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The Best Out West

And when the dust cleared, the Seattle Mist had reaffirmed their status as the best in the West …. 28-13 over The LA Temptation … and move on to play the surprise winner from the Eastern Conference game, the Atlanta Steam…
After the much anticipated Sunday, August 20th playoff battle between LA and Seattle, there was little doubt that the Mist will be worthy representatives of the Western Conference in this year’s LFL Title game. Coach Michaelson’s talented team did what they had to do, taking control against Tui’s Temptation from the outset and never really taking their foot off of the gas pedal in a hard fought 28-13 victory.
In a decisive first quarter, Seattle jumped out to a 12-0 lead, on the strength of some nifty QB play from KK Matheny and some typically hard running from Stevi “The Bull” Schnoor. Matheny would methodically lead Seattle down the first on its opening drive, culminating with a 4 yard pass to Shea Norton, and the margin swelled to 12 when Schoor plowed in from 4 yards out. Meanwhile, LA sputtered with a costly interception and incompletions from QB Ashley Salerno. The Temptation also seemed unwilling, or unable, to establish a potent running game, a trend that would continue for much of the game.
The situation for LA only got worse in the second quarter, as Seattle used a short field, after a stalled Temptation drive, to push its advantage to 20-0. Schnoor continued to run hard, and effectively, and Matheny capped things off with a short TD pass to Jade Randle. It was at this point that the Temptation offense finally got untracked, as Salerno led her team on a long, impressive scoring drive, culminating with a short TD run by Carmen Bourseau. And after an interception by Lily Granson late in the quarter, LA had a chance to cut into the Seattle advantage even more; unfortunately for the Temptation, it ran out of time on the next drive, with the half ending on a completed pass to the Seattle 16.
In the second half, things continued to tighten as Salerno stayed hot, completing a 30 yard pass to Bourseau and later, a huge 45 yard TD pass to Kiara Patterson. Particularly impressive was Salerno’s ability on this drive to overcome adversity, including rushing losses, a penalty, a sack and a fumble. However, with the Seattle lead now cut to 20-13, Matheny immediately responded, hitting Randle for a 35-yard TD. Seattle’s defense then took over, stopping Bourseau dead in her tracks at the Mist 2 yard line.
During the fourth quarter, LA’s defense game Coach Tui’s squad a glimmer of hope, with Megan Hanson’s big interception of Matheny deep in LA territory. Unfortunately for LA, there would be no capitalizing on this turnover, as a Temptation drive stalled on the Seattle 20. And with only 2 minutes left in the game, it was what else but more Schnoor, as the forceful fullback simply ran out the clock.
All in all, this was a very hard hitting, competitive game, with the result turning on the superior execution of Matheny and Schnoor, as well as a monster performance on defense by Randle (11 solo tackles and 1 sack) (not to mention her contributions on offense). Give LA credit for keeping the game very competitive, including some tenacious defense from Granston (8 tackles) and Hanson (6 tackles) and a solid game from Salerno. However, the Temptation never could get their bread and butter running game in gear (only 29 yards from Bourseau).
Coach Tui aptly summed things up, commenting “We struggled throughout to find our stride with the ground game, and on defense, we never really took control of the line of scrimmage … two things that really defined our team all year. Give Seattle credit, because they did what they had to do to keep us uncomfortable and just a bit off balance. Hats off to Coach Michaelson and the Mist for playing a great game.”
Brandon Chabner, ChabDog Sports Blog, LFL 360.com