San Diego Surge pulls ahead for a win at the Pacific Region finale

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Through eight regular-season contests, the San Diego Surge allowed a mere 18 points in Women’s Football Alliance action. However, in Saturday’s Pacific Region finale, the Seattle Majestics already placed 20 points by halftime against the struggling Surge.

“It took us a while to get going,” admitted Surge veteran Christian Carrillo. “Then we made some key adjustments and the team finally found its rhythm in the second half.”

Through eight regular-season contests, the San Diego Surge allowed a mere 18 points in Women’s Football Alliance action. However, in Saturday’s Pacific Region finale, the Seattle Majestics already placed 20 points by halftime against the struggling Surge.

“It took us a while to get going,” admitted Surge veteran Christian Carrillo. “Then we made some key adjustments and the team finally found its rhythm in the second half.”

Buoyed by a key, third-quarter interception by Alexis Snyder and a 4th-down conversion for the go-ahead touchdown from Knengi Martin on the ensuing drive, the Surge rallied from a 20-16 deficit to stun Seattle with 20 unanswered points in the second half in a 36-20 decision at French Field.

The victory gave San Diego (10-0) the WFA Pacific Region title, allowing them to host the American Conference championship game.

The Surge will entertain the Kansas City Titans, which blanked the Austin (Texas) Outlaws, 41-0. The contest will be held at Santee Community Stadium at Santana High School on Sat., July 19. Kickoff will be moved to 7 p.m. (instead of the regular 5:30 p.m. start) in case of extreme heat.

The winner will advance to Chicago for the WFA national championship game against either the host Force or the Boston Militia.

Stability in ownership, coaching and the playing ranks, have allowed the Surge to flourish in the WVA, capturing the national crown in 2012. Now they are two victories away from another title.

But it took some adjustments to the roster to rally past the Majestics and hand them just their second setback of the season.

“A momentum change to the second half was the interception by Alexis,” noted Carrillo. “She normally plays running back, but we needed help on defense and she stepped right in.”

An All-America tailback in the WFA, Snyder’s leaping interception led to a 50-yard march by the Surge offense, who eventually reached the Seattle 1-yard line with a fourth down while trailing by four points.

“Our fourth down conversion at the goal line was key,” added Carrillo. “We played to win.”

Seattle knew the right-side of the Surge offensive line was hurting due to the absence of former El Capitan High multi-sport standout Jessica Cable due to her brother’s wedding.

So Carrillo filled in at right tackle, then 12-year veteran  quarterback Melissa Gallegos, a former standout athlete at El Centro-Central High, attacked Seattle with a running play to the right side behind Carrillo and right guard Ebony Chambers for a 23-20 lead.

Snyder, normally a tailback, was a first-team WFA selection. She was joined on the first team by receiver Deana Guidry and Cable.

On defense, Martin was a first-team linebacker, while Tanya Pa’aluhi also gained a first team berth at linebacker.

WFA second team berths went to Chambers, wide receiver Kaycee Clark and linebacker Lauren Davis.

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