Women’s Spring Football League (WSFL) 2015 Game Recaps
[I served as a volunteer staff writer for the Women’s Spring Football League (WSFL) in 2015. In that role, I wrote capsule recaps of every WSFL game as well as those from the WSFL’s sister league, the Women’s Eights Football League (W8FL). Since the WSFL received far less publicity than the sport’s two national leagues – the WFA and the IWFL – I thought it would be nice to shine a spotlight on the WSFL and perhaps parlay that into a bigger role with the league someday. That never materialized, as the W8FL folded after the season and the WSFL was rebranded into the USWFL beginning in 2016.
Nevertheless, the WSFL and W8FL member teams in 2015 seemed to appreciate the work I did covering their leagues. Those capsule game recaps I wrote that season have been archived here for posterity.]
Week 1 (April 18, 2015)
The new-look Women’s Spring Football League (WSFL) and Women’s Eights Football League (W8FL) opened their 2015 seasons with the Southern Kickoff Classic in Atlanta on April 18. A women’s football double-header marked the official beginning of the spring seasons for these two leagues.
Tri-Cities 84, Atlanta 6 – The Tri-Cities Thunder opened the 2015 WSFL schedule in Atlanta with a bang. Tri-Cities shattered WSFL records by defeating the Atlanta Heartbreakers, 84-6. The Thunder’s victory set records for the most points scored by a team in WSFL competition and the largest margin of victory in the six-year history of the WSFL. Both marks broke the previous records set by the Baltimore Burn in a 76-0 victory over the Binghamton Tiger Cats on June 2, 2012.
The Atlanta Heartbreakers are in their fourth season of play and their third in the WSFL. As the host team of this year’s Southern Kickoff Classic, they were hoping to start the 2015 season with positive momentum. But the Heartbreakers were no match for the Thunder, a new team based in Piney Flats, Tennessee. The Thunder coasted to a 54-6 halftime lead and easily ran away with their first victory in franchise history.
DFW 14, Arkansas 8 – The DFW Xtreme opened their 2015 season with a 14-8 win over the Arkansas Assassins in a rain-shortened game. The game was called after the first half on account of the poor weather, but the Xtreme prevailed and improved to 4-2 all-time against teams from Arkansas. The Assassins took a competitive loss in their first game in franchise history.
Valkyrie 42, Cape Fear 14 – The W8FL kicked off its season in Atlanta as the expansion Southern Valkyrie triumphed over the reigning champion Cape Fear Thunder, 42-14. The game pitted two organizations with different levels of experience. The Cape Fear Thunder are the most experienced team in the W8FL, entering their 11th season of play in 2015. Cape Fear has won the W8FL title twice, including a victory in the 2014 W8FL championship game.
On the other hand, the Southern Valkyrie – representing the regions of Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee – were playing their first game in team history. But the Valkyrie emerged with a decisive victory and have quickly established themselves as a threat to win the 2015 W8FL crown.
Week 2 (April 25, 2015)
Keystone 41, Baltimore 0 – The Keystone Assault kicked off their seventh season of play and immediately stamped themselves as legitimate contenders to win the WSFL’s Northern Conference by defeating the Baltimore Burn, 41-0. It was the seventh all-time meeting between the Assault and the Burn, and Keystone’s victory Saturday gave them a 4-3 advantage in the all-time series between these two clubs.
The Baltimore Burn are one of six women’s football teams nationwide celebrating their 15th season of play this year. But they were no match in their opener for the Keystone attack; the Assault stormed out to a 35-0 halftime advantage and added a second-half touchdown to secure a comfortable opening-day victory.
Cincinnati 37, Valkyrie 12 – In an interdivisional contest, the WSFL’s Cincinnati Sizzle defeated the W8FL’s Southern Valkyrie, 37-12. The Sizzle debuted their 11th season of play at home and came away with their first victory since 2013.
The Southern Valkyrie, fresh off a 42-14 victory over Cape Fear in the Southern Kickoff Classic, stepped up to the 11-player format for the first time and gave the Sizzle a spirited challenge. Yet Cincinnati emerged victorious to remain tied with the Keystone Assault atop the Northern Conference standings.
