IWFL: Pittsburgh Passion Ready To Soar With Carolina Phoenix


The two teams that have captured the Independent Womens Football League Championship in the last two years square off at Cupples Stadium Saturday night as the Pittsburgh Passion host the Carolina Phoenix.

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It is time to see who can claim victory in the present. The Black and Gold are the defending IWFL champions, going 11-0 in 2014 on their way to the title. The Phoenix were the IWFL World Champions in 2013 and the IWFL Founders Bowl Champions in 2012.

They met twice last season in a home-and-home series during Week 1 and Week 5. Pittsburgh won 29-6 Saturday, April 12 in Durham, North Carolina and took the rematch 51-0 Saturday, May 17 on the South Side.

The Passion are 3-0 in the IWFL and 4-0 overall. They remain in first place in the Mid Atlantic Divison. Pittsburgh joins the Madison Blaze (4-0), the Houston Energy (3-0), the Sacramento Sirens (5-0), and the Utah Falconz (2-0) as the undefeated in the league so far this season.

Veteran quarterback Lisa Horton has 13 touchdowns and one interception this season in three IWFL contests. She has thrown for 149 career touchdown passes. Horton has also contributed 48 career rushing touchdowns.

Coming into Saturday’s matchup, wide receiver Angela Baker is the only player to have a touchdown in all four games. She is just 61-yards away from 1000 career receiving yards. Baker will be the fifth member of the Passion to reach that milestone.

Last week against the Sharks, rookie running back Tara Catone ran for 277 yards on 19 carries which established a new team record for rushing yards in a single game. Catone along with Tia Montgomery, Remy Olinzock and Sarah Niedermeyer have combined for 767 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

The defense is led in part by defensive lineman Octavia Griswold, linebackers Olivia Griswold and Tia Montgomery, and defensive backs Kim Beaver, Jill Croce, and Krystal Cozzo. The unit has totaled so far this season 12 sacks, 3 Interceptions, 5 Fumble Recoveries, and one shutout.

Carolina is 4-1 and in first place in the IWFL’s South Atlantic Division. The Phoenix shut out the Tennessee Train 40-0 at home last week. After dropping their season opener to the Firebirds 20-0 in Philadelphia, head coach Willie Parker’s squad has reeled off four consecutive shutouts against the Knoxville Lightning, the Washington Prodigy, the Carolina Queens, and the Train.

In those four victories, the offense has put up 118 points behind quarterback Ebony Montgomery and running back Maria Rivera. Carolina’s take charge defense is led by defenseive back Terah James and linebackers Maria Osmond and Shenicqua Souter.

Up Next: After a bye week, the Passion are back on the road Saturday May 30 for a rematch with the Sharks in New York at 6 p.m. Pittsburgh claimed the first meeting this season 32-18 on Saturday, May 9 at Cupples Stadium.

From The Clipboard: The Passion’s Lisa Horton was inducted into the PNC Legacy Project on Thursday. She was one of 13 phenomenal women in Pittsburgh that were honored for their vision and leadership. All have been difference-makers in their communities.

Horton is the first quarterback in the annals of women’s football to pass for 10,000 career yards. She lead the Black and Gold last season to the IWFL Championship. The event was held at the Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel and was put on in part by the Post-Gazette and KDKA-TV.

From Thursday evening…

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