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.
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.
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.
- Sports Illustrated: How to Watch 2022 National Championship
- WBZ-TV: Boston Renegades to face Minnesota in Women’s Football Alliance championship
- Boston Globe: ‘We know what it takes to win’: Boston Renegades chasing fourth straight WFA championship with Sunday’s showdown
- Patriots.com: Robert Kraft wishes Boston Renegades luck in pursuit of 7th Women’s Football Alliance title
- WBZ-TV: Boston Renegades playing in Women’s Football Alliance championship this weekend
- New England Football Journal: Bonds and the defense lead Renegades to 4th straight WFA Pro National title
- WBZ News Radio: Boston Renegades Win 4th Straight Women’s Football Alliance Championship
- Boston.com: Boston Renegades win fourth straight title, backup quarterback named MVP
- Boston Globe: Boston Renegades again the best in women’s football, win fourth straight championship
- NBC 10 Boston: Boston Renegades Run Away With 4th Straight Women’s Football Championship
- 7 News Boston: It’s a ‘fourpeat’: Boston Renegades win 4th straight women’s football championship
- WBZ-TV: Boston Renegades receive congratulatory phone call from Robert Kraft after winning fourth straight WFA championship
- Historia Deportiv: Se repite la historia con las Boston Renegades campeonas por cuarta temporada seguida
- WGBH Boston Public Radio: Boston Renegades win fourth consecutive championship
- Chelsea Record: A Super Summer: Alpert, Renegades Seek Women’s Pro Football’s National Championship
- NFL.com: Boston Renegades QB Allison Cahill discusses women’s tackle football career, parallels to Tom Brady
- Lowell Sun: Chelmsford’s Sarah Tully enjoying moment with Boston Renegades
- Valley Reporter: Gailiunas competes in professional women’s Super Bowl
- Lowell Sun: Dracut linebacker Nicole Gordon guns for WFA title with Boston Renegades
- Sentinel & Enterprise: Dracut’s Sam McKay makes her mark with Boston Renegades
- Lowell Sun: Sam McKay defends WFA title with Boston Renegades
- Sentinel & Enterprise: Sarah Tully gives Renegades added boot in WFA championship
|Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio||1||2||3||4||F|
|1||11:35||BOS||Tytti Kuusinen 9-yard rushing TD (Sarah Tully kick)||0||7|
|2||9:31||BOS||Chanté Bonds 39-yard rushing TD (Sarah Tully kick)||0||14|
|6:44||BOS||Ruth Matta 3-yard rushing TD (PAT no good)||0||20|
|4||8:37||BOS||Katie Falkowski 11-yard rushing TD (PAT no good)||0||26|
|6:41||MIN||Kaiya Sygulla 15-yard receiving TD from Erin Kelley (PAT no good)||6||26|
|5:52||BOS||Chamté Bonds 41-yard rushing TD (PAT no good)||6||32|
|2:57||MIN||Jackie Radford receving TD from Erin Kelley (PAT no good)||12||32|
Game Day Captain: Sarah Tully #11, Katie Falkowski #20, Spring Gamble #23, Erin Diette #30
- 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
|#21 Chanté Bonds||49||6||10||60.00%||8.2||0||0||21||72.50|
|#31 Heather Marini||0||0||0||-||-||0||0||0||-|
|#10 Erin Kelley||149||17||33||51.52%||8.8||2||1||36||74.02|
|#21 Chanté Bonds||115||12||9.6||41||2||0|
|#46 Tytti Kuusinen||88||12||7.3||18||1||0|
|#22 Ruth Matta||70||10||7.0||28||1||0|
|#20 Katherine Falkowski||57||8||7.1||21||1||0|
|#42 Grace Cooper||65||13||5.0||15||0||0|
|#35 Jessica Haas||65||13||5.0||11||0||0|
|#40 Ace Theissen||10||1||10.0||10||0||0|
|#36 Tasheanna Washington-Ware||4||3||1.3||3||0||0|
|#10 Erin Kelley||-8||2||-||-||0||0|
|#3 Stephanie Pascual||39||3||21||13.0||0||7||1|
|#4 Kyshani Dummott||11||1||11||11.0||0||1||0|
|#11 Sarah Tully||-1||2||3||-0.5||0||2||0|
|#13 Samantha Barber||87||6||36||14.5||0||10||1|
|#11 Kaiya Sygulla||54||9||12||6.0||1||11||0|
|#81 Jackie Radford||4||3||7||1.3||1||9||2|
|#8 Amanda Dvorak||4||1||4||4.0||0||1||0|
|#87 Jennessa White||0||0||-||-||0||2||1|
|#7 Olivia Keske||0||0||-||-||0||1||0|
|#70 D. Fournier||4||5||9||-|
|#72 L. Pula||3||4||7||1|
|#40 S. Pascual||5||1||6||-|
|#13 S. Singletary||3||3||6||-|
|#53 D. Walsh||2||4||6||1||-||2|
|#32 K. Gailiunas||2||4||6||-|
|#23 S. Gamble||2||3||5||-|
|#30 E. Diette||0||5||5||-|
|#24 B. Gallo||0||4||4||-|
|#19 L. Vincent||0||4||4||-|
|#5 T. Creech||2||1||3||1|
|#38 K. Stone||0||3||3||-|
|#36 C. Casey||0||3||3||-|
|#2 C. Glynn||1||1||2||-||-||1|
|#4 K. Dummott||0||2||2||-|
|#6 R. Meckl||0||2||2||-|
|#89 C. Riggieri||1||0||1||1|
|#37 S. Lyons||1||0||1|
|#47 E. Adams||1||0||1|
|#20 K. Falkowski||0||1||1|
|#65 M. Roberts||0||1||1|
|#14 M. McFadden||0||1||1||-||-||1||1|
|#84 P. Myatt||0||1||1|
|#49 M. Cadet||0||1||1|
|#40 Ace Theissen||7||2||9||1|
|#58 Ryan Franklin||5||0||5||1|
|#37 Jonna Tuovinen||5||0||5|
|#13 Samantha Barber||3||2||5|
|#74 Jaimi Salone||4||0||4||-||-||1||-||1|
|#55 Megan Myers||4||0||4|
|#91 Sheena Reed||4||0||4|
|#28 Charity Stevson||2||2||4|
|#30 Megan Dixon||3||0||3|
|#96 Cynthia Bryant||2||0||2|
|#11 Kaiya Sygulla||1||0||1|
|#47 Mikaila Soule||1||0||1|
|#80 Angela Griffin||1||0||1|
|#93 Britta Clark||1||0||1|
|#11 Sarah Tully||2||3||67%|
|#79 Allie Guimaraes||0||2||0%|
|#65 Corey Daehling||0||1||0%|
|#11 Sarah Tully||6||241||40.2||51||0||1|
|#99 JoDee Williams||3||80||26.7||45||0||0|
|#31 Heather Marini||1||43||43||43||0||0|
|#30 Megan Dixon||4||134||33.5||48||1||0|
|#4 Kyshani Dumott||1||24||24||24||0||0|
|#81 Mariette Martinez||1||13||13||13||0||0|
|#38 Kristen Stone||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|#11 Kaiya Sygulla||2||48||24||33||0||0|
|#36 Tasheanna Washington-Ware||1||15||15||15||0||0|
|#13 Samantha Barber||2||15||7.5||10||0||0|
|#13 Shannon Singletary||1||40||40||40||0||0|