New York Sharks Destroy Blitz On Opening Day
The weather was awful all week until April 12th, when the rain stopped in the morning and a 65-degree sunny day appeared in the afternoon. The weather conditions were perfect, the field was perfect to play on and the day was perfect for the NY Sharks on Opening Day to pound the Montreal Blitz 52-0 at August Martin High School.
A nice crowd was on hand for the Sharks’ second season in the Independent Women’s Professional League and just like last year, the defending champions rolled over another opponent. Montreal was no match for the awesome offensive and defensive display that the Sharks put on. Coming off an undefeated season, the Sharks did not want to take the Blitz lightly and on the opening kickoff, the Sharks’ Virginia "Cha Chi" Leon wasted no time by taking the kickoff 64 yards to the Blitz’ 7 yard line. Once QB Val Halesworth found RB Courtney Eaton in the back of the endzone with an easy TD pass, and made the 2-point conversion, the Sharks were up 8-0.
Halesworth also played a big part in the special teams by returning a 35-yard punt to set up the next score. Halesworth found Valerie Monaco in the endzone and the 2 point conversion made it 16-0 with 7:51 left in the first. Montreal’s inability to score became so apparent when the offense just could not get their running game going. Anna "Tonka" Tate, the 5’11, 280 pound lineman, playing with a sprained ankle, still controlled the middle by getting to the backfield so much it seemed as if she was camping there on every play.
By Tate going through the center of the offensive line, linebacker Missy Marmorale took sweet advantage by sacking Blitz QB Nancy Hamel 4 times and holding the Blitz to no first downs in the entire first half. When the Blitz actually decided to throw the ball, the middle was clogged up with Sharks defenders that Hamel could not find an open receiver and looked very upset after three and out drives for the Blitz. Marmorale also decided to get on the scoring board when as a running back; she ran a 16-yard touchdown to increase the lead to 30-0 at the end of the first half.
In the second half, the second-string offense and defense came in for the Sharks and was as equally impressive as the first string was. The Sharks caused turnovers on two straight possessions, which led to Leon scoring to make it 36-0 with 9:03 left in the third. Courtney Eaton finished off the scoring and 2 point conversion with 12:28 left in the fourth to finish the scoring at 52-0. The Sharks did not allow a first down for the Blitz in the entire game.
The Sharks have won 15 straight ballgames and will go on the road to take on the Philadelphia Liberty Belles on April 19 at 7 p.m. The Belles won the championship in 2001. For play-by-play action, the broadcast will be available at www. nysharksfootball.com on tape delay on April 20.