When the Seattle Mist and the Los Angeles Temptation take the field against one another, a great Legends Football League game is expected. Just one week after an instant classic, when LA edged Seattle by a score of 14-13 in the ShoWare Center, Seattle traveled to the Los Angeles Coliseum and evened the season series up at one game apiece, with a 27-26 victory.
In Seattle’s loss to LA, the Mist defense did an incredible job of shutting down the Temptation’s run game and keeping the Ashley Salerno lead offense in check, as Seattle only allowed Los Angeles a total of eighty-nine offensive yards. Two big plays were the difference in the game, as they accounted for sixty-one of those eighty-nine yards, when receivers Monika Jaramillo and Christina Sagarminaga were able to beat Seattle’s corner-back Megan HaNson deep.
It was no surprise that Megan Hanson did not play corner-back on Saturday night in the rematch between Seattle and LA. Hanson has become one of the leagues best centers offensively, but simply lacks the agility and speed to play the corner position on defense, as her skill-set is more suited for defensive-end. Lashaunda Fowler replaced Hanson at the corner position and Hanson filled in periodically at defensive-end, giving Stevi Schnoor some breathers during the game defensively.
The big story of the rematch on Saturday night was the injury of LA’s veteran quarterback Ashley Salerno that kept her from suiting up in the big game. This gave safety and back-up quarterback Michelle Angel the opportunity to make her first career start at quarterback. Replacing Salerno would be a big task for anyone and Angel certainly had big shoes to fill on Saturday night.
Los Angeles started out on offense Saturday night, and Michelle Angel was able to settle her nerves on second-down after a quick pass to Carmen Bourseau who ran seven yards for the Temptation first-down. Just two plays later on another second-down, Angel connected with her center Laura Barba in the middle of the field, on a center release that went for a twelve-yard gain to Seattle’s seven yard-line. Again on second-down LA went to the air, and Angel found receiver Monika Jaramillo, who was just short of the end-zone.
On third and goal, LA attempted some trickery that nearly cost them a turnover, as Angel stood in shotgun formation pointing toward the right side of the field, while running-back Carmen Bourseau snuck up to the center and fumbled the snap attempting to run it in for the one-yard score. Bourseau was able to regain possession leaving the Temptation at fourth and goal from the one-yard line. The next play from shotgun formation, Angel took the snap and sprinted to the right and found the end-zone untouched, taking a 6-0 lead with 6:22 remaining in the first.
After LA’s failed extra-point attempt Seattle took over on offense. After a few plays, Seattle faced a 4th and 6, when quarterback KK Mathney tried a hard-count to draw the LA defense off-sides, but the disciplined defense didn’t budge. Seattle snapped the ball and Matheny handed off to running-back Stevi Schnoor, who ran for a huge gain of sixteen yards for the first-down to LA’s 15 yard line.
Just a few plays later, Seattle again faced a fourth-down, this time 4th and 11 from LA’s 16 yard line. Looking for more fourth-down magic, Seattle went to the air and Matheny found receiver Jessica Hopkins in the back of the end-zone for the touchdown. A completed extra-point run by Schoor put Seattle up 7-6 on LA, with 43 seconds remaining in the first.
At the beginning of the second quarter, LA had a 3rd and 6 from their 19 yard-line, when Jessica Hopkins, just three plays after her touchdown, intercepted an Angel pass attempt to Kiara Patterson down field. Angel made her first poor decision at quarterback as her tight-end Sherri Awagah was open in the middle of field, eight yards from the nearest Mist defender.
The Temptation’s turnover lead to a Mist nine-play scoring drive that ended with Matheny finding Lashaunda Fowler for a five-yard touchdown pass. After a Fowler extra-point attempt was good, Seattle took a 14-6 lead on Los Angeles with 4:00 remaining in the first-half.
LA quickly evened the score on a four play drive that went 35 yards. On second-down from their own 16 yard-line, Angel this time found her wide-open tight-end Awagah on an end-release play, that went for a gain of sixteen yards. Two plays later, Angel completed a fourteen-yard touchdown pass to Danielle Harvey with 1:34 left at half. On the extra-point attempt LA converted for two points evening the score at 14-14, as Angel completed a pass to Awagah.
