By Larry Snyder
Revere, Massachusetts – It is a showdown of the undefeated Saturday, May 7, when the Pittsburgh Passion (2-0-0) get together with the Boston Renegades (3-0-0). These time-tested playoff combatants meet at 6:00 p.m. at Harry Della Russo Stadium.
During their 20th home opener Saturday, April 30, the Pittsburgh defense picked up their first shutout, 35-0, when the Passion took down the Tri-State Warriors (0-3-0). Tri-State could not continue to play due to roster limitations and first-half injuries. Co-owner and co-head coach Teresa Conn and Warriors co-owner and head coach Rich Harrigan decided to stop the matchup after halftime.
Quarterback Alyssa George, running backs Maria Fautali, Arielle Smith, Qualin Pitts, and wide receiver Marcelina Chavez were as smooth as they were dominating, rushing for 177 yards and four touchdowns. Jana Meister supported the offense with 83 receiving yards and a trip to the end zone.
Black and Gold defensive coordinator Erik Keister saw his crew, in the first half, force one fumble and recover the ball, haul in one interception, collect three pass deflections, and register three sacks.
The complete defensive effort came from contributions by Devon Peace, Hannah Daman, Niaja Brokaw, LaKeitha Barrett, Jennifer Bova, Amanda Coles, Ellisyn Mularski, Kamea Lowe, Jasmin Jones, Rebecca Ehrgood, and Lawanda Pearson. Expect Kim Zubovic, Kaitlyn Niedermeyer, Meize Gardner, Ashley DiCicco, and Chelsea Biggers to provide strength in holding the line against Boston.
Brandy Polinick is four of six in extra-point attempts and threw a two-point conversion to Katelyn Polenik for Passion special teams coach Javé Brown. Meister’s longest punt is 38 yards in two contests.
From Brandon Rossi YouTube Channel – Remembering 2019 WFA Quarterfinals: Pittsburgh Passion Vs. New York Wolves…
Boston assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Vernon Crawford have a familiar face to Black and Gold fans under center in quarterback Allison Cahill. Over the first three contests of 2022, she is 49 of 68 in pass attempts with eight touchdowns and only one interception. Cahill was the MVP of the 2021 WFA D-1 National Championship Game.
Helping to keep the running attack fresh are Ruth Matta and Tytti Kuusinen, with six and five scores, respectively. The talented quartet of Stephanie Pascual, Adrienne Smith, Kyshani Dummott, and Renate Meckl handle most of the receiving chores.
Head Coach and defensive coordinator Jack Johnson has the skills of linebackers Spring Gamble, Kara Gailiunas, Deanna Walsh, and defensive back Shantia Creech to stop the opposition.
Weather: Cumulus observers project a daytime high of 49 degrees, with the nighttime low staying at 49. Cloudy skies are in order, but just a two percent chance of rain. Expect the winds out the east to northeast at 17 to 22 mph.
Tickets: You can choose your best seats for Passion home games online.
NEXT UP: Pittsburgh travels to the Buckeye State Saturday, May 14, to meet the Columbus Chaos (0-2-0). This duel kicks off at 7:00 p.m. at Whitehall Yearling High School.