Saturday April 18, 2015
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The Boston Renegades kicked off a new era of competition and camaraderie in Boston Women’s Football history with a resounding 57-0 victory in its franchise opener against the Central Maryland Seahawks at Somerville’s Dilboy Stadium.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Renegades’ offense exploded into action when quarterback Allison Cahill connected with wide receiver Adrienne Smith for a 68-yard touchdown strike on the first play from the line of scrimmage. Smith made the reception after bursting past her defender who was lined up in single coverage. Tight end Emily Weinberg provided a block to ensure that Smith would reach the end zone untouched. The PAT attempt missed, sailing wide right. Rookie Brooke Goodman struggled with kicks in her first game ever, but ended the night with three successful point-after attempts. She also contributed on the defensive line despite playing with a broken thumb.
Stopping the Central Maryland Seahawks’ bruising running game was priority number one for the Renegades’ defense, who crowded the line of scrimmage throughout the game. After Central Maryland gained a first down on three consecutive running plays, defensive end Noriko Kokura tore through the Seahawks’ O-line to notch her first quarterback sack of the season. Kokura was the 2014 National Conference Defensive Player of the Year. The Seahawks first offensive series ended with a 13-yard punt that was partially blocked by newcomer Jen Dulski (Pittsburgh Passion, Chicago Force).
It took only two offensive plays — off-tackle rushes by running back Whitney Zelee — for the Renegades to reach the end zone again. Stellar offensive line blocking by tackle Jessica Cabrera and fullback Asia Asantè, and downfield blocking by Weinberg and Smith opened up the field for Zelee’s rushes of 20 and 27 yards.
Following a penalty-riddled offensive series that gained just two yards, Central Maryland caught a break when they recovered a fumble by Renegades’ kick returner Chanté Bonds who could not corral a bouncing punt. Bonds returns to football having last played in 2012. Despite their best field position of the night at Boston’s 21 yard line, the Seahawks could not take advantage. After being driven backwards 15 yards on three plays, Central Maryland punted for a net of 2 yards. The Renegades took possession and scored immediately on a 66-yard slant rush by Zelee. At the end of the first quarter, the Renegades led 18-0.
The Renegades’ defense continued to badger Central Maryland in the second quarter, and continued to rack up several tackles for losses. By the end of the game, the Renegades recorded 14 tackles for losses, including two each for Kokura and linebacker Tiana Liu.
Despite their only miscue on offense — a goal-line interception — the Renegades scored twice in the second quarter. From the halfback position, Asantè scampered for a 5-yard touchdown with just under 6 minutes left in the half. Wide receiver Kathryn Tylander reeled in a 14-yard touchdown reception on an inside slant to push the score to 30-0 just before halftime. Other big plays in the second quarter include rushes of 36 and 21 yards by Asantè, a 31-yard reception by Zelee, and a 19-yard reception by Weinberg.
Boston’s offense kept possession deep in Seahawk territory throughout much of the third quarter. Zelee scored her final touchdown of the night after Weinberg and rookie wide receiver Emily Beinecke deftly sealed an outside lane, enabling a 28-yard romp to the endzone. On the Renegades’ next offensive series, running back Sue Quimby, who last played for the New England Storm of the WPFL in 2003, took over rushing duties shortly before falling to injury. She gained 14 yards on 3 carries before the versatile Kokura finished off her drive with a one-yard plow into the endzone. Following a punt by Central Maryland, Kokura rushed for a 24-yard gain that set up a 9-yard touchdown pass from Cahill to Beinecke who ran an inside slant after shaking off a solid jam to the facemask by a Seahawks defender.
A fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff by rookie special teamer Sarah Clark gave the Renegades possession with a 50-0 lead going into the fourth quarter. Boston capitalized two plays later when Kokura scored a touchdown rushing from the 5 yard line. Goodman’s successful PAT made the score 57-0. On the Renegades’ final possession of the game, rookie Sarah Viola capped off the victory with a 38-yard reception but was tackled just short of the goal line. The Renegades’ offense let the clock expire on the following down, notching the first victory for the Boston Renegades.
The Boston Renegades are lead by Head Coach Don Williams. This is Williams’ first season as head coach of the Boston Women’s Football team. The Renegades next face their rivals, the D.C. Divas (1-0), at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass., on May 2, 2015 at 6:00 PM.
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Allison Cahill – 8/11, 207 yds, 3 TD, 1 INT
Whitney Zelee – 4/141, 3 TD
Asia Asantè – 4/46, 1 TD
Noriko Kokura – 4/37, 2 TD
Jen Dulski – 1/25
Sue Quimby – 4/12
Emily Weinberg – 1/5
Adrienne Smith – 1/68, 1 TD
Sarah Viola – 1/38
Whitney Zelee – 2/38
Asia Asantè – 1/21
Emily Weinberg – 1/19
Kathryn Tylander – 1/14, 1 TD
Emily Beinecke – 1/9, 1 TD
Brooke Goodman – PAT 3/7, FG 0/0
Vicky Eddy – PAT 0/1, FG 0/0
2-point conversions: 0/1
Tackles for loss: Noriko Kokura (2), Tiana Liu (2), Torrance Brown, Jen Dulski, Raxan English, Vicky Eddy, Brooke Goodman, Deirdre Hiort, Kate Meichowski, Nikita Payne, Tia Tull, Deanna Walsh.
Sacks: Noriko Kokura
Boston – 5/49
Maryland – 8/46
Boston – 2
Maryland – 1