MANCHESTER, NH – Following a triple-overtime loss in Harrisburg, PA, last week, the New Hampshire Rebellion came into their fourth game of the season at home feeling confident. Rain had begun to fall around 2 p.m.; it would not stop for the duration of the game. Each team had set up a mini-pavilion in Gill Stadium under which players could gather while rain poured down.
Mayor Joyce Craig arrived shortly before the game started for the game’s ceremonial coin flip. Following this, she stayed on the sideline to watch the action before departing for a dry and comfortable place.
The game was anything but comfortable for the Rebellion. The Knockout ran the ball early and often, sometimes with great efficiency. Long runs were in evidence as the Knockout pulled ahead 14 to 0 at the end of the first quarter, then 33 to 0 by halftime.
Both teams often went for it on fourth down, instead of opting to punt. The Rebellion converted two fourth downs at the end of the first quarter, but turned the ball over on downs in the red zone at the beginning of the second quarter. The Knockout, meanwhile, was 4 for 5 on 4th down, often converting long fourth downs, one of which went for a touchdown on a quarterback run.
The Knockout often tried for short kickoffs, one of which was recovered as an onside kick following an 85-yard run for a touchdown. Their passing game was largely ineffective, thanks in part to Rebellion QB Kim Bourque, who deflected two passes that would have been caught inside the 20-yard line.
Speaking of her experience in the game, Bourque said, “Exhausting. I ended up playing both ways. Just got thrown in there, just trying to help out my team in any way that I can. It’s tough to play in the rain. It’s slippery.”
For the Rebellion, RB Selina Collins was once again a star. She played offense, defense, and special teams, making large gains both by running and by running back long kick returns.
During the third quarter, despite being down by a large margin, the Rebellion defense stepped up to allow zero points on an offense that had scored at will on them in previous drives. The Knockout managed another rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter, which would put them ahead by a score of 40-0. This would be the last score of the game.
“We played pretty well in the first half,” Knockout coach Lou Butts said. “Into the second half, I think we relaxed a little too much, and our girls just spaced out for a little bit. The running game is our style, that’s what we bank on week to week. We run the football first and foremost. We have an excellent running back, and excellent quarterback who runs, and two slot receivers who run as well. That’s the name of our game. We run first.”
After carrying the ball for a large gain in the 4th quarter, RB Carol Carman went down with an injury and did not get up. Trainers on the field determined an ambulance was needed. Her uniform was cut through before she was taken off on a stretcher. Due to the rain, the injury, and the score, officials on the field called the game.
At the time of writing, Carman had been released from the hospital with a possible concussion.