Chante Bonds 4 The Win
Chanté Bonds of the Boston Renegades rushes for the first of her two touchdowns in the 2022 WFA Pro National Championship Game. Boston defeated the Minnesota Vixen 32-12. © Mitzi Velez Lorenzana

4 THE WIN!

July 10, 2022

RENEGADES DEFEAT MINNESOTA 32-12 TO CLINCH FOURTH CONSECUTIVE WFA TITLE

MARK SIMÓN | BOSTON RENEGADES STAFF

In a rematch of last season’s WFA Pro National Championship Game, the Boston Renegades again defeated the Minnesota Vixen to claim their fourth consecutive league title. Chanté Bonds, who started in place of injured quarterback Allison Cahill, rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns to claim MVP honors and lead the Renegades to victory.

Bonds’s performance was indicative of Boston’s potent rushing attack, which notched all five of the team’s touchdowns. The Renegades’ one-two punch combination of fullback Tytti Kuusinen and half back Ruth Matta accounted for 152 yards and two TDs. Kuusinen opened the scoring on Boston’s first drive of the game, while Bonds and Matta both scored in the second quarter to give the Renegades a 20-0 lead at halftime.

In the final frame, quarterback Heather Marini shepherded the Renegades as half back Katie Falkowski daggered Minnesota for another ground score to take a 26-0 lead. After Minnesota put six points on the scoreboard, Bonds returned to action and rushed for her second touchdown of the game. After another Minnesota touchdown the final score was 32-12.

EXQUISITE BLOCKING

With Boston’s starting quarterback Cahill on the sidelines, Boston honed in on a rush-heavy offensive game plan in which blocking schemes were central to the team’s success. Boston’s offensive line features guards Ash Beckham, Stephanie Jeffers, and Sam McKay, tackles Hillary Crook, Erin Truex, and Molly Winsten, and center Amanda Alpert.

Renegades wide receivers operated seamlessly with the offensive line to open running lanes for Boston ball carriers. Wide receiver Stephanie Pascual, along with Adrienne Smith, Renate Meckl and Sarah Tully were essentially an extension of the offensive line for most of the game.

BIG D

The Renegades defense suffocated Minnesota’s scoring machine for more than three quarters to help ensure Boston’s victory.

Minnesota’s offensive weapons were held in check by stubborn tackling from the Renegades. Boston defenders routinely contacted Vixen ball carriers within only a few yards from scrimmage, holding on long enough to get help from teammates.

Nose tackle Laura Pula (5 tackles) and defensive end Donny Fournier (7 tackles) set the tone in the trenches, while the tackling of linebackers Shannon Singletary (6), Spring Gamble (5), Solina Pascual (5) and Kara Gailiunas (5) prevented big plays from developing. Linebacker Deanna Walsh chipped in 2 pass deflections and  3 tackles, one for a loss. And Megan McFadden collected the game’s only interception.

Boston made a key defensive stop at the beginning of the final period, turning away the Vixen who had reached the one-yard line during an 18-play drive that consumed most of the third quarter. Minnesota was held scoreless until 6:41 of the final frame.

FOX ON THE RUN

Vixen quarterback Erin Kelley led all Pro Division signal callers this season with 1033 passing yards. And her main target — wide receiver Jackie Radford — was the Pro Division leader in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. But Minnesota’s vertical passing game was surprisingly absent; Kelley’s 8.1 yards per completion in the title match was well below her regular season average of 18.9. Radford managed to pull in a touchdown pass but she finished with a season low 4 yards despite being targeted 9 times.

The return of two of the Vixen’s most dangerous players, receiver Kaiya Sygulla and running back Grace Cooper, both of whom missed a majority of the regular season, did not spark Minnesota’s offense as much as might have been expected.

Cooper, whose return from a severe knee injury was something of a surprise, matched backfield teammate Jessica Haas with 65 yards on 13 carries. But unlike the 2021 title game when she rushed for 202 yards and 4 touchdowns, Cooper’s presence did not translate into any scoring plays.

Sygulla, a classic possession receiver, led the team in targets (11) and receptions (9), gaining 56 yards. While Sygulla scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the game was all but decided.

Instead it was Samantha Barber who led the team with 89 yards. In addition to six catches on offense, Barber also played defense, collecting 5 tackles. She was named Minnesota’s game MVP.

4 THE WIN

The victory marks the fourth WFA Pro title for the Renegades, and they have won them consecutively — 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. (The 2020 season was canceled). Boston is the first team to successfully fourpeat in the WFA, and the first team to fourpeat since the Detroit Demolition achieved the feat in the National Women’s Football Association (NWFA) in 2005

Over its history, the Boston Women’s Football program has collected seven national championship titles. Six have been with the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) (2011, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022) while their first was with the Independent Women’s Football League (IWFL) in 2010. The Boston Militia claimed the 2010, 2011 and 2014 titles.

The Renegades’ winning streak currently stands at 31, whch is the longest in WFA history. The team’s streak began on June 2, 2018.

