By Pete Richmire and Tone Young
the Pacific Cup kick off gets closer and the hype increases, this game
has begun to take on a playoff feel with both of these teams looking to
make a statement. Let’s take a look at how these teams compare
QB: Laurel Creel (Sea) vs. Mary Ann Hanson (BC)
Ann Hanson had a great 2012. Working with a primarily rookie receiving
core, she completed 40.5% of her passes with six touchdowns and three
interceptions. Hanson also ran in a touchdown and showed improvement
with each game.
Creel has a decided advantage in experience and threw for 294 yards in
2011 with seven touchdowns and only one interception. Statistically,
combined with a veteran group of receivers, Creel has the advantage in
this category. Although, the fact that Hanson has a Championship under
her belt makes it closer.
RB: Emily Bell (Sea) vs. Stephanie Manou (BC)
Bell is a Mist veteran. She has been with the team and knows this
offense, but with Kam Warner and Ericka Smith leading Seattle’s rushing
attack last year, she saw limited time in the backfield. That will
change this year as Bell will be the featured back for Seattle, however
she is facing a rushing phenom in the Pacific Cup.
Stephanie Manou put up incredible numbers this year. She had 337 yards
on 49 carries plus five touchdowns. She played for the Lingerie Bowl
Champions and has more game experience rushing than Bell. Advantage
is coming into this game with their number two receiver Jessica Hopkins
playing for Seattle. Aleesa Garcia and Ashley Petrie each have
receiving touchdowns, and Kate Marshall looks to be a big part of the
Angels receiving game as well. They will however be facing a much
stronger secondary than they have ever seen so it might be a long night
for the Angels receiving corps.
is deep at receiver. They are returning six players from 2011 including
Jessica Hopkins (12 catches, 222 yards, 5 TDs) and Christine Moore who
only had two catches, but they were both touchdowns. Seattle receivers
gained 404 yards and found the end zone 10 times. Heading into the
Border War, Seattle gets the nod at receivers.
will be without their number one statistical defender, Jessica Hopkins,
who will be with Seattle for this game. The Angels have very strong
pass rushers in Heidi Nordby (14 solo tackles, 3 tackles for loss and 1
sack) and Kate Marshall (12 solo tackles, 6 tackles for loss and 3
sacks). Ashley Hamer-Jackson and Darnelle Bernemann also had tackles for
losses. Not including Hopkins and Moore’s stats, B.C. still managed two
forced fumbles and two interceptions, so the Angels are not completely
inept without the Washington natives.
defense combats B.C.’s stats with experience, experience and more
experience. The Mist are returning seven players with defensive
experience in the LFL’s stacked Western Conference that features the
talented Las Vegas Sin and three time LFL Champion Los Angeles
Temptation. Seattle brings back Hopkins, Moore and a team that forced
three fumbles and allowed only 77 points in 2011. With the rule change
removing restrictions on blitzing, look for Seattle’s defense to shine
against a less experienced BC offense.
Coaching: Chris Michaelson (Sea) vs. Kevin Snell (BC)
of these guys know football. There is no question about that.
Michaelson is the 2011 LFL US Coach of the Year. Snell guided his team
to win the LFL Canada Championship. Look for a chess match of plays,
schemes and different looks in this game. This category is a draw, but
Michaelson has the edge in LFL experience and length of time with his
B.C. Angels are Champions. They are fresh off a great season and look
to bring their championship swagger and talent into Seattle. However,
they also are looking for their first road win, and the ShoWare Center
is a ridiculously tough place to try and get it.
fan base is amazing. They pack the ShoWare Center with 6,900 screaming
fans who won the 2011 LFL US 8th Man on the Year Award. The Mist haven’t
played since 2011 and they are hungry for action. They are the reigning
LFL US Team of the Year and Jessica Hopkins is the Mortaza Award
winner. Seattle is looking to make a statement heading into the upcoming
US season, and they are looking to jump start it Saturday December
15th. Seattle’s experience tips this category their way.
Coach Kevin Snell is looking forward to this game for his players, and
he wants the opportunity to see how his Canadian athletes measure up
against a U.S. team. One thing is for sure, we will all find out during
this Saturday’s Pacific Cup!