East County Sports

Surge flows to conference final

The San Diego Surge advanced the Women’s Football Association American Conference championship game in Dallas in two weeks with a win over the visiting Seattle Majestics before 621 fans at Santana High School on Saturday night (July 11).

Five-time All-America linebacker Knengi Martin helped the Surge overcame a  slow start with a dominant defensive effort in the second half at Santee Community Stadium.

The Surge took awhile to get their power plant going for the second-straight playoff game, but once they did, they had enough to supply this win and possibly another at the next stage, as the team rushed for over 300 yards against one of the best teams in the country and one of the most successful franchises in all of women’s football, taking full command in the second half.

Alexis Snyder and Deanna Guidry both had three touchdowns for the Surge in the win.

The triumph in the Women’s Football Alliance’s American Conference (western USA) semifinals advances the Surge (9-1 overall) to the WFA Final Four and a date next in Texas in two weeks against Dallas. The Elite (formerly Diamonds) whipped upon the Kansas City Titans, 70-14.
The previously unbeaten Majestics (now 9-1) took the Pacific Northwest title by blanking the Tacoma Trauma, 34-0, then took a quick, first-quarter  lead on the Surge.

“I don’t know why we are having slow starts, but we came on after we re-gained our focus,” Martin said. “Sometimes we go out there overconfident.”

And for good reason, The Surge have advanced to the WFA title game — the WFA Alliance Bowl — in three of the past four seasons, claiming the 2012 national championship.’

“From now on, we need to pay 60 minutes of football or we will be out.”

The Majestics set the tone during the opening kickoff by surprising the Surge with an onside kick. Seattle recovered and followed up with a 7-yard pass by Rachel Woods to Tessla Rennie that was fumbled and recovered in the end zone by Julia McComas.

A Seattle interception followed by a 53-yard drive with another 7-yard TD put the Majestics ahead 13-0, however, on the PAT attempt, Christina Webb blocked the extra point and Jessica Springer returned it for a 96-yard two-point conversion.

A 46-yard drive capped by a 5-yard Snyder TD closed the gap for the Surge, making it 13-9 Seattle.

The Surge took the lead on a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter by Snyder, to make it 16-13.

The Surge got an interception for a TD, as Alexandria Evans had the pick-six to make it 23-13 Surge with 8.9 seconds left in first quarter.

Snyder had a 2-yard TD run to put the Surge up 30-13 with 8:24 left until halftime. Snyder has 175 yards rushing for the contest.

Seattle countered with a 5-yard TD pass, as the Surge led 30-20 with 4:26 left in the first half.

The Surge went on a late drive in the final minutes of the first half that started on their own 6 and took them down to the 25 with 1:09 left in half. The Surge called time out on 2nd and 2 on the 14 yard line with 35.9 left, then with 2.2 left, the surge had the ball 1st and goal from the 6. Seattle, however made a huge stop on the goal line to end the half.

Seattle received the ball to start the second half and opened with am impressive drive just into the San Diego red zone, but on 4th and 5, the Surge’s Webb made a big stop near the sideline to force a turnover on downs.

San Diego took over and put together a scoring march that was capped by a 5-yard TD run from Guidry to make it 37-20.

Seattle countered with a 40-yard touchdown on a swing pass with 5:37 left in the third quarter, cutting the San Diego lead to 37-27.

San Diego put together a time-consuming drive down to the Seattle 1, but the Majestics forced a fumble and took over there with 54.4 left in the third quarter.

A Guidry 5-yard touchdown run made it 37-20.

A 40-yard swing pass for a Seattle TD made it 37-27 with 5:37 left in 3rd quarter.

The Majestics forced a fumble at the 1-yard line and took over there late in the third quarter, but after San Diego regained possession, they went on a drive and Guidry’s 11-yard scramble around the right side was good for a first down and goal Surge with 11:57 left in the game.

An 8-yard pass to Martin for a Surge touchdown made it 43-27 with 11:37 left. The PAT failed.

A big Surge defensive stand forced Seattle to punt and following no return, it was Surge ball on the 37 of Seattle with 11:00 left. Guidry scored around left end for a six-yard touchdown run for a 50-27 Surge lead with 7:41 left.

“A key difference for us is our experience,” said Guidry, a UCLA graduate who retired following the 2012 title, only to return in 2014.
The Surge rushing attack includes several prominent blockers.
El Capitan High alum Jessica Cable, who was better known as an all-CIF San Diego Section  basketball player for the Vaqueros, was an All-America guard last season. This summer, she was barely beaten for the honor by another Surge teammate (name to be announced publicly over championship weekend).
“We lost in the Alliance Bowl the last time we played in Dallas,” noted Cable. “So we know what the heat and humidity will be like. We just have to get ultra-hydrated before we get there in order to play well.”

Another defensive stand for the Surge late in the fourth, but Seattle had resigned to kick, as the Surge took over after a 57-yard punt.

San Diego’s Adrianna Bush scored on a 3-yard run with 2:22 left for the final tally.

The winner of the conference finals clash heads to Los Angeles for the Women’s Football Alliance championship game.

The Dallas franchise took a year off, but the team has reloaded with some of the Dallas Diamonds’ players, and are playing the inaugural season as the Elite.

Both teams have high-scoring offenses, but the opponents that Dallas has faced this season don’t necessarily have the same experience as the squads that the Surge has gone up against over the last couple of years.

Meanwhile, there was one surprise in the National Conference (eastern US).
As expected, the top-seeded D.C. Divas took out the Atlanta Phoenix, 30-7, but the defending WFA champion Boston Renegades (formerly Militia) lost at home to the Chicago Force, 49-18.
The 7th annual Alliance Bowl will be held in Los Angeles on Aug. 8.

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