Recap vs. Columbus Comets – May 16, 2015

D.C. Divas Soar Past Columbus Comets, 60-0
DC 60, Columbus 0
By Neal Rozendaal

Recap • Statistics

Landover, MD – The D.C. Divas had waited this long to make their home debut.

A little rain wasn’t going to slow them down.

Facing slippery conditions, the Divas kept the ball on the ground – rushing for seven touchdowns – and capitalized on five lost fumbles by the Columbus Comets to win their home opener, 60-0.

The Divas (5-0) got on the board first with a 39-yard touchdown run by Kenyetta Grigsby. Grigsby finished the game with 88 rushing yards on just seven carries. Less than five minutes into the game, the Divas led, 7-0.

Then the fumbles began. With a steady rain falling throughout the first half, both teams had difficulty hanging on to the football. Helen Deer fell on a Columbus fumble to give the Divas possession, but Divas quarterback Allyson Hamlin fumbled the ball right back to the Comets after taking a blind side hit from behind.

However, the Comets (0-5) had difficulty moving the ball on offense all game long, thanks largely to the weather conditions and key injuries to several of Columbus’ top playmakers. The Comets were forced to punt, and the Divas took advantage when Ashley Whisonant took the ball on an end-around and ran 13 yards for the Divas’ second score of the game. The Divas led, 14-0, after one quarter.

One of the biggest improvements to the D.C. Divas’ offense this season has been the addition of Callie Brownson, the Divas’ All-American defensive back, to many of the Divas’ offensive sets. Brownson was the offensive star of the game, rushing for two touchdowns in the second quarter alone from the running back position. Her second score of the game, a 49-yard run for the end zone, put the Divas on top, 27-0.

The Divas’ defense then joined the scoring parade. Alicia Hopkins snared her first of two interceptions on the evening, returning it for a touchdown and a 33-0 Divas advantage. Defensively, Tia Watkins led the Divas with eight tackles, while Paris Smith and Kamil Maclin added four apiece.

The D.C. Divas led 33-0 at halftime after a first half punctuated by seven lost fumbles – four by Columbus and three by D.C. But as the first half wound down, the rain finally cleared out and allowed for much better execution in the second half.

The Divas expanded their lead in the third quarter. First, Hamlin threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Kentrina Wilson, the only passing touchdown of the game. Wilson ended the game with two catches for 55 yards and one touchdown. Immediately after the touchdown strike, Hamlin went to the bench for the remainder of the contest.

She was replaced at quarterback by Brownson, who continued to be as dangerous a scoring threat from that position as she was at running back. After several strong runs by Okiima Pickett, Brownson scored on a one-yard sneak to put the Divas ahead, 47-0. Pickett powered the Divas’ running game in the second half, rushing for 59 yards on a team-high 14 carries.

Fifteen-year veteran Donna Wilkinson also got in the act late in the third quarter. Wilkinson, the only remaining Diva who has played in each of the team’s 15 seasons, rushed for a 13-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to make the margin 54-0. Wilkinson gained 54 yards on seven carries for the game.

Safi Mojidi recovered a fumble near the end of the third quarter, the Divas’ fifth fumble recovery of the game. Mojidi joined Cherre Marshall, Trigger McNair, and Helen Deer as Divas defenders who corralled the slippery football after it was fumbled by the Columbus backs.

The Divas substituted liberally throughout the second half, and several reserves played throughout a mostly scoreless fourth quarter. But Brownson, still in at quarterback at the end, put the final exclamation point on the game with a 32-yard touchdown run as time expired. Brownson’s team-leading 147 rushing yards included four rushing touchdowns. Callie Brownson became just the fifth Divas player ever to rush for four touchdowns in a game, joining Grigsby, Wilkinson, Rachelle Pecovsky, and Jane Reynolds.

Due to a quirky schedule brought on by multiple forfeits from the Central Maryland Seahawks, the Divas made their home debut on May 16 – the latest date in the year the Divas have ever held their home opener in 15 seasons. After such a long wait, not even a first-half rainstorm could dampen the Divas’ excitement to open their home slate.

The Divas now enjoy a bye week before three games in three weeks to close out the regular season. The Divas next return to action on May 30 in Atlanta when they face the southeastern powerhouse Atlanta Phoenix. The Divas’ next home game will take place on June 6, when they tackle the highly-rated Cleveland Fusion.

← Previous Game Next Game →