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It's Tackle And It's Real: Chicago's Female Football Team That Doesn't Wear Lingerie While Playing Is Undefeated And Advancing To Its Super Bowl
The undefeated Chicago Force eked out a spine-tingling 35-34 win over the Boston Militia on Saturday night at Lazier Field in Evanston, advancing to the Women's Football Alliance championship for the second time in team history.
The Force will face the equally undefeated San Diego Surge on Saturday, August 4, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh in the title tilt. The game will be televised on ESPN3.
"It's huge for us," said quarterback Sami Grisafe after completing 14-of-16 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown against the Militia. "We haven't been to the championship since 2008. There's a stigma that we don't have what it takes to finish. We showed that we do today."
Chicago earned a trip to Pittsburgh despite a scoreless second half that saw the Militia bounce back from a 35-14 deficit.
Boston's Whitney Zelee (11 carries, 143 yards) scored on a two-yard run to cut the lead to 35-34 with 1:57 left.
All the Militia needed to do was kick the extra point to send the game into overtime, but Danielle Resha missed the PAT by kicking the football under the crossbar to seal
the victory for the Force.
Chicago ran out of the clock after a 28-yard run by Melissa Smith.
"It's a game of inches," said Smith. "It worked out for us."
Resha is "probably the best kicker in the league," said Militia coach Derrick Beasley. "I wouldn't trade her for the world."
The Militia showed why they have won two consecutive championships by opening the game with an impressive 62-yard drive ending in a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The Force roared back, though, with its best half of the season to roll up a 35-14 lead.
Grisafe threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Trish Harper to tie the score (PAT by co-owner Tricia Charbonneau).
The Force then capitalized on a Militia turnover and two failed fourth-down gambits, as Smith racked up 163 yards en route to four touchdowns, including a 14-year scamper with 7:28 left in the first half to put her team up 28-14 and then a three-yard run with four seconds left until the intermission for the 35-14 lead.
Boston quarterback Allison Cahill completed six passes in the second half to help rally her team. Zelee scored twice including her two-yard run late that seemed like it was going to push the game into an extra session.
Boston beat Chicago last season 50-23 en route to their second title.
"It's surreal right now," said Smith, who notched a remarkable 33 touchdowns this season after taking four years off. "I came back and didn't know what to expect."
"I feel happy to win," said Force head coach John Konecki said. "We just beat a very good team."
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