Stephanie Pascual of the Boston Renegades says 'no thank you' to Emily Smith of the D.C. Divas.
Stephanie Pascual of the Boston Renegades says 'no thank you' to Emily Smith of the D.C. Divas. ©Mitzi Velez Lorenzana

Boston Rolls By D.C., Advances to Semis

June 24, 2023

Offense rolls up nearly 600 yards in playoff victory over D.C. Divas 70-14

REVERE MA — The Boston Renegades dominated in the first round of the playoffs, rolling up 597 yards of total offense and hanging 70 points on the scoreboard. Quarterback Allison Cahill passed for 385 yards and four touchdowns, and Ruth Matta and Katie Falkowski rushed for two scores apiece.

Receivers Adrienne Smith, KD Ellison, Stephanie Pascual, and Kyshani Dummott accounted for four TDs while Chanté Bonds lead Boston with 10 catches. Tytti Kuusinen led Boston’s ground attack with 75 yards. She also chipped in a touchdown.

Return to Form

The offensive output was a return to form after a regular season finale that did not live up to the team’s standards. In that game at Pittsburgh, Boston scored only 32 points, half their season average, with only 377 offensive yards, well below the squad’s 500 yard season average.

“One thing that helped us this week is that we didn’t play very well in Pittsburgh,” said Boston Head Coach John Johnson. “So there was a renewed focus on fundamentals and the ladies did a great job of taking care of the important things. They had two good weeks of preparation.”

Johnson also noted the challenges that come with facing an opponent as often as the Renegades meet the D.C. Divas.

“It is hard to play a team three times and stay excited about it, but they were able to dial into some granular details and work to be better as a group and a team, and I thought they did that very well. The team showed a great amount of resilience.”

Dangerous Divas

For their part, the Divas solidified their rival status by putting up two eye-popping scores of their own. Wide Receiver Shaquanda Gainey burst past single coverage to post D.C.’s longest reception of the night. The 33-yard TD strike kept the visiting team in contention in the second quarter. But it wasn’t until the fourth quarter with the contest out of reach when the Divas scored again, a stellar 84-yard rush by Kucheria Johnson.

“Those two players in particular are phenomenal,” commented Coach Johnson. “It is very difficult to hold back D.C.’s explosive ability, which they have a bunch of, including (Lexie Floor) who is an outstanding receiver. (Hermonie Buckman) is a problem in space, and they have a couple of good running backs learning how to play the position the right way. So they have a lot of offensive playmakers, more than most of the teams we have played.

“They’re the most dangerous team we’ve seen this season and they showed that yesterday. They showed us that we still have a lot of work to do,” added Johnson.

Turnover Factory

Boston’s defense delivered several takeaways, collecting three fumbles, one interception, and three turnovers on downs. The defensive line was particularly disruptive, as Nose Tackle Minna Lehtinen and Defensive End Whitney Zelee together collected three fumble recoveries, three sacks, and 18 combined tackles. One of Zelee’s two fumble recoveries resulted in a defensive touchdown, a career first for her.

Safety Briannah Gallo grabbed her first interception of a seemingly “quiet” season for the decorated defensive back. Coach Johnson had high praise for the 16-year veteran.

“The way our defense is structured, it doesn’t give Bri a whole lot of opportunities in terms of stats. She is really the coach on the field helping players understand what we’re doing, giving them situational awareness and tidbits of information… She is getting her teammates in a position to make plays. A lot of what makes her super important to us doesn’t show up in the stats book.

“So for her to have an opportunity to make a play there and make an interception was outstanding and I was really happy for her,” Johnson continued. “We wouldn’t be where we are defensively without her.”

The Road To Canton

The Renegades will host the Alabama Fire for the conference championship game. Alabama defeated the Pittsburgh Passion 8-7 to advance to the league semifinals.

Out West, the #1 seed St. Louis Slam will face #2 Minnesota Vixen to compete for the right to represent the American Conference in the WFA Pro National Championship.

The WFA Pro National Championship will be played on Saturday, July 22 in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN 2.


