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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. Kansas City Tribe

Result: 14-12 W

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

Force stays perfect with 14-12 victory over Kansas City Tribe

Chicago, IL. Force Head Coach John Konecki, despite pacing the sideline like an expectant father, seldom shows a lot of emotion and rarely smiles. When the final horn went off Saturday at Winnemac Stadium ensuring the tough-fought victory, all that changed. After shaking hands with the Tribe players and coaches at the 50 yard line, Konecki sprinted to the south end zone area, a huge smile on his face as he greeted every player with a hug and a message of ‘I love all of you guys.’ Quarterback Sami Grisafe was the first to greet Konecki and leaped into his arms with jubilation.

It was no secret that Chicago wanted to keep the high powered Tribe offense off the field as long as possible. The Force offense orchestrated the game plan perfectly with a smash mouth ground attack grinding out yards, marching down the field led by Grisafe, tough running by Carolyn Lee, and strong up front blocking by fullback Cat Converse, and the steady ‘O’ line of Stacey Baker, Keesha Brooks, Dawn Pederson, Jamie Menzyk, Veronica Soper and Liz Okey. After a scoreless first quarter that saw the Force gain the edge on time of possession, Grisafe and Lee, named Offensive game day MVP, alternated carrying the ball for a total of 15 straight plays to the Tribe 2 yard line. Next Grisafe got under center, the home crowd came to their feet, and she followed her blocks into the end zone for the first score of the game at the 12:11 mark of the second quarter. Lee made the PAT for a 7-0 advantage.

The Tribe put together an impressive drive starting from their own 17 yard line with 6 minutes to go until half and looked to tie the score. Quarterback Jenny Schmidt found her two favorite receivers Regan Campbell and Liz Sowers for two long completions. Credit the strong pursuit and pressure by Force defenders Tami Engleman, named Defensive game day MVP, Angie Bandstra, Darcy Leslie, and Alisha Brennon with flushing Schmidt out of the pocket and disrupting her rhythm. All four were credited with timely impressive sacks as time ran out. First year player Engleman lovingly nicknamed the ‘Berlin Wall ‘by her teammates clearly played the best game of her young career, sometimes grabbing Tribe running backs with one arm and throwing them to the ground while shedding blocks. “When she ties up two and three players at once and still makes the play, it makes it much harder for any team to be successful against us,” explained Defensive Coordinator Anthony Stone. “Tami works hard in practice. My hat goes off to her, “he added.

With 5:39 to go in the third quarter and the ball at the Tribe 37 after a punt, the Force scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown. Konecki continued to call Lee’s number, and also inserted Leslie at running back. The tandem ripped through arm tackles all the way to the Kansas City 2 yard line. It seemed as though Konecki had a tough decision. It was after all fourth down. He never even hesitated. Once again Grisafe trusted her line mates. They didn’t disappoint bulldozing up the middle to pay dirt. Lee made the score 14-0. “We had been pushing them back all afternoon and I was confident that we could gain two yards, “said an excited Konecki.

The Tribe finally got on the scoreboard with just: 55 seconds left in the third, when Schmidt found Sowers in the end zone from 12 yards out. On the extra point attempt the Tribe was called for holding moving the ball back to the 25 yard line. Force special teams player Jessica Kirincich made an impressive athletic move when she leaped and blocked the second attempt making the score 14-6. The Tribe had one last gasp and with 1: 22 left in regulation when Schmidt hooked up with Sowers again, this time from the 8, on a leaping catch in the right corner of the end zone. The Tribe went for two but was called for an illegal formation moving the ball back 10 yards. Schmidt scrambled to find the open man, but threw the ball into the waiting arms of Force defender Katie Romano.

“I’m so proud of each and every player and coach on this team,” said Konecki. ‘I told everyone that we weren’t going to just knock on the door but were going to knock it down. We did that and more.”

The Force will travel to Minnesota to take on the Vixens Saturday May 8. Game time is 7pm.

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