After five weeks of Legends Football League football, during which the Eastern teams battled one another, the league heads to Los Angeles where the first Western Conference matchup between the Las Vegas Sin and Los Angeles Temptation takes place outdoors at the LA Coliseum Saturday night. Both teams look to start off the season with a win, and make a statement that they are the team to beat in the West. With Chicago’s exit to the Eastern Conference, the West now includes the Seattle Mist, Las Vegas Sin, and the Los Angeles Temptation. Saturday’s game is expected to be full of big hits, trash talk, and great football as both teams return many veterans to the field.
LAS VEGAS SIN
The Sin had a lackluster season in 2014 as they finished the season 1-3. With a new coaching staff lead by head coach Willie Garrett, Vegas is in semi-rebuild mode as they return some key veterans, but have added many new rookies to the roster. Coach Garrett comes over from Omaha where he coached the Heart defense in 2014, a defense which lead the LFL in many categories last season. He has worked hard to bring in a lot of new talent and implement a philosophy offensively and defensively, that utilizes the strengths of his veterans.
Quarterback Sindy Cummings, who had a case last season for rookie of the year, returns for her second season with high expectations. Cummings was named as the Western Conference All Fantasy Team’s starting quarterback, as she had an exceptional rookie season leading all quarterbacks with a 100+ quarterback rating, throwing 10 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. She has one of the strongest arms in the league and look for her to really develop into an elite quarterback her sophomore season. Expect Cummings to target her tall veteran receiver, Cynthia Schmidt, who has become a threat for opposing defenses because of her wingspan and great hands.
Defensively, Vegas looks to improve from a season ago with better discipline and a new philosophy from head coach Willie Garrett. The defensive line is made up of Charlottle Abrahamsen and Kia Ramos at ends and Lia Moniz at linebacker. The secondary features safeties Tai Emery and Lauren Fogle and cornerbacks Kelly Campbell and Zoey Clark.
KEY FOR LAS VEGAS
The Sin need to have a balanced attack on offense to really open up the passing game. If the offensive line can provide Sindy Cummings time in the pocket, look for her to find the open receivers or use her legs to beat the LA defense. Defensively, Vegas needs to improve in many areas as last season they gave up the most points (122) in the Western Conference, second in the league behind Toledo (145). Their defensive line needs to have a great game, getting pressure on and containing quarterback Ashley Salerno, as she has destroyed teams over the years with her passing and running ability. If the defensive line struggles upfront, it would be difficult to defend Salerno’s ability to lead her offense down field.
LOS ANGELES TEMPTATION
This season, the Temptation are determined to return to their glory they held during their dominance in the first three seasons of the LFL, as they won three consecutive Legends Cup Championships. With the return of their coaching staff during that reign, look for coaches David ‘Biz’ Bizub and Tui Suiaunoa to get the Temptation back to their winning ways. The key returners for LA this season are veterans Monique Gaxiola (hall of fame inductee) and quarterback Ashley Salerno.
Offensively LA features playmakers around Salerno with running back Carmen Bourseau, and wide receivers Amanda Ruller and Kiara Patterson. Up front in the trenches for the offense and leading the way will be center Laura Barba, and tight ends Danielle Harvey and Sherri Awagah. The for the Temptation to present a balanced attack this season, as quarterback Ashley Salerno possesses a dual-threat with her arm and legs, that is better than any other quarterback in the league.
On the defensive side of the ball, LA has a strong veteran lineup with a secondary lead by safety tandem, Danielle Harvey and Michelle ‘Mini’ Angel, and cornerbacks Ogom Chijindu and Chelsea Haardt. The defense is centered around hall of fame linebacker Monique Gaxiola who has become the face of the league and franchise. Her dedication and commitment to the league has helped the Legends Football League become what it is today. Up front on defense beside Gaxiola are ends Kimm Chase and Christinaa Sagarminaga.
KEY FOR LOS ANGELES
In order for Los Angeles to defend Sindy Cummings passing game, they will need to get pressure on Cummings and keep receivers from getting separation, as her accuracy is among the best in the league. If the Temptation offense can allow Salerno time in the pocket to find her open receivers or tuck and run, LA should have no problem putting points up on the board. A balanced attack on offense utilizing running back Carmen Bourseau, will add another dimension, potentially opening up the passing game even more.
– Text by Colton Cull, originally posted on LFL360.com
Don't miss these two collide on Legends Football League Saturday, May 30, at 9/8c, only on Fuse.
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