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Category Archives: LFL

LFL Update: TEMPTATION GIVES OMAHA A SERIOUS HEART ATTACK IN SEASON OPENER …

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LFL Update:

On Friday May 12 at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, the LA Temptation demolished the Omaha Heart 79-6 in their 2017 season opener, ruthlessly dominating the game from start to finish. The home team completely controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball – holding Omaha to a scant 30 rushing yards, while piling up 181 of their own. Said Temptation Coach Tui Suiaunoa, “We came in focused, and executed our game plan to near perfection. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but I really liked what I saw out there and expect to see more of the same against Austin in Game 2.”

In terms of individual performances, Carmen Bourseau was a true battering ram, pounding Omaha mercilessly for 76 yards in 13 carries, and a whopping 7 TDs. The speedy Kiara Patterson was also extremely productive, going for 69 yards on only 4 attempts, including a 40 yard burst. Through the air, Ashley Salerno combined with Patterson for 70 yards, 2 TD passes and 0 interceptions.

On defense, LA completely stuffed the run, and also frustrated the Heart air attack, coming up with 2 interceptions. Megan Hanson had a huge impact, contributing a pick-six, a big sack, and 7.5 tackles. Omaha was stopped cold for nearly the entire game, only scoring midway through the 4th quarter when the score had gotten completely out of hand (58-0).

Indeed, this wipe out serves notice to the rest of the league that LA has got be considered a prohibitive favorite to be in the playoffs and challenge for the league title. Time will tell, but as noted by Tui, “This team has all the weapons and parts it needs to go all the way, and I’m excited to be along for the ride. We can’t wait for the Austin Acoustic and Game 2 in Austin on June 24!”
Brandon Chabner
Beat Reporter for LA Temptation and LFL.360.com
ChabDog Sports Blog

Categories: LFL

LFL Preview: Temptation gear up for May 12 home opener against Omaha …

The 2017 season kicks off for the Los Angeles Temptation with a home game at Citizens Bank arena on May 12 against the Omaha Heart. After what happened last year, Coach Tui knows there isn’t much room for error and will have his team ready to go.

There’s lots of excitement surround the offense, with Ashley Salerno back as starting QB. Tui commented, “She’s experienced and truly a talented, multi-threat option with her ability to hurt defenses through the air and on the ground. I’ll enjoy watching her lead this team down the field.” Alongside Salerno in the backfield will be running back Carmen Bourseau, who did not play last year due to an injury. Bourseau is a power back and will be complimented nicely by speedy Nas Johnson. At receiver, LA will start sure-handed Cynthia Schmidt, along with Delaney Hall (both starters from last year), and the offensive line will be anchored by Sherri Awagah and Kiana Takairangi at guards and rookie Rose Saenz at center.

On defense, things look very solid with two experienced corners, Ogom Chijindu and Chelsey Haardt. Tui remarked, “I sleep well at night knowing they are on patrol. Look for Chelsey to come roaring back after recovering from last year’s injury.” With the retirement of Hall of Fame linebacker Monique Gaxiola, the middle of the field will be guarded by Megan Hanson, who played center last year. Tui notes that Hanson is a versatile, capable athlete and should be able to adjust to her new defensive responsibilities. At defensive end, Naja Christmas will be hard to stop, and as for the other spot on the d-line, Tui indicated that slot is still up for grabs. Finally, the safeties will be returning starter Lili Granston, as well as former starter Danielle Harvey (back from injury).

Tui is cautiously optimistic about his team’s prospects, noting “We know there is little margin for error with 4 games, and we’ll be ready on May 12.  I certainly beleive 4-0/playoffs is a very doable proposition.”

Don’t miss any of the action at Citizens Bank arena, as Omaha comes to town on May 12 and Pittsburgh visits on July 8!

