NH Rebellion is eliminated by CT Ambush in their home opener

NH Rebellion put up a good fight but couldn't get on the scoreboard in Saturday's home opener against CT Ambush. Photo/Winter Trabex

MANCHESTER, N.H – The Connecticut Ambush, a new Women's Football Alliance team, traveled to West High School's football field to take on the New Hampshire Rebellion in the Rebellion's first game of the season.

It was a first game for both teams. Both Ambush and Rebellion had players playing their first game. Both head coaches of each team coached their first game for their team. A crowd poured in to revolt, many of whom stayed until the end of the game. It was also the first Rebellion game to feature a camera drone hovering overhead, recording the action between the two teams. Interest in the team had increased since last year's rebellion won their home opener with almost no crowd.

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Family members brought a sign in support of New Hampshire Rebellion #65 “Aunt” Marina Dickey. Photo/Winter Trabex

The Ambush scored two touchdowns in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead. The quarter ended with an interception by QB Kim Bourque, which later led to an ambush punt. The Rebellion assessed a number of penalties that day, such as an ineligible receiver downfield and false starts. The Rebellion's repeated substitutions often left too many or too few players on the field. At times the referees shouted to the team that there were too many players in the game.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the Ambush were winning 35-0. Five different Ambush players scored touchdowns in head coach Lorie Lindo's first game with the team. The rebellion was fueled by long runs and kick returns from RB Selina Collins. WR Ashleigh Nagy, playing on both sides of the ball, had the Rebellion's longest reception of the day and a pass deflection that nearly amounted to an interception in the second quarter.

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Momentum: Unlike last year's home game, the New Hampshire Rebellion stands had fans cheering them on this year. Photo/Winter Trabex

Hidden mileage, a concept explained by NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, proved too great a barrier for the rebellion to overcome. The Rebellion often had short strokes while the Ambush had long strokes. The Rebellion sometimes called penalties or allowed sacks that gave them second and long picks instead of gaining yards on second and short picks. The Ambush regularly had good starting field position, which resulted in them having a shorter distance to the end zone.

Coach Lindo, a nine-year WFA veteran prior to coaching, received a Gatorade bath on the sidelines after the game. She couldn't stop smiling during an interview.

“It was good,” Lindo said. “The girls came here and did what they had to do. They played together as a team. Everyone worked as a unit. No individuals. They helped each other. … Overall it was a great game. New Hampshire is a competitive team.”

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The team takes their knees in the middle of the game to do some training. Photo/Winter Trabex

Coach Red McSwiggan, in her first year with the Rebellion, remained positive despite the team's lopsided loss. “There were a lot of people taking the field for the first time,” McSwiggan said. “It was her first hit, it was her first real block. They all jumped in and were willing to do whatever they could. I expect great things from them.”

Rebellion RB/KR Jamila Gordon, known on the field as “Jams,” stayed after the game to talk to fans. “Today was my first tackle game,” Gordon said. “My teammates are really helpful. I'm here to play. I love football very much. I just have to show what I’m worth and do what I do.”

The Rebellion's next home game is Saturday, May 18thTh as the Harrisburg Havoc from Pennsylvania reached the field at West High School. After that, their next scheduled home game is June 15thTh against the New York Knockout.

Anna Harden

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