As both the Chicago Force and the Central Cal War Angels look to win a WFA title which has eluded them for several seasons, strong yet impressive statements were made in their postseason victories.
Their playoff quarterfinal was a conflict of undefeated teams as they hosted the 9-1 Atlanta Phoenix. With several Force players (including quarterback Sami Grisafe) having helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Championships, the squad was running on all cylinders.
On the strength of 14 touchdowns, Chicago decimated an Atlanta squad that looked mortal. The 84-0 lopsided win was nothing short of a statement. Of note, the defense has only allowed 60 points all season long. With the club looking for its first WFA championship, Chicago is not showing any signs of being intimidated whatsoever.
As their first possession resulted in the game winning touchdown, Chicago showed remarkable confidence. Brandy Hatcher helped get the Force across the field. This was complemented by Jeanette Gray (who played with Grisafe on Team USA at the IFAF Worlds) bringing the squad to Atlanta’s 16-yard line on a 31-yard pass. Grisafe would connect with Ashley Berggren for the touchdown. On the two-point conversion, Mary Choules ran into the end zone as Chicago enjoyed the 8-0 advantage.
While Grisafe impressed with a remarkable 10 touchdown performance, the star of the game might have been Jessica Gray. With 7 touchdown receptions and 334 receiving yards, her abilities may be the key to championship glory on August 3 in San Diego.
Waiting for them in the Conference Championship shall be the Boston Militia. Their match signifies the third consecutive team that these storied franchises will meet in the postseason. Boston bested Chicago by a 50-23 tally in the 2011 WFA Championship game. Last season, the two met in the Conference Championship with Chicago narrowly winning by a 35-34 margin. As both franchises are undefeated this season, defense shall likely emerge as the defining factor for the victorious squad.
Should Chicago qualify for the WFA Title Game this season, their possible opponent could be the Central Cal War Angels. In their playoff quarterfinal, the War Angels had to tangle with the defending WFA champs, the San Diego Surge. Despite the pedigree of being a champion, the Surge ran into some unexpected obstacles.
Boasting one of the best offenses in the league, the Surge ran into a War Angels that was extremely efficient. Managing to score only 14 points, the Surge were stopped twice on goal line stands. LeAndre Smith and Ashley Thiner intercepted Surge passes as their offense that was sputtering throughout the game.
Central Cal quarterback Chantel Wiggins registered four touchdown passes, including three to Jamie Fornal. Lisa King would grab the other touchdown for Central Cal. Another key for the War Angels was the ability of their running back duo Destanie Yarbrough and LaStar Brown. Their successful running attack consumed time on the clock while exhausting the Surge defense. In addition, they earned a rushing touchdown each.
It marks the second consecutive game in which the dynamic duo registered an impressive running performance. Against the Utah Jynx, the two combined for over 300 rushing yards in a 65-6 win during the second round of playoffs.
With an 11-0 mark, the War Angels will compete against the undefeated Dallas Diamonds. Yarbrough and Brown will need to bring their A-game against the Diamonds. With a defense that has allowed less than 100 points, the Diamonds will be prepared to stymie their ground game.
As both franchises look to maintain their momentum in the next round of postseason play, there is no question that they have both have already made an impression. Representing football at its best, the tireless efforts and personal sacrifices of these gridiron heroes is with one goal in mind; a date on August 3 for the National Championship in San Diego.