Although the Boston Renegades are different from the now-defunct Boston Militia team that captured the 2014 WFA national championship, a strong statement about who would compete for the 2015 edition of the championship was made. Enduring a 56-28 loss to the DC Divas, the game may have been a symbolic passing of the torch.
In a meaningful win for the undefeated Divas (8-0), who faced competition over the last few seasons from the Militia, this season has resulted in dominance against the Renegades. In its prior incarnation, the Militia never faced two losses in the same season to an opponent. This season as the Renegades, they suffered two losses at the hands of the top-ranked Divas.
On the first possession, the Divas set the tone with a 71-yard touchdown drive, culminating in Kenyetta Grigsby’s five-yard run. Subsequently, Cherre Marshall intercepted long-time Boston quarterback Allison Cahill. Capitalizing on the turnover, Divas signal caller Allyson Hamlin and wide receiver Ashley Whisonant connected on a 79-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead.
With Boston suffering their second consecutive turnover, Helen Deer recovered the fumble allowing the Divas the chance to add to an already commanding lead. Once again, Hamlin was the factor as she scored on a quarterback sneak. Before the first quarter would expire, Militia alum Stacey Tiamfook would score on a third and goal, attempting to breathe life back into the Renegades, trailing 20-7.
Following Tiamfook’s touchdown, Hamlin would make history on a 58-yard drive that resulted in the 200th touchdown pass of her Divas career, more than any other football quarterback in the history of Washington sports. The 36-yard touchdown pass was fittingly caught by long-time teammate Whisonant, who helped increase the lead to a 27-7 mark.
Turning Team USA alum Adrienne Smith to get back in the game, Boston quarterback Allison Cahill found a way to build momentum. Catching a pair of long passes as part of an impressive 57 yard drive, her 37-yard scoring reception came on a crucial third and 11.
Coming back with their fifth touchdown in five possessions, Whisonant would make her mark in the historic game, catching her third touchdown pass of the game. In the first half alone, she had accumulated a remarkable 183 receiving yards on just five receptions.
Although the Renegades combination of Tiamfook (who ran for 54 yards in the drive) and Cahill would culminate in another touchdown, the defense could not contain a high octane Divas offense. Requiring just 61 seconds to cover an astonishing 61 yards, Grigsby bookended the first half by scoring the final touchdown of said half.
Making some halftime adjustments, the third quarter saw the Renegades defense allow only three points, providing the offense the opportunity to get back into the game. Tiamfook showed why she is one of the WFA’s most dominant running backs with a three-yard touchdown run which reduced the Divas lead to only 15 points, 43-28.
Scoring on their seventh straight possession, the Divas managed to regroup on offense as Kentrina Wilson was the recipient of a 13-yard pass from Hamlin. With 8:17 left, Hamlin orchestrated a superlative drive that consumed seven minutes and 26 seconds, frustrating the Renegades overwhelmed defense. Completing her fifth touchdown pass (finding Lillian Cherry with 51 seconds remaining), she had accumulating a sparkling 331 passing yards.
Clinching home field advantage in the National Conference playoffs, the Divas enjoyed their sixth undefeated regular season in franchise history. Considering that it is also their 15th Anniversary season, it is testament tot heir impact as one of the premier teams in female football.
References: Neal Rozendaal