By Larry Snyder
Toledo, Ohio – The Pittsburgh Passion closed out their 2019 Women’s Football Alliance campaign on a two-game win streak as they collected their fourth shutout Saturday, June 1, with a 47-0 victory over the Toledo Reign (3-4) at Scott High School.
Two weeks ago, the Black and Gold prevented the Detroit Dark Angels from putting any points on the scoreboard in the second half of the contest. Against Toledo, head coach Teresa Conn’s defense assembled four quarters of shutout football for the 51st time in team history. It was also the fifth meeting where the Women of Steel did not permit the Women of the Glass City to record a point.
The vital athletes contributing crucial moments on defense throughout the season include Tenisha Spencer, Rebecca Ehrgood, Krystal Cozzo, Diamond Rodriguez, Ashley Dicicco, Kellie Bell, Kaitlain Niedermeyer, Kimberly Zubovic, Hannah Daman, Randee Murray, Julie Ionta, Chance Willis, Monica Richards, Amanda Coles, and Lizz Costanzo.
Angela Baker got the barrage of the score sheet started through the air when she took the snap and connected with wideout Krystal Cozzo twice for touchdowns within two minutes of each other at 26 and 37 yards. Pittsburgh quickly owned a 15-0 lead with 12:46 to go in the first quarter.
Getting the ground game on track in Toledo was Arielle Smith when she added six points in the first on a 15-yard run. Kia Foster, who is her fourth season at tailback, also claimed a touchdown on a 15-yard run on the closing play of the opening frame.
Devon Conner and Cozzo each delivered a two-point conversion during the explosive beginning while Alisha Dean picked up a point-after attempt on special teams. Offensive Line Coach Nate Conti’s crew of Samantha Simeone, Morgan Cross, Erica Shoecraft, Zubovic, and Niedermeyer controlled the conflict along the line of scrimmage.
Smith found an opening at 10:27 of the second and carried the ball 13 yards for her second touchdown. The Black and Gold had one more scheme in their arsenal.
Offensive Coordinator Lisa Horton revisited a favorite she used against the Baltimore Nighthawks at the beginning of May when she called for the hook and ladder against the Reign at the end of the first half. Baker threw a 12-yard strike to Rodriguez who tossed it back to Conner. The second-year running back took it 46 yards for six points and a 41-0 lead for Pittsburgh at the intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter, Baker added one more score at 13:44 of the fourth when she threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Conner. The Passion departs the Buckeye State with a record 6-2.
Next Up: The Black and Gold enter the first round of the WFA playoffs Saturday, June 15, at Joe P. DeMichela Stadium, part of West Allegheny High School. It gets underway at 7:00 p.m. EDT.
Coming into this weekend, while the Women of Steel concluded their regular season, a total of 54 teams participated in 27 games across the WFA. We should a pretty good idea in a few days who will be making their way to the City of Bridges.
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