New York 20, Three Rivers 18 (2OT) – The New York Knockout’s first game in the eight-player format was a compelling one, as the Knockout held off the Three Rivers Xplosion, 20-18, in double overtime. The Knockout compiled a 9-5 record over two seasons in the 11-player format in 2013 and 2014, and they introduced themselves to the W8FL by claiming a dramatic victory.
The Three Rivers Xplosion returned from a one-year hiatus after playing three seasons from 2011-2013 and stormed out to a 12-0 halftime lead over the Knockout. However, New York rallied in the second half and took the victory to keep pace alongside the Southern Valkyrie at the top of the W8FL standings.
Week 3 (May 2, 2015)
Keystone 58, West Virginia 0 – The Keystone Assault solidified their spot atop the WSFL’s Northern Conference standings by shutting out the West Virginia Wildfire, 58-0. It was Keystone’s second straight shutout victory in as many weeks, and they have outscored WSFL competition by a combined score of 99-0 so far this season. The Assault will hit the road for the first time this season next Saturday when they visit the New England Nightmare.
The West Virginia Wildfire are playing their first season in the 11-player division of the WSFL after three dominant seasons in the W8FL. The Wildfire played in three straight W8FL championship games, winning W8FL championships in 2012 and 2013. Despite losing their opener in WSFL competition, the Wildfire will look to win their first game of the 2015 season next Saturday when they travel to play the Baltimore Burn.
Tennessee 57, Arkansas 6 – In a game reminiscent of the last two WSFL championship games, the Tennessee Legacy topped the Arkansas Assassins, 57-6. It was a strong debut for the Legacy, who look to bring the WSFL championship to Memphis for the third time.
The Memphis Dynasty twice defeated the Arkansas Banshees in the 2013 and 2014 WSFL championship games. This past offseason, the Dynasty folded and the Tennessee Legacy formed to replace them, while the Banshees underwent a name change to the Assassins. The Legacy-Assassins contest featured many players well acquainted with each other after squaring off in two straight league title games, and once again, Memphis pulled out the victory.
Tri-Cities 82, Valkyrie 12 – The high-flying offense of the Tri-Cities Thunder put on another impressive display in an 82-12 interdivisional victory over the W8FL’s Southern Valkyrie. The Thunder set a WSFL record two weeks ago by scoring 84 points in a win over the Atlanta Heartbreakers, and they topped the eighty-point mark for the second time in the 2015 season Saturday.
The Southern Valkyrie, normally an eight-player team, should be commended for playing up to the 11-player format each of the past two weeks. The short-handed Valkyrie have battled gamely against two WSFL teams and still sit atop the W8FL standings going into a well-earned bye week.
Cape Fear 18, New York 12 – The defending W8FL champion Cape Fear Thunder rebounded from a season-opening loss to edge the New York Knockout, 18-12. The Thunder were defeated in the Southern Kickoff Classic two weeks ago by the Southern Valkyrie, but they captured their first win of the year over the Knockout to get back on track in their quest to repeat as champions of the W8FL.
After winning over Three Rivers last week in double overtime, the New York Knockout have now played two exciting, competitive games as a member of the W8FL. The loss to Cape Fear narrowly kept the Knockout from joining the Southern Valkyrie as the only remaining undefeated team in W8FL competition.
Week 4 (May 9, 2015)
Keystone 24, New England 6 – After two blowout victories, the Keystone Assault were strongly tested by the New England Nightmare before pulling away for a solid 24-6 victory. The Assault (3-0) trailed for the first time all season when the Nightmare scored a touchdown and jumped out to a 6-2 lead after one quarter. A second-quarter touchdown by Keystone gave them a slim 9-6 lead at halftime, but for the first time this season, the game was in doubt for the Assault entering the second half.
The New England Nightmare (0-1), opening their sixth season of competitive play, went toe-to-toe with the Northern Conference leaders in their first game as a WSFL member. But the Keystone Assault scored touchdowns in the third and fourth periods and pulled away to remain firmly at the top of the conference standings.
