By Larry Snyder
Pittsburgh, Pa – The Pittsburgh Passion (1-0-0) celebrate their 20th home opener Saturday, April 30, against the Tri-State Warriors (0-2-0). The two Women’s Football Alliance squads meet for the coin toss at 6:00 p.m. at Joe P. DeMichela Stadium, part of West Allegheny High School in Imperial, PA.
Pittsburgh is coming off a 27-8 victory over the Venom in Detroit the first week of the season. Co-owner and co-head coach Teresa Conn’s crew had two consecutive bye weeks to prepare for this franchise milestone event. Tri-State was shut out 13-0 at home by the Baltimore Nighthawks Saturday, April 16, and blanked again 24-0 Saturday, April 23, on the road by the New York Wolves.
First-year Passion quarterback Alyssa George is ready to execute co-head coach and offensive coordinator Lisa Horton’s scheme. She completed 10 out of 17 pass attempts for 114 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and 18 first downs in the win over Detroit.
The wide receiver duo of Ellie Mularski and Jana Meister were instrumental to the passing game. Meister was the target for a two-point conversation toss in the second quarter. Mularski hauled in a 26-yard score with two seconds left before halftime.
Marcelina Chavez led the ground attack against the Venom with a 53-yard touchdown run at 1:45 of the second. Maria Fautali and Arielle Smith contributed to the 107 total yards rushing in the season opener. Chavez takes it to the end zone here on the WFA’s YouTube channel. She is the second highlight on the Week 1 Plays of the Week.
When defensive coordinator Erik Keister’s unit lined up against the Detroit offense, the Women of Steel responded with one fumble recovery, three interceptions, four sacks, and five pass deflections.
Per the WFA website, linebackers Hannah Daman supplied one solo tackle and helped on 17 others for 18 stops, while Devon Peace furnished five solos and pitched in on another nine for 14 tackles. Veteran lineman Kaitlain Niedermeyer aided on 13 tackles, including four that resulted in a loss on the play. Defensive end Chelsea Biggers owned two of the four sacks and grabbed the fumble recovery.
Helping to keep the Venom passing attack off-balance were Lawanda Pearson, Jasmine Jones, and Niaja Brokaw, with one interception apiece. Ashley DiCicco delivered two of the five pass deflections for the Black and Gold.
Tri-State co-owner, head coach, and offensive coordinator Rich Harrigan has Antoinette Wise under center to handle the play calling. Janaya Taylor is the leading receiver.
Co-owner and defensive coordinator Lybrant Robinson turns to defensive linemen Jacque Dorsey and April Romeo, linebacker Melissa Blaise and free safeties Alilia Anderson and Ashley Williams to contain the opposition each week.
Weather: The gang watching the radar has partly to mostly cloudy skies for Saturday, with a 40 percent chance of showers after midnight. The daytime high reaches 68 degrees, with the evening low hitting 50. The winds come out of the east at six to seven mph.
Tickets: You can select your seats for all Passion contests online here.
Updates: Twitter At @pghpassionFB – Facebook At PittsburghPassion and the Score Stream App.
NEXT UP: Pittsburgh journeys to Massachusetts Saturday, May 7, for a showdown with the Boston Renegades (2-0-0). This clash gets underway at 6:00 p.m. at Harry Della Russo Stadium.