Recap vs. Philadelphia Firebirds – May 30, 2009

D.C. Divas Win 42-0 Over Philadelphia
DC 42, Philadelphia 0
By Rich Daniel

Philadelphia, PA – The Divas’ made their third visit to Philadelphia Saturday, and for the first time in team history, the Divas left town happy with a convincing win over the Philadelphia Firebirds, 42-0.

The Divas’ first trip to Philly in 2001 ended with a loss to the Philadelphia Liberty Belles in the Divas’ first contest ever. The Divas revisited Philadelphia in 2003, when the Philadelphia Phoenix and Divas met in a contest remembered as one of the greatest playoff games in women’s football history. The Phoenix topped D.C. in a 36-32 thriller, which ended the Divas’ 2003 season.

The Philadelphia Phoenix joined the IWFL this season and changed their name to the Philadelphia Firebirds. But there would be little drama or suspense in this meeting, as the Divas (6-0) scored 35 points in the first half against the Firebirds to put the game away early.

The Firebirds (1-5) threw an interception to Divas defensive back Kathryn Hemlock on their first possession, and the Divas cashed in on that mistake when wide receiver Tara Stephenson added a 19-yard rushing touchdown put the Divas ahead, 7-0. Hemlock had a perfect kicking night with six successful extra points, and she also added two interceptions on defense. Okiima Pickett continued her strong rushing efforts with a ten-yard scamper to give the Divas a 14-0 lead. The Divas’ third possession saw Allyson Hamlin connect twice with wide receiver Nikki Williams, the second time for a nine-yard touchdown. The Divas led, 21-0, to end the first quarter.

Hamlin then began the first drive of the second quarter by throwing a 16-yard touchdown strike to Stephenson to make it 28-0. Sharina Western recovered a fumble on the ensuing Philadelphia possession, and Okiima Pickett did the rest. Her four carries for 37 yards on the drive ended with a 13-yard touchdown behind a great effort by the offensive line.

That score made it 35-0, but Pickett wasn’t done. She had a career-best 234 yards on the ground and capped the night with a 29-yard run early in the second half to help guide the Divas to victory.

The Divas are now 6-0 on the year and return home to face the New York Sharks on June 6 at 7 PM. The Divas are currently ranked #1 in the Massey ratings, which will determine the playoff seeds and home field advantage.

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