OMAHA ONE WIN FROM ASTONISHING PLAYOFF CLINCH, DEFEAT DREAM 32-13
(OMAHA, NE – WEDNESDAY, JULY 24) The Omaha Heart (2-1) are one win away from heading to the LFL Postseason. After defeating the Denver Dream Saturday night, the Heart are for the first time in a playoff chase late in a season.
The Heart hosted the Denver Dream in a game both teams wanted badly. Denver was searching for their first franchise win and hoped to avoid another winless season, while Omaha was looking to get one step closer to a postseason clinch while winning their third consecutive game against Denver.
Both teams feature some of the brightest young talent in the league today. Denver, despite a winless season, has a deep roster to build on for 2020. With a healthy Britney Perea and Nicole Curry next season coupled with stars like Jessica Poole, Kelsey Cristiano, Briana Roy and Breaya Quintanta to name just a few, this Denver team could quickly turn into a true ‘Dream Team’ soon in the LFL.
Saturday night was all about field position and timely plays. From the box score, this game was much closer than the final 32-13 score portrayed. Omaha produced a total of 149 offensive yards (103 rush, 43 pass), while Denver produced nearly just as much production with totaling 144 offensive yards (38 rush, 106 pass).
Denver played up to the level with Omaha, but the lack of conversions on 3rd and 4th down killed a majority of their scoring drives. Denver finish 1-of-7 on 3rd down conversions and a lousy 0-of-5 on 4th down.
Both defenses played strong a lot of the game, especially the first quarter which finished with a score of zero tie. Neither team had completed a pass, and there was just one first down in the quarter.
The field position was essential to Omaha’s offense, as they took over on downs multiple times within Denver’s half of the field multiple times.
A concern for Omaha is the fact their offense only completed one pass in the first three quarters. To compete against Atlanta in Week 15, they’ll need to have a balanced attack.
Offensively for Omaha in the first half, Lauren Crouch and Mitay Vinson scored each on the ground. The rushing attack was heavily relied on by the Heart offense.
For Denver, the second quarter was a successful passing attack. Poole found Briana Roy for a couple of good completions, one that went 35 yards for the score.
Surprisingly rookie phenom Lauren Crouch was not a big factor in the offensive success much at all in the first half. Omaha led 12-6 at the half, but Crouch had only completed one pass and threw one interception.
It appeared this was going to be a close battle, until the third quarter. Omaha was able to sustain and move the ball on two solid drives, stretching the lead to 25-6.
In the final quarter, both teams found the endzone again but the game was never close in the fourth. Omaha’s defense held the Dream offense to minimal success and the Denver finally scored again with less than 1:30 remaining in the game.
Jessica Poole in her second career start completed 10-of-27 passes, throwing for 106 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. She also led the Dream ground attack with 45 yards. Look for Poole to be a big part of the Dream offense in 2020.
With Denver’s season over and another 0-4 finish, the offseason will be a very important one for this franchise. The talent and pieces noted earlier will need to come together and focus on preparation for 2020.
Lauren Crouch was a meager 2-for-6 passing totaling 46 yards. Crouch threw one interception and one touchdown.
Shekael Stennis was a notable standout for the Omaha Heart defense with two interceptions against Denver. Stennis also led the Heart with 4.5 tackles on the evening.
Omaha now prepares for the biggest game in the franchise’s history, as they face Atlanta Week 15 in an elimination game. One team will advance and the other will be eliminated from the postseason in all likelihood.
|Passing Yards (Net)||106||46|
|Total Offense Plays-Yards||40-144||35-149|