A Dominant First Half Improves the Renegades to 2-0 Ahead of This Month’s Championship Rematch.

May 6, 2024

Julieann Challacombe

Saturday night’s clash against the Alabama Fire showcased the Renegades’ arsenal of offensive weapons on full display, as they captured a 56-6 win in their home opener at Harry Della Russo Stadium.

Much like the weather, the Renegades bit into the first half in dominant fashion, taking a 49-0 lead by the time the first two quarters ran out. Five separate players contributed to their total tally of 56, which Head Coach John Johnson thought was big in pulling out the win.

“They did a good job of executing when they had to, we controlled the line of scrimmage which is great,” said Johnson.

Special teams duo Kara Gailiunas and Kylee O’Connor-Harrel made the Renegades presence known early after forcing and recovering a fumble respectively to set the Renegades inside the Fire’s 10-yard line.

Out came the offense and in less than two minutes the Renegades put seven on the board following a three-yard touchdown run by running back Katie Falkowski. But she wasn’t finished yet.

Falkowski crashed through the Fire’s defense once again in the first quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Renegades up 14-0. She finished the night as one of the stars of the game, logging 80 yards over nine attempts, and creating an opportunity for her teammates to match her energy. They did just that.

Running backs Latoya Saulters and Spring Gamble, and wide receiver Stephanie Pascual combined to rush for 138 yards and three touchdowns to contribute to the Renegades dominant first half.

Pascual also contributed to the Renegades receiving offense, along with Kyshani Dummott, Adrienne Smith and Maggie Barden to tally 129 yards and two touchdowns.

The Renegades defense held the Fire to just six points in the matchup by hosting a clinic on how to control the line of scrimmage and apply pressure across every inch of the field.

Their efforts were led by defensive end Donny Fournier and linebacker Solina Pascual.

Together they combined for seven tackles, 10 assisted tackles and 1 sack.

Next, the Renegades will pack up and head to “Mound City” to take on the St. Louis Slam. The Renegades met the Slam once last season, beating them 35-7 in the 2023 National Championship.

Johnson plans to approach the rematch by “focusing on cleaning up the little things,” and prepare both sides of the ball for a physical battle against their toughest opponent yet.

“We have a tough opponent in St. Louis, but we have to clean up our own business,” said Johnson. “We didn’t quite show up at all times today, so we have to work on that and be the best versions of ourselves.”