The Pittsburgh Passion will try to make it three in a row as they head to Brooklyn today to do battle with the New York Sharks, with Week 3 of Independent Women’s Football League action set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. at Floyd Bennett Field, part of the Aviator Sports Complex.
Last week, the Passion (2-0) posted their first shutout in 2014 as they grounded the Philadelphia Firebirds on the road 42-0. In 2013, Pittsburgh had four shutouts during the regular season.
The Passion defense controlled the game and was led by linebacker Olivia Griswold and defensive end Kim Zubovic, who had seven tackles each. In the second quarter, linebacker Beth Amato recovered a loose ball that led to a 2-yard touchdown strike from starting quarterback Lisa Horton to wide receiver Rachel Wojdowski.
Defensive tackle Shelley Victor forced a wild pass in the third quarter that linebacker Tia Montgomery intercepted and returned 62 yards for a touchdown. Defensive end Jessica Nelko also had a fumble recovery during the game.
The scoring barrage continued with Horton throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Angela Baker in the second half. Not to be left out of the action, fullback Kadesha Clark plunged into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
It was running back Alex McAtee who also made a difference in Pittsburgh’s domination of the Firebirds. McAtee had a 10-yard touchdown run on the first series of downs for the Passion. She made her presence known on special teams as she recovered a loose ball that the Philadelphia defender mishandled on the kickoff following her scoring run.
Late in the fourth quarter, McAtee scored again on a 43-yard punt return to credit her with two touchdowns on the afternoon.
New York (1-0) opened the 2014 season at home last week, shutting out the Connecticut Wreckers 50-0. The Passion is 3-2 all-time against the Sharks.
The Sharks have over 20 rookies on the squad this season and they were led last week by newcomer Alana Casner at wide receiver. She hauled in three touchdown catches from veteran quarterback Karen Mulligan. Other rookies who contributed to the high-scoring attack were running back Gina Pettigano, tight end Brilynn Fields and wide receiver Maggie Natell.
After a bye week, the Passion will celebrate their home opener at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10 when they host the Montreal Blitz at Cupples Stadium, located at 930 East Carson Street on the South Side of Pittsburgh. It will be the first-ever meeting of the two programs. The Blitz won the IWFL championship back in 2012.