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 kept 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 red zone, 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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