 

Categories: LFL

Listen in to the Sunday, September 25 ChabDog Sports Talk Show …

On the Sunday, September 25 ChabDog Sports Talk Show:
— We reflect on the loss of young superstar Jose Fernandez;
— ChabDog foreshadows the firing of Les Offense Miles with “No Time Left For You” from the Guess Who, and looks back on ND’s sickly loss to Puke with “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”;
— The next question is whether Duke is now also a football school
— Musings about the imposing Aggies; the A&M stand for athletic and muscular.
— Action Jackson can’t lose at Louisville.
— Uggly loss for Ugga, who has plenty of fleas.
— TN is looking like the beast of the SEC East.
— Frank is emphatic that Nick Satan always wins, and Eric the Well-read suggests the coach has the goods to keep the NCAA at bay and away.
— We confirm that Michigan will someday leave the Big House, and Frank presumes the Wolverines will in fact lose at the ugly Horseshoe.
— the WC race between the Cards, Mets and Giants can be seen as the Sergio Leone movie, The Erratic, the Infirm, and the bummed out Mentally Disturbed.
— We discuss roid rage, and recall when the Rocket went loony on Cooney.
— Dodgers look for a life trainer for Puig leader in bonehead plays Puig.
— Do the Mets still hold a hex over the Cubs? Nahhhhh
— Papi say it ain’t so … don’t go…
— Without much doubt, this year’s WCS could mean the end of a serious drought?
— The team from Queens is retiring the Reds’ collective numbers … they own them so bad.
— Coach Tui discusses a successful 2016 campaign for the LA Temptation, LFL expansion plans for next year and why the games are so great to watch in person.
— Raiders take the advice of Al Davis to “Just win, baby”, and Tui’s admonishments to tighten up that D.
— Tui talks of his past love for the Steelers, and how he faced mandatory conversion to the Silver and Black.
— We go old school, with Howie Long, Phil Villapiano, Joe Namath and the Super Bowl of 1984.
— Eric the Well-read doesn’t drink the Bengals’ kool aid and reminds us that the trend is your friend.
— Rexy and Robby take a break from driving the dumb and dumber doggie van, but the coach doesn’t get a chance to indulge his foot fetish … dee feet.
— Where will the NFL coaching carousel stop next….
— Playing “Wheel of QBs” in Cleveland
— Of course, more Ryan Bennyhill

2016 Legends Cupdate

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2016 Legends Cupdate:

Congratulations to the Bliss, who clear away the Mist by a score of 31-26, win the Legends Cup, and make ChabDog the winner of the LFL Writers’ prognostication competition. #Bliss #Mist

 

Categories: LFL

LFL Update: Temptation Grind Out a Tough 33-26 Win Over Steam, But Need Some Unlikely Help to Keep Playing in Post-Season …

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LFL Update — Temptation Grind Out a Tough 33-26 Win Over Steam, But Need Some Unlikely Help to Keep Playing in Post-Season

After stumbling in Game 1 against Seattle, the LA Temptation have definitely righted their ship and seem poised for a series run at the Legends Cup; however, they’ll need to do some serious praying if they hope to keep playing. Despite a 3-1 record, they’ll be watching the playoff festivities from home, unless Omaha pulls a major … major … upset against Dallas.

Coach Tui can certainly be proud of his silver and black warriors after their huge road victory in Atlanta on Saturday, July 9. LA kept the pressure on Atlanta’s defense all game, piling up 167 yards on 31 carries, and with standout performances by both QB Jayne Caldwell (3 TDS, and 87 yards on 13 carries) and Jas Johnson (12 carries/71 yards). The defense did have its troubles stopping Atlanta’s effective attack, which featured a 3 TD passing performance from Dakota Hughes, along with some effective running from Jessi Locklear. However, in the end it was Delaney Hall’s pick six that took the air out of the Steam and its last gasp for a winning score.

Other notable performances for the Temptation included 3 receptions by Kiara Patterson, and some aggressive tackling by Lily Granston (6), Monique Gaxiola (5) and Suzanne Mapes (5). On the Atlanta side of the ball, the receiver corps were led by Lauran Ziegler and Adrian Purnell, with 5 and 4 receptions, respectively, and the defense was led by Dina Wojowski, who either made or assisted on an off-the-charts 11 tackles, and had a sack as well.