Baltimore 22, West Virginia 6 – The Baltimore Burn snapped a nine-game competitive losing streak and won their first non-forfeit game in three years by defeating the West Virginia Wildfire, 22-6. The Burn (1-1) had not won a competitive game since defeating the Binghamton Tiger Cats on June 2, 2012. But this victory could mark a turnaround for the Burn, the 2011 WSFL champions.
The West Virginia Wildfire (0-2) kept the game competitive through the fourth quarter, remaining within striking distance until a Baltimore touchdown in the final seconds put the contest out of reach. By defeating the Wildfire – who are still transitioning to life in the WSFL after dominating in the W8FL for three seasons – the Burn jumped into the upper half of the Northern Conference standings for the first time in years.
Tennessee 48, Cincinnati 0 – The Tennessee Legacy pushed their way to the top of the standings in the WSFL’s competitive Southern Conference with a 48-0 victory over the Cincinnati Sizzle. The Legacy (2-0), one of three undefeated teams in the Southern Conference, kept their unblemished record intact by rolling over the Sizzle for their second home win of the year.
The Sizzle (1-1) won their home debut two weeks ago over the Southern Valkyrie, but they were no match for a Tennessee team filled with several former members of the WSFL champion Memphis Dynasty. The Legacy pulled out to a 21-0 lead at halftime and scored four more touchdowns in the second half to win in convincing fashion for the second time this year.
Week 5 (May 16, 2015)
New England 36, Baltimore 6 – The New England Nightmare won their first game as a WSFL member and got themselves right back into the Northern Conference race with a 36-6 victory over the Baltimore Burn. The Nightmare (1-1), now in their sixth season of play, pulled into second place in the WSFL’s Northern Conference standings with a convincing win.
The Baltimore Burn (1-2), who won their first non-forfeit game since 2012 last week over the West Virginia Wildfire, lost a competitive game to the visiting Nightmare. The New England Nightmare defeated Baltimore for the first time after losing their three previous meetings with the Burn.
West Virginia 24, Cincinnati 0 – The West Virginia Wildfire captured their first victory in the 11-player format of the WSFL with a 24-0 win against the Cincinnati Sizzle. The Wildfire (1-2) dominated the W8FL for three seasons, playing in the last three W8FL championship games and winning two of them. But Saturday’s victory marked the first win in a new era of Wildfire football.
The Wildfire held their own against the experienced Sizzle (1-2), who are in their 11th season of play. West Virginia sprinted out to a 24-0 halftime lead and held on in a scoreless second half to capture their first WSFL victory.
Tennessee 60, Atlanta 0 – The Tennessee Legacy posted their third lopsided victory in a row over WSFL competition, routing the Atlanta Heartbreakers, 60-0. The Legacy (3-0) proved that going on the road was no obstacle as they easily claimed their first victory away from Memphis this season.
The Heartbreakers (0-2), still seeking their first victory since 2011, struggled in their first game in nearly a month. The Legacy have now outscored their three WSFL opponents by a combined 165-6 over the past three weeks to sit firmly atop the Southern Conference standings.
Tri-Cities 70, Valkyrie 14 – The Tri-Cities Thunder’s dynamic offense topped seventy points for the third straight time as Tri-Cities blew out the Southern Valkyrie, 70-14. The Thunder (3-0) have outscored their opponents, 236-32, and are now just 47 points shy of the record for the most points scored in a single season by a WSFL team (283), set by the WSFL champion New Jersey Titans in 2012.
The Valkyrie (1-3), normally a W8FL team, played up to the 11-player format for the third time this year; they remain at the top of the W8FL standings, having played twice as many games this season as any other W8FL team. Yet for the second time this year, the Valkyrie could not quiet the Thunder, which pulled out to a 50-8 halftime lead and coasted to victory.
Week 6 (May 30, 2015)
Keystone 27, New England 6 – The Keystone Assault built a two-game lead in the race for the top seed in the WSFL Northern Conference by defeating the New England Nightmare, 27-6. The margin of victory was nearly identical to the Assault’s 24-6 win over New England earlier this season, but this victory was much more convincing for Keystone (4-0). After leading by only three points at halftime in their previous meeting with the Nightmare, Keystone used two second-quarter touchdowns, including one with under two minutes to go in the half, to break out to a 21-0 advantage at intermission Saturday.
