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AFTER CLINCHING REGULAR-SEASON CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP, THE DESIRE PREPARE FOR A BIGGER GOAL

(Dallas, TX- Friday, August 12th, 2016)

Dallas was in control of the 87-12 victory over the Omaha Heart from the start – a 55-yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown by Cortnee White – to the finish – a fumble recovery by Carmen Bourseau on the final play.

Unfortunately for the Heart everything else in between was pretty ugly as well as it surrendered 60+ points for the third consecutive game.

This was the type of victory that Dallas needed as it begins to prepare for the rematch with the Seattle Mist in the Western Conference Championship on August 20th.

As a team, the Desire did some good things – four players rushed for at least 45 yards – but the team still has a lot to tighten up – its run defense – before heading to Seattle for an unconventional “home playoff game.” Unsure of what former New England quarterback Alex Drake could bring to her team, the Desire should have been more prepared to stop the run… but they weren’t. Little used running back Nicki Bernhardt rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries and was the lone bright spot for an Omaha franchise that started the season off with so much hope.

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Even with surrendering that many yards to the Heart, the Desire defense still had flashes of greatness. Safety Jade Randle added two more interceptions to push her record-breaking season total to six and Shawnte Shiree added another interception to go along with a fumble recovery.

But the talented duo did not just limit their exploits to the defensive side of the ball. Randle also finished the evening with four catches for 26 yards and three touchdowns while Shiree rushed for 57 yards and scored two touchdowns.

With the game essentially over late in the second quarter, head coach Melvin Bullitt was able to play his reserves and experiment with the play calling. One player that saw extended action on the offensive side was running back Carmen Bourseau. Initially brought to Dallas to play defense, the former LA Temptation player has shown the ability to be a capable rusher. On the evening she converted four extra-point attempts to go along with 15 yards on two carries. Starter Victoria Thomas is still nursing a should injury, so having Bourseau at its disposal offensively gives the Desire another bruising back that Seattle will have to deal with.

Not wanting to be outdone, running back Cassie Ashley turned in her most productive game of the year as she led the team with nine carries on her way to 45 yards and one touchdown. Similar to White, Ashley is more of a scat back that uses her ability to maneuver through the hole, rather than run over defenders to gain yards.

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In order to defeat Seattle for the second time, Coach Bullitt will need all hands on deck and cannot be afraid to use a trick play on occasion. The Mist defense is talented but as we saw in the first game, is undisciplined which makes it vulnerable to mis-directions and play-action passes.

The three-week layoff between the regular season finale and the conference championship game may seem like an eternity but this may be the break needed to allow the Desire players to heal up and the staff to install a game-plan that will get the Desire to the LFL Championship.