Fourth-quarter drive secures win for Fillies
An interception return is the only blemish in Portlands 16-6 win over Everett on Saturday.
MILWAUKIE The Everett Reign had just converted a long fourth-down play and were driving for the go-ahead touchdown with the ball inside the 20-yard line when the Portland Fighting Fillies defense decided it had seen enough.
On the next snap, linebacker Jasmine Teters came around the end and took down Everett running back Brooklyn Holton from behind for a 2-yard loss. Teters clogged the middle to hold the Reign for no gain on the next play, setting up a pivotal 4th-and-4.
Everetts offense couldnt shift out of reverse, as Fillies linebacker Ashley Kondziela broke into the backfield and tossed running back Lynzee Felder down for a 7-yard loss.
We didnt anticipate them doing much, but it was still a big stop, Teters said. We started going quick and were able to anticipate their snap count.
The Fillies took possession and put together an 11-play, 76-yard drive that drained more than five minutes off the clock. Running back Holly Custis picked up big gains of 15 and 29 yards before QB Rebekah Chee went untouched through the middle for the touchdown at the goal line.
We just kept hammering the ball at them. What we were doing was working, so we just stayed with it, Custis said. That last play it was like Moses and the Red Sea it just parted wide open.
The drive produced the final points of the day in the Fillies 16-6 win.
Everett made one last trip across midfield, but an interception by Cassie Dunsire secured the victory with five minutes to play.
The Fillies (3-1) are second in the Northwest Division and travel to Tacoma (0-4) Saturday, May 11.
Dunsire used her foot to give Portland the early edge, booting punts of 47 and 53 yards in the first half. The longer of the two rolled to a stop inside the 5-yard line, as the Fillies enjoyed a healthy edge in field position in the first quarter.
Working with a short field, Portland moved into scoring position on four straight runs by Custis before putting the ball into the air. Chee made a quick pass to Dunsire along the sideline where she spun away from two tacklers and stretched the ball over the goal line before being shoved out of bounds.
Everett answered with Holton picking off a pass and returning it 55 yards for a TD. But Portlands Christy McAtee blocked the extra point to keep the Fillies in front 7-6.
The score would stay frozen going into halftime.
Everett had a chance for something big on its first play of the second half when Abbie Vancil came around the left side with a blocker in front. But a flash of purple ended the play when Melanie Allen raced ahead of the blocker and made an open-field tackle on Vancil holding her to a 1-yard gain.
The Reign would go three-and-out on the series.
Penalties slowed Portlands offense, but the Fillies would add points to the scoreboard before the third quarter was over. Custis rambled around the left side for a big gain on 3rd-and-20, but was still pulled down short of the marker.
Portland kept its offense on the field and sent Custis around the other side. Facing 4th-and-2, she found heavy traffic for a moment, but broke to the inside and moved the chains with an 8-yard gain.
The drive eventually stalled with Custis on the sideline tending a cut on her forearm. But Allen kicked a 32-yard field goal, the teams first of the season, to extend the margin to 10-6.
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