Utah Falconz Lose Home Opener To Defending Champs
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In their sixth season, the Utah Falconz played their first home game of the 2019 season at Cottonwood High School. They lost to the defending champion Texas Elite Spartans 55-18.
It was a rematch of the two teams that played in the Best of the West, when Texas beat the Falconz 22-15.
The Spartans led Utah by nine points at the half.
Entering the game, the Falconz had a 47-2 record in the past five years with both losses being in championship games. They are back-to-back IWFL champions and have played in the last four championship games. Utah has won the Western Conference Championship three times and have moved to the Women’s National Football Conference (WNFC) this season along with 14 other teams.
The WNFC is a groundbreaking organization that has decided to take women’s football to the next level. The group leading the movement consist of four former female NFL coaches, three former NCAA division 1 coaches, NFL alumni association (Dallas chapter) and many fortune 100 marketing, branding and sales leadership.
Defense Holds Texas In First Half
The Falconz were able to hold the Spartans to 21 points in the first half, but some costly turnovers for Utah gave Texas the win.
After trailing 7-0, Utah countered with a touchdown run by running back Keeshya Cox on a pitch by quarterback Elizabeth Lane. The Falconz are a run-heavy offense and run the triple-option.
Just before halftime, the Falconz were trailing 21-6 when Lane connected with wide receiver Rebecka Winberg for a touchdown with six seconds left in the half.
Utah scored for the last time on a trick play with Lane handing off to Sara Galacia, who found Andrea Chilton for the touchdown in the third quarter.
“I thought they were playing fine,” said Falconz head coach Rick Rasmussen on his message to the team at the half. “We were making little mistakes and it seemed like we would take a play off a time or two. When that occurs it is going to hurt especially against a really good team like this [Texas],” he added.
The Spartans outscored the Falconz 14-6 in the third quarter and 20-0 in the fourth quarter to knock off Utah for the second consecutive game.
“I am proud of the way we played, but I am not proud of the way we competed,” Rasmussen said. “We will fix it and we will see them again.”
The Falconz dropped to 3-1 on the season and will be back at home on Saturday at 4 p.m. against the Denver Bandits. The two teams previously met on April 13 in Denver with Utah picking up a 54-12 win.
“We need to get back to doing what we have done,” Rasmussen said. “We need to make sure that we don’t take plays off. I thought we looked a little soft conditioning wise,” he added.