Recap vs. Detroit Demolition – April 25, 2009

The D.C. Divas Demolish Detroit, 35-0
DC 35, Detroit 0
By Rich Daniel

Detroit, MI – On their last trip to Detroit four years ago, the D.C. Divas suffered an agonizing loss in the 2005 NWFA Northern Conference championship game, while the Demolition were surging toward their fourth straight national title.

This will be a much happier trip home from the Motor City for the Divas.

The D.C. Divas made history last Saturday, shutting out the Detroit Demolition on their home field, 35-0, in a game that was called at halftime due to lightning. The Divas became the first team ever to shut out the Demolition in their eight-year history and the first team to defeat them on their home field.

The five-time national champion Detroit Demolition are one of the premier teams in women’s football, compiling a 71-6 record all-time coming into Saturday’s contest and a 39-0 record playing at home. Yet the Divas totally dominated, handing them their first home loss and their first shutout defeat in their 78-game history.

After an exchange of possessions to start the game, the Demolition (1-2) found themselves backed up in their own territory. Detroit then made their first mistake of the game, as Divas defensive back Alison Fischer started the scoring by picking off a pass and returning the interception 25 yards for a touchdown. The extra point attempt was good, and the Divas took a 7-0 lead.

The Divas (2-0) finally got their offense clicking early in the second quarter. LaShawn Foust scored the game’s first offensive touchdown on a four-yard run, and the Divas held a 13-0 lead two minutes into the second period.

Midway through the second quarter, the Divas took command of the game with three scores in fast succession. Quarterback Allyson Hamlin threw her first touchdown of the game with a 20-yard pass to nine-year veteran wide receiver Tara Kallal. Kallal’s first touchdown of the season gave the Divas a 19-0 lead.

On Detroit’s next possession, Noa Bruckenthal recovered a fumble at the Detroit 20-yard line that put the Divas’ offense in business. Running back Okiima Pickett gashed the defense for a 15-yard gain and then followed it up two plays later with a three-yard plunge into the end zone. Pickett then rushed for the two-point conversion to extend the Divas’ lead to 27-0. Okiima Pickett led the Divas with 35 rushing yards in just one half of play.

The Divas’ defense and special teams gave the Divas excellent field position the entire game, with Tracy Cabugao and Noa Bruckenthal each recovering a fumble for two of the four turnovers forced by the Divas’ defense. The Divas’ fourth turnover of the game, an interception near midfield, gave the offense possession with less than two minutes to play before intermission.

Hamlin threw her second touchdown pass of the half, this time a 35-yard strike over the middle of the field, with just seconds remaining before halftime. Running back Rachelle Pecovsky rushed for the two-point conversion to seal a dominant first half and a 35-0 lead.

With a steady rain falling and lightning in the area, the Detroit Demolition conceded defeat and took the 35-0 loss. The Divas evened their all-time record against the Demolition at two wins apiece and improved to 2-0 this season on the road. The Divas return to D.C. for their 2009 home opener next weekend against the Pittsburgh Passion.

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