(written for Somerville Patch)
The Boston Militia ran and ran and ran Saturday at Evanston Township High School outside Chicago. They barreled through tackles, blew past linebackers and eluded safeties. Even the 110-degree heat could not slow them down.
The Militia’s 269-yard rushing attack, led by WFA All-Americans Chante Bonds (64 yards, 10.7 yards per carry, touchdown) and Dorothy Donaldson (49 yards, two touchdowns), propelled the Militia to 50-23 victory over the Chicago Force. The Militia will next take on the Indy Crash in the National Conference Championship this Saturday at Dilboy Stadium.
The Militia took control of the game midway through the second quarter. Already up 20-7, the Militia defense stopped the Force at the Chicago 46-yard-line and took over on downs. Runs of 11 and 35 yards by Bonds led to a touchdown, and the point-after made it 27-7 Militia with 6:10 left in the half.
The Force responded with a touchdown, but All-American Ashley Snyder kicked a 36-yard field goal to make 30-15 at halftime
The Militia’s defense stopped the Force on two straight possessions to open the third quarter, including once after a Militia offensive turnover. Starting quarterback and All-American Allison Cahill (13-17, 253 yards, two TDs, 157.1 QB rating) connected with wide receiver Amy Saur for a 60-yard touchdown pass to make it 37-15 midway through the third.
A botched kickoff return gave the Militia the ball back, and Donaldson capped a seven-play drive with a 2-yard plunge through the middle to make it 43-15 Militia. Donaldson also scored on a 1-yard run early in the second to take a 20-7 lead.
The Militia and the Force traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter, with the Militia intercepting two Chicago passes. By the end of the game, the score was so lopsided the team began substituting in reserve players.
The Militia scored first Saturday, with Cahill connecting with All-American wide-receiver Adrienne Smith for a 6-yard touchdown pass with just over nine minutes left in the first. Smith was quick to credit others for the victory.
“I really believe the coaching staff was phenomenal,” Smith said. “They researched and studied and created a game plan that was flawless. All we had to do as players was execute.”
Smith also said that the defense – led by linebackers Vicky Eddy (eight tackles), Jenny Olivieri and Molly Goodwin (six each) – shutting down Force running back Jessica Springer (WFA leader in yards and rushing TDs) was also the key to victory.
Militia general manager Frank Ferrelli agreed that coaching and preparation were the reasons the Militia won.
“I was able to watch the coaching staff and the players prepare for this game with each practice with more knowledge and confidence in what they had to do to be successful,” Ferrelli said.
“The intensity level of the Boston Militia was at the highest level all week.”
After Cahill’s touchdown pass to Smith, Chicago scored to go up 7-6, but Whitney Zelee (96 all-purpose yards) scored on a 9-yard run early in the second to retake the lead 13-7.