Recap vs. Keystone Assault – May 14, 2016

Divas Win Fifth In A Row With 48-0 Victory Over Keystone Assault
DC 48, Keystone 0
By Rich Daniel

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Baltimore, MD – Two champions took the field Saturday, but only one could leave that way. With a strong rushing attack and a swarming defense, the D.C. Divas made sure they were the ones wearing the crown at the end of the night.

The Divas defense forced seven turnovers – including six fumble recoveries – and Christiana Burton rushed for three touchdowns as the defending Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) champion D.C. Divas convincingly defeated the reigning Women’s Spring Football League (WSFL) champion Keystone Assault, 48-0. The Divas (5-1) completed a clean sweep of their road schedule and won their fifth straight game to stay atop the WFA’s competitive National (Eastern) Conference standings.

It was the first meeting between the Divas and Keystone in five years, and the Assault (1-5) took it to the Divas early. Keystone took the opening possession of the game and drove into Divas territory before a fourth down conversion fell short, and the Keystone defense then recovered a D.C. fumble for their second offensive opportunity of the game.

But the Divas quickly righted the ship. A defensive stop got the ball back, and quarterback Allyson Hamlin then tossed a 33-yard strike to tight end Sam Williams for her first scoring grab of the season. Stephanie Nealis converted the first of her six extra point kick tries on the evening, and the Divas led, 7-0. Hamlin would finish the game with four completions on seven attempts for 56 yards and one touchdown.

The Divas’ defense made huge plays all evening long. Whitney Simms recovered two fumbles and forced another, while C’Vette Henson made the first of her two fumble recoveries on the game as the first quarter ended. Kucheria Eades and Quiana Ford would each record a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter as well.

Rookie running back Christiana Burton had a breakout game, rushing for two touchdowns in the second quarter. Her two-yard burst capped an 11-play, 45-yard drive and put the Divas up, 13-0. Burton added another two-yard scoring run on the Divas’ next drive to make the margin 20-0 in favor of the Divas.

Safi Mojidi continued her spectacular season, picking off a Keystone pass and returning it 46 yards for a touchdown. Mojidi’s interception was her seventh turnover recovery in the last three games and her second touchdown of the season. Nealis’ extra point made the score 27-0 at the half.

In the third quarter, a 28-yard punt return by Dana Blakey set the Divas up with good field position. Okiima Pickett gained 30 of her 75 rushing yards on the night on the ensuing drive, putting the Divas inside Keystone’s red zone again. That set the stage for backup quarterback Kendra Bates, one of three Divas who had graduated from college earlier in the day. Bates, the Baltimore native who graduated with her Master’s degree in cyber security, capped a memorable evening by returning to her hometown and sprinting to the end zone on an eight-yard bootleg. Bates’ score increased the Divas’ lead to 34-0.

Burton got the fourth quarter going for the Divas’ offense. Following the fine work of her fullbacks, Briana Croley and Okiima Pickett, as well as a steady performance from the offensive line, Burton made another two-yard run for the end zone for her third score of the game and a 41-0 advantage for the Divas. Christiana Burton ended the game with 19 carries for 110 yards and three touchdowns.

Amanda Congialdi capped the evening with some fireworks of her own. She showcased her running skills by getting loose for a 33-yard run, and she then finished off the Divas’ final drive with a three-yard run to the end zone. Congialdi’s first touchdown in a Divas uniform punctuated the Divas’ 48-0 victory over the Keystone Assault.

With the win, the Divas retain the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Divas return to action this Saturday for their first of two home games to close out the regular season. The Philadelphia Phantomz, one of the top WFA2 teams in the country, make their first trip to the Prince George’s Sports Complex for a 6 PM kickoff.

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