Boston Renegades player catching a football.
Boston Renegades wide receiver KD Ellison #9 makes one of her two touchdown catches against the Detroit Venom on 5/6/2023. © Jess Dodge

Veterans and Newcomers Alike Shine in Detroit

May 6, 2023

Renegades shut out Venom 56-0

DETROIT —  Both long-time veterans and relative newcomers to the Renegades made big contributions to Boston’s 56-0 victory over the Detroit Venom at the The Hawk Community Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan on Saturday night.

Boston’s offense was again led by quarterback Allison Cahill who, for the second game in a row and the fourth time in her 20-year career, posted a perfect passer rating. Cahill turned in a five touchdown, 251-yard performance. Fellow veterans Adrienne Smith, Stephanie Pascual, and Abby Pelletier each pulled down a touchdown reception, with Pelletier’s being her first after a five-year hiatus from the gridiron.

Cahill’s two other TD passes went to second-year player KD Ellison. Ellison, who played defensive back and special teams last season, has now added wide receiver duties to her repertoire. Ellison made key downfield blocks for her fellow wide receivers last week against D.C., and this week finished with a team high 117 receiving yards and the first two touchdowns of her career. The 5’9″ former basketball standout adds another strong blocker and vertical threat to Boston’s already potent offense.

“It is ultimately important to maximize our roster and you can do that by having versatile players,” explained Renegades Head Coach John Johnson when asked about Ellison’s new role on offense. “We are looking for players who can do more than one thing. Our coaches have done a great job of putting all our players into a position of strength, so credit to both coaches and players for that.”

While Boston’s ground attack was relatively quiet, Ruth Matta and Katie Falkowski both carried the ball across the stripe, with Falkowski making a highlight spin move on her way through the red zone. The third-year running back Falkowski also lead the team with 38 rushing yards.

On defense, second-year outside linebacker Kara Gailiunas stepped up her game to make a team high 6 solo tackles, one for a loss. Gailiunas shined as a tackler on special teams last year and is seeing more playing time with the defensive squad this season. Her performance was topped only by her fellow outside linebacker Lisa Vincent, who turned in a career performance with 10 combined tackles — 5 solo, 3 for a loss, and 2 sacks — and a forced fumble which was recovered by teammate Whitney Zelee.

The dauntless Vincent played every defensive snap in the game and was all over the field, applying pressure on the pass rush, and seemingly in on every tackle made. But Vincent downplayed her big night as a matter of simple execution.

“Coach Johnny is big on knowing your assignment and reading your keys,” she said. “It’s just about doing your job and knowing your teammate is going to do their job. And together we did it, we pitched a shutout.”

Nine-year linebacker Deanna Walsh and rookie cornerback Jocelyn Forrest helped neutralize Detroit’s pass-heavy offense with 3 pass deflections and an interception respectively.

Two second-year special teams players can be credited for Boston’s remaining touchdown. In the second quarter, Mina Roberts blocked a Detroit punt in the end zone where it was recovered by Carmen Sacristan for the TD.

Boston’s kickers remained perfect on PATs, going a combined 8-for-8 in the game, and 17-for-17 on the season. Vanessa Baer booted 7 PATs to extend her perfect streak to 38. Maggie Barden is now 4-for-4 on PATs in her rookie season.

The Road To Canton

Boston’s next opponent is the 2-0 Pittsburgh Passion. The National Conference powerhouses will meet on Saturday, May 13 in Revere.

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



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Box score

The Hawk, Farmington Hills, Mich.1234F
Detroit Venom00000
Boston Renegades28217056

scoring log

113:25BOSKD Ellison 29 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)07
6:48BOSRuth Matta 5 Yd Run (Vanessa Baer Kick)014
3:33BOSStephanie Pascual 2 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)021
0:55BOSAdrienne Smith 48 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)028
214:34BOSMaria Sacristan-Benjet Blocked Kick Return (Vanessa Baer Kick)035
7:39BOSAbby Pelletier 19 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)042
1:29BOSKD Ellison 88 Yd Pass From Allison Cahill (Vanessa Baer Kick)049
36:28BOSKatie Falkowski 23 Yd Run (Maggie Barden Kick)056

game notes

Game Day Captain: Ash Beckham #60

Previous game vs. opponent: Renegades 49, Venom 0, 4/30/2022
Previous game vs. at this site: Renegades 41, Detroit Dark Angels 3,  6/19/2021
Renegades record vs. opponent: 14-6

Odds status (Massey) : favorite (-40.5)
Win probability (Massey) : 100%

Photos: Jess Dodge
Sideline Videos: Julieann Challacombe, Faith Worrell

Boston’s WFA record winning streak is extended to 33 games.

team totals

Total Plays3255
Total Yards373132
Passing Yards25186
Rushing Yards12246
First Downs1410
Third Downs1-3
Fourth Downs1-1
Fumbles Lost01
Interceptions Thrown01
Penalty Yards6431


#7 A. Cahill111478.57%25122.85088158.33
#31 H. Marini00000


#20 K. Falkowski23819.01230
#46 T. Kuusinen5326.40120
#28 L. Saulters3237.70150
#31 H. Marini11818.00180
#22 R. Matta2115.5160


#9 K. Ellison211758.5288020
#21 C. Bonds45313.3025040
#10 A. Smith25125.5148020
#13 A. Pelletier11919.0119010
#3 S. Pascual2115.519030


#19 L. Vincent551032---1
#32 K. Gailiunas6281
#89 C. Riggieri246
#72 M. Lehtinen145
#24 B. Gallo213
#53 D. Walsh-33--3
#39 D. Smith2-21
#23 S. Gamble2-2-
#65 M. Roberts112
#26 J. Forrest112---1
#70 D. Fournier-22-1
#4 K. Dummott-22
#44 M. Sacristan-Benjet1-1-------1
#28 L. Saulters-11
#2 C. Glynn-11
#33 W. Zelee-11--1-1
#14 M. McFadden-11--1
#47 E. Adams-11
#78 R. Thok-11
#88 M. Barden-11
#15 S. Pascual-11
#49 M. Cadet-11--1--
Rest of team--0------1

Special teams

#88 M. Barden11100%
#82 V. Baer77100%
#88 M. Barden735050.05502
#82 V. Baer210552.56000
#4 K. Dummott142424200
#4 K. Dummott258294400
Rest of team500000