The Nightmare (1-2) cut the deficit to 27-6 with a touchdown late in the third quarter, and they remain in the hunt for a postseason berth in the deep Northern Conference. But the road to the Northern Conference championship now clearly runs through Harrisburg, PA.
Cincinnati 26, West Virginia 2 – In a reversal of fortune, the Cincinnati Sizzle got revenge against the West Virginia Wildfire with a 26-2 victory. The Sizzle (2-2) seized a 14-0 halftime advantage over West Virginia and added two second-half scores to capture their first victory this season over a WSFL opponent.
The Wildfire (1-3) shut out the Sizzle earlier this year, 24-0, to claim their first WSFL victory after three years of playing in the W8FL. The Sizzle returned the favor Saturday, leaving both teams in contention for the postseason in the WSFL’s Northern Conference.
Tri-Cities 58, Atlanta 8 – In just four games, the 2015 Tri-Cities Thunder have become the highest-scoring offense in WSFL history. Their latest conquest was a 58-8 rout of the Atlanta Heartbreakers, and shockingly, it’s the lowest output of the season for the mighty Thunder (4-0). It was more than enough, however, to keep Tri-Cities alongside the Tennessee Legacy atop the WSFL’s Southern Conference standings.
The Heartbreakers (0-3) fought gamely but dropped their second decision to the Thunder this season. The Thunder have outscored their opponents, 294-40, and have topped the previous record for the most points scored in a single season by a WSFL team, set by the WSFL champion New Jersey Titans in 2012. With the scoring title firmly in hand, the Thunder now aspire to follow in the Titans’ footsteps and end their season with a championship.
Week 7 (June 6, 2015)
New England 1, Baltimore 0 – The New England Nightmare won their second game of the season, taking a forfeit victory from the Baltimore Burn. The Burn (1-3) were unable to make the road trip to Massachusetts for their game against the Nightmare (2-2). The forfeit breaks a tie between New England and Baltimore in the Northern Conference standings and puts the Nightmare back into second place in the conference.
Tennessee 46, DFW 12 – The Tennessee Legacy won a showdown of undefeated teams and remained tied atop the Southern Conference standings with a 46-12 victory over the DFW Xtreme. The Legacy (4-0) picked up their fourth win over four different opponents this season.
The Xtreme (1-1) joined the Cincinnati Sizzle, Arkansas Assassins, and Atlanta Heartbreakers as those who have fallen to the Legacy this season. The Legacy handed the Xtreme their first loss of the year and kept their perfect record intact with a lopsided victory.
Tri-Cities 1, West Virginia 0 – Just five minutes into the second quarter and trailing 22-0, the West Virginia Wildfire forfeited their contest against the Tri-Cities Thunder Saturday. Because the Wildfire were unable to make it to halftime of the game, West Virginia is charged with a forfeit loss.
The Thunder (5-0) appeared to be well on their way early in the second quarter to their fifth straight explosive offensive performance. But the Wildfire (1-4) suffered too many injuries to continue playing regulation football, and they declined an offer from Tri-Cities to continue playing the game using the eight-player format, accepting the forfeit loss instead. The victory keeps Tri-Cities undefeated and at the top of the Southern Conference standings alongside the Tennessee Legacy.
Cape Fear 12, New York 0 – The Three Rivers Xplosion were unable to make the trip to Schenectady, New York, for a game against the New York Knockout. On short notice, the Cape Fear Thunder swooped in as a last-minute replacement and proved their worth by pulling the 12-0 victory over the home team.
The Knockout (1-2) suffered an overtime loss to Cape Fear earlier this season, and the rematch was nearly as exciting. The Thunder (2-1), however, were able to topple New York for the second straight time and remain in second place in the W8FL standings.
Week 8 (June 13, 2015)
Keystone 28, West Virginia 0 – The Keystone Assault remain the only undefeated team in the WSFL’s Northern Conference after a 28-0 road victory over the West Virginia Wildfire. The Assault (5-0) have allowed just 12 points in five victories this season, never surrendering more than a single touchdown in any contest so far this season.