Commented Coach Tui, “We did a great job on offense, controlling the clock, moving the ball. and of course, getting the necessary points. You can really see Jayne’s development, as a general leading our troops down the field, and I really like her as a dual threat now — both as a runner and a passer. Our defense also had its share of stops, including that huge INT which sealed the deal. I am just very frustrated that we may well be left out of the race for the Legends Cup, given how far we’ve come. With all due respect to the other playoff teams, my sincere belief is that when you have this kind of abbreviated regular season, the only sensible approach is to have the squads with the four best records move on to the post-season … period. In any event, I do salute this team, and see this as a great building block for next year, regardless of what Dallas does in its next game.

Brandon Chabner, LFL360.com beat reporter for the LA Temptation
www.ChabDog.com

Categories: LFL

LFL Update: Temptation Conclude Season With Virtual Must-Win Game in Atlanta …

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LFL Update: Temptation Conclude Season With Virtual Must-Win Game in Atlanta …

The 2016 regular season concludes this Saturday for the Los Angeles Temptation with a virtual must-win game in Atlanta. To make the playoffs, LA needs to win big … and we mean very big (at least by 35 pts) … to have any shot at the post-season, given the likelihood that they would then end up in a three-way tie for first place in the LFL’s Western Conference, along with Dallas and Seattle. Their best hope is for a Dallas loss to Omaha which would send LA to the post-season regardless of the outcome of this Saturday’s game.
Coach Tui Suiaunoa knows the long odds, but is focused on going into Atlanta and winning this game and ending the regular season on a strong note. He observed, “It is what it is, and we have to ignore all the scenarios and just play our game. I like our chances going in, against what will be a well-rested, physically intimidating Atlanta team. They’re big and powerful, but we’re ready to meet the challenge.”

Indeed, Atlanta showed the rest of the league what it could do earlier in the year when it destroyed Austin 77-0. Quarterback Dakota Hughes completed 76% of her throws and shredded the Acoustic defense for 176 yards and 7 TDs. Bruising running-back Brittany Demery had her way on the ground, averaging over 8 yards-per-carry and Lauran Ziegler has been a threat on both offense and defense for Atlanta. The Steam also have a large presence on the defensive front, with defensive-end Pia Perry and linebacker Dina Wojowski.

There will also be a bit of a “grudge factor” at work here, given the fact that two of LA’s big weapons on offense, quarterback Jayne Caldwell and running-back Nas Johnson, played for the Steam last year. According to Tui, “I’m sure Atlanta wants to let them know they made a mistake in leaving, but remember that the motivation runs both ways. Caldwell and Johnson definitely will be looking to make a statement.”

Look for an intense, hard hitting contest on Saturday!

Brandon Chabner

LFL360.com beat writer for the LA Temptation

ChabDog Sports Blog (www.chabdog.com)

Categories: LFL

LFL Update: Temptation Plow Through Acoustic for 2nd Win of the Season

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LFL Update: Temptation Plow Through Acoustic for 2nd Win of the Season

This past Saturday, the LA Temptation took an important step toward securing both their position in the upcoming LFL playoffs and their status as major contender for the LFL title with a convincing 49-32 road victory over the Austin Acoustic.  This game was indeed a testament to the powerful and efficient running game of the Temptation, which piled up an impressive 194 yard in only 29 attempts (over 6 yards per carry), but also reflects an improving passing game (2 TD passes) and quarterback rotation (good results from both Jayne Caldwell and Kiara Patterson).  On the other side of the ball, the defense stopped Austin when it needed to, and saw standout performances from both Lily Granston and Janai McElroy (8 and 7 tackles, respectively); however, there is definitely room for improvement if the team hopes to compete successfully in the upper echelon of the LFL.

In a nearly flawless first half, LA touchdowns on its first four possessions, and failing to score on a fifth possession only because the half ran out on them at the Acoustic two yard line.   Austin had no answer for Nas Johnson on the ground, and Caldwell was also an effective dual threat at QB, running for 2 TDs and connecting with Cynthia Schmidt for another.  To its credit, the Acoustic kept the game interesting, scoring three times and staying within 8 at halftime (28-20), largely on the strength of Teshay Winfrey’s arm and legs (a rushing TD and a TD pass), and consistent gains on the ground by Michelle Marshall.

