Note: Pat Murphy and Jim Wallin collaborated on this report.
GREEN BAY, WI (LFL360.com) – The Seattle Mist rolled into Wisconsin and rained all over the home team en route to a 42-8 win over the Green Bay Chill.
The downpour started right away. On the game’s first play, Seattle’s Laurel Creel took a pitchout from quarterback Angela Rypien and hit a streaking Jessica Hopkins for a 35-yard touchdown.
Seattle Head Coach Chris Michaelson planned on taking the raucous Green Bay crowd out of the game early.
“I knew I had to hit them with a big play right off the bat,” Michaelson said. “I knew if we hit them with a good sweep pass that we would definitely take the air out of their sails and that’s what we tried to do.”
After stopping the Chill on downs inside their own 10-yard line on the ensuing drive, Seattle wasted no time in padding the lead. Rypien hit Kam Warner on a screen pass and the running back rumbled 34 yards for the score.
Seattle was outstanding on the defensive side of the ball as well. The entire Seattle secondary played an outstanding game, intercepting Erler twice and befuddling the Chill offense by playing a patient zone.
The Chill spent the last month stewing over their season-opening loss to the Minnesota Valkyrie and altered their defense after failing to stop the Valks on all but one possession. Quarterback Anne Erler started on defense as well at safety and made an impact, intercepting two passes in the first half to slow down the Mist.
However, the Chill had no answer for Mist running back Kam Warner. She had 105 total yards and three touchdowns as Seattle pulled away in the second half after leading 22-8 at the break. Warner also played middle linebacker and was a huge reason the Chill were shut out in the second stanza.
All-Fantasy safety and wide receiver Jessica Hopkins was dominant on both sides of the ball as well. She had two touchdowns on offense, an interception and fumble recovery on defense and rarely allowed an open receiver in the secondary. Hopkins and fellow safety Riki Creger-Zier frustrated the Chill while holding the potent Green Bay offense to one score and forcing three turnovers.
“We were expecting them to throw the deep ball so we were hanging back and get those picks,” she said. “We knew they were going to come and we just had to get the pressure on Erler.”
Head Coach Gilbert Brown had his team on a mission to all month to atone for the little things that cost Green Bay in the opener, but the defense was still unable to keep the Chill in the game.
“Mickey Mouse could have run on us today,” Brown said. “It’s our tackling. We are not physical enough.”
The offense moved the ball at times but could not punch it in the end zone. The Chill were inside the Seattle 10-yard-line four times but scored on only one of those trips.
It was a quintessential all-around effort for the Mist. Creel and Ericka Smith made plays when they had opportunities and the defensive line was relentless and punishing on virtually every play.
“It was a good team win,” Creel said.
Seattle climbed into a share of the lead in the Western Conference with Las Vegas and Minnesota, who defeated the Chill 28-25 last month at the Resch Center.
Erler took a beating while the offense struggled. She completed 12 of 26 passes for 67 yards with a pair of interceptions and led the team in rushing with 40 yards. She also intercepted two passes while playing
Rypien, the daughter of former Washington Redskins quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, completed just 6-of-16 passes for 81 yards but threw for three touchdowns and managed the offense well while avoiding interceptions in the second half as the Mist pulled away.
After the game, Brown was visibly disappointed in the loss. The Chill were in must-win situation and failed to come up with a win for the second consecutive game at home.
“We didn’t do anything right and I take the blame,” he said.
Next week the Green Bay travels south to face Chicago (0-1) on the road at Toyota Park. Seattle hosts Las Vegas (1-0) on November 4th in a battle of first-place teams.
Photos courtesy of Joe Petro, LFL National Director of Photography, Mike McGinnis, Official Photographer of the Green Bay Chill and B.J. Fleming.
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