LOS ANGELES’ SEASON SLIPPING AWAY WITH 34-18 LOSS TO CHICAGO
(LOS ANGELES, CA.) What was once the greatest rivalry in the LFL, dating back to 2009, has morphed into one-sided domination. In season-opening losses to the Chicago Bliss, the Los Angeles Temptation find themselves in the cellar of the Western Conference. Never has the importance of a franchise Quarterback and coaching become more apparent in LA LA land. The season-opening loss to Chicago was primarily due to the poor play of back-up Quarterback Kiarra Patterson who showed up out-of-shape and completely out of sync with the offense. From a coaching stand-point, it was arguably the worst-called offensive scheme in recent memory, with several questionable calls, but none more evident than offensive coordinator Rory Dairy’s 4 & 1 ‘go pattern’ call, when LA possess one of the most established short-yardage backs, in Carmen ‘F150’ Bourseau.
Fast forward to the second match-up with Chicago, it was once again poor Quarterback play, this time by the third-string signal-caller, Michelle Kenny. Although Kenny at least showed flashes of athleticism. However, once again, bad-coaching reared its ugly head. This time, very poor clock and time out management by head coach Tui Suiaunoa, when Los Angeles was still in the game.
With the amount of fire-power LA possess and absent from a Legends Cup appearance since 2012, is it time to call for the firing of Tui Suiaunoa and his staff, who have been incompetent at best and negligent at worst.
Chicago has seen its organization go in a completely separate direction, appearing in 3 of the last 4 Legends Cup. Although coaching was not exactly stellar for the Bliss either, with less than 1 minute remaining in the game, on a 4th & 3, Chicago had the perfect opportunity to call a run-play, get the first down and close-out the game. Instead, the offensive staff call a ‘go-pattern’ down the field to a streaking Alli Alberts and luckily QB Jayne Caldwell and Alberts connected on a 26-yard touchdown pass. Had the pass fallen incomplete and stopped the clock, Los Angeles would have re-gained possession on the Chicago 24 yard line with a minimum of two opportunities at the end zone.
Prior to all the 4th quarter action, there was considerable action firepower, starting with Los Angeles finally going to their horse, Carmen Bourseau who opened scoring on a 35-yard touchdown run, evading the Bliss athletic front-three and potential open-field tackles of Theresa Petruziello and Tamar Fennell. Despite the futile attempts of Chicago Bliss head coach Keith Hac to convince head referee Jason Gardiner and his crew to over-turn the call, the Bourseau score stood.
It did not take long for Chicago to answer on the legs, not the arm of Jayne Caldwell, who ran in a 6-yard touchdown run, to give Chicago a 8-6 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. In the 2nd quarter, Chicago pulled away, staying on the ground with touchdown runs of 48 yards and 5 yards by Jayne Caldwell and Alli Alberts, respectively.
The 3rd quarter, Los Angeles’ offense continued to struggle as they abandoned the run and put their fate in the hands of a third-string Quarterback, big mistake. Caldwell torched the LA defense again on the ground, this time with a 20-yard touchdown run to extend Chicago’s lead to 26-6, heading into the 4th quarter.
Los Angeles was not ready to rollover on its season, behind the inspired play of Ogom Chijundu who lost her brother earlier in the week, the Temptation mounted a rally to make it a one-score game at 26 to 18, with 2:54 remaining in the game.
Chicago’s offense then did what championship teams manage to do when its crunch-time, they delivered. Caldwell guided a 7 play 45 yard drive that took all but :14 seconds from the clock, capped with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Alberts. Chicago’s only concern is that it has yet to identify a true No.1 running back and rookie Tamika Robinson who was slated to be the breakout star of this offense, has yet to shine.
Los Angeles will now have to win-out and hope that the other Western Conference teams stumble, as well as hope for the return of their franchise QB, Ashley Salerno. Salerno’s play hides a lot of LA’s offensive flaws, which include its play-calling.
|Passing Yards (Net)||115||89|
|Total Offense Plays-Yards||42-205||39-198|