NH Rebellion eliminated 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 Saturday’s home opener against CT Ambush. Photo/Wintertrabex

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

It was a first for both teams. Both Ambush and Rebellion players played their first game. Both head coaches from each team coached their first game for their team. For the rebellion, a crowd poured in, many of whom stayed until the end of the match. It was also the first Rebellion game to feature a camera drone hovering above, recording the action between the two teams. Interest in the team had increased since last year, when the uprising broke out won their home opener with virtually no audience present.

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

In the first quarter, the Ambush scored two touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead. The quarter ended with an interception by QB Kim Bourque, which later led to an ambush. The Rebellion committed several penalties that day, such as an ineligible receiver on the field and false starts. Repeated substitutions due to the rebellion often left too many or too few players on the field. Sometimes the referees of the match would shout to the team that there were too many players in the game.

By the end of the fourth quarter, the Ambush won by a score of 35-0. Five different Ambush players scored touchdowns in head coach Lorie Lindo’s first game with the team. The rebellion was driven by long runs and kick returns from 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 nearly an interception in the second quarter.

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Momentum: Unlike last year’s home opener, the New Hampshire Rebellion stands had fans cheering them on this year. Photo/Wintertrabex

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

Coach Lindo, who was a nine-year WFA veteran before coaching, was given a Gatorade bath on the sideline after the game. During an interview she couldn’t stop smiling.

“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. Not individuals. They helped each other. … 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-match. Photo/Wintertrabex

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 taking the field for the first time,” McSwiggan said. “It was their first hit, it was their first real block. They all jumped in, ready to do whatever they could. I expect big things from them.”

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

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