under the lights, shutting out a Lyons team fighting to make the playoffs. A two-touchdown effort by cornerback Julie Campbell highlighted play for the Wild Women at Riehle West.

From the start, Walsh set their no-nonsense tone, forcing the Lyons to go three-and-out, and returning the punt to the Lyons 35-yard line. After a successful option, quarterback Mary Sullivan threw for 20 yards, and the Wild Women were within ten yards of the goal line.

Lyons held them for three downs, but on fourth, Sullivan ran outside and scored Walsh's first touchdown. Their second came soon after. Four plays into a Lyons drive, Campbell intercepted the ball and ran it back almost 50 yards for a touchdown. Walsh converted the extra point and gave the Lions another try to get their offense started.

This time, Campbell let the Lions get five plays get five plays into their drive before picking it off again and running it 40 yards to the house. Then came three consecutive turnovers on downs, all without a first, and halftime was called with Walsh in scoring position.

"It was great to end the regular season on a high note," said Walsh captain Mary Botta. "We are happy with how we did this season, though we would have loved to go undefeated, and we're just really excited for the postseason."

The Wild Women started with ball but had to punt, as did Lyons on the next possession. When Walsh got the ball back, the team marched down the field, gaining big on a 25-yard pass that got a boost from a penalty on Lyons for unnecessary roughness. But the Lyons defense held them in the red zone and got their offense the ball.

The Lions put together their most successful drive of the game with time winding down, completing four consecutive passes and running for a first, but Walsh buckled down and forced a turnover on downs. The Wild Women then let the clock wind down on the Lyons season.

Editor's note: Howard forfeited to Cavanaugh because they could not find enough players to fill a team.