Box score

Harry della Russo Stadium, Revere Mass.1234F
Boston Renegades1421211470
D.C. Divas070714

scoring log

113:04BOSAdrienne Smith 28 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)70
11:08BOSWhitney Zelee Fumble Return (Vanessa Baer Kick)140
212:08BOSRuth Matta 25 Yd Run (Vanessa Baer Kick)210
10:14DCShaquanda Gainey 33 Yd Pass From Amanda Congialdi (Emily Smith Kick)217
8:13BOSRuth Matta 6 Yd Run (Vanessa Baer Kick)287
4:42BOSKD Ellison 69 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)357
310:58BOSTytti Kuusinen 4 Yd Run (Vanessa Baer Kick)427
5:29BOSKyshani Dummott 3 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)497
1:18BOSStephanie Pascual 3 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)567
414:37BOSKatie Falkowski 4 Yd Run (Maggie Barden Kick)637
4:44BOSKatie Falkowski 1 Yd Run (Leny Alfaro Kick)707
1:10DCKucheria Johnson 81 Yd Run (Emily Smith Kick)7014

game notes

Game Day Captains: Kara Gailiunas #32 and Jessica Hayden #55 

Previous game vs. opponent: Boston 84, D.C. 25 on May 20, 2023
Previous game vs. opponent at this site: Boston 63, D.C. 6 on April 29, 2023
Renegades record vs. opponent: 16-6

Odds status (Massey) : favorite (-38.5)
Win probability (Massey) : 91%

Visual Media: Faith Worrell, Mitzi Velez Lorenzana, Julieanne Challacombe

Broadcast: Revere TV and The Women’s Sports Network, Luis Sanchez announcing

Records and Milestones:

  • Defensive End Whitney Zelee scored her first career defensive touchdown
  • Boston’s WFA record winning streak is extended to 38 games.

team totals

Total Plays8272
Total Yards597236
Passing Yards385115
Rushing Yards212121
First Downs3011
Third Downs6-11 (55%)2-17 (12%)
Fourth Downs2-4 (50%)1-6 (17%)
Fumbles Lost13
Interceptions Thrown01
Penalty Yards3783


#7 A. Cahill334377%38511.74069134.4
#30 J. Lane040%0-00-39.6
#31 H. Marini010%0-00-39.6


#46 T. Kuusinen9758.31190
#22 R. Matta77010.02250
#20 K. Falkowski5336.62240
#28 L. Saulters6305.00180
#7 A. Cahill122.0020
#31 H. Marini122.0020.0


#9 K. Ellison39030.0169050
#4 K. Dummott67612.7132060
#21 C. Bonds10676.70161140
#10 A. Smith45714.3128040
#3 S. Pascual4399.8117040
#22 R. Matta33110.3015062
#13 A. Pelletier22613.0015030
#20 K. Falkowski1-1-1.00-1010
#46 T. Kuusinen00-0-010
#88 M. Barden00-0-021
#28 L. Saulters00-0-010
#84 P. Myatt00-0-011


#15 S. Pascual61722---1
#33 W. Zelee561111--211
#72 M. Lehtinen43732--1
#53 D. Walsh336
#23 S. Gamble325
#9 K. Ellison303--1
#19 L. Vincent235
#4 K. Dummott224
#70 D. Fournier178
#65 M. Roberts112
#88 M. Barden112
#32 K. Gailiunas112
#24 B. Gallo101--11
#89 C. Riggieri101
#14 M. McFadden101--1
#57 L. Swanson101
#79 N. Palma101
#44 M. Sacristan-Benjet101
#47 E. Adams101
#45 D. Leslie1011
#74 R. Sullivan044
#78 R. Thok044
#26 J. Forrest033
#20 K. Falkowski022
#28 L. Saulters022
#5 S. Lyons022
#39 D. Smith011

Special teams

#82 V. Baer88100%
#88 M. Barden11100%
#83 L. Alfaro11100%
#88 M. Barden932736.35100
#82 V. Baer210552.55801
#31 H. Marini123232301
#4 K. Dummott112121200
#46 T. Kuusinen111111100
#22 R. Matta166600
#4 K. Dummott51531300
Rest of team100000



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