Recap vs. Erie Illusion – May 24, 2003

D.C. Divas’ Dominance is No Illusion in 74-7 Win Over Erie
DC 74, Erie 7
By Leah Fahringer and Rich Daniel

Washington, DC – With 32 points scored in the first quarter and a total of 10 touchdowns in the game, the D.C. Divas had their highest scoring game in team history against the Erie Illusion on May 24 at Eastern High School. The Divas continued their impressive march through the NWFA with a 74-7 thrashing of the Illusion.

The Divas (5-0) were on the board quickly. In the first quarter, running back Monica Livingston carried the ball 33 yards for a touchdown at the 12:37 mark. With a successful two-point conversion by fullback Claudia Hogan, the score was quickly 8-0. The Divas wasted no time increasing their lead with an end zone catch by wide receiver Nikki Williams less than six minutes into the game. Donna Wilkinson took the two-point conversion over the goal line to bring the score up to 16-0.

The Illusion (0-6) took possession but was unable to gain much ground and had to punt. The D.C. offense drove on the ground and in the air before wide receiver Tara Kallal carried the ball into the end zone with 2:01 left in the first quarter. The successful two-point conversion by running back Adrienne Lewis brought the score up to 24-0.

The Divas were not finished yet, though. In the last two minutes of the quarter, cornerback Ivy Tillman picked off an Illusion pass and returned it 75 yards for the Divas’ final touchdown of the period. Wilkinson completed the conversion to make the score 32-0.

The second quarter looked much like the first. Wide receiver Vickie Lucas ran in the first touchdown at the 13:52 mark. The D.C. Divas started giving kicker Stacy Palmer a workout, switching from conversions to extra points. This first kick, like the other five to come, was good.

With a lead of 39-0, the Divas continued to dominate. The Illusion’s next possession was cut short by an interception by cornerback Lisa Hill at 11:53. This turnover led to another score by Wilkinson with 8:37 left in the half. The extra point made the score 46-0.

Wilkinson had her second touchdown of the night seven minutes later, and with the kick, the score was quickly 53-0. With just eight seconds left in the half, the Illusion did have one bright moment in the game when quarterback Julie Kemling connected with Tiffany Peterson for a four-yard touchdown pass to make the score 53-7 at halftime. Despite that, Donna Wilkinson remarked after the game, “That was the best half of execution in our team’s three-year history.” Wilkinson scored two touchdowns on 11 carries for 84 yards to add to her league-leading rushing total of 693 yards in five games.

Whatever words of encouragement the Illusion coaches gave during the end zone moment and at the end of the second quarter were likely memories as the third quarter got underway. DC’s Vickie Lucas had a 25-yard run to the end zone for her second touchdown of the evening. After the extra point was made, the score was 60-7. Kallal then joined the evening’s two-touchdown club with a 15-yard touchdown reception to make the score 67-7.

Head coach Ezra Cooper used the latter part of the game as an opportunity to give some of his second-stringers playing time. During the final quarter, the Illusion got close to the end zone, but the Divas’ defense held them back. Quarterback Debra Troell was able to run the ball in for a final touchdown of the evening with just 2:30 left in the game to make the final score 74-7.

The D.C. Divas dominated with 375 rushing yards and 96 passing yards. Monica Livingston led the way with 93 yards on the ground and scored a touchdown on her first carry of the game. “I owe everything to my offensive line,” said Livingston.

LaShawn Foust continued to add bowling ball-like yards with 77 yards on 12 carries. Quarterback Allyson Hamlin led an offensive attack that went over the 400-yard mark for the fourth time this season. Hamlin was five of eight for 57 yards and a touchdown and was named the offensive MVP.

The defense was once again impressive, holding the Illusion to under 200 yards of total offense. Tessa Nelson was named the defensive MVP, helping to spearhead a goal line stand and leading the team in tackles for the second week in a row with 9.5 (including seven solo tackles).

The D.C. Divas travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Passion on May 31 at 7 PM. The Divas’ next home game is at Eastern High School to face the Columbus Flames on June 7 at 7 PM.

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