After Seattle’s quick four and out, LA took over with 52 seconds remaining from Seattle’s 23 yard-line. The Temptation marched down to the red-zone after a nice run by Angel and another pass to Awagah on a end-release. On second and goal, with six seconds remaining LA had a chance to take a lead before half. However, the Seattle defense came up big, as Angel threw her second interception of the game, when Danika Brace snagged her under-thrown pass to Jaramillo, ending the first-half and LA’s chances at a go-ahead touchdown.
This game was shaping up to be just like the first game, with great defensive play on both sides and the offenses doing everything they could to find the end-zone. Seattle’s defense was doing a better job of not giving up the big play, with Lashaunda Fowler playing corner, but LA was having success targeting receivers in the middle of the field, especially, Sherri Asagah for nice gains. Despite her two interceptions, LA’s Michelle Angel had a great first-half performance replacing the injured Salerno, as she was 7 of 10 passing for 64 yards, with a touchdown pass and rushing touchdown.
In the third quarter, Seattle quickly regained the lead after a five-play, 39 yard drive that ended with a Schnoor four-yard touchdown rush. The extra-point attempt was good, putting Seattle up over LA 21-14 early in the third quarter.
On LA’s next offensive possession, they were able to sustain a long drive, something that they were not able to do against Seattle in their first game, as they relied on the big play to score. With nice pass plays and a few great Bourseau rushes, LA found the end-zone after a ten-play, 35 yard scoring drive that ate 6:18 off the clock in the third quarter. The extra-point attempt failed, leaving LA down 20-21 against Seattle with 15 seconds remaining in the third.
Matheny finally connected with her star receiver Bryn Renda on the final play of the third quarter, that went for six yards. This lead to a drive where Renda had three receptions for 26 yards, one being a twelve-yard touchdown, as Seattle held a seven-point lead, 27-20, over Seattle after an incomplete extra-point, with 6:08 remaining in the game. Renda dropped what could have been a game winning catch against the LA last week, but she redeemed herself in Saturday’s rematch, as her fourth quarter receptions were huge for Seattle.
LA quickly scored on their next possession, during a 3rd and 18 from their own 18 yard-line when Angel found Jaramillo for a 32 yard touchdown pass, bringing the Temptation within one point, before their extra-point attempt. LA decided to go for two on the extra-point attempt, but failed, leaving Seattle with a 27-26 lead and 2:41 seconds remaining.
This lead to a failed onside kick attempt by LA and Seattle was one first-down away from beating LA in their own house at the Coliseum. On 3rd and 2, Schnoor rushed for a first down, allowing Seattle to run out the clock with the next two plays, as LA’s head-coach David Bizub was kicking himself after not attempting the extra-point from the one-yard line. After the game ‘Biz’ defended his decision as he explained his team couldn’t run the ball very successfully for short gains, and he needed to pass. He argued a play from the three yard-line gave him a better chance at converting the pass.
Schnoor had a huge game for Seattle running the ball as she ran for 101 yards on 20 attempts with one touchdown. Her quarterback KK Matheny had a big night passing as she completed 6 of 12 attempts for 54 yards with 3 touchdown passes. The biggest stat for the Seattle offense was their ability to score on each of their four trips to the red-zone after a week prior when they failed to do so on five of their seven trips to the red-zone.
Seattle’s win brought them to 1-1 in the Western Conference, as they look to get even with LA at 2-1, when Seattle plays the Las Vegas Sin Sunday, June 21st. The West is going to be very competitive this season, as all three teams field a dangerous team. Seattle and Los Angeles will play their third regular season game July 3rd in Seattle, which could very well determine the regular season Western Conference champion for the 2015 season. This rivalry is the best the LFL has seen, and regardless of who is on the field, these contests are generally very close.
The West now stands at Los Angeles 2-1, Seattle 1-1, and Las Vegas 0-1. Week 9 features an Eastern Conference match-up between Chicago and Omaha, as Omaha looks to redeem their three ugly performances earlier this season with a few veteran acquisitions and some returning talent from the 2014 Omaha roster.
– Text by Colton Cull, originally posted on LFL360.com
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