Recap vs. Baltimore Nighthawks – May 23, 2009

Divas Win Battle of the Beltway, 70-14
DC 70, Baltimore 14
By Rich Daniel

Landover, MD – Through their first four games this season, the D.C. Divas have averaged 29 points per contest while relying largely on their defense to win games. But on Saturday, the Divas reminded everyone that their offense can still pack a powerful punch.

The Divas scored ten touchdowns – five of them in the first quarter alone – and continued their impressive comeback season by easily defeating their Beltway rival Baltimore Nighthawks, 70-14.

The Divas (5-0) scored on their first five offensive possessions of the game. The D.C. defense forced Baltimore into a three-and out, and a 30-yard punt return then gave the Divas’ offense great field position. On the Divas’ first offensive play of the game, quarterback Allyson Hamlin found wide receiver Tara Kallal for a 35-yard touchdown, and the Divas were quickly ahead, 7-0.

Another defensive three-and-out gave the Divas the ball right back, and Okiima Pickett sprinted 35 yards to the end zone to give the Divas a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Pickett would finish the game with 118 yards on just five carries and a pair of touchdowns.

The Nighthawks (2-4) responded with a long pass play for their first touchdown of the game, cutting the D.C. advantage to 14-6. But on their first play of their next possession, the Divas would take momentum right back. It was once again Pickett who pounced all over the Baltimore defense, carrying the ball 65 yards for the touchdown. The Divas ran in the two-point conversion, and the score was 22-6 in favor of D.C.

Allyson Hamlin threw her second touchdown pass of the contest on a 12-yard strike late in the first quarter, which extended the Divas’ lead to 29-6. The Nighthawks then threw an interception deep in their own territory, and LaShawn Foust raced for a quick 12-yard score as time expired in the first quarter. The Divas led after one period, 36-6.

Overall, the Divas would score on eight of their first nine possessions of the game. Hamlin added the first tally of the second quarter with her only run of the game, a 15-yard touchdown scramble that gave the Divas a 42-6 lead. Hamlin then threw her third touchdown of the game on the Divas’ next possession, a 40-yard strike, and it was 49-6. Hamlin ended the contest with 142 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air.

The final score of the first half was another great effort by the offensive line. A 20-yard touchdown run along with the extra point gave the Divas 56 points at halftime, which set a team record for the most points scored in one half in the team’s nine-year history.

Early in the third quarter, the Divas notched their ninth touchdown of the game on an electrifying 50-yard punt return. That special teams effort gave the Divas a 63-6 lead after three quarters. Not to be overlooked, the Divas’ defense was strong all night as well, with three interceptions and a defensive stand that led to a muffed punt by the Nighthawks as the third quarter came to an end.

The Divas’ offense began the fourth quarter with the ball at the Baltimore one-yard line, courtesy of that botched punt attempt. Rachelle Pecovsky punched it in from one yard out to put the Divas ahead, 70-6. On the final play of the game, the Baltimore Nighthawks added a touchdown and a two-point conversion as time expired on a 70-14 Divas victory.

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