SYDNEY | WEST ESCAPES LATE EAST RALLY FOR EXHILARATING WIN
By Jim Wallin
Photos: Joe Petro, Murray Richards, Rhonell Dela Rosa, and Jody McKinnon | LFL PHOTOS
SYDNEY (June 9, 2012/LFL360.com) — The Western Conference offense raced to an early advantage while its defense weathered the Eastern Conference’s furious second-half rally, including a ‘Hail Mary’ as time expired to lift the visitors to an exciting 31-24 victory before a packed Allphones Arena crowd.
Down 31-17 in the final minute, Eastern Conference QB KK Matheny (9/20, 98 YDS., 3 TD, 2 INT) engineered a long drive, which culminated in a touchdown strike to TE Saige Steinmetz and subsequent one-point conversion by Kyle DeHaven to draw the home team to within 7.
To add to the drama, East kicker Liz Gorman’s on-side kick attempt bounced off of the West’s Jessica Hopkins and was recovered by the East. But Hopkins redeemed herself on the final play of the game, intercepting Matheny to preserve the win.
The Western Conference lit up the scoreboard first, as RB ChrisDell ‘Ferrari’ Harris found the end zone nearly four minutes in to give the visitors an early 6-0 advantage.
But that lead was short-lived, as the Cleveland Crush’s dynamic duo, RB Tamar Fennell and WR Theresa Petruziello played key roles on the successive drive, with Petruziello reeling in an impressive catch to draw the teams even. Then, DeHaven successfully rushed in the two-point conversion to give the East an 8-6 lead.
The West offense proved to be too much, as Game MVP, QB Ashley Salerno (9/12, 118 YDS. , 5 TD), hooked up with TE Cydney Froelich on a pretty 14-yard touchdown strike to take back the lead for good. The West extended their lead to 25-15 by halftime due to opportunistic defense and great offensive balance.
The Sydney All-Fantasy Game marked a historic night for LFL Football as the league’s elite athletes played outside of North America for the first time. The near-capacity crowd proved to be a key force throughout the night.
For Salerno, the All-Fantasy Game MVP Award is only the latest accolade in a two-year run that has seen L.A.’s franchise quarterback earn two Lingerie Bowl MVP honors and a reputation for being one of the most gifted players in the league.
LFL All-Fantasy Tour coverage continues next Saturday with the Brisbane All-Fantasy Game, which can be seen for free on Facebook.com/MyLFL. For more information, fans are encouraged to visit LFLUS.com.
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