Recap vs. The Sports Junkies – November 22, 2004

Game Between D.C. Divas and The Sports Junkies Shatters Women’s Football Attendance Record
The Sports Junkies 28, D.C. Divas 6
By Neal Rozendaal

Recap • Story

The D.C. Divas played a men’s football team for the first time in their history, taking on a team assembled by The Sports Junkies radio crew in front of a boisterous crowd of over 8,200 spectators. The Divas remained competitive throughout the first half, but the superior size and strength of The Sports Junkies’ team wore the Divas down in the second half and allowed the Junkies to walk away with a 28-6 victory.

The Junkies took possession to start the game. A good drive for the Junkies was ultimately halted by penalties, which would be a theme in this contest. The Junkies began practicing just six weeks before the game. Despite their superior size, the Junkies’ lack of precision manifested itself in 12 penalties for 107 yards in the contest.

The Divas’ offense was unable to counter, however, and the Junkies regained possession. In the second quarter, the Junkies cracked the scoreboard with an eight-yard touchdown run by J.P. Flaim. Eddie “E.B.” Bickel booted the extra point, and the Junkies took a 7-0 lead.

With time ticking down in the first half, the Divas put together their best offensive drive of the game. The Divas’ drive was aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty on John “Cakes” Auville against Divas quarterback Allyson Hamlin. The Divas moved the ball down to the Junkies’ 18-yard line, and on second down, Hamlin found wide receiver Nikki Williams open for an 18-yard touchdown strike. The Divas attempted to go for two and the lead, but their attempt was stopped short, and the Divas trailed with 1:35 remaining in the first half, 7-6.

Unfortunately for the Divas, they were not able to carry the momentum from their score into the halftime locker room. A 40-yard swing pass gave the Junkies great field position, and they cashed in when Junkies quarterback Jason “Lurch” Bishop carried the ball into the end zone from one-yard out with 47 seconds to go in the first half. Bickel again converted the extra point try, and the Junkies led, 14-6, at halftime.

The superior size of the Junkies’ line began to manifest itself in the second half. Trailing by just one score, the Divas turned the ball over when Hamlin fumbled the ball after getting sacked on a Junkies blitz. That gave the Junkies possession at the Divas’ 24-yard line and set up a six-yard touchdown run by Bret Michaels. Bickel again converted the extra point for a commanding 21-6 advantage.

Under the strength of the Junkies’ pass rush, the Divas had no opportunity to move the ball in the second half. Hamlin played an admirable game, finishing with nine completions on 19 attempts for 78 yards and a touchdown. However, Hamlin also threw one interception, a pick that was returned 30 yards for the Junkies’ final score in a 28-6 victory.

Bickel, who converted all four extra point kicks and was named the MVP of the Junkies, complemented the Divas for their play. “The Divas played hard, but I think the size and strength eventually won out,” Bickel remarked.

Donna Wilkinson, the Divas’ star running back, agreed with that assessment. “They didn’t bring out scrubs to play us,” Wilkinson said. “Over half that team had college-level experience. And if a man outweighs a female by 100 pounds, well…I don’t care how good you are, the man’s gonna win.”

Ultimately, Auville put the event in perspective, as the contest drew over 8,200 fans and collected truckloads of canned goods that went to the charity So Others May Eat (SOME). “It feels great to win, but we’ve got to give some props to the Divas. They were a tough battle,” Auville remarked. “The charities is what it’s all about, win or lose. Of course we wanted to win, but we’re helping out a charity that’s going to put some food on some underprivileged people’s table. That’s the really important thing.”