The Wildfire (1-5) trailed just 14-0 at halftime before giving up two more touchdowns in the second half. West Virginia showed vast improvement and were much more competitive than in their first meeting with Keystone, which ended with a 58-0 victory for the Assault. With the victory, the Keystone Assault have clinched the #1 seed in the Northern Conference in the upcoming WSFL playoffs.
Tri-Cities 68, Cincinnati 30 – The incredible offense of the Tri-Cities Thunder keeps rolling along with a 68-30 triumph over the Cincinnati Sizzle. The Thunder (6-0) have scored 362 points in five non-forfeit games, an average of a whopping 72.4 points per game, as they take their place among the most prolific offenses in women’s football history.
The Sizzle (2-3), however, gave the Thunder their first strong challenge of the year. Coming into the contest, Tri-Cities had given up 40 total points in four games, but Cincinnati rang up thirty points, by far the best offensive showing of any team against the Thunder this season. Tri-Cities led the experienced Sizzle just 38-24 at halftime before pulling away, and Cincinnati remains well in position for a postseason berth in the WSFL’s Northern Conference. But Tri-Cities stayed undefeated to remain locked in a battle with the Tennessee Legacy for the top spot in the WSFL’s Southern Conference.
DFW 56, Atlanta 44 – The DFW Xtreme all but clinched third place in the WSFL’s Southern Conference by traveling to Atlanta and downing the Atlanta Heartbreakers, 56-44. The Xtreme (2-1) join Tri-Cities and Tennessee as the only Southern Conference teams with a winning record so far in the 2015 WSFL season.
The Heartbreakers (0-4) put up 44 points – the most they’ve scored in a single game in their four-year history – as they tried to secure their first win since 2011. But despite putting on their strongest showing of the season, they came up just 12 points short of victory in their final home game of the year.
Week 9 (June 20, 2015)
Keystone 49, Baltimore 0 – No matter the format, the Keystone Assault continue to dominate the Northern Conference. The Assault traveled to Baltimore and defeated the Burn in an eight-player contest, 49-0.
The Burn (1-4) were unable to field enough players for a regulation game, so Keystone agreed to play them using the eight-player format. That was no obstacle for the Assault (6-0), who will host the Cincinnati Sizzle next weekend in their regular season finale. The Assault have compiled an impressive 28-5 record over the past four seasons and will host the WSFL Northern Conference championship game on July 18, the first conference championship game appearance for Keystone in their seven-year history.
Tennessee 64, Atlanta 0 – The Tennessee Legacy maintained their position alongside the Tri-Cities Thunder atop the WSFL’s Southern Conference standings with a 64-0 rout of the Atlanta Heartbreakers. The Legacy (5-0) have cemented their status as a serious threat to bring the third straight WSFL championship to Memphis, Tennessee.
The winless Heartbreakers (0-5) were no match for the Legacy, who have won their five games this season by an impressive average of 51.4 points per game. The Legacy look to close out a perfect regular season next weekend when they host the DFW Xtreme.
Tri-Cities 66, Knoxville 6 – A classic weather pairing concluded with the Thunder topping the Lightning. In the only true interleague contest of the year, the Tri-Cities Thunder put on another impressive offensive display and easily outshone the IWFL’s Knoxville Lightning, 66-6.
The Thunder (7-0) scored a mere 66 points, which actually dropped their scoring average in non-forfeit games so far this season. The Thunder pulled out to a 40-0 halftime lead and coasted to their league-leading seventh victory of the season. Tri-Cities will host the Atlanta Heartbreakers next Saturday to complete an impressive inaugural regular season.
New England 39, New York 0 – The New England Nightmare locked up their second playoff appearance in their six-year history with a convincing 39-0 victory over the W8FL’s New York Knockout. The Nightmare (3-2) raced out to a 19-0 advantage at intermission and padded their lead in the second half on their way to a shutout win.
The Knockout (1-3) played a WSFL team for the first time this season and fell to 1-2 all-time against the Nightmare. With the victory, the New England Nightmare clinched a playoff spot in the WSFL Northern Conference championship game on July 18 against the Keystone Assault.