As MVP of the winning team, Chanté Bond’s signed game jersey will be put on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

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GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Box score

Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio1234F
Minnesota Vixen0001212
Boston Renegades71301232

scoring log

QTIMETEAMSCORING PLAYSMINBOS
111:35BOSTytti Kuusinen 9-yard rushing TD (Sarah Tully kick)07
29:31BOSChanté Bonds 39-yard rushing TD (Sarah Tully kick)014
6:44BOSRuth Matta 3-yard rushing TD (PAT no good)020
48:37BOSKatie Falkowski 11-yard rushing TD (PAT no good)026
6:41MINKaiya Sygulla 15-yard receiving TD from Erin Kelley (PAT no good)626
5:52BOSChamté Bonds 41-yard rushing TD (PAT no good)632
2:57MINJackie Radford receving TD from Erin Kelley (PAT no good)1232

game notes

Game Day Captain: Sarah Tully #11, Katie Falkowski #20, Spring Gamble #23, Erin Diette #30

Milestones:

  • Megan McFadden #14 collected her first career interception.
  • The Renegades is the first team to fourpeat in the history of the WFA.
  • The Renegades extended their winning streak to 31 games. It is the longest unbeaten streak in the history of the WFA.

Previous game vs. opponent: Renegades 42, Vixen 26, 7/24/2021
Previous game vs. opponent at this site: Renegades 42, Vixen 26, 7/24/2021
Renegades record vs. opponent: 2-0

Odds status (Massey) : favorite (-14.5)
Win probability (Massey) : 68%

Photos: Mitzi Velez Lorenzana

Broadcast: ESPN 2, Brian Sweeney and Alex Westad announcing

team totals

 BOSTONMIN
Total Plays4966
Total Yards358298
Passing Yards26153
Rushing Yards332145
First Downs1619
Third Downs2-73-13
Fourth Downs2-42-3
Turnovers01
Fumbles Lost00
Interceptions Thrown01
Penalties67
Penalty Yards2954

passing

BostonYardsCompAttPctAvgTDIntLongRating
#21 Chanté Bonds265955.56%5.2001360.88
#31 Heather Marini000--000-

Minnesota
#10 Erin Kelley153193554.29%8.1213672.68

rushing

BostonYDSATTAVGLNGTDFUM
#21 Chanté Bonds1271012.74130
#46 Tytti Kuusinen78117.11520
#22 Ruth Matta74126.22820
#20 Katherine Falkowski5377.62210

Minnesota

YDS

ATT

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM
#42 Grace Cooper65135.01500
#35 Jessica Haas65135.01100
#40 Ace Theissen10110.01000
#36 Tasheanna Washington-Ware431.3300

receiving

BostonYDSRECLONGAVGTDTGTDROP
#3 Stephanie Pascual162138.0061
#4 Kyshani Dummott1111111.0010
#11 Sarah Tully-123-0.5020

Minnesota

YDS

REC

LONG

AVG

TD

TGT

DROP
#13 Samantha Barber8963614.80101
#11 Kaiya Sygulla569126.21110
#81 Jackie Radford4371.3192
#8 Amanda Dvorak4144.0010
#87 Jennessa White00--021
#7 Olivia Keske00--010

defense

BostonSOLOASTCOMBTFLSCKPDINTBLK
#70 Donny Fournier617
#13 Shannon Singletary516
#72 Laura Pula5051
#32 Kara Gailiunas505
#40 Solina Pascual505
#23 Spring Gamble415
#53 Deanna Walsh3031-2
#5 Tee Creech2131
#19 Lisa Vincent033
#38 Kristen Stone033
#36 Charlene Casey202
#30 Erin Diette112
#24 Briannah Gallo022
#4 Kyshani Dummott022
#6 Renate Meckl022
#14 Megan McFadden101--11
#2 Caroline Glynn101--1
#37 Shayna Lyons101
#49 Melisa Cadet101
#89 Christina Riggieri101
#47 Erica Adams101
#84 Paige Myatt011

Minnesota

SOLO

AST

COMB

TFL

SCK

PD

INT

BLK
#40 Ace Theissen7291
#58 Ryan Franklin5051
#37 Jonna Tuovinen505
#13 Samantha Barber325
#74 Jaimi Salone404--1-1
#55 Megan Myers404
#91 Sheena Reed404
#28 Charity Stevson224
#30 Megan Dixon303
#96 Cynthia Bryant202
#11 Kaiya Sygulla101
#47 Mikaila Soule101
#80 Angela Griffin101
#93 Britta Clark101

Special teams

EXTRA POINTSXPMXPAXP%
Boston
#11 Sarah Tully2367%
#79 Allie Guimaraes020%
Minnesota
#65 Corey Daehling010%
 
KICKOFFSKOYDSAVGLONGTBIN20
Boston
#11 Sarah Tully521543.06501
Minnesota
#99 JoDee Williams38026.74500
 
PUNTSPYDSAVGLONGTBIN20
Boston
#31 Heather Marini125252500
Minnesota
#30 Megan Dixon413433.54810
 
KICKOFF RETURNSRETYDSAVGLONGTDFUM
Boston
#4 Kyshani Dumott127272700
#81 Mariette Martinez110101000
#10 Adrienne Smith100000
Minnesota
#11 Kaiya Sygulla248243300
#36 Tasheanna Washington-Ware115151500
#13 Samantha Barber2157.51000
 
PUNT RETURNSRETYDSAVGLONGTDFUM
Boston
#13 Shannon Singletary140404000
Minnesota00--00
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