By Meg Kelly
MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio. — April 9, 2016 — Battling in snow, ice, and temperatures below freezing, the Boston Renegades downed the Cleveland Fusion, 28-7, for its second consecutive road win Saturday night at Maple Heights High School.
Allison Cahill threw for three touchdowns, connecting with Adrienne Smith for the opening score and hitting Emily Beinecke for a pair of touchdowns. Asia Asante led the ground attack with a score on the ground. On defense, linewoman Laura Pula recovered a fumble, and linebacker Vicky Eddy had an interception.
The Renegades struggled to find their footing early because of the icy field conditions. But they found some traction on their third possession of the game as Cahill connected with Smith on a slant route for a 58-yard gain. Two plays later, the duo struck again from ten yards out with Smith making a spin move to find the end zone, putting Boston ahead, 7-0 with 2:24 left in the first quarter.
Although Cleveland’s offense was able to move the ball into Renegades territory several times, Boston’s defense held the Fusion scoreless, preserving the 7-0 score going into halftime.
Boston started the third quarter with a three-and-out, but as Cleveland worked their first drive of the half, Renegades defensive linewoman Laura Pula recovered a fumbled snap to regain possession for Boston. Cahill quickly moved the chains with a 15-yard scamper. Then Cahill hit Beinecke once for a first down, and again for a 20-yard touchdown to give the Renegades a 14-0 advantage with 5:42 left in the quarter. Cleveland responded with a long drive into Renegades territory, but again were unable to score, turning the ball over on downs at the Boston 25 at the start of the fourth quarter.
After forcing Boston to punt, Cleveland was able to break through in the final stanza as wide receiver Kanisa Coward grabbed a toss from Keri Palma to cut Boston’s lead to 14-7.
The Renegades responded on the next possession, starting with a kickoff return to midfield by Smith. Boston kept the chains moving on the ensuing drive that was capped off with Asia Asante muscling her way into the end zone from a yard out to regain the two-possession lead at 21-7 with 5:15 remaining.
Needing a score to stay in the game, Cleveland drove to Boston’s 37-yard line until Vicky Eddy picked off Palma’s pass attempt with 3:22 left on the clock.
The Renegades offense sealed the game as Cahill threw a deep, perfectly timed pass to Beinecke who went 63 yards to score a touchdown with 3:12 left.
The Renegades will return to action when they host the DC Divas in their Dilboy Stadium home opener Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m.
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