Things remained intensely competitive during the 3rd quarter, with Austin’s Selena Fudge breaking off a nice 20 yard return to start the half, and Winfrey running 10 yards for a score that cut LA’s lead to 28-26.  However, Coach Tui changed the momentum very quickly by inserting Kiara Patterson at quarterback; Patterson responded with yet another long bomb scoring completion to wide out Schmidt.    The teams proceeded to trade defensive stops, until Winfrey went back to work on a short TD drive, culminating in a 1 yard throw to Leilanni Lopez.

Early in the 4th quarter, Patterson went back to work, completing a 9 yard pass to Megan Hanson and gaining 26 yards on QB keepers, which produced a TD that gave LA more breathing room at 42-32.  It was then that perhaps the key defensive play of the game occurred, with Ogom Chijindu coming up with a critical interception to stop Austin dead in its tracks in LA territory.  After another Temptation pickoff by Suzanne Mapes and Caldwell TD run, LA had an insurmountable 49-32 victory.

Coach Tui was very pleased with his team’s performance on offense, commenting “We showed poise and executed well on both sides of the ball.  I loved the job we did on offense across the board, as our line opened up great holes for Nas, Jayne and Kiara, and we were also able to move the ball through the air.  On defense, we came up with the big plays when we had to, particularly with those two huge 4th quarter interceptions by Ogom and Suzanne.  That being said, we’ll need to execute better defensively to beat Atlanta, and in the bigger picture, if we intend to have any hopes of making it to the Legends Cup.”

LA now has a few weeks off before its regular season finale in Atlanta, which will be pivotal in determining positioning for the LFL playoffs.  Congratulations to the Temptation on another fine effort.

 

Brandon Chabner/LFL360.com beat reporter for LA Temptation and ChabDog Sports Blog

Categories: LFL

LA Temptation Travel to Austin for Critical Saturday Night Showdown with Austin Acoustics …

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Temptation Travel to Austin for Critical Showdown With the Acoustics

The LA Temptation square off this Saturday night against their Western Conference rivals, the Austin Acoustic, at Cedar Park Center in Austin, TX.  This is a particularly critical game for both teams, as the loser will likely find itself on the outside looking in when the LFL playoffs begin in August.

The situation may be a bit more dire for Austin, whose record stands at 1-2. The Temptation are in a better situation, at 1-1, but they know that their best hope for controlling their own destiny is to come away with a big win. And Coach Tui of the Temptation has no doubts that his team will indeed be ready. “We’ve had 7-8 hard practices since beating Dallas in early May, and I think our focus on both defense and offense is much sharper. There’s no question in my mind we’ll be ready when they blow the whistle this weekend.”

It goes without saying that LA does not want to endure the same first half struggles that plagued the team in its last game against Dallas. Tui is encouraged by the fact that the team is now very healthy, and he’s confident that the QB rotation of Jane Caldwell and Tiara Patterson will be effectively lead the team down the field.  Look for LA to establish its powerful running game early on against the relatively undersized Austin defense, but also don’t be surprised to see some long passes aired out to Cynthia Schmidt and Delaney Hall, mixed in with throws over the middle to scary Sherri Awagah.

As for the Temptation’s defense, expect a continuation of the strong play that was seen in the second half of the Dallas game, with one change being Janai McElroy lining up as a second safety, next to lock-down defender Ogom Chijindu.

However, Austin does have some weapons that will pose a challenge for LA, including scrambling quarterback Teshay Winfrey, who has also had some success this season through the air, as well as elusive Michelle Marshall at running back and Leilanni Lopez (8 receptions) at wide receiver.  On this note, Tui is quick to observe, “After playing Dallas, we are well aware how dangerous an expansion squad can be, so make no mistake about it, we’re bringing our A game on the road with us this Saturday. We need all the points, and stops, we can get.”

Look for an entertaining game this Saturday in the Lone Star State!

