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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

WOMEN'S INTERHALL WRAPS: Pangborn throws 70-yard TD on first play of game

Pangborn 16, Lyons 0

Pangborn wasted little time in scoring during their shutout win Sunday over Lyons.

Phoxes sophomore quarterback Gabby Tate connected with sophomore wide receiver Meghan Bescher for a 70-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. The Pangborn defense, however, was pivotal in the Phoxes' victory.

"We've been really working hard in practice on our defense, and it really showed up today," Pangborn coach Matt Mattingly said.

Bescher said the defense's solid play allowed her offense to open up.

"Our defense really gave our offense momentum and gave our young receivers

a lot more confidence in themselves," Bescher said.

The play of the stingy defensive unit was highlighted by a second-half forced safety by Phoxes junior Ashley Hardy.

There were five total interceptions thrown by the two teams, including the game-clincher that ended up in the hands of Pangborn sophomore Kaitlin Furrey to run out the game.

Bescher scored another receiving touchdown after her game-opening pass to power the Phoxes over the Lions.

"She's a huge part of our offense," Mattingly said. "Sometimes she seems to carry the team by herself."

Breen-Phillips 7, Badin 6

The defensive units kept the game close before Breen-Phillips eked out a victory over Badin that came down to an extra-point conversion.

The Babes lone touchdown came on a pass by junior quarterback Melissa Meagher.

Badin held Breen-Phillips scoreless for the rest of the game and scored its only touchdown on an interception return. But the Bullfrogs were unable to convert the extra point and came up just short of completing the comeback.

Farley 7, Cavanaugh 6

In a tough defensive battle Farley just squeezed by Cavanaugh Sunday.

Farley junior wide receiver and captain Jenny Rolfs was on the receiving end of one of the squad's few big plays, scoring on a pass from senior quarterback Brittany Baron on the opening drive. Sophomore cornerback Caity Shepherd's interception also gave Farley's defense a spark to get the win.

Cavanaugh's touchdown came midway through the first half on a pass from junior quarterback Katie Dunn to senior wide receiver Elisa Suarez. But despite three interceptions by the Chaos defense (two by senior middle linebacker Lizzie Brown and one by senior defensive back Kim Halpin), the game came down to a failed extra point attempt following a touchdown.

Rolfs gave credit to the Chaos defense for a good game.

"Cavanaugh's defense was really good, and we're getting better [on offense]," Rolfs said. "It's just making those big plays and finishing our chances, which we're improving at. .... We'll get a couple good plays, we just have to string them together."

While the Finest keep their undefeated season intact, Sunday's contest was the second loss for the Chaos. In both of its defeats, Cavanaugh allowed a touchdown on the opening drive and then managed to hold its opponents scoreless.

Senior captain Tarah Brom said that after losing to Walsh last Sunday, her team felt it had fixed its few holes.

"It's frustrating," Brom said. "After the first game we worked on the things that we needed to work on, and this game went the exact same way."

Brom added that the rest of the season will definitely test the Chaos' collective mettle.

"I think we definitely have more pressure to win our games now because we obviously want to make it to the playoffs, so we can't afford to lose again," Brom said. "And our team has a phenomenal defense, so it's going to be up to the offense to make stuff happen."

Farley's win gives it a 1-0-1 record after tying McGlinn last week.

Welsh Family 26, Lewis 13

Welsh Family continued its offensive dominance in its 26-13 win over Lewis.

Led by junior quarterback Jenni Gargula, the Whirlwinds offense scored four touchdowns in the victory. Welsh Family started out the game with three solid drives, each capped off with a touchdown pass from Gargula, including one to senior captain and receiver Kelly Bushelle.

"We knew coming into the season that the upperclassmen had a lot of potential," Whirlwinds assistant coach Mark Mihallo said. "With the leadership from Jenni and Kelly, we knew (the offense) would click right away."

Gargula completed 10 of 11 passes in the first half for the Whirlwinds. On the other side of the ball, the Welsh Family defense looked stellar in the first half. It did not give up a first down in any of Lewis' first three possessions and intercepted a pass during the Chicks' fourth drive.

"In the first three halves of football so far this year, our offense has looked somewhat anemic," Lewis assistant coach Perry Shoemaker said. "We've had bright flashes but we haven't been able to put anything together."

The Chicks finally put together a scoring drive in their first possession of the second half with a long touchdown pass from quarterback Katherine Guarnieri. The Chicks then made the conversion attempt, and looked as though they might be able to chip away at the Whirlwinds' lead.

But after two dropped passes during Welsh Family's next possession, Gargula took things into her own hands. She completed two passes and ran four times, including a short touchdown run that gave the Whirlwinds a 26-7 lead.

"A quarterback with experience is very crucial in this league," Mihallo said. "Jenni's been here for three years, and she's an excellent quarterback. She can make all the tough throws."

As Welsh Family looks to continue its dominance Thursday against Pasquerilla West, Lewis hopes to bounce back when it takes on Badin.

"We've got a lot to prove out there," Shoemaker said. "If we can replicate what we did here in the second half, I think we've got a chance."

Walsh 20, McGlinn 0

Walsh proved that it is a force to be reckoned with, cruising to its third victory of the season with a shutout victory over McGlinn.

Wild Women senior quarterback Mary Sullivan connected with sophomore receiver Sierra Smith, freshman receiver Meghan Hadley and senior receiver Marie Brenner to drive down the field twice early in the game to jump out to an early lead that would not disappear.

Sullivan hit Hadley on a quick slant, who then turned it up the field and outran defenders for the first score.

On the ensuing possession, the McGlinn offense looked out of sync. The pressure of the Walsh defense, lead by junior Elizabeth Berger, proved to be too much for Shamrocks junior quarterback Sarah de Groot.

"It was a great game. All the players, both the seniors and the younger players are really meshing together," Walsh coach J.J. Reese said. "All the coaches know what they're doing, and the players are executing well."

The Walsh defense looked stout throughout the contest. Allowing a paltry 4.3 points a game, the swarming linebacker corps and the quick defensive line has caused trouble for every offense they have faced. What has been most impressive about this defensive unit, however, has been their ability to step up in big spots.

The Shamrocks threatened in the second half as de Groot completed a bomb to Kathleen Stanley, but the defense held up and forced McGlinn to turn it over on downs.

Later in the game, when Shamrocks senior captain Taryn Lewis intercepted Sullivan's pass, the Wild Women defense once again forced a turnover on downs to seal the game.

McGlinn, however, did see some bright spots. After initially having trouble in the first half establishing a running game or developing any momentum on offense, de Groot and sophomore running back Tina Noranha found some movement upfield in the second half.

"I'm really excited about our team, especially the defense who played very well. Aside from the two or three big plays, we were right with Walsh," Shamrocks coach Jeff Paramore said. "A couple different things go our way, some of the incomplete passes are caught or on target, and it's a different ballgame."

Walsh faces Howard today and McGlinn plays today against Cavanaugh.