2018 USWFL Championship: Prodigy vs. North Florida Pumas

The Washington Prodigy returned to the Bristol Tennessee for the 2018 USWFL Championship looking to leave back-to-back champs. When the clock read 0:00 the Prodigy were on top after defeating the North Florida Pumas 20-0 for the title. 

Prodigy's impermeable defense took the field after the opening kickoff and forced the Pumas to punt. Defensive End Natasha Ware took advantage of the situation, blocking the punt and giving the Prodigy offense the ball at the North Florida 33 yard line. 

USWFL MVP Cheri 'Lil Mimi' Gantt started off the offensive series with a big run, followed by a facemask penalty.  From the 24 yard line, fullback Crystal Boyd ran in the first points of the game. With the extra point by Lindsey Walton, the score was 7-0 halfway through the first quarter.

On the next series, defense once again came up big, recovering a fumble on the 49 yard line.  But the Prodigy offense did not take advantage of the turnover, giving the ball back on downs.

In the second quarter, the Prodigy offense turned the ball over to the Pumas three times, including two forced fumbles and an interception.  As the clock closed in on halftime, North Florida drove the ball to the Prodigy 11 yard-line. But big play after big play the defense stepped up, holding the Pumas scoreless.

The second half looked a lot different than the first. After a 40 yard kickoff return the Prodigy offense was rolling. Gantt opened with a 16 yard run and with a face mask penalty, Washington was in Puma territory. Fullback Shawntae 'Tank' Barnes combined with Gantt to work the ball to the North Florida 20 yard-line where rookie tight end Tierra Hawkins caught a wide open pass from Quarterback Vicky Lyles to make the score 14-0 with the extra point. 

After that the Prodigy and Pumas traded three-and-outs and not much yardage was gained for either team until the fourth quarter.

The Pumas went for it on 4th and 5 from the 12 yard line but Prodigy defense pressured the quarterback for an incomplete pass. Washington's offense took advantage of the field position, with Barnes running in a touchdown from the 7 yard line.  The extra point was no good making the score 20-0.

Defensive tackle Benita Rouse intercepted a tipped ball for the final big play of the game. 

Click HERE For More on the Prodigy All-Stars & Award Winners

Prodigy at Pumas

 Running back Cheri "Mimi" Gantt gets great blocks as she breaks through the Pumas defense

Running back Cheri "Mimi" Gantt gets great blocks as she breaks through the Pumas defense

 Defensive End Natasha Ware gets her first of two sacks on the North Florida QB

Defensive End Natasha Ware gets her first of two sacks on the North Florida QB

Washington (5-0) took the more than 700 mile trip south to Jacksonville to take on the North Florida Pumas (3-2). Even with a few key players missing, the Prodigy were able to defeat a tough team, 26-0.

The Prodigy defense set the tone early. On the opening drive, defensive end Natasha Ware sacked the Pumas quarterback for a 8 yard loss on third down forcing a punt. But Washington had a hard time finding a rhythm on offense.  Despite several long runs from running back Cheri "Mimi" Gantt, the Prodigy could not put any points on the board in the first quarter. 

The defense, however, continued to shut down the home team. Ware got her second sack of the game followed by an interception at the 11 yard line by cornerback Ashley Botts. The short field was enough to get the offense going.  Fullback Crystal Boyd led the way scoring a touchdown on her second run of the series to make the score 6-0.

Once again, it was the defense who set up the Prodigy offense. Linebacker Ashley "Smoke" Marshall intercepted a Pumas pass at the 35 yard line. And from there the ground game took over marching the ball to the two yard line. Quarterback Victoria Lyles made the score 12-0 with the QB-sneak.

Washington linebacker Tinoi Jones, once again, brought the Prodigy offense back on the field after she forced and recovered a North Florida fumble at the 22-yard-line. Lyles then sailed a pass to Shantel "Telly" Wilson to put the Prodigy up 18-0 with less than three minutes left in the game. 

