July 7, 2015


'LFL' Game 11 Preview: Showdown Between the Western Conference Elite

The two games this season between the Los Angeles Temptation and the Seattle Mist have been nothing short of incredible. Both contests featured a one-point margin of victory, with each team stealing a win on the road. Round three between the Temptation and Mist is set for this Saturday night, July 11, at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington. Expect LA and Seattle to display another epic battle, as both teams want this win just as much as the other, as it will solidify a playoff birth for the winner and have them in the drivers seat for a Western Conference regular season championship.

Seattle (2-1) has won two straight games since their loss to LA to start the season and Los Angeles (2-1) plans to rebound from their loss to Seattle suffered June 6th at the Coliseum. LA’s backup quarterback Michelle Angel, who is replacing the injured Ashley Salerno, looks for her first career win as a starting quarterback. Seattle’s offense has been off to a great start this season, and expect coach Chris Michelson to dive deeper into his playbook as his new quarterback KK Matheny has a clear grasp of his offense. Will the two rivals put together another instant classic for Legends Football League fans? Be sure to watch this game that will feature exciting plays, big hits, and trash-talk.


The Temptation were ready to play  the Las Vegas Sin on Father’s Day, after the Seattle Mist had wore the Sin team down, but due to injury and lack of depth the game was postponed. When LA takes the field on Saturday night, they will be coming off a four week break since their last game and they are expected to come out firing on all cylinders.  With a defense that features two of the most physical corner-backs in the game, two key rookie defensive-ends, and the hall-of-fame linebacker Monique Gaxiola, LA is ready for the second half of their season as they push for a playoff spot in the West.

The mission of getting back to their winning ways and hoisting the Legends Cup is still in sight for the LA Temptation that is lead by head coaches, Tui Suiaunoa and David Bizub. One hurdle for LA to climb is the temporary loss of the best quarterback to ever play this game. Over a month ago, veteran quarterback Ashley Salerno sustained a back injury during the week 7 loss to the Seattle Mist, and she will still be sidelined this week. The team expects to have Salerno back in the lineup and starting July 24th, in their game against the Sin in Ontario. The loss of Salerno is huge, as she is the best dual-threat quarterback in the league, who possess one of the best arms and is arguably one of the toughest runners to defend in the LFL.

This week against Seattle, it will be up to Michelle Angel to get the job done on Saturday night. Despite two interceptions in her first start, Angel appeared to have the ability to be a great quarterback in this league.  With another month of reps, expect this first-year quarterback to put together a solid performance this week in her second career start at quarterback. Angel might lack the experience and arm strength, but she has the leadership, mental toughness, mobility, and poise in the pocket to lead the Temptation offense.


LA needs to have a strong game up front defensively, stopping the run game and getting pressure on quarterback KK Matheny. In their two previous games, LA has only sacked Matheny once, as she has been able to escape the pocket and elude the rush. Defensively, LA will also need to be ready for trick-plays that Chris Michaelson might display on Saturday night. Offensively, the Temptation will need to establish the run game as Carmen Bourseau has not been a factor against Seattle this season, averaging just over 2.4 yards per carry with a total of 56 yards in the two game prior. Michelle Angel will need to protect the ball and avoid throwing interceptions, as turnovers in a game like this can be very costly.


Last Wednesday on June 24th, the league announced the date and location for the 2015 Legends Cup Championship, and if the Seattle Mist needed any more motivation to compete in the Legends Cup this season, the announcement certainly sweetened the pot for them. The championship game will be played at their home stadium, ShoWare Center (Kent, Washington), which obviously makes Seattle the only team with a chance to win it all this season in front of their home crowd.

The Mist are off to a great start this season and they have showcased a very balanced and dangerous offense. In three games, quarterback KK Matheny has performed great as she has completed 26 passes to seven different receivers, and has thrown seven touchdown passes to five different receivers. Seattle’s ability to spread the ball around and establish a running game has been a major factor in their 2-1 start this season. Running-back Stevi Schnoor has rushed for 249 yards in Seattle’s three games, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. This week the Mist will add another weapon to the offense as Mele Gilmore will start her first game this season playing running-back, as Schnoor will now line up at starting tight-end. Seattle now wields two strong running-backs that will make their ground-game make more dangerous and effective.

Defensively, the Mist have performed well enough to win two straight games, but there is still more improvement needed to look like a championship caliber defense. In Seattle’s last game, Sin running-back Dominique Maloy was able to make big plays against Seattle as many defenders were left empty handed trying to arm tackle the speedy Maloy. The Mist secondary has also been exposed against LA and Vegas multiple times this season. Mele Gilmore will also start at corner-back this week for the Mist defense and her speed and presence could be a big factor in improving the defense.


Defensively, the Mist need to get pressure on quarterback Michelle Angel, forcing her to get rid of the ball quickly. If the defense can make Angel force the ball, interceptions could be huge for the Seattle defense on Saturday night. Look for Seattle to try and lock-down the tight-end release play that LA has been able to run successfully against the Mist in their two games prior. On offense, the Mist will need to have another balanced performance and expect the game to be won at the line-of-scrimmage, so center Megan Hanson and tight-ends Danika Brace and Stevi Schnoor will need to play an aggressive game, winning their battles on their blocking assignments. It will also be key for receiver Bryn Renda to try and get separation against the aggressive LA corner-back Chelsey Haardt, who has not given Renda much room to start her routes in the two games prior this season.

– Text by Colton Cull, originally posted on LFL360.com

Don't miss these two collide on Legends Football League Saturday, July 11, at 9/8c, only on Fuse.
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