Brandon Chabner,
LFL beat writer for the LA Temptation

Categories: LFL

LA Temptation Derail Dallas Desire and Thomas The Freight Train, 33-32

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LA Temptation Derail Dallas Desire and Thomas The Freight Train, 33-32:
For those in attendance, the May 7 game at Citizen Business Bank arena in Ontario between the Dallas Desire and the LA Temptation was certainly a Saturday night treat. It was almost a must win contest for the home team, which badly needed to rebound with a win if they were to have any realistic chance of making the playoffs. It was also an important statement game for the expansion team from Texas, which wanted to prove that they need to be taken seriously as a contender in the LFL Western conference. Although only one team one, both seemed to accomplish their objectives.
Dallas came out with guns blazing … that is with their big guns, in the form of some bruising running from their main offensive weapon, Victoria Thomas, “The Freight Train.” If LA’s defense thought they would have a bit of a respite after having to contend with Seattle’s Stevie “The Bull” Schnoor, they had another thing coming. On the first drive of the game, Thomas rammed her way for some large chunks of yardage, and QB Michelle Angel made things worse for LA with her TD pass to Jane Randall.
LA responded with a nice drive of its own, including effective running from Nas Johnson, but the drive fell just short when Sheri Awagah did not get into the end zone on fourth and goal. For the balance of the quarter, LA’s defense used some effective pressure from Awagah and good coverage schemes to confuse and hurry Angel, a theme that would persist for much of the game.
The tide seemed to turn in the second quarter, as LA QB Jane Caldwell completed a methodical drive down the field with a QB keeper that made the score 7-6. Johnson continued to have her way on the ground, while Cynthia Schmidt contributed with a big reception. However, just as things started to look bleak for the Desire, Angel completed a long bomb to Randall that seemed to take the wind out of LA’s sails. Angel, who been slated to play QB for LA in pre-season before moving over to Dallas, seemed to be on a personal mission to show the Temptation exactly what they had lost when she left, and was by all accounts back on track after this pass.
And things would only get worse for the Temptation after Johnson was stopped short of a first down on LA’s next possession. It was at this point that Thomas The Freight Train took over. With just a few carries, featuring a number of broken tackles and brutal collisions, the powerful running back plowed through the Temptation defense leaving a trail of bodies in her wake, including a collision with Delaney Hall that was no doubt heard in the stadium press box. Lucky to be down only 20-7 at halftime, LA needed to gather itself and regroup.
In the third quarter, things changed right away as Coach Tui made a big change, replacing Caldwell at QB with Kiara Patterson. This move paid instant dividends as a confident Patterson connected with Awageh, and then finished things off with a stunning 25 yard pass to Cynthia Schmidt. After the extra point conversion attempt failed when Thomas stopped an LA run cold, the score was 20-13. This shift in momentum would continue as LA’s defense rose to the occasion, with a big hit on Dallas’ next possession from linebacker Monique Gaxiola on third down and some tight coverage by safety Ogom Chijindu. And on LA’s next possession, Patterson would continue her masterful guidance of the Temptation offense, with a key completion to tight end Awagah, and letting Johnson do the rest, including a touchdown run. After a successful extra point, the score was tied at 20.
For the rest of the third quarter and into the fourth, Dallas would continue to threaten, particularly on the ground, with Thomas, as well as nice gains from the skilled Shawnte Shiree and the speedy Courtney White. Some stout defense by Awagah and Chijindu stopped the Desire, and the Temptation jumped in front 26-20 on a wobbly, but effective, TD pass from Schmidt to Patterson. That’s when things really got interesting.
As she had done before, Angel came up with a huge scoring pass to Courtney White, finding the diminutive, but speedy receiver, over the middle off of a scramble. After a long video review confirmed that White had not gone out of bounds, a shocked Temptation found itself tied at 26, with the extra point conversion looming. The entire arena knew what was coming next … a run by Freight Train Thomas over the right side; but this time LA was ready, as the big Dallas back was gang tackled by about 5 Temptation defenders and brought down a yard short of the goal line. Thomas, herself, was injured on the play (apparently knocked woozy) and was helped off the field, not to return. As a result, the game remained tied at 26.
On LA’s next possession, Patterson and Johnson took over, with LA ultimately taking the lead on a 7 yard QB keeper, making it 33-26, on an extra point conversion run by Johnson. However, Dallas would have one more chance, as Angel would calmly lead the Desire down the field with passes to White, and a 4th down 3 yard completion to Shiree. The nail in the Desire coffin would come on the conversion, when tough defense by Chijindu caused the extra point pass to fall harmlessly incomplete. After an unsuccessful onside kick, the Temptation had their victory, to the delight of a clearly exhausted, but thrilled crowd.
Coach Tui summed it up best with his post-game comments: “I couldn’t be more proud of this team who never gave up and played with resilience, poise, and so much heart! They fought tooth and nail for every yard and every defensive stop against a great Dallas team! Hats off to Coach Bullet and his Desire team for an incredible game and one for the ages…but for now, we’ll take the win .”