North Florida ended the half in possession, but the quarterback was sacked by Prodigy defensive end Benita Rouse.

In the second half, the Prodigy offense once again started slow but towards the end of the third quarter, passes to Keisha Cousar and runs from Gantt set up Washington at the 18 yard line.  On the opening play of the fourth quarter, Gantt ran 18 yards and tip-toed up the sideline for a touchdown. She also ran in the two-point conversion for the final points of the 26-0 game. 

NEXT UP: The Prodigy face the Carolina Queens at home on June 2nd at 7pm. In their first meeting the Prodigy handily beat the Queens 58-0. Get tickets HERE.

Prodigy vs. Houston Heat

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The undefeated Washington Prodigy (4-0) and the Houston Heat (3-1) met for the second time this season with a similar result as the season kickoff, with the home team taking down the Heat 46-0.

The visitors started their opening drive from the 20-yard-line and despite gaining 20 yards, they were eventually forced to punt. With the short distanced punt, the Prodigy started their offensive assault from the Houston 47-yard-line. Two long plays -- a 36 yard pass to rookie receiver Natasha Ware and a 26 yard run from Cheri "Lil Mimi" Gantt -- set up rookie Danielle Richardson's touchdown run to make the score 6-0 to end the first quarter. 

In the second quarter, the Heat turned the ball over on downs and once again Richardson and Gantt went to work. Gantt finished off the 80-yard drive and with a touchdown and with the extra point, the score stood at 13-0 with less than four minutes left in the half. 

Ware got the ball back, this time on defense, recovering a Houston fumble at the 13 yard line. Another rookie, tight-end Tierra Hawkins, took advantage of the turnover as she caught a 5 yard touchdown from quarterback Christina Tsu. Washington would head into the locker room up 19-0 at the half. 

After the half, the Prodigy opening offensive drive started on the 30-yard-line. Tsu hit Shantel Wilson on a 25 yard pass and with the yards after the catch, the home team was set up nicely on the Houston 40-yard-line. A penalty and a 19 yard run from Gantt set up a pass to Sarah "Cheetah" Musse. The score stood at 26-0 with the extra point. 

Another turnover from Houston -- a bad snap recovered by defensive lineman Benita Rouse -- set up another Prodigy touchdown from Richardson. The 8-yard-touchdown run put the score at 32-0 with 4:32 left to go in the third quarter. 

In a fit of deja-vu, Houston turned the ball over again, this time the fumble was recovered by defensive end Tinoi Jones. But the offensive series was short-lived, as a Prodigy pass was intercepted by Houston and returned to the 43-yard-line. With 55 seconds, the Heat hoped they could put some points on the board, but the Washington defense were determined to keep their shutout.  After a high snap from Houston, defensive lineman Faith Rogers scooped up the loose ball and took it 28 yards for a touchdown, bringing the score to 39-0 with the extra point. 

In the fourth quarter the Prodigy defense stood strong against a Houston air attack and forced a turnover on downs at the Washington 25-yard-line. Gantt then put an exclamation point on the game, taking the handoff 75 yards through the Houston defense for a touchdown, the last score of the game. 

NEXT UP: The Prodigy take their longest trip of the season down south to take on the North Florida Pumas (3-1) on May 19th. 

Prodigy at Carolina Queens

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Click Here for more Game Photos (courtesy: Willie Kimborough)

The Prodigy (3-0) faced a familiar opponent on the road against the Carolina Queens (0-2) and once again Washington came out on top in a 58-0 drubbing of their competitors.

The Queens opened up the game with a 21 yard run but it would be the longest gain and one of only two first-downs for Carolina in the game.  The series eventually resulted in a punt. And after several runs from Cheri Gantt and Shawntae Barnes, Barnes took in the first touchdown about 5 minutes into the quarter. 