Week 10 (June 27, 2015)
Keystone 27, Cincinnati 0 – The Keystone Assault wrapped up an undefeated regular season with a 27-0 victory over the Cincinnati Sizzle. The Assault (7-0) pulled out to a 20-0 lead at halftime and added a second-half touchdown as they rolled to victory. Keystone has now outscored their WSFL competition by a combined total of 254-12 and has five shutouts in their seven wins.
The Sizzle (2-4) have been tabbed to host the 2015 WSFL Freedom Bowl against the West Virginia Wildfire, the first postseason women’s football game ever held in Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the Assault will almost surely be tabbed to host the WSFL Northern Conference championship game on July 18, their first conference championship game appearance in their seven-year franchise history.
Tennessee 48, DFW 0 – Memphis is continuing its perfect WSFL legacy. The Tennessee Legacy became the third straight Memphis WSFL team to complete an undefeated regular season, polishing off the DFW Xtreme by a 48-0 count. The Legacy (6-0) maintained the tradition set by their predecessor team, the Memphis Dynasty, who won the WSFL title in 2013 and 2014. Between the Dynasty and Legacy, Memphis teams are 19-0 over the past three seasons in WSFL competition.
The Xtreme (2-2) had an outstanding season, concluding their year with a .500 record. The Legacy, on the other hand, have already secured a spot in the WSFL Southern Conference championship game and will prepare to bring a third straight WSFL championship to Memphis, Tennessee.
Tri-Cities 1, Atlanta 0 – The Tri-Cities Thunder completed a perfect regular season without a fight in their debut season, recording a forfeit victory over the Atlanta Heartbreakers. The Heartbreakers (0-6) struggled to the finish line in a difficult year fraught with near-misses in their quest to snap a long winless streak.
The Thunder (8-0), conversely, finished their regular season having scored 428 points in six non-forfeit games, an average of 71.3 points per contest. They now prepare for their first playoff appearance and will host the Southern Conference championship game on July 18 against the Tennessee Legacy.
New England 26, New York 8 – In a battle of two playoff-bound teams, the WSFL’s New England Nightmare dispatched the W8FL’s New York Knockout for the second week in a row, this time by a score of 26-8. The Nightmare (4-2) have now won three straight and will go on the road to play the undefeated Keystone Assault for the 2015 WSFL Northern Conference championship.
The Knockout (1-4) once again struggled against the Nightmare but received some very good news in spite of the loss. With the Southern Valkyrie shut down for the season, the Knockout will host the Cape Fear Thunder for the 2015 W8FL championship. The Knockout will look to avenge two competitive losses to the Thunder this season as they face the defending league champions for this year’s W8FL title.
2015 WSFL Freedom Bowl:
West Virginia Wildfire @ Cincinnati Sizzle
2015 WSFL Playoff Games:
New England Nightmare @ Keystone Assault (Northern Conference Championship Game)
Tennessee Legacy @ Tri-Cities Thunder (Southern Conference Championship Game)
2015 W8FL Championship Game:
Cape Fear Thunder @ New York Knockout
Week 11 (July 11, 2015)
Cincinnati 26, West Virginia 20 – The Cincinnati Sizzle won their first postseason game in franchise history, defeating the West Virginia Wildfire in the 2015 WSFL Freedom Bowl, 26-20. It was a milestone victory for the Sizzle (3-4), who had lost in the 2013 WFA playoffs to the Pittsburgh Passion, 63-0, in their only other postseason appearance.
The first postseason women’s football game ever held in Cincinnati was a tight win for the Sizzle, who fought back a stiff challenge from the Wildfire (1-6). West Virginia, who dominated the W8FL for three seasons before jumping up to the WSFL this year, nearly pulled off the upset. But the Sizzle held on and concluded their 11th season with their first ever postseason win.
Week 12 (July 18, 2015)
Keystone 34, New England 0 – Quarterback Rachel Fischer threw two touchdown passes, the defense pitched its sixth shutout of the season, and the Keystone Assault won their first conference championship in team history with a 34-0 win over the New England Nightmare.
The Assault (8-0) won the Northern Conference championship by controlling the game on the ground and in the air. Sarah Good scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. Rebecca Diepietro and nine-year veteran Heidi Johnson also added rushing touchdowns, while Cori Young caught one of Fischer’s two scoring tosses. The defense surrendered only 63 yards to the Nightmare (3-3), who made their second playoff appearance in their six-year history.
