Recap vs. Boston Renegades – April 27, 2019

Divas’ Furious Rally Comes Up Short, Fall to Boston, 37-32
Boston 37, DC 32
By Neal Rozendaal

Springfield, VA – The last three meetings between the D.C. Divas and Boston Renegades have followed the same script: the Divas fall into a deep hole early and then rally to make it a game in the closing minutes. That happened again Saturday, but on this day, the Divas simply ran out of time.

The D.C. Divas outscored Boston, 32-9, after a blistering start by the Renegades, but the Divas ultimately succumbed to a 37-32 defeat. D.C. wide receiver Lexie Floor scored three touchdowns – two through the air and one on the ground – but the Divas dropped their first game of the year to the defending national champs.

The Renegades (3-0) got off to a flying start, leading 14-0 after one quarter and 28-0 with 10:36 remaining in the first half. With their backs to the wall, the Divas (1-1) fired up their offense with the help of Floor. Quarterback Amanda Congialdi completed a 38-yard pass to Floor into Boston territory, and after a 15-yard run by Curtina Pope, Floor reeled in a 32-yard touchdown strike. The snap was errant on the extra point attempt, but the Divas had cut into Boston’s lead, 28-6, with 9:09 left in the first half.

Boston came down to score their fifth touchdown in their first five possessions, expanding the lead back out to 28 points, 34-6. Incredibly, it would be the Renegades’ final touchdown of the contest.

Floor went back to work, snaring back-to-back passes from Congialdi for 25 yards apiece. Her second big catch on the drive set the Divas up with first and goal at the Boston six-yard line, but the Renegades’ defense held on four downs and got a turnover on downs at their own 10.

The D.C. defense finally rose up and made their first stand of the contest. Miketa Trueheart blew in and forced Boston quarterback Allison Cahill to intentionally ground the ball in the end zone for a safety with 1:30 left before halftime, and the Divas tacked on two points to trail, 34-8.

The Divas then went right to work on offense. Following a kickoff to midfield, Kentrina Wilson caught a crucial 30-yard pass on fourth and five for a first down at the Boston 15. On the next play, Floor sprinted 15 yards for the end zone and her second score of the day. D’Ajah Scott ran for the two-point conversion, and the Divas cut their halftime deficit to 34-16.

After fielding the second half kickoff, the Divas thought they might be able to get the score even closer. Congialdi swung a short pass to Scott, who took it 49 yards down to the Boston 27. Floor then tiptoed down the sidelines on a big run to set up first and goal at the Boston two-yard line. But Boston linebacker Allie Genereux forced a Divas fumble, and the Renegades took over at their own one-yard line.

Facing fourth and two from their own 26, Boston gambled and decided to go for it. The pass was dropped, giving the Divas a great scoring chance. However, Scott was tackled on fourth down one yard short of the first down marker, and the Renegades took over at their own 17.

Even so, Boston was stopped on their next drive and forced to punt to the D.C. 45. The D.C. defense allowed five touchdowns on Boston’s first five drives of the game, but then they slammed the door and kept the Renegades out of the end zone in the second half. Trueheart led the way with 10.5 tackles for the Divas, including five for loss with two sacks and a safety. Jessica Johnson added 9.5 tackles, Kucheria Eades had seven, and newcomer Jen King chipped in with six.

Boston and D.C. exchanged turnovers late in the third period. Congialdi’s pass was intercepted near midfield, but the Divas got the ball right back. Trueheart pressured Cahill again and this time knocked the ball loose, and Simms recovered at the 29-yard line for the Divas.

The fumble recovery set up the Divas’ third touchdown of the contest. Scott had a 14-yard catch followed by a four-yard run, and then Kasee Hilliard notched her second touchdown of the season on an 11-yard reception. Scott ran for the two-point conversion, and the Divas had pulled to within ten points, 34-24, with 1:58 left in the third quarter.

Early in the final quarter, the Divas forced a Boston turnover on downs. But with time ticking down and still trailing by two scores, the Divas were forced to go for it on fourth and three from their own 37. Genereux sacked Congialdi for a three-yard loss, and the Divas lost the ball on downs.

The Renegades advanced the ball down to the Divas’ red zone, but again the Divas were able to hold. Boston kicked a 26-yard field goal for their only points of the second half and increased their lead to 37-24 with 9:12 left in the contest.

D.C. went four and out on their next possession, and Boston went three and out while running clock and holding a 13-point lead. The Renegades punted to the D.C. 18-yard line with 5:26 left in the game.

But the Divas weren’t ready to fold. Congialdi tossed a 42-yard pass to Wilson down into Boston territory, and then Floor made two catches, the first going for 18 yards and the second a 24-yard touchdown. Congialdi passed to Wilson for the two-point conversion, and the Divas had climbed within 37-32 with 3:05 left in the game.

Unfortunately, the clock was not on the Divas’ side. Boston fielded the ensuing kickoff and then converted three first downs to run out the clock on a 37-32 victory. The Divas will face the Renegades again in Boston for their regular season finale on June 15.