Gameday Recap

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2017 Gameday Recaps
Force vs. 3rd Rd: Boston Renegades
Result: 33-47 L  
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Force vs. 2nd Rd: Pittsburgh Passion
Result: 45-0 W  
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Force vs. St. Louis Slam
Result: 44-20 W  
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Force vs. Boston Renegades
Result: 24-25 L  
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Force vs. Toledo Reign
Result: 52-0 W  
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Force vs. Minnesota Vixen
Result: 53-0 W  
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Force vs. D.C. Divas
Result: 28-21 W  
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Force vs. Detroit Dark Angels
Result: 84-0 W  
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CHICAGO FORCE vs. Pittsburgh Passion

Result: 8-7 W

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Contact: George Howe, Media Relations Director
(773) 368-4848


Chicago, IL.The Force have become the ‘cardiac kids’, for the post season anyway, posting an identical 8-7 nail biting, on the edge of your seat victory, this time against a talented Pittsburgh Passion (9-1) team. The fourth quarter heroics weren’t lost on any of the capacity crowd fans, coaches or players. Head Coach Jim Stahl would like to change one thing." I sure will take one more 8-7 win," said a relieved Stahl. "I’d like to score first though and put the pressure on Dallas."

The win propels the Force to 10-0, crowns the organization as Eastern Conference Champions, and guarantees Chicago their first ever trip to the IWFL National Championship game. The National Championship game will be held on the Force home field on Saturday July 26, against the Western Conference winners, the Dallas Diamonds, who defeated the Seattle Majestics 38-6 last Saturday in Seattle WA.

The Force defense held Pittsburgh to its lowest point production of the season, thanks to a well thought out and brilliantly called game by Defensive Coordinator Chris Maniatis. On Pittsburgh’s opening offensive possession, with a heavy rush by the defensive line, safety Linda Bache tallied her seventh interception of the year. "Whenever the ball is in the air Bache is always there, it’s uncanny how talented she is," explained Maniatis. "At the start of the second quarter, Pittsburgh took advantage of a roughing the passer penalty that spotted the ball at the Force 39 yard line. A combination of strong running by Pitt QB Lisa Horton, an 11 yard run by Wilma Walton, and a five yard pass reception by Sherry Kring, set up a three yard touchdown run by Torina Henley. The extra point by Lauren Bracco made the score 7-0 and it held up for most of this contest.

Both teams showed why they belonged in this title game by thwarting several scoring chances with timely tackling. Game Day Defensive MVP co- winners, Amanda Malsch and Jeannine Nebbeling each tallied a quarterback sack as Pittsburgh was driving in the second half. Nebbeling, thrilled with her award, squeezed the trophy so hard that she broke it. "I told Amanda that I will keep the broken one, "laughed Nebbeling. “It’s great to contribute to this victory."

Receivers Coach Gary Kuykendall was credited with a key read of the Passion defensive set, which Offensive Coach John Konecki then exploited to help set up the winning score. The Force offense marched down the field with four consecutive first downs in their most purposeful drive, eating up seven minutes on the fourth quarter clock. With third down looming and the ball at the Pittsburgh 47 QB Sami Grisafe rolled out to her right and hit WR Albi Zhubi over the middle for a ten-yard completion. Grisafe next found WR Patricia Harper on consecutive passes good for 10 and 9-yard gains. RB Melissa Smith once again proved that one defender cannot bring her down and followed her block by FB and Offensive Game day MVP Bridget Fahrner for 11 yards to the Pittsburgh 1 yard line. Grisafe lowered her head and followed the push of her ‘O’ line into the end zone with 4:09 remaining. "We called the exact same play that won us the game against Detroit with all of the same confidence and determination," explained Konecki. "There was no way that we were going to be denied." Smith rumbled her way in from the left side for the two point conversion to the hysteria of most everyone in attendance. "I told Fahrner and Smith to follow my behind into the end zone said OL Keesha Brooks, who suffered a leg injury early on but came back to lead her squad. Fahrner, a prototypical fullback, strong and gritty, takes great pride in her blocking assignments. "I love blocking it’s my favorite part of the game," said Fahrner. "I get a lot of satisfaction putting someone on their back."

The title game will be played under the lights at Holmgren Athletic Complex, on the campus of North Park University. Co-Captain and one of the original four remaining players, LB Pam Schaffrath has waited a long time for this special opportunity for greatness. "We have never wavered from our vision of an undefeated championship season," said ‘Schaff’. We are a family. We need to intensify our focus and play our game. It’s within reach."

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