Las Vegas is the only team in the West without a win, and for a chance at a Legends Football League playoff birth this season, they will need to get a victory against Seattle. Seattle was able to see exactly how Vegas was exposed defensively in the second half against LA, and they will try to get the ground game going to open up the big passing plays that same way, as is proved successful for the Temptation offense. Look for this game to feature some big-hits, as Seattle’s safety Lily Granston is known to come up strong defending the run, and if she meets the speedy Dominique Maloy head-to-head, fans will witness quite a collision. With both teams arguably facing a must-win to keep their season goals in tact, this game could very well be an instant classic with many highlights.
Seattle is off to a good start in their young season and just like LA, they are in the drivers seat for a playoff birth with a big two-game split against the Temptation. A win against the Sin will be huge for Seattle as they prepare to play their third and final regular season game against LA on July 3rd, which could certainly have regular season, Western Conference championship implications as the winner will have the head-to-head tie breaker if they finish with the same record.
Coach Chris Michaelson is very happy with the performance of his new quarterback KK Matheny, who before their first game only had a few weeks of practice with the Mist offense. Week to week, Michaelson and Matheny are able to dive deeper into his offensive schemes and prepare others ways to dissect opposing defenses. Michaelson is in his sixth season with the Mist and he is just as hungry for a Legends Cup as the Temptation coaching tandem want to bring the fourth championship to LA and as much as Keith Hac wants to three-peat in Chicago. This season might be Michaelson’s best opportunity yet, so expect his team to be prepared and focused each week.
When looking at numbers Seattle’s offense is off to a great start in their two games this season. Running back Stevi Schnoor has rushed for 193 yards on 36 carries averaging over five yards per carry. Matheny is throwing the ball often and has completed 17 of her 36 passes for 92 yards, with four touchdowns and only one interception. Despite the 17 completions, the Mist have not converted a big play down the field to any receiver. Expect Michaelson to draw up some plays, where Hopkins or Renda can get behind the secondary for big scores.
KEYS FOR SEATTLE
Defensively, the key is to contain running-back Dominique Maloy and get pressure on Sindy Cummings. Seattle has done a great job of defending Carmen Bourseau, but Maloy brings a different style of running that Seattle has not seen yet this season. Offensively, it will be important for KK Matheny to find her receivers and get Bryn Renda involved early. LA proved that they could run the ball successfully against Vegas, so look for Stevi Schnoor to have a big impact which will open up the passing game Matheny and coach Michaelson.
LAS VEGAS SIN
It appeared that Vegas would have two players fighting for Rookie of the Year, as Dominique Maloy and Charlotte Abrahamsen both had incredible performances in their LFL debuts. Maloy rushed for 67 yards on ten carries and had one touchdown, while Abrahamsen caught five passes for 42 yards and also had a seven yard carry. Abrahamsen showcased her field presence, size, and hands while Maloy made her case for being one of the fastest and most agile players in the LFL this season, as both players had ‘highlight reel’ types of nights. However, a shoulder injury kept Maloy out for most of the second-half, while Abrahamsen suffered an MCL and ACL tear which will keep the rookie out the remainder of the season. Maloy will be back Sunday and ready to go, as her dislocated shoulder has had a month to heal.
In her first game against LA, Vegas quarterback, Sindy Cummings was given criticism for her physical and conditioning shape that kept her from providing the mobility needed in the game to extend plays, especially during the fourth quarter. Cummings finished the game completing 14 of 27 passes for 161 yards with one touchdown and one interception. On the ground she only netted three yards on six rushes, which will need to be improved for Vegas to have success with their style of offense. Sindy can throw the ball well outside of the pocket, but without a running threat, teams will have an easy time defending her receivers.
Two big additions for Vegas will improve the offensive and defensive line, helping replace Charlotte Abrahamsen, as Kimberly Jack from the Baltimore Charm, and Brittany Demery from the Omaha Heart will be suiting up, which will bring Vegas instant experience in the trenches. Also look for the new rookie addition, Adrienne Kopko to get some reps and make an impact Sunday, as the nearly six-foot, previous college basketball player will play tight-end and defensive-end for the Sin.
KEYS FOR LAS VEGAS
In order for the Sin offense to be a threat against Seattle, Maloy will need to stay healthy. If she can make some big plays with her legs, Cummings will have a much better chance passing the ball deep as the secondary will have to honor the run game. Defensively Vegas will need to defend Hopkins and Renda tight and keep Schnooor from averaging five yards per carry. With Kimberly Jack and Brittany Demery joining the defensive line, they will need to play a physical and smart game up front and not over pursue, as Schnoor will be hard to bring down from behind with her size. Containing quarterback Matheny will also be key, as LA had a tough time bringing her down inside or outside of the pocket. Matheny has only been sacked once this season.
– Text by Colton Cull, originally posted on LFL360.com
Don't miss these two collide on Legends Football League Saturday, June 27, at 9/8c, only on Fuse.
Find Fuse in your area using our nifty channel finder.