Recap vs. Boston Militia – July 7, 2012

2012 Divas’ Season Ends In a Brawl, 55-34
Boston 55, DC 34
By Rich Daniel

Recap • Statistics

Boston, MA – The D.C. Divas and the Boston Militia have had nothing but high-scoring and physical battles whenever the two teams play, and the 55-34 Boston win to advance to the National Conference championship was no different. Sadly, the terrific contest was overshadowed somewhat by a bench-clearing brawl as the final gun sounded, as emotions between these two rivals spilled over in the heat of playoff battle.

Both teams struggled early in the game offensively, with Boston’s first drive ending in an Ashley Whisonant interception. The Divas’ first drive, on the other hand, was stopped on fourth down by the Militia defense.

The Milita (10-0) answered with the first of seven rushing touchdowns on the day, and with 52 seconds left in the first quarter, Boston led, 7-0. The Divas (6-4) responded on the first drive of the second quarter with an 18-yard strike from Allyson Hamlin to Whisonant, and the score was tied at seven.

Boston responded with two scores on their next two possessions, finished by a 48-yard bomb to Adrienne Smith. Boston held a 21-7 lead with 5:25 to go in the first half. Hamlin answered with a scramble to avoid a sack and then a soft 25-yard touchdown toss into the back of the end zone, which cut the deficit to 21-13. The Militia’s 49-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half fell short, and the Divas trailed by just eight points at halftime.

The formula for Boston continued with a rushing touchdown on the opening drive to go up 27-13, and then after stopping the Divas with a sack on fourth down, Boston quarterback Allison Cahill rushed for a touchdown, giving the Militia a commanding 34-13 lead with 9:02 to go in the third quarter.

The third quarter was a frenzy of big plays. The Divas responded just one minute later with an 81-yard touchdown pass by Hamlin to Stephanie Walker, and it was 34-20 with 8:02 left in the third quarter. The Militia answered with a bruising drive of nothing but running plays and pushed over the goal line for a 41-20 advantage.

An excellent kickoff return positioned Kenyetta Grigsby for a ten-yard touchdown run, making the score 41-27 with 2:36 remaining in the third period. The Divas regained possession and were marching on their first drive of the fourth quarter, but their fourth and 14 attempt from their own 48-yard line ended in another sack.

The Militia pounced on that opportunity – as they often do – and scored another rushing touchdown to pull ahead, 48-27. The Divas answered back when Okiima Pickett went untouched for four yards to the end zone, and the Divas were back within 48-34 with 4:28 to play. But Boston responded with another effective drive on the ground, and their seventh rushing touchdown of the game put them ahead, 55-34.

Then the tensions started to spill over. On the Divas’ first play of their next possession, running back Okiima Pickett broke her leg as she was blocking on a pass play when she fell to the bottom of a pile of players. Tensions were high, and officials talked about stopping play, but they decided to allow the game to continue.

Trailing by three touchdowns, the Divas had time for just one more play. The game seemingly ended when Allyson Hamlin suffered a crushing hit on an incomplete pass attempt. But Boston was flagged for a penalty, giving the Divas one more untimed play. Hamlin dropped back and threw a pass, which was intercepted by the Militia defense. But a fight broke out when a Divas player punched a Boston defender, and both benches cleared as emotions ran high.

Order was restored, but unfortunately, the game-ending brawl took attention away from a tremendous women’s football game. The D.C. Divas ended their season at 6-4, while the two-time defending national champion Boston Militia advanced to the conference championship game for the fourth consecutive year.

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