Saturday, July 17, 2021

Rebellion stuns top-seeded Utah, claims Pacific Conference title

The San Diego Rebellion (8-0) are the 2021 WNFC Pacific Conference Champions following a 22-18 win over the hosting No. 1 seed Utah Falconz (7-1) Saturday night. With the well earned victory, the Rebellion will get to complete their phenomenal season in the WNFC IX Cup Championship game, where they'll face the Atlantic Conference champion Texas Elite Spartans (8-0) at Apogee Stadium in Denton, Texas on August 7th.

After a defensive effort keep the game scoreless after the first quarter, the Rebellion struck first with an 11-yard run by Adriana Gutierrez. She followed it up with a successful two-point conversion run to give San Diego an 8-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Utah answered back on the following drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Gina Magana, but the two-point attempt fell short to keep the Rebellion leading 8-6.

The Falconz took their first lead of the game with an incredible 24-yard touchdown run by Magana, where she was stripped of the ball and recovered it on her way to the end zone. A failed two-point conversion kept Utah's lead at 12-8 early in the third quarter.

Utah was able to recover the ensuing onside kick, but the Rebellion defense was able to force a turnover on downs to avoid any further damage.

On just the second play of the fourth quarter, Knengi Martin connected with Ashlee Austin-Bean, who shook off a defender and took off for a 39-yard score to regain the lead 15-12, but the Falconz answered back by ending a 71-yard drive with a five-yard touchdown run by Tina Tela to put them back in front 18-15.

On the ensuing drive, a 15-yard scramble by Martin set up a 45-yard dash to the end zone by Gutierrez for what would be the game-clinching touchdown. Following a great kickoff return by Magana, who was stopped by Gutierrez at the San Diego 22-yard line, the defense was able to force a turnover on downs.

Unable to run out enough clock, the Rebellion was forced to punt and tasked with needing to hold off the high-powered Utah offense one last time. The Falconz drove to the redzone, but a clutch fumble recovery by Stephanie Lopez helped seal the team's first conference championship in its third season of play.

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