TAMPA ‘BREEZES’ 48-14 PAST OVERWHELMED TRIUMPH

TORONTO (LFL360.com) —  The Tampa Breeze attacked the Toronto Triumph tonight with the ferocity of a Category-Five hurricane, prevailing 48-14 in an destructive and violent manner before an electric atmosphere and highly-partisan crowd in the regular season premiere of LFL Football in Canada.

After being shut out for the first time in their history 48-0 at Philadelphia last week, the Breeze wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard, as running back and Game MVP Saige Steinmetz (8 carries/48 yards, 1 reception/12 yards, 2 TD) scored one minute into the game to give the visitors an 8-0 advantage. Then Courtney Wilder (1 catch/14 yards, 2 TD) g powered through the defense to extend the Tampa lead to 16 with 14:34 remaining in the half. Adrian Purnell (1 catch/1 yard, TD) and Bryn Renda (4 catches/41 yards, TD) got into the act soon after, the former with a one-yard touchdown reception and the latter hauling in a 18-yard pass from K.K. Matheny (8/12, 99 yards passing, 3 TD) before the half. Steinmetz made sure that her team wouldn’t let up in the second half, rushing for a 10-yard touchdown 8:44 remaining in the contest.

Christina Tsandelis (53 yards rushing, 3 catches/21 yards, TD) proved to be a bright spot for the Triumph as the starting running back fueled a late second-half historical run that gave the expansion franchise their-ever score to the delight of the hometown faithful.

Ultimately, the night proved to be a frustrating one for the Triumph offense, as the unit managed to move the chains but ultimately fell short on most fourth down opportunities and suffered two costly fumbles. However, Tampa’s experience equaled punches where it matters, the scoreboard, as Liz Gorman hauled in a deep bomb from Matheny, setting up Courtney Wilder for her second score of the night.

The Toronto defense was over-matched most of the night, however displayed the physicality and toughness that may serve them well as the season progresses.  Cornerback Elizabeth Crisante led the way for the unit with seven solo-tackles.

There were multiple fights on the field as both teams confronted each other, at times, on successive plays. However, Tampa’s experience equaled punches where it matters, the scoreboard, as Liz Gorman (2 catches/26 yards) hauled in a deep bomb from Matheny, setting up  Wilder for the score.

In spite of the large margin between to the two teams, the Triumph did not quit, as quarterback Donna Paul used her mobility to set the team up late in the game, ultimately finding tight-end Phylicia Daniels for the score  in what ultimately proved to be the final tally of the game.

For Tampa, the win solidifies their position as a playoff contender and fuels hope that with the return of star running back Tiffani Powers against Cleveland in one month. “Our entire team, our quarterback, everyone came to play and it feels so good to win,” said Gorman.

Tonight, the only team that was ‘triumphant’ proved to be Tampa as Toronto now is left to look for answers in the steep climb to an unprecedented expansion team playoff berth. “We [almost] tied Tampa in the second-half scoring-wise, so I think that even though we lost the game, this was a learning experience that will hopefully help us to wins in the future,” said Paul.

Photos courtesy of Joe Petro, LFL International Director of Photography.

FINAL STATS
TAM TOR
RUSHING YARDS 93 89
PASSING YARDS 99 34
TOTAL YARDS 192 123
1ST DOWNS  5 5
TURNOVERS 0 2
4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS 1/3 2/5