Recap vs. Pittsburgh Passion – June 27, 2009

Divas Remain Unbeaten After 27-17 Playoff Victory Over Pittsburgh
DC 27, Pittsburgh 17
By Rich Daniel

Landover, MD – The D.C. Divas advanced to the Eastern Conference championship game with a hard-fought 27-17 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Passion.

The game was scoreless after one quarter of play. In the second quarter, Sharina Western recovered a fumble for the Divas to give the home team some momentum. The Divas (9-0) took a 7-0 lead on a four-yard touchdown run, the only touchdown of the first half for either team. Pittsburgh cut into the Divas’ lead just before halftime with a field goal, making the score 7-3 at intermission.

The Passion (7-2) opened the second half with a sustained drive and a touchdown that gave them their first lead of the game, 10-7. The Divas answered right back with a 14-yard touchdown pass by quarterback Allyson Hamlin to wide receiver Tara Stephenson, and the Divas went back on top, 14-10.

The Divas’ defense then turned up the pressure with a 35-yard interception return by defensive back Kathryn Hemlock. Hemlock’s dive for the end zone was ruled out at the one-yard line, and Rachelle Pecovsky punched it in from there for a 20-10 Divas lead. The Divas continued to pound the running game behind their strong offensive line. The offense wore down the Pittsburgh defense, adding another touchdown run for a 27-10 advantage.

Pittsburgh drove down the field to try to get back into the game, but the Divas’ defense made a big goal line stand. Drea Major delivered a big hit on fourth down to stop the Passion short of the end zone and give the Divas possession. On the night, the DC defense racked up six sacks and created three turnovers. Pittsburgh was able to score again with just under five minutes to play, but it wasn’t enough as the Divas advanced with a 27-17 triumph.

The Divas now travel to Boston to take on the Militia in the Eastern Conference championship game on July 11. The winner will advance to the National Championship game on July 25 in Round Rock, Texas.

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