ChabDog and co-host Mike Patterson welcome guests Stewart Owens, Frank Fleming of Sport E-cyclopedia, Colton Cull of the Legends Football League and Ray LeBov of Basketball Intelligence.
ChabDog and co-host Mike Patterson welcome guests Stewart Owens, Frank Fleming of Sport E-cyclopedia, Colton Cull of the Legends Football League and Ray LeBov of Basketball Intelligence.
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!”
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.
LA Temptation Update — Temptation Emerge From Training Camp Primed and Ready to Rumble:
We’re nearly into March, and LFL360.com beat reporter Brandon Chabner spoke with Coach Tui Suiaunoa about the LA Temptation and their exciting prospects going into the 2016 Season. Coach Tui feels this may be the most physically fit, battle ready and tested Legends Football squad he’s ever coached, and at the outset of this interview noted that the current group of 22 have all proven themselves to be deserving picks for the final Temptation roster.
With this in mind, here’s how the Temptation starting lineup is shaping up:
· At quarterback, Kadi Findling (last year with Seattle) and Kiara Patterson will continue to battle for the starting position, and according to Tui it is currently a tight race for the top spot.
· Tui continues to rave about the size and strength of his team’s imposing offensive line, predicting that huge holes will be opened up for Temptation running backs by Kia Ramos (left guard), Megan Hanson (center) and Sheri Awagah (right guard); these three should make life miserable for opposition run defenses, as they’ll provide perfect cover and running lanes for the darting and swerving cuts of running back Nasira Johnson.
· The wide receiver corps will be led by veteran Cynthia Schmidt (formerly with Las Vegas), as well as Brittany Henderson and two-way player Delaney Hall, who also plays safety. Tui also has been impressed by the grit and determination of the sole rookie to make the team, Angelina Arreola, another wide out.
· On defense, the Temptation remain a force to be feared and reckoned with, as Ogom Chijindu and Chelsea Haardt return as cornerbacks to patrol the secondary. LA’s dynamic corner tandem will be supported by up-and-coming safeties Lili Granstan and, as already mentioned, Delaney Hall.
· As for the defensive line, there’s no shortage of power, bulk and agility, with Temptation veterans Christina Sugarminaga and Quincy Hewitt leading the way, along with the hard to stop and athletically gifted Naja Christmas.
· Finally, opposing offenses will again have to contend with middle linebacker and defensive anchor Monique Gaxiola, who remains in Hall of Fame form and is being pushed to even greater heights by the impressive play of another linebacker, Susan Mapes.
All in all, Coach Tui sees this shaping up to be a great year for the Temptation.
Brandon Chabner, LFL360.com beat reporter for LA Temptation
TEMPTATION GET READY…
As we move into February, the LA Temptation get ready for
some tough decisions, as the team brings its roster down to 20 players for the season, Coach Tui
Suiaunoa spoke about the challenge of choosing from so many
talented and qualified athletes. “I’ve been at this quite
a while, and I’ve never seen this much overall talent and
experience packed into one training camp. My coaches and I
will certainly have our hands full, making cuts with this
many great players to choose from, including a number of
veterans and starters from other teams.”
One of the most impressive performers thus far has been
Nasira Johnson at running back. Tui commented, “We haven’t
ever had a Barry-Sanders type runner with this combination
of speed, slashing/cutback ability and power before.”
She could make a tantalizing tandem, along with the
Temptation’s powerful starting FB from last year, Carmen Bourseau.
With all of the roster spots “up
for grabs”, there are virtually no “safe” spots for last
year’s returning Temptation starters, both on offense and
defense. But as Tui went on to observe, despite the
intense competition, which the coach called “virtually
cutthroat”, there is tons of cohesion and good chemistry
among the women, which is a signal of good things to come.
One position that is definitely going to be hotly contested
is quarterback, which will be a
battle between newcomers Kadi Findling and Jane Caldwell, who
each played back-up quarterback with their former teams the
Seattle Mist and the Atlanta Steam, respectively, and Kiara Patterson, a returning member of the Temptation. Like the tussle for many of the other spots, this promises to be an
intense competition. Tui commented, “I’m looking forward
to seeing what all three of these players can do from the QB position. I have lots of respect
for each of them as good athletes, and this will be
exciting to watch.”
Training camp starts this Saturday, and extends over the
next 3 weekends on both Saturday and Sunday at Sur La Brea Park in Torrance. Final
decisions will be made on February 27.
Stay tuned for more fireworks.
Brandon Chabner, LFL360.com Beat Reporter and ChabDog Sports Blog
Check out ChabDog’s article “QUARTERBACK-LESS TEMPTATION PREPARE FOR MINI-CAMPS” at lfl360.com.
Things are certainly heating up for the LA Temptations in 2016, as we head into mini-camp and approach training camp. The team will be holding two practices this weekend, and according to head coach Tui Suiaunoa, a roster of 20-25 players should be set and finalized by mid-February.
