Last Saturday, the lights came on at Highmark Stadium in Station Square, and it was time for the lean, mean machine that is the Pittsburgh Passion to add to the legacy of outstanding football in the Steel City, as they shut out the Columbus Comets 49-0.
It was the third week in a row that the Passion has prohibited the opposition’s offense from getting on the scoreboard. The victory allowed Pittsburgh to improve their record to 3-1 in the Women’s Football Alliance.
Bringing the fire and the fury on the gridiron for the Passion defense was defensive lineman Kaitlain Neidermeyer, who had a fumble recovery along with nine tackles on the evening. Linebacker Tia Montgomery returned an interception 83 yards for a Pittsburgh touchdown and had seven tackles, while linebacker Ebony Ivy also contributed seven tackles.
The defensive barrage continued as rookie linebacker Amanda Duncan forced a Comets fumble and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown. Defensive back Sharon Vasquez and linebacker Amy Betterton each had an interception. Betterton, along with defensive end Kim Zubovic, had six tackles during the game. Defensive back Krystal Cozzo chipped in two pass deflections to complete the shutdown.
The Pittsburgh offense did not disappoint the fans, as it put up 49 points on the Columbus defense. Starting quarterback Lisa Horton went 19 of 32 for 237 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. Wide receiver Rachel Wojdowski grabbed six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Amanda Haeg hauled in six passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns. The aerial assault was complete as fullback Candice Snyder had two catches for 24 yards and one touchdown.
The ground game was led by running back Ciara Chic with six carries for 26 yards, while Snyder checked in on the scoresheet with three carries for 21 yards.
NEXT UP: Pittsburgh will have a bye week on Saturday, May 4. The Passion will be back in action at Highmark Stadium against the Boston Militia at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. The Militia are 3-0 going into this weekend as they take on the Sharks in New York before coming to Pittsburgh. For more information, please visit the team online at pittsburghpassion.com
PASSION PRIDE: The Pittsburgh offense has put up 157 points in the first four weeks of the 2013 season for an average of 39.2 points per game. They have 39 first downs to go along with 1,316 yards of total offense.
Wojdowski hit a career milestone as she is now one of four players in Passion history to break the 1,000-yard career receiving mark. She joins teammate Amanda Haeg, who also has achieved 1,000 career receiving yards.
In the game against Columbus, kicker Amy Fallon was 7 for 7 in her PAT’s. She is now 20 of 21 on the season for Pittsburgh.
In 2012, the Passion defense had a total of four shutouts during the regular season and one in the playoffs. There are four regular season games left this season, beginning with the Boston contest on May 11.
After the first four weeks of play, defensive end Olivia Griswold leads the team in sacks with 3.5, while she also leads the team in tackles for a loss with nine.