By Mark Staffieri
inaugural season of LFL Canada came to an end this weekend, with the BC
Angels prevailing in front of their home crowd at Abbottsford, BC. A
highly emotional contest with a compelling cast of characters, the
Angels wanted to avenge their 22-18 regular season loss to the Saskatoon
a scoreless first quarter, the tone was profoundly set for what would
come. Although Saskatoon outrushed the Angels by an astounding 23-1
margin, the Angels defense made the real statement. On the first
possession, Tamar Fennell would rush for 12 yards, but made a costly
fumble. Katie Marshall would force said fumble, which would mark the
beginning of a banner day for her.
second quarter found both franchises getting points on the scoreboard.
Anne Erler, the winner of the LFL Canada Most Valuable Player Award,
connected with Tamar Fennell for a 20 yard touchdown pass. Erler’s rush
failed but the Sirens got on the board first to make it 6-0.
the efforts of Lindsay Berger, Ogom Chijindu and Casey Simpson
frustrated the Angles on their first offensive possession of the
quarter, the Sirens could not add to their lead. Incomplete passes to
Carrie Britton and a sack by Katie Marshall wore down Anne Erler.
efforts in dismantling the Sirens high powered attack on offense helped
the Angels gain momentum. On the second play of the Angels next drive,
Aleesa Garcia, who caught the first touchdown pass in the league’s
history, caught a 20 yard pass from Mary Anne Hanson to even the score
at 6 heading into halftime.
second half started with BC making their only fumble of the contest. A
32 yard kickoff by Erler was fumbled by Garcia. The Angels recovered the
fumble, and prevented what would have been the Sirens first entry into
the red zone. Despite being called for a delay of game penalty on the
opening drive of the second half, Mary Anne Hanson retained her
the 5 yard penalty, Hanson connected with Jessica Hopkins for a 19 yard
pass that would give the Angels the first down. On the Sirens 12 yard
line, Garcia would redeem herself as she scored on touchdown run to
become the first player to have both a receiving and a rushing touchdown
in LFL Canada postseason history. Time of possession was crucial in the
third quarter for the Angels as they held the advantage by 5:37 to
stifled the Furrler attack on offense, as the Sirens played with a
sense of panic. In their only possession of the third quarter, Erler was
sacked on two consecutive plays. Heidi Nordby and Stevi Schnoor
combined on the first sack, while Schnoor had the second sack. It would
be a great moment of redemption for Schnoor, as it was believed that she
suffered a torn MCL/ACL in the regular season loss to Saskatoon.
the score 12-6 in favor of the Angels, the Sirens attempted to turn
things around in the fourth quarter. Instead, the Angels added to their
lead as Christine Moore caught a 3 yard touchdown pass from Mary Anne
Hanson. Although Katie Marshall would sack Heather Furr on the Sirens
next possession, Furrler would make their impact felt in the quarter as
Erler connected on a 32 yard pass with Heather Furr to reduce the Angels
lead to 18-12.
the next possession, Stephanie Manou frustrated the Sirens defense.
Behind 20 rushing yards, Manou brought the Angels to the Sirens 6 yard
line. The drive ended with Mary Anne Hanson running to daylight as the
Angels logged their second touchdown of the quarter. In addition, she
would run in the extra point to extend the Angels lead to 25-12.
1:30 left in the contest, the Sirens chose to emphasize the pass on
their possession. Heather Furr attempted a pass to Casey Simpson which
was incomplete. On second down, Erler threw an incomplete pass to Tamar
Fennell. Erler struggled with her on-field awareness as her next pass
was intercepted by Jessica Hopkins. As the heart and soul of the Angels
defense, Hopkins ran the ball back 17 yards to ice the game for the
Stephanie Manou did not score a touchdown in the contest, the LFL
Canada rushing champion amassed 60 yards in the Lingerie Bowl triumph to
lead all players. Manou accounted for 71% of the Angels rushing attack
as she ground out crucial yards. Her efforts culminated in smart clock
management for the Angels.
the best efforts of the Sirens (Erler led in passing with 85 yards
while Furr led all players with 49 receiving yards), the numbers tell
the story. BC had 11 first downs, compared to 5 for the Sirens. The
Angels also held the advantage in terms of rushing yards (84 to 52),
total offense (155 to 124) and the ever important time of possession
(19:20 to 12:40).
Anne Erler provided a valiant effort, she was sacked three times and
completed 50% of her pass attempts, with only 12 rushing yards. The
Angels’ 4 sacks and advantage in turnovers (1 forced fumble, 1
interception) were key components in containing the high-octane offense
of the Sirens. The inability of the Sirens to convert on third downs (0
for 6) and not take advantage of scoring opportunities in the red zone
resulted in the Angels road to redemption.