Brandon Chabner, LFL360.com beat reporter for LA Temptation/ChabDog Sports Blog

Categories: LFL

LA Temptation Fall to Seattle Mist in Hard Hitting Season Opener, 20-12.

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In an intense and heated battle worthy of all the pre-game hype, the defending champion Seattle Mist came into Citizens Bank Arena and held on for a hard fought 20-12 win over the Los Angeles Temptation, reinforcing the prevailing opinion around the league that they are still the team to beat in the Legends Football League.  Simply put, the Mist was resourceful, poised and effective when it needed to be.  But for moments there in a very exciting second half it looked like all of that first half dominance might not be enough, as a scrappy, resourceful Temptation squad clawed its way back into the game.

Seattle set the tone early on in the first period, when they methodically drove down the field behind their savvy QB KK Methany, rugged running back Stevie “The Bull” Schnoor, lightning quick Dominque Melloy, and the versatile wide out Bryne Renda.  After a Methany touchdown pass, LA found itself in a 7-0 hole, but managed to dig itself out afterTemptation QB Jane Caldwell connected in the end zone with Sheri Awageh. Unfortunately for the home team, a failed 2-point conversion still left LA trailing 7-6.

For the remainder of the first half, Seattle continued to put consistent pressure on the Temptation defense, utilizing a combination of pounding on the ground from Schnoor, the threat of a speed burst by Malloy, and the deft touch of scrambler Methany, who consistently bought time and found open receivers, despite pressure from Megan Hanson, Sheri Awageh and other Temptation rushers. LA’s frustration seemed to culminate when Jessica Hopkins came up with a touchdown catch of a tipped pass to give Seattle a 20-6 lead.  There was some positive news for the Temptation going into halftime, however, as the defense stopped Seattle from getting another score, followed up by an LA drive (powered by a long scramble by QB Jane Caldwell) that took the ball down to the Seattle 15 – only to see the Temptation run out of time.

At the start of the second half, LA Coach Tui Suiaunoa made some key adjustments, electing to sit Caldwell – who had been intercepted and missed some open receivers in the first half – and instead going with back up QB Kiara Patterson.  The change seemed to work, and after two completions to Awageh and a nice run by Patterson the team found itself knocking at the door of the Seattle end zone. Unfortunately for the home team, disaster soon struck in the form of two lost hikes from the shotgun, with the second leading to a Seattle recovery inside the LA ten.  But to the Temptation’s credit, they did not panic, and instead, the defense stopped Seattle dead in its tracks, keeping the game a two-score contest.  As noted by Tui, an important adjustment was his bringing in Delaney Hall as safety, which shored up the pass defense and seemed to throw a monkey wrench into the Mist aerial attack.  This change, combined with some serious heat still being brought by Hansen and Awageh forced a number of errant throws by the normally reliable Methany.

When the Temptation returned to the field later in the third quarter, it was time for running back Naz Johnson took over.  Johnson’s gutty TD run early in the 4th quarter sent the crowd into a frenzy, capping an impressive drive that featured not only her hard-nosed rushing but also Caldwell pass connections to Awageh.  After another failed extra point conversion by LA, the score was 20-12.  The excitement and anticipation for a Temptation comeback culminated later in the final quarter with a huge sack by Hansen,and more misfires by Methany.   LA then got the ball back and marched down the field, reaching Seattle’s eight yard line thanks to a pass interference penalty.  But the rally fell short, as the Temptation found themselves one yard short of the goal line on fourth down, and that’s when Seattle and its bruising running game took over. The Mist proceeded to kill off the clock, keeping the ball mostly in the hands of the trusty, bulldozer Schnoor.

