Monthly Archives: November 2005
Staten Island, New York, June 11, 2005
The New York Sharks (8-0) were hosting the Manchester Freedom (3-5) in a game where one more Sharks victory would clinch them a fourth straight division title. The Freedom despite their losing record have been close in most of their games, but this was a road game and they were playing without some of their starters due to injuries. It was not a good mix for the out-of-towners and New York took advantage.
Before the game started, the Freedom won the coin toss and elected to receive. It went downhill from there.
The Sharks defense has been playing well all season and this game was no exception. They stopped Manchester on their first series after 3 plays and forced them to punt. After the punt New York began their first drive of the game from their own 43-yard line.
The Sharks struck quickly as they scored after 6 plays. Quarterback Val Halesworth connected with receiver Jen Blum for a 14 yard gain. Running back Teresa Schirrippa who looked good in her game against the Southern Maine Rebels continued where she left off. “T” rumbled for a 14-yard gain. After a sack, Halesworth found Blum again for a 9 yard and then a 26 yard reception. The latter earned the Sharks a touchdown to give them the lead for the day. Kicker Nikki Gwinnett kicked the extra point and the home team was ahead 7-0 with 6:12 left in the first quarter.
After the kick-off, the Sharks defense shut down the Manchester offense again and forced them to punt. For the whole game, the Freedom’s offense could only muster one first down and were pushed back for minus 49 yards for the game. Without their star Katia Pashkevitchwho was out with a broken hand, Manchester’s offense wilted.
With the ball back in New York’s hands, they scored another touchdown and any game suspense quickly evaporated. This touchdown was again courtesy of the Halesworth-Blum connection, this time it was a 48-yard strike. The extra point attempt was wide but the lead for the Sharks was now 13-0 with 14:41 left in the first half.
Manchester had little success running the ball so the next time they got the ball they tried going to the air. That was met with very little success as Michelle Brown picked off a Nicole Steinhart pass and returned the ball to the Freedom’s 47-yard line. The Sharks almost scored on the very next play as Halesworth hit receiver Junko Tanida who was tripped up at the very last minute to postpone a New York touchdown. With the ball resting on the 12-yard line, Halesworth handed the ball to Schirrippa 3 times and on the last run she scored. The extra point attempt was no good as the snap was bad and the kick never got off the ground. Still it was now a 19-0 lead with 9:30 left in the half.
At halftime, Sharks owner Andra Douglas presented the Sharon Pascale award to Donna Spilotras and the Tim Pascale award to Shauna Segars. These awards are given to Shark veteran players who exemplify the team.
New York received the ball to start the second half and the Sharks continued to dominate. They scored 3 more touchdowns, one on Blum’s third touchdown reception of the game and another on Brown’s second interception of the game. The game did slow down near the end as penalty flags were tossed into the air. Overall 6 penalties were called in the second half, Manchester getting 2 and New York getting called for 4.
Overall it was a dominating game by the Sharks. Halesworth passed for 152 yards in the game giving her over 1,000 yards passing for the season for the fourth year in a row, a league record. Because of that, coach Lynn Lewis game the offensive game ball to Halesworth who quickly gave a nod to Blum for her 3 touchdown receptions. The defensive game ball went to Brown for her 2 interceptions but a close runner-up was Spilotras for her penchant of getting into the Freedom backfield.
The victory clinched the North Atlantic division title for the Sharks and guarantees them a spot in the playoffs. Despite the Atlanta Xplosion’s win over the Tampa Bay Terminators, the Sharks are still the number 1 seed in the IWFL Eastern Conference. They are followed by Atlanta, the Jacksonville Dixie Blues, and the Souther Maine Rebels.
The Sharks will host the Rhode Island Intensity next week on Saturday, June 18th. Kick-off time is 7pm at Monsignor Farrell High School. If you cannot make it to the game, you can still follow all the hard hitting football action. Greg Mescall, Pat Brown and Dave Maxwell will bring you all of the action on our flagship radio station KEDU-FM.
|New York Sharks||7||12||8||16||43|
NY – (06:12) Blum 26 yard pass from Halesworth (Gwinnett kick)
NY – (14:41) Blum 48 yard pass from Halesworth (kick failed)
NY – (09:31) Schirrippa 2 yard run (run failed)
NY – (03:39) Blum 5 yard pass from Halesworth (Blum pass from Halesworth)
NY – (10:00) Oppel 8 yard run (Leon pass from Halesworth)
NY – (02:01) Brown 40 yard interception return (Leon pass from Halesworth)