Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lingerie Bowl Canada I – Game Preview

Heading into the season as the number 1 ranked team in the polls, the BC Angels are looking to justify that ranking by defeating the Saskatoon Sirens in the inaugural Lingerie Bowl I Canada. With the game being hosted in Abbottsford, BC, the Angels are counting on home field advantage to turn the tide in their favor.
The contest boasts some of the finest talent that LFL Canada has to offer. Three of the four nominees for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award will appear in the game; Anne Erler of Saskatoon, and Jessica Hopkins and Stephanie Manou of BC. Manou is the homegrown face of the franchise for the BC Angels and was the regular season rushing champion with 337 rushing yards.
Looking at the numbers, the Sirens have the advantage on paper. The Sirens’ offense ranked second in LFL Canada with 186.3 yards per game compared to BC’s 142.8. Breaking down the numbers indicates that the key difference is in the rushing game. Saskatoon boasts numbers of 138.5 (rushing) and 47.8 (passing), while BC lags behind with 96.8 and 46. The regular season point totals indicate 121 total points for Saskatoon, first overall, while BC’s 98 points rank last.
Both clubs have key players that are looking to have career games in the hopes of making their championship dreams come true. Heather Furr is a confident two-way threat for the Sirens as she led the club offensively with 6 receptions, while leading the defense in tackles with 23. Tamar Fennell led all Sirens players with 272 rushing yards, but was versatile as a receiver. The Angels counter with Aleesa Garcia, whose 7 receptions and 2 touchdowns bested all players on BC. Katie Marshall was a defensive stalwart, leading all players in LFL Canada with 3 sacks.
During their only regular season encounter, a September 1 contest held at Saskatoon’s Credit Union Center, the Sirens defeated the Angels by a 22-18 tally. The dynamic duo of Anne Erler and Heather Furr (or ‘Furrler’) combined for 2 interceptions and 2 touchdown passes. Entering the game, the Angels had a lot of momentum as they crushed the Regina Rage 44-18. The first half saw the Sirens expose the Angels weaknesses at quarterback while nullifying their rushing attack. With 2:50 left in the third quarter of the contest, the Sirens boasted a 22-6 lead with a well distributed offensive attack that consumed time on the clock.
While the Angels managed to score two touchdowns to come within 4 points, the poise of Anne Erler was the key difference in preserving the win. An 8 play drive of 31 yards ran out the clock, frustrating the Angels defense. Stephanie Manou only logged 44 rushing yards in the loss, while Mary Anne Hanson endured her own struggles. She threw 2 interceptions while completing only 6 of 16 attempted passes. Of note for BC, the two touchdowns involved passing plays to Christine Moore and Jessica Hopkins, players that are underutilized in the passing game.
For both teams, effective clock management and turnover free football are essential keys to victory. The strength of Saskatoon’s success has been their ability to remain competitive in tight games. Erler’s presence is a key element in said success. BC must not panic should they make a mistake, or the Sirens will exploit it. While superstars on both squads shall be the focus of opposing defenses, role players must rise to the occasion and make the big plays. One game can change everything, and there is no bigger game for these players than Lingerie Bowl Canada I.

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