FAR FROM PERFECT, ACOUSTIC FAIL TO CONTAIN LA’S LOPEZ IN 39-29 SEASON ENDING LOSS
(ONTARIO, CA- SUNDAY, SEPT 8) The decimated LA Temptation, marred with injury from their final regular-season game, mustered up an incredible playoff win Saturday night.
Game MVP and an up-and-comer in the LFL- Miriah Lopez put together one of the gutsiest rushing performances in LFL playoff history.
The 5-foot nothing, 125-pound running-back was dominant in the rushing attack. Lopez, now known as ‘Mighty Mouse’ around the LFL, immediately gave credit to her offensive line following the game.
LA’s offensive line featured HOF linebacker/center Monique Gaxiola, Sheri Awagah, and Danielle Harvey. Those three veterans have been through a lot of playoff losses over the last six LFL seasons. This trio wanted this game more than anyone else on the field.
Facing the LFL’s #1 defense and one of the best defensive lines in LFL history, the Temptation dominated in the trenches as Lopez shifted and worked her way through the gaps and seams she was awarded. Taking hit after hit, and continuing to compose herself in the huddle, Mighty Mouse proved why she was nominated for the league’s Offensive Player of the Year award in 2019.
LA took the lead early in the first quarter and never found themselves behind.
After the first quarter, the game was tied at 7 apiece, but after a second Lopez touchdown rush, LA took a 14-7 lead and never looked back.
At one point the Temptation had themselves a 20-7 lead, as a result of Austin miscues offensively and some costly turnovers, mixed with bloopers of plays.
Center Nicole Peterson suffered an injury in the second quarter, and Megan Hanson filled as Austin’s center. Neither center did much to help the offense maintain possession. Bad snaps and errant snaps put Austin in a position of playing catch-up where they were not able to utilize one of their two most dominant weapons- ChrisDell ‘Ferrari’ Harris.
Shockingly ChrisDell Harris only had six carries for 33 yards- scoring one touchdown. Harris was averaging 5.5 yards-per-carry, so many scratched their heads on why Coach Olvera limited her carries in such an important game.
If Olvera would have put more confidence in Harris and their ability to hold the LA offense, the game clock would have been more controllable. With averaging over 5 yards-per-carry, it was crazy to think the Ferrari only took six handoffs in the game.
Austin’s offense was nearly all Kassandra Bills who showed why she is such a buzz this season.
Kassandra Bills again showed the LFL why she is the most dominant receiver in the game. Bills caught 5 passes for 86 yards, scoring three touchdowns. She is quickly becoming the single biggest threat in the LFL.
Austin’s Cash-Money Bills was not enough to keep Austin in the game. The LA rushing attack kept the ball out of Michelle Angel’s hands for a lot of the game.
LA’s Miriah Lopez rushed for 124 yards with two touchdowns. Of the Temptation’s 51 plays on the night, 31 of them were Lopez rushes as she averaged 4.0 yards-per-carry. The up-and-coming running back was over 60% of LA’s offensive production in the game.
LA had the ball offensively an astounding 29 minutes of the 40 minutes in the game. This was a prime example of why time of possession is one of the most important stats in football.
Ashely Salerno was not a big part of the offensive production, but she did her job when called upon and had herself a productive/efficient game. Salerno was 4-of-6 passing with 44 yards and 2 touchdowns- no interceptions.
Angel finished throwing for 136 yards on 8 completions, three of which were touchdowns and one interception. She completed just over 50% of her passes finishing 8-of-17 on the night.
Salerno and Angel are now 1-1 in head-to-head games, with Salerno winning the most important game.
With LA’s win, the Legends Cup will feature the LFL’s best rivalry in History. Two teams who have played against each other since 2009, which consist of some of the best games that are almost always one-score games.
LA will be a big underdog facing Seattle, who is putting together a healthy team that returns Alli Alberts and Savannah Wood.
The Road to X has been paved and shortly another LFL Champion will be crowned. LA is searching for their 4th Legends Cup while Seattle is looking for their 3rd. Both KK Matheny and Ashley Salerno look to win their third Legends Cup Title.
|Passing Yards (Net)||136||44|
|Total Offense Plays-Yards||28-174||51-204|