Women’s Football Alliance Championships set for this weekend

With more than 60 teams across the country, the Women’s Football Alliance, WFA, is the largest women’s football league in the United States.

The league’s 2021 national championship is set to be held on July 23rd and 24th at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The WFA is divided into three divisions, and the Division 2 and Division 3 championship games are scheduled for Friday 23 July, with the Division 1 game to take place on Saturday 24 July.

In the premier, Division 1 title game, the defending champion 6-0 Boston Renegades are seeking to accomplish a three-peat against the 8-0 Minnesota Vixen. The Renegades are led by quarterback Allison Cahill who passed for 967 yards and 19 touchdowns and running back Chante Bonds who added 484 yards and 10 TDs. The Renegades scored 59 points ppg. and gave up only 12 points for the season. The Vixen, the longest extant team in women’s football, will be winding up their first season in Division 1. They too have an accomplished quarterback in Errin McIsaac who passed for 778 yards and 15 TDs, and who added 255 yards and 3 TDs on the ground. Grace Cooper rushed for 904 yards and had 14 total TDs. The Vixen scored 48.7 ppg. and gave up 8.9.

In Division 2, the 5-3 Detroit Dark Angels play the 8-0 Nevada Storm. The Dark Angels, who lost two games to the Division 1 Boston Renegades, and one to the Dynamite, have a rushing game by committee that combined for over 1,000 yards and was paced by Clarissa Tullis with 525 yards. They scored 23.5 ppg. and gave up 14.6. The defending champion and undefeated Storm’s Jasmine Plummer (WFA Offensive MVP) rushed for 814 yards and scored 15 TDs to lead an offense that scored an average of 39.7 ppg. The Storm defense gave up only 6.9 ppg. Whether the 2019 runner-up Dark Angels’ tougher schedule against other championship game teams will give them an advantage will be interesting to see.

The Division 3 game pits the 7-1 Derby City Dynamite (Louisville) against the 7-1 Arizona OutKast (Phoenix). The Dynamite are led by quarterback LaEssence Houston Buckner who passed for 363 yards, ran for another 687, and accounted for 7 TDs. They scored at an average of 30.4 ppg, and had the division’s toughest defense that gave up only 4.4 ppg. The OutKast had the top offense in their division, scoring an average of 45 points per game, behind 1,546 yards and 21 TDs from running back Jazmyne Reining. The OutKast defense was a bit more porous, giving up an average of 17.1 ppg. This game will be a good test of the maxim that defenses win championships.

After the pandemic canceled the 2020 season, the WFA is coming back strong. Playing their championship on the field used by the NFL for their Hall of Fame Game, and just across the street from the Pro Football Hall of Fame will perhaps give them some increased visibility. Ohio is arguably the state where women’s professional football began back in the 1930s, and so the WFA Championships will be in a fitting location.

Russ Crawford is an Associate Professor of History at Ohio Northern University in Ada, OH. The University of Nebraska Press published his book Le Football: The History of American Football in France in 2016. He is currently working on a project