The next defensive series featured a sack from Tinoi Jones and a subsequent fumble recovery from rookie Natasha Ware who stepped in at Defensive End for the game. That set up Barnes' second touchdown of the day, making the score 12-0.

As the second quarter began, Jones once again came up big for the defense blocking a punt that would eventually be recovered on the 6 yard line. One play later, Gantt got in on the scoring and with the extra point the scoreboard read 19-0. 

After a high snap on the Carolina punt, the Prodigy tookover in the red zone. Following two long runs from Barnes and rookie running back Danielle Richardson, rookie tight end Tierra Hawkins hauled in a 6 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Victoria Lyles. The half ended with an interception from cornerback Shellise "Tigg" Epps (returned for 28 yards) and a 14 yard touchdown run from Richardson. The Prodigy headed into the locker room up 32-0 at the half. 

The third quarter consisted of more runs from Gantt and Barnes, but Hawkins once again saw the end zone, catching her second touchdown pass of the day and providing the only points for the third quarter.

In the fourth, with the ball on the 11 yard line, quarterback Christina Tsu stood strong in the pocket, throwing a touchdown to Lindsey Walton while being hit hard.  After a blocked extra point, one of several that day, the score stood at 45-0.

Richardson returned to the end zone for the second time after a short punt by Carolina. And to end the game, veteran linebacker Ashley "Smoke" Marshall intercepted a Queens' pass and took it 32 yards in the opposite direction for a touchdown. 

NEXT UP: Washington Hosts the Houston Heat in a rematch of the season opener.  Get your tickets to the game -- Prodigy's Night OUT -- on May 5th. 

Prodigy vs. Hampton Roads Lady Gators

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Game #2 of the 2018 season is in the books, with the Prodigy (2-0) overpowering the Hampton Roads Lady Gators (1-1) 43-0 in Washington's home opener.

The Lady Gators started with the ball from their own 31 and opened with a three and out, forcing them to punt. After that, it was the Prodigy backfield of Cheri "Little Mimi" Gantt and Shawntae "Tank" Barnes that went to work. Gain after gain -- including a fake punt that garnered an 18 yard run from Ramzeh "Pinky" Deen-sie -- the Prodigy marched it down the field.  Gantt would be the one to run in the first score of the game.  With the extra point, the home team went up 7-0 with 1:34 left in the first quarter. 

In the second quarter, it was a familiar story with the Prodigy defense dominating once again. After a one-yard gain, a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss, safety Keshia Cousar returned a punt nearly 50 yards for touchdown.  On the next possession for Hampton Roads, the Washington defense forced a turnover on downs.  When Washington faced a fourth down, with 5 yards to gain, quarterback Vicky Lyles threw a 32 yard completion to rookie receiver Natasha Ware. But the Prodigy couldn't punch it in and had to settle for a field goal from kicker Lindsey Walton. 

With less than a minute left in the half, cornerback Shantel Wilson intercepted a pass giving the offense the ball back on the 27 yard line. As the clock ticked down, a long pass to Ware, a rushing touchdown from Gantt and an extra point from Walton sent the Prodigy into the locker room up 24-0 at the half. 

Washington started the second half from their own 35 yard line. And again, the ground game led the way. This time, rookie running back Danielle Richardson would get the first points of the half with a 6 yard touchdown run.  On the following Lady Gators possession, Cousar decided she was coming back for more, returning a 55-yard interception for a touchdown, making the score 36-0. 

As the game approached the end, cornerback Shellise "Tigg" Epps picked off a Lady Gator pass, giving the ball back to the offense. Barnes ran in the final touchdown of the game. 

NEXT UP: The Prodigy head south to Charlotte, NC where they will face the Carolina Queens on Saturday April 14. 

Prodigy vs. Houston Heat

The Prodigy (1-0) began the 2018 season at the USWFL Saturday Spectacular Season Kickoff in Bristol, TN against the Houston Heat (0-1). Washington started off this year similarly to they way the ended 2017 -- with a 48-0 win over a team from Houston. 

