Renegades poised to capture third championship in a row this Saturday
Mark Simon | Boston Renegades Staff
REVERE MA – July 21, 2021 – This week the Renegades are making their final preparations to face the Minnesota Vixen, their opponent in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) Pro Division National Championship. As back-to-back league champions in 2018 and 2019 (with 2020 cancelled due to the pandemic), Boston could become the first team in the WFA’s 12-year history to win three consecutive national titles.
As things are, the Renegades have already set a WFA record for reaching the National Championship Game four years in a row. The dissatisfaction of an unsuccessful 2017 bid fueled their 2018 title run, as documented in the Park Pictures film Born To Play. The team was far from perfect that season, being seeded third behind their rivals the D.C. Divas and the Pittsburgh Passion after entering the playoffs at 6-2. But they became the first team since 2007 to reach a championship by posting two road victories in the playoffs. And a 42-18 victory over the Los Angeles Warriors capped the season and the film with a storybook ending.
The Renegades have continued to elevate their play since. They finished the 2019 season with ten victories, zero losses, and another championship trophy. And after the Coronavirus pandemic cancelled the entire 2020 season, Boston now enters the final game of this season at 6-0, having outscored their opponents 354-12. They won the National Conference Championship by a score of 63-3 over the then #2 ranked Tampa Bay Inferno.
“As a team we took the loss in 2017 really hard and used that loss as motivation to get better every single year. From players to coaches, we have made it our mission to make an undefeated season, completely undefeated through a championship,” said Chanté Bonds, starting running back for the Renegades.
Unlike most of Boston’s opponents this season, the Minnesota team offers a balanced attack on offense. Running back Grace Cooper posted 904 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns. Quarterback Errin MacIsaac passed for 778 yards and 15 touchdowns with 2 interceptions. She has a 71.9 passing percentage and a 139.1 quarterback rating. The Vixen rank atop the Pro Division in both rushing and total offense.
In comparison, the Renegades finished atop the Pro Division in both passing and scoring. Allison Cahill finished with 967 yards and 19 touchdowns and just one interception. She had a 73.9 passing percentage and a 142.5 quarterback rating. Boston’s top rusher Chanté Bonds finished with 484 yards and 10 touchdowns.
While the drive to win a record-setting three consecutive titles is motivation for the Renegades, the Vixen are driven to win their very first championship in a long and storied history. Established in 1999, the Minnesota Vixen are the longest continuously running women’s tackle football program in the world. Despite some strong showings and historic games played along the way, the Vixen did not reach a league title game until 2016, but they were defeated. They reached the WFA Division 2 title match in 2017, but again they lost. Now playing Boston at the highest level — the WFA Pro Division — they hope the third time’s a charm.
The title match takes place this Saturday, July 24th at 6 pm ET at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Benson Stadium is nested at the Hall of Fame Village, a football-oriented multicomplex tourist destination that is also home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This is a new venue for the WFA. The league signed a multi-year contract to showcase its brand of football on the biggest platform in its history so far.
“We came in with a plan to take the game to another level, and are proud of our efforts so far,” said Lisa King, WFA Commissioner. This partnership allows us to continue to increase the popularity of the sport and level of competition as we shine a light on our league in the place where football was born.”
The game will be streamed live on FTFnext.com. It will also be televised nationally on Sunday at 5 pm ET on FTF’s Next Level Sports channel, viewable on DirecTV, Verizon Fios, and U-Verse. The replay will also be viewable on any smart TV channels or apps that carry FTF Next.
The championship match looks like it will be hotly contested. But there is one famous figure from the men’s league who likes the Renegades’ chances: New England Patriots Team Owner Robert Kraft. Kraft made an offer to fly the Renegades to Canton aboard AirKraft, the team plane of the New England Patriots. The Renegades accepted.
“What that means to me is that this team is doing all the right things professionally on the field and off the field to put the best product that we can out there for women’s football,” said Molly Goodwin, owner of the Boston Renegades.
With the richness of the women’s game reaching more and more people and gaining influential believers like Kraft, Hall of Fame Village CEO Michael Crawford, USA Football, and WFA national sponsor Secret, the day that women’s tackle football is truly nationally recognized appears to be in sight.
About Boston Renegades
The Boston Renegades are the premier women’s tackle football team in New England and the defending Pro Division Champions of the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA). Bringing together players from many former area teams, including the Boston Militia, New England Intensity, Bay State Warriors, Boston Rampage, and Massachusetts Mutiny, the Renegades are continuing the rich history of women’s football in Boston, which includes four national titles. The Boston Renegades are owned by former player Molly Goodwin. The Renegades play at Harry della Russo Stadium in Revere, Mass.
About the Women’s Football Alliance
The Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) is a full-contact Women’s American football league that began play in 2009. The league is comprised of over 60 teams across three divisions and in 32 states. As the largest women’s football league in the world, the WFA’s mission is to grow the sport and highlight the best women’s football players. Headquartered in Exeter, Calif., the league is owned and operated by Lisa King and Jeff King.