Here are some new developments that fans should be aware of:
• LA’s quarterback situation is definitely “up in the air”, as Ashley Salerno is no longer with the team, and the latest information received by the league indicates that Michelle Angel is trying out for the Dallas Desire.
• Coach Tui expects that 4-5 members of the former Las Vegas team will be in LA’s training camp, including two of their premier wide receivers, Brittany Henderson and Cynthia Schmidt.
• A new addition for the team at running back will be Nasira Johnson (previously with the Atlanta Steam), who dazzles with her cutback speed and slashing running style. Johnson will join 3-year veteran Carmen Bourseau, and should give LA a formidable running attack.
• Sherri Awagah returns to anchor the offensive line, which should be further strengthened by the addition of veterans Kia Ramos (from Las Vegas) and Megan Hanson, who was Seattle’s starting center in 2015.
• On defense, the Temptations will rely on returning cornerbacks Ogom Chijindu and Chelsea Haardt to patrol the passing lanes. Coach Tui expects the rest of the defensive positions to be hotly contested, but did note that one likely change will be a selective departure from the zone coverage schemes that he’s previously deployed. As remarked by Tui, “Times are changing, and with some of the great athletes we’re seeing out there, we need to adapt and be flexible. Seattle used the spy technique on us last year, and you can expect we’ll want to return the favor.”
• Other notable departures for LA include Amanda Ruller and Kimm Chase, who are both now in Atlanta.
What you can expect is an intensely competitive Temptations’ mini-camp and training camp, with most positions “up for grabs”; indeed, the state of flux we’re seeing seems to be a signal that even some of the more established veterans do not feel comfortable staying in one place, and feel the need to leave successful teams like LA and move to situations where their future prospects may be more secure.
Coach Tui also provided some insights on the upcoming schedule, noting, “Right now, we’re focused like a laser on preparing for the opening game at Citizens Bank Arena against Seattle. As everyone who follows the LFL knows, there’s a score to settle with Seattle, and I’m going to do everything I can to be ready for them. We also know we have to be at our best against the expansion clubs, Austin and Dallas; the Desire actually have a prior track record in the league, and are loaded with some experienced players. And it will be interesting to finish up the season playing Atlanta, particularly given the movement of players between the two teams. Whatever happens in between now and the start of the season in April, the one thing I know is that my team will be ready. You can count on that.”
As mentioned above, the Temptations will be holding team practices on Saturday, January 9 from 9 am to 12 pm and on Sunday, January 10 from 10 am to 1 pm, at Sur La Brea Park in Torrance (located at 23610 Cabrillo Ave./backside of the park off of Walnut). Until further notice, both mini-camp and training camp will be held at these times and at this location. The public is welcome to stop by and check out the action on the field.
Brandon Chabner, LFL beat reporter for the LA Temptations
Listen in as ChabDog and co-host Mike Patterson talk NFL football with Eric “the well-read” Sauve, welcome NFL Weather contributor and sports journalist Will Strome and discuss the bright prospects in 2016 for the LA Temptation with defensive live anchor Naja Christmas.
A big thank you to Orlando’s Pizzeria, members of the ChabDog Pound in attendance, and Coach Tui and the rest of the LA Temptation family for some amazing food and an inspiring evening. With a backdrop of “ketchup vs. mustard” on the TV, ChabDog and ChabDog Radio had the privilege of speaking with Coach Tui about why the future looks bright for next year’s LA Temptation.
The LA Temptation is pleased to announce the completion of its open tryouts for the upcoming 2016 Legends Football League Season. The event was held this past Saturday evening at Westwood Recreation Center, with 80 women (including 10 current team members) participating. Evaluations were based on various speed, strength, agility and other football-related drills, as well as other criteria, and at the end of the event, approximately 30 participants were invited to training camp (joining the current team members).
Training camp is expected to resume sometime in mid-to-late January of 2016. LA Temptation head coach Tui Suiaunoa commented, “I think we had a great turnout, and want to thank everyone who came out for the team. Judging from the high quality athletes we saw, the future looks bright for us going into next year.”
A special welcome event for the team, including its newest members, will take place at Orlando’s Pizzeria/Italian Restaurant (located at 1000 Torrance Blvd. in Redondo Beach) on Thursday evening (12-17), from 6:30-9:00 pm. The event will be hosted by ChabDog Sports Blog.
A big thanks to co-host Mike Patterson, and guests Stan Ber, Ray LeBov and Benjamin Sarinana for a great show.
And ChabDog reminds the women out there to try out for the LA Temptation, today at 6 pm at the Westwood Recreation Center in West LA if they’re tempted to find out what playing in the Legends Football League is like.
Listen in as ChabDog and co-host Mike Patterson welcome back Dr. Detroit, Eric Sauve, discuss the women’s perspective on pro football with NFLFemale website founder Liz Panucci and discuss the bright prospects for the Legend Football League’s LA Temptation with Coach Tui Suiauna.
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