The first quarter ended with a Prodigy drive to the 5 yard line but they were unable to punch it in, keeping the score 0-0.

But the ground-game of Cheri "Lil' Mimi" Gantt and Shawntae "Tank" Barnes ran all over Houston in the second quarter. Gantt started off the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run, one minute into the quarter. The Prodigy defense continued the momentum with three tackles for loss and a short punt returned to the 25 yard line.  From there, Barnes took two plays to march the ball into the end zone to make it 12-0.  The Prodigy weren't done there. With 1:30 to go in the half, the defense forced a three-and-out and returned a punt to the 13-yard line.  That's all Gantt needed to get her second TD of the game sending Washington in at halftime up 18-0.

The defense started off the second half the way they ended the first, with several tackles for loss and a punt they returned to the Houston 10 yard line.  Gantt once again made sure the Heat felt the fire -- running in her third touchdown of the game, as well as the two-point conversion, to make the score 26-0.  

Safety Keisha "Killa K" Cousar would give the ball back to the offense after intercepting Houston's first pass of the next series.  With 6 minutes left in the quarter, fullback Crystal Boyd got in on the fun, scoring a touchdown after a 15 yard run by Gantt. Rookie wide receiver Natasha Ware pulled in the two-point conversion making the score 34-0.

To end the game, the defense decided they would do a little bit of scoring on their own.  Cornerback Shantel Wilson intercepted a pass with 2:27 on the clock and ran it 46 yards for a touchdown.  Not to be outdone, with less than a minute in the game, returning veteran linebacker Tinoi Jones intercepted a pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown as time expired.  

NEXT UP: The Prodigy host the Lady Gators of Hampton Roads in their home opener on April 7th.   CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

 

USWFL Championship vs. Houston wildcats

After more than nine months of hard work, the Prodigy reached their goal of winning a USWFL League Championship, soundly defeating the Western Conference champion Houston Wildcats 44-0. 

The Prodigy received the opening kick and started their first drive on their own 37 yard line.  On third down, the game's Offensive MVP, Running Back Monecho Cousar turned the right side corner and took it to the house, putting Washington up 7-0 after the extra point.

After a four and out, the Prodigy got the ball back but could not punch in another score, giving Houston the ball on their own 7 yard line. Outside Linebacker Ashley "Smoke" Marshall read the run play to perfection and took advantage of a high snap, tackling the Wildcat tailback in the end zone for a safety as time expired in the first quarter.

The Prodigy started the second quarter on the Houston 45 yard line. They marched the ball down the field. On a 4th and one, Quarterback Vicky Lyles completed a 15 yard pass to Tight End Michelle Ta-A to keep the drive alive. Lyles would cap off the drive with another 15 yard completion, this time to Wide Receiver Lindsey Walton for a touchdown. The Prodigy led 16-0 at this point. 

Houston looked to fight back from being down double digits but the Washington defense continued to dominate as Cornerback Shantel "Telly" Wilson intercepted a 20 yard pass with a little over 2:30 minutes to go in the first half. 

Cheri "Lil Mimi" Gantt capitalized on the turnover, taking a 39 yard hand-off to the end zone. 

But that wasn't the end of the scoring, despite the score being 23-0 with under 2 minutes to go in the half.  Safety Keshia Cousar stripped Houston's returner of the ball on the kickoff, bringing the Prodigy offense back on the field at the Wildcats' 25 yard line.

Two long runs and a face-mask penalty put the Prodigy at the 4 yard line and M. Cousar took the opportunity and ran in another touchdown. Send the Eastern Conference champions to the locker room up 30-0 at the half. 

The second half would be more of the same including K. Cousar returning a punt for a 36 yard touchdown, an 8 yard touchdown from M. Cousar and a forced fumble by Linebacker Eby Okonko recovered by Lyles.