NH Rebellion shut out by CT Ambush in home opener

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NH Rebellion put up a good fight but could not get on the scoreboard during Satuday’s home opener against the CT Ambush. Photo/Winter Trabex

MANCHESTER, NH – The Connecticut Ambush, a new team in the Women’s Football Alliance, traveled to the West High School football field to face the New Hampshire Rebellion in the Rebellion’s first game of the season.

It was a game of firsts for both teams. Both the Ambush and Rebellion had players playing their first game. Both head coaches for each team was coaching their first game for their team. For the Rebellion, a crowd filtered in, many of whom stayed until the game ended. It was also the first Rebellion game in which a camera drone hovered overhead, recording the action between the two teams. Interest in the team had increased since last year, when the Rebellion won their home opener with almost no crowd in attendance.

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

In the first quarter, the Ambush scored two touchdowns, gaining a lead of 14-0. The quarter ended with an interception by QB Kim Bourque, which later led to an Ambush punt. The Rebellion committed a variety of penalties on the day, such as ineligible receiver downfield, and false starts. Repeated substitutions by the Rebellion often left too many or too little players on the field. At times, the game’s referees called out to the team saying there were too many players in play.

By the end of the fourth quarter, the Ambush won by a score of 35-0. Five different players from the Ambush scored touchdowns in head coach Lorie Lindo’s first game with the team. The Rebellion was driven by long runs and kick returns by RB Selina Collins. WR Ashleigh Nagy, playing both sides of the ball, had the Rebellion’s longest reception of the day and a pass deflection that was almost an interception in the second quarter.

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Momentum: Unlike last year’s home opener, this year the New Hampshire Rebellion bleachers had fans to cheer them on. Photo/Winter Trabex

Hidden yardage, a concept explained by NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, proved too large a barrier for the Rebellion to overcome. The Rebellion often had short punts, while the Ambush had long punts. The Rebellion sometimes committed penalties or allowed sacks that gave them second and long instead of gaining yards for second and short. The Ambush regularly had good starting field position, which lead to them having a shorter distance to the end zone.

Coach Lindo, who was a WFA veteran for nine years before coaching, received a Gatorade bath on the sidelines after the game. During an interview, she could not stop smiling.

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

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The team takes a knee for some coaching mid-game. Photo/Winter Trabex

Coach Red McSwiggan, serving in her first year with the Rebellion, remained positive despite the team’s one-sided loss. “There were a lot of people who stepped on the field for the first time,” McSwiggan said. “It was their first hit, it was their first real block. They were all jumping in, ready to do what they could. I expect big things from them.”

Rebellion RB/KR Jamila Gordon, who goes by “Jams” on the field, remained after the game to speak with fans. “Today was my first tackle game,” Gordon said. “My teammates are really helpful. I’m here to play. I love football a lot. I just got to show what I’m worth and do what I do.”

The Rebellion’s next home game is Saturday, May 18th when the Harrisburg Havoc from Pennsylvania comes to the West High School field. After this, their next scheduled home game is June 15th against the New York Knockout.


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About this Author

Winter Trabex

Winter Trabex is a freelance writer from Manchester and regular contributor to Community Voices.