(NASHVILLE, TN.) The biggest story lines around the 2018 off-season centered around the expansion, Nashville Knights. Whether it was becoming the first outside owned LFL franchise or Danika Brace being named the LFL’s first-ever head coach or their star-studded free-agent signings which read like a Who’s Who of prominent LFL athletes.

All this attention allowed the Austin Acoustic to fly under the radar in hopes of an upset road win in Nashville. The game started and ended with offensive fireworks with Knights Quarterback KK Matheny and WR Jade Randle picking up where they left off in 2017, connecting on a 30 yard touchdown bomb on the first play from scrimmage.

Matheny was not done there, also connecting with Danielle Hawkins on a seam-pattern that Hawkins took to the house for a 35 yard touchdown and later hitting Randle again, this time for a 15 yard score. Any questions surrounding a chemistry issue between KK Matheny and Jade Randle were put to rest.
The Knights came into the night also boasting the best running back combination in the league with The Bull, Stevie Schnoor and Dominique ‘Lightning in a Bottle’ Malloy, they did not disappoint. Both scored on the ground and more importantly, moved the chains consistently throughout the night. Malloy was extra-ordinarily special, providing this Knights offense the home-run threat every time she touched the ball.

Austin came into the game, knowing it had an improved yet still very suspect defense. That proved to be the case as Nashville posted 51 points. Offensively, the Acoustic came into Saturday night with the LFL’s most potent passing attack of 2017 as well as the league’s top-rated passer in Teshay Winfrey.
However, Winfrey has not looked good this off-season as’s Scouting Report published in March, specifically mentioning Winfrey’s inaccuracy issues. While throwing for an impressive three touchdowns on the night, Winfrey was only 13 of 23 and missed wide open receivers.

The silver lining for Austin had to be the break-through performance of Leilani Lopez, with all the attention and accolades going to fellow receiver Kassandra Bills, Lopez has flown under the radar. Not on this night, Lopez dominated throughout the game and especially in the 2nd half with three touchdown receptions and 103 all purpose yards. It appears Lopez was the only player on the Acoustic roster that wanted to truly compete. Lopez’s emergence comes at an opportune time for Austin, as it appears No.1 receiver Kassandra Bills may be out for the season with an ACL. Perhaps an even bigger disappointment for Austin was the play of its front-line on both sides of the ball. Steph Wickett, Brande Stolte and Dowdy sisters played very soft and as a result were tossed around like rag-dolls by the Nashville front line.

The Knights now get ready for a colossal match-up, returning to Seattle to battle the Seattle Mist on Saturday May 19th, a match-up that is being called by Seattle fans, ‘Traitor Bowl’. Former Seattle head coach Chris Michaelson, linebacker Danika Brace and especially quarterback KK Matheny and running back Stevie Schnoor are not expected to have a warm coming home party.

Austin has to lick its wounds and prepare this week for a fight to save its season and it does not get easier, as the Eastern Conference champion, Atlanta Steam come into town on Saturday, May 5. Head coach Mike Olvera is still in search of the first win of his coaching regime.

Austin Nashville
Score 26 51
First Downs 9 15
Rushes-Yards (Net) 16-29 23-144
Passing Yards (Net) 154 116
Passes Att-Comp-Int 23-13-0 15-7-0
Total Offense Plays-Yards 39-183 38-260
Fumble Returns-Yards 0-0 0-0
Kickoff Returns-Yards 1-10 0-0
Interception Returns-Yards 0-0 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-20 1-15
Possession Time 18:40 21:20
Third-Down Conversions 1/9 5/7
Fourth-Down Conversions 3/7 0/1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 1/2 3/3