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. Kansas City Tribe

Result: 21-14 W

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Chicago Mauls KC for Season Opening Road Win

Photo Credit: Jennifer House
Contact: Media Relations (773) 368-4848 / 312-405-4130


Kansas City, MO. Numbers don't lie and the numbers from Saturday's contest tell a tale of utter domination: the Chicago Force offense had 56 carries for 414 yards. The Force offense was on the field for most of the game, patiently executing their game plan to control the contest through time of possession with long clock- consuming drives.

With tornado warnings nearby and evacuation plans in place, the game began under gray skies and gusting winds. A strong drizzle would start in the 2nd quarter but all weather issues subsided during halftime, allowing the teams on the field to determine the outcome.

Chicago RB Melissa Smith returned to the Force this season after a 3 year absence. She picked up where she left off by running roughshod over the Tribe for 256 yards and a TD on 30 carries. In addition, Chicago has a shifty ball carrier in Brandy Hatcher, who used her blocks expertly as she sliced through KC's defense for 148 yards and a TD.

The Force offense scored on their initial drive when Smith bulled her way through the left side and into the end zone from six yards out. The extra point attempt was blocked, putting Chicago ahead 6-0. But KC answered quickly when RB Larisha Graves took a hand-off and went down the sideline for a 30 yard score. Amanda Sweeten kicked the extra point to give the Tribe a short-lived 7-6 lead.

Chicago answered in the second quarter with another long drive that culminated in touchdown when Hatcher bounced wide and ran it in from the 5 yard line. Jeanette Gray then took the snap and followed her line into the end zone for a successful 2 point conversion and a 14-7 Force lead. This would end the scoring for the first half.

The Force came out in the 3rd quarter and were unstoppable, marching the length of the field with Smith and Hatcher following a cavalcade of pancake blocks from Jamie Menzyk and line-mates Dawn Pederson, Keesha Brooks, Roz Bennett and Liz Okey. Chicago employed a variety of personnel for additional blocking including April Fowlkes, Tami Engelman, Ellie Dovantzis, Carolyn Lee and Sami Scurto.

With 4th and goal from the 7 yard line QB Sami Grisafe passed to WR Ashley Berggren who took it to the right corner of the end zone for the score. Tricia Charbonneau kicked the extra point to put Chicago ahead 21-7.

Late in the fourth quarter Jenny Schmidt, the always dangerous Tribe QB, engineered a quick scoring drive for the Tribe and lofted a pass to WR Sowers at the goal line for a touchdown. Sweeten again kicked the extra point to pull KC within to 21-14 with just under two minutes to play. The onside kick attempt went out of bounds and Chicago was able to pick up a first down and run out the clock.

Dorian Bridges and Elisah Okrey tackle the KC QB
Photo Credit: Nadine Redd

The Chicago defense played well and was able to keep the potent KC offense from getting into a groove for most of the game. Force Defensive Coordinator Adam Lewandowski was particularly pleased with the play of veterans Darcy Leslie (8.5 tackles), Kim Marks (a huge sack and 2 tackles), Emma Finestone and rookie Elisha Okrey.

The Force traveled to KC with the intent of obliterating the Tribe's undefeated home field record, a streak that dated to the 2009 season. Chicago's game plan was to pummel the less physical Tribe squad with brute strength and aggression. Head Coach John Konecki noted, "We came down here and did what we set out to do. I'm incredibly proud of these players. This was a big win for the team and the organization. Now we have to get ready for our home opener this weekend against the Columbus Comets."

#55 Sami Scurto breaks up a pass
Photo Credit: Jennifer House
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