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Friday, 17 June 2