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. @ Iowa Crush

Result: 56-0 W

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

Force Crush Iowa 56-OHHH

Des Moines, IA. As the old saying goes, stick with what got you to the dance. After installing a few new wrinkles that just never seemed to work out in the previous four games, Head Coach Jim Stahl decided to dust off an old playbook in hopes of revitalizing the offense. The formula worked to perfection as the Force marched up and down the Valley Stadium field all evening, controlled the ball and the score clock enroute to an easy 56-0 victory to go 6-0 with two regular season games to be played. “There were a lot of special moments in this game,” said Stahl. “The veteran’s did a good job allowing everybody a chance to play. The rookies were fantastic. This is a good cleansing. I’m proud of the team.

The Force were impressive scoring a touchdown every time they touched the ball, six straight possessions in the first half, good for 42 points, a new team record. The ‘O’ line of Stacey Baker, Keesha Brooks, Dawn Pederson, Rosalyn Bennett, and Jamie Menzyk led the charge and had the Crush defense on their heels the entire game. The onslaught started at 9:17 of the first when RB Esther Henigan ran 17 yards off the left side. Carolyn Lee shared kicking duties with Tricia Charbonneau and added the extra point. QB Sami Grisafe had her best game of the season and threw a beautiful tight spiral to WR Angie Bandstra from 16 yards out right at the goal line. Bandstra then stepped in untouched. A big punt return of 25 yards by Brandi Srda was set up by a textbook block from Pam Schaffrath, which brought the entire team and crowd to their feet screaming. FB Bridget Fahrner followed with runs of 18, 2 and finally 6 yards for the score. It was only fitting that Stahl called Fahrner’s number for the two point conversion that made the score 21-0 still in the first quarter.

On the first Crush possession of the second quarter, safety Linda Bache intercepted a pass that provided great field position at the Iowa 41. Two plays later Grisafe was at it again, this time hooking up with rookie WR Patricia Harper on a 37 yard scoring strike. Charby’s extra point try was good. “This is a real confidence builder for our entire team, said Grisafe. “ Everyone should feel good about this win. We all made it happen.” The defense made such quick work of Iowa’s offense all night that it seemed as though they were hardly on the field. LB Darcy Leslie, who missed last week’s game due to an injury, had six straight tackles to set the tone early. “Could you tell that I missed playing last week,” said Leslie with a big grin on her face. Defensive players Jessica McPeake, Amanda Malsh, Schaffrath, Charby, Sofia Sianez, Nyema Steel, Tracy Johnson, Kenshira Traylor, Theresa Simon, Kara Wabbel, and Jeannine Nebbeling all strongly contributed to the shutout.

Force RB Melissa Smith had her typical productive offensive performance. At 6:35 of the second Smith scampered 39 yards. Lee’s extra point staked the score to 35-0. With less than 4 minutes to go until half and the ball at midfield, Grisafe shared the wealth. This time finding WR Albi Zhubi for a 28 yard pass completion. Srda kept her scoring streak alive in every game with runs of 15, 4, and then scoring from 1 yard out. The extra point closed out the score in the record-setting first half. Rookie Annette Bravo was a standout on special teams laying out Crush players on more than one occasion. The Force scored three more times in the second half. Only two were added to the scoreboard. Smith’s impressive 89 yard touchdown was called back on a questionable penalty by the side judge who threw his flag more times during the contest than his entire crew combined. Harper found pay dirt again streaking up the middle on a nice 24 yard strike from back up QB Bandstra. “As I caught the ball and realized that no one was in front of me I thought that this is the real deal,” said Harper excitedly. “It feels so great to contribute to the win.”

Saturday’s home game features two undefeated teams when the Clarksville (Tennessee) Fox boasting an identical 6-0 record come to Holmgren Athletic Complex. Game time is 3pm.

Iowa photos by Barbara Ritchie

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