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Off Dan Whalen remains undefeated

BY MITCH SMITH | OCTOBER 05, 2009 7:20 AM

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With the intramural flag-football playoffs looming, every play could be the difference between going home for the season or moving on to the Bubble for a chance at the flag-football championship.

Off Dan Whalen, the No. 4-ranked team in the co-rec league, looked strong heading into the final week of the regular season after beating the no-longer undefeated Chino Stoppaz, 29-12, on Sunday at the Hawkeye Recreation Fields.

Whalen moved to 3-0 overall after the win, and it will close out its season on Oct. 11 against Team Chuckles. Meanwhile, the Chino Stoppaz dropped to 2-1; it has a final-week bye.

Whalen, named after a “longtime good friend” of many of the players, was led by its extremely strong quarterback play and a receiving corps that dropped very few passes.

Senior quarterback A.J. Palash completed 10-of-18 passes and threw four touchdowns to lead Whalen to victory. Backup quarterback Meggan Cronin also completed a pair of passes, including an extra-point conversion.

Whalen’s go-to receivers included Jed Seward, Cronin, and Derek “White Chocolate” Johnson, a fifth-year senior who stuck the nickname on the back of his jersey.

Johnson led Whalen’s receivers with five receptions, one touchdown, and two extra-point conversions.

Seward caught a pair of touchdowns, and Cronin added another score.

On defense, Whalen was once again led by Johnson, who was all over the field, playing the role of pass rusher and leader in the secondary.

He relentlessly pressured the Chino Stoppaz senior quarterbacks Pat Flynn and Kendall Gifford and had a one-handed interception worthy of ESPN’s Top Plays.

Despite not being able to keep up offensively, the Chino Stoppaz receivers were no pushovers either.

Seniors Sean Powell and Anna Schmitz had eight and five receptions, respectively. Powell also added a touchdown.

“It was a good game,” Johnson said. “The girls played really well. That really is the key in co-rec flag-football.”

The co-rec league offers a wide variety of completely different aspects from that of the men’s league in intramural flag-football because it forces the female players to be more involved in the game.

During each offensive series, a team is not allowed to complete two-consecutive passes to male players. If a male quarterback completes a pass to a male receiver, the next play must involve a female quarterback or a female receiver.

Male quarterbacks are also not allowed to run the football, and scoring plays involving a female player count for nine points rather than six.

“Having to constantly switch quarterbacks and receivers adds a whole different dimension to the game,” Flynn said.


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