HYPED MIST ‘NO WORRY’ FOR SUIAUNOA AND LA TEMPTATION
(Los Angeles, CA- Thursday, April 14th)
With less than two weeks remaining, 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 to the Citizens Business 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 the 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 Monique Gaxiola at middle linebacker and by LA’s excellent cover corners, Chelsea Haardt and Ogom 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.”
Tickets available here for the biggest rivalry in the LFL: April 24th vs Seattle Mist