Tennessee 46, Tri-Cities 30 – In a back-and-forth game worthy of two undefeated teams, the Tennessee Legacy forced eight turnovers and rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to outlast the Tri-Cities Thunder, 46-30. The Legacy (7-0) captured the Southern Conference championship and ensured that a Bluff City team will play for the WSFL title for the third straight year.
Tennessee had built a 27-16 lead in the third quarter when the Thunder (8-1) mounted a rally. Meagan Lyons, an all-star and WSFL champion with the Memphis Dynasty in 2013, scored on her second of two long touchdown runs to pull the Thunder within one score, and Katelyn Cox returned a Legacy fumble 54 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put Tri-Cities ahead, 30-27.
But the Legacy would not be denied. Jessica Collins dominated the game for Tennessee, notching three interceptions and returning one of them 86 yards for a score; Collins also scored a 54-yard rushing touchdown. Corredur Vaden helped give the Legacy the lead for good on a 40-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, and the Thunder committed four of their eight turnovers in the final period to send them to their first defeat of the season.
Week 13 (August 1, 2015)
New York 28, Cape Fear 0 – The New York Knockout will go down as the final champions of the W8FL. Despite two regular season defeats at the hands of the Cape Fear Thunder, the Knockout overcame the Fear with the championship on the line and captured the 2015 W8FL title with a dominating 28-0 victory.
The Knockout (2-4) were awarded the right to host the game after a last-minute change of venue from Erie, PA. The home field advantage seemed to work well for the Knockout, who received the opening kickoff and drove right down the field for the opening score. Tessa Sedlar ran for the game’s first touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion pass from Emily Vigiard to Heather Faga for an 8-0 New York lead.
The Thunder (2-2) would surrender two more touchdowns in the first half. Codie Addington ran for a touchdown that put the Knockout ahead, 14-0, and with a few minutes remaining in the first half, Sedlar punched in her second touchdown of the contest. Vigiard found Melissa Messemer in the end zone for the two-point conversion pass, and the New York Knockout led Cape Fear at intermission by a 22-0 count.
Addington ran for New York’s fourth and final touchdown of the game in the second half, while the offense for the defending champion Thunder was never able to get in sync. The Knockout defense was led by Els Lanfear, who forced and recovered a fumble, and Lizzy Silver, who reeled in an interception of a Cape Fear pass. The Knockout’s 28-0 victory in the 2015 W8FL championship game marked the final game in league history, as the league disbanded in the offseason after five years of play.
Keystone 9, Tennessee 7 – As the site of the league’s championship game, the 2015 WSFL championship trophy was sent to Harrisburg, PA, to await the league champion. The Keystone Assault ensured that the trophy would stay right there, rather than travel back to Memphis for the third straight year.
In a defensive contest, the Keystone Assault won a battle of undefeated teams and capped their seventh season of play with the 2015 WSFL championship, clipping the Tennessee Legacy, 9-7. Keystone’s nine points were the fewest scored by a winner of a league championship game since the Montreal Blitz defeated the Bay Area Bandits for the 2010 IWFL2 championship by a 9-2 score.
The Assault (9-0) scored first in this defensive slugfest in appropriate fashion; a safety gave Keystone a 2-0 lead after one quarter of play. The Legacy (7-1) struck back in the second quarter with the first touchdown of the game, giving the visiting Tennessee team a 7-2 lead at the halftime break.
The big offensive play for Keystone came early in the third period. Quarterback Rachel Fischer, named the 2015 WSFL championship game MVP, fired a 38-yard pass to Cori Young, who was pushed out of bounds at the Legacy one-yard line. On the next play, the Assault ran for their only touchdown of the game, retaking the lead, 9-7, with 11:24 left in the third quarter.
That slim two-point lead would prove to be enough, as the two defenses dominated into the fourth quarter. The Legacy’s best chance to retake the lead came in the final period, when they drove into the Assault red zone. But Christine Ross made the defensive play of the game for Keystone, recovering a Tennessee fumble deep in Assault territory to end the scoring threat. The defense would hold on from there, keying the Assault to their first league championship in franchise history.