Recap vs. Tennessee Venom – June 23, 2001

D.C. Divas Conclude Inaugural Season With Rousing 52-0 Victory
DC 52, Tennessee 0
By Neal Rozendaal

Washington, DC – Jane Reynolds made sure the D.C. Divas would enter their first ever offseason on a decidedly high note.

The Divas, who at times struggled to find their offense this season, rolled over the visiting Tennessee Venom on their way to a 52-0 victory. The Divas (3-4) had only scored 45 points in their previous six games, but they summoned more points in this contest than they had in all their previous games combined. The Divas opened their season with a 40-0 defeat, but they concluded their season on the opposite side of a rout.

Divas running back Jane Reynolds was the main reason for that. Reynolds set a franchise record by gashing the Tennessee defense for four rushing touchdowns. “This [season] was just a great stress reliever and a way to bond with people,” Reynolds said, noting that football “is in my blood, definitely.”

On the other hand, the Venom (4-4) had lost three previous games this season by 42 total points. Tennessee hadn’t lost a game by more than 21 points all year, but they had no answer for the Divas’ relentless rushing attack on this day.

The Divas started their attack through the air. Quarterback Deb Troell threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tara Kallal, and Donna Wilkinson ran in the two-point conversion for an early 8-0 lead. Reynolds got her first touchdown of the game soon after, rushing for a 12-yard score. Troell completed a pass to Stacy Palmer for the two-point conversion, and the Divas led, 16-0.

Troell threw her second touchdown pass of the game, a 10-yard completion to Palmer, to put the Divas on top, 22-0. Reynolds took over from there, gashing the Venom defense for three straight rushing touchdowns. After Reynolds’ fourth rushing touchdown of the day, the Divas were well in front by a 44-0 score.

Jody Rowell notched the Divas’ final touchdown of the season with a 23-yard rushing score that put the Divas ahead, 50-0. Wilkinson rushed for the two-point conversion to end the Divas’ scoring for the year.

The lopsided victory helped the Divas outscore their opponents in their debut season, with 97 points scored against 95 points allowed. The Divas played five different opponents in 2001 and defeated three of them, losing to the only two teams they played twice. The Divas finished the season in third place in the Northern Conference standings behind the Philadelphia Liberty Belles and Massachusetts Mutiny, the only two teams to defeat the Divas. The 2001 team has set a great foundation for the Divas franchise as the team prepares for its second season next year.

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