What a great way to kick off LFL football in Los Angeles.  For all those in attendance, it was an intense, hard hitting affair that lived up to its lofty billing. Perhaps we will be fortunate to see a rematch later this year in the playoffs.  For now, Coach Tui will be turning his attention to preparing for Dallas, which comes to town in two weeks (on May 7).   Commented Tui, “This game was clearly a wake-up call for us. Against a tough opponent like Seattle, you can’t shoot yourself in the foot with the type of mistakes and penalties we saw out there.   Particularly, in the first half, I felt like we got a bit lost in the moment, and forgot some of the basic things we had been working on in practice leading up to the game.  But I loved our resilience and never-say-die attitude and the way we fought our way back into the game.  Our defense really did play their hearts out in the second half, and Jane did a nice job settling down as the game wore on.  We should be in good shape going into the next home game against Dallas, and you know the motivation will be there, given the team’s history with Dallas QB Michelle Angel.  Get ready for some fireworks!”

Categories: LFL

Temptation Get Ready for April 24 Showdown With Seattle of epic proportions …

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Temptation Get Ready for April 24 Showdown With Seattle of epic proportions:

With less than two weeks left, the tension is building in both Los Angeles and Seattle in expectation of what may well be the game of the year out west in the Legends Football League. Seattle will be coming in to Citizens Bank Arena on the heels of an impressive 44-8 demolition of the Austin Acoustic.  But if you think this Mist momentum has coach Tui Suiaunoa worried, think again. Commented Coach Tui, “We’ve got something powerful waiting for Seattle when they set foot on our home turf… I promise you that.”

Indeed, many of the uncertainties that seemed to pervade Temptation camp at the beginning of the year appear to have been solved or addressed. According to Tui, the team feels very comfortable with Jane Caldwell entrenched as the starting QB. Caldwell, who played back-up QB and fullback last year in Atlanta, has impressed the Temptation coaches with her strong, accurate arm, as well as her scrambling instincts. Indeed, these capabilities as both a pocket passer and as a runner may well keep the powerful Seattle defense on its heels. In addition, LA has another capable QB waiting in the wings in Kiara Patterson and may well go the route of running a dual QB rotation, which should be interesting to watch!

The LA running game remains potent, with the speedy and powerful Naz Johnson (formerly with Atlanta) at tailback, and with the versatile Suzanne Mapes backing her up. Johnson and Mapes will run behind a formidable, imposing offensive line that features Quincy Hewitt and Sheri Awageh at guards and veteran Megan Hansen at center. And while Tui’s stated preference on offense will be to establish the running game, look for Caldwell to keep the Mist off-balance by going downfield to her wideouts, which includes a 4 WR rotation (Cynthia Schmidt, Brittany Henderson, Kiana Takairangi and Delaney Hall), as well as the Temptation guards, who are each skilled receivers in their own right.

With regard to the Temptation defense, the team’s core strength, this remains anchored by Hall of Famer Mo Gaxiola at middle linebacker and by LA’s excellent cover corners, Chelsea Haardt and Ogum Chijindu. Tui also is pleased with what he’s seen in training camp from the team’s set of starting safeties, including Tai Emory (formerly with the Las Vegas Sin) and Lily Granston (previously with the Mist). Finally, LFL enthusiasts must certainly be looking forward to seeing how Seattle attempts to contend with the Temptation’s powerful and ultra athletic defensive line, which includes Megan Hanson and Naja Christmas. And the team’s ace in the hole on defense may be Sheri Agaweh, who Tui says has been virtually unstoppable this year in practice and can be expected to play both ways (both on the defensive and offensive lines) at certain points this season, if not in the contest against the Mist.

All in all, Seattle-LA should be one of the best games of the year and is a must-see confrontation for any Temptation fan, or for that matter, for any fan of the LFL. Tui is very optimistic about his team’s changes, commenting “We’re healthy, hungry and hell bent on revenge. I think that’s the right state of mind, don’t you.”

Brandon Chabner, ChabDog Sports Blog and LA Temptation beat writer for LFL360.com.

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