Holly Peterson ran the opening kickoff back 82 yards for a touchdown, and her San Diego Surge semipro women’s football team intercepted a pass with 18 seconds left to beat the Chicago Force 40-36 Saturday in Pittsburgh—and claiming the equivalent of the Women’s Super Bowl.
According to ESPN.com, more than 2,000 fans turned out for the Women’s Football Alliance championship at Heinz Field—the first women’s title game to be held in an NFL stadium.
“We were in a heavyweight fight,” Force coach John Konecki was quoted as saying. “A 16-round fight that went to decision and the Surge beat us.”
News services also reported: “The Force led 36-27 in the fourth quarter, but the Surge scored twice in the final 2:28 to win. A 68-yard punt return by Cassey Brick with 1:40 left gave the Surge the lead for good.”
The Game, aired on ESPN3, was hosted by the Pittsburgh Passion, and MVP Cassey Brick told TribLive.com: “This was a great opportunity,” Brick said. “Franco Harris and the Pittsburgh Passion did an amazing job. This was a huge leap for the sport of women’s football.”
Brick … scored the game-winning points on a 66-yard punt return with 1:49 to play. She also caught three passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns and carried four times for 29 yards and another score.
The game was decided when San Diego’s Cilena Tanaya Mosley stopped a long Chicago drive by intercepting a pass at her team’s 6-yard line with about 25 seconds left.
The league’s “Breaking Barriers Festival Weekend” also celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which promotes a more equal distribution of funding for women’s and men’s athletics at schools receiving federal money; and The Immaculate Reception by Harris. The NFL Hall of Famer serves as co-owner of the WFA’s Passion. The stadium’s Jumbotron displayed his famous play at halftime.
“It was an incredible game that kept people on the edge of their seats,” Harris said. “You couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The Santee-based Surge—which plays at Santana High School and West Hills High School—went unbeaten this season. The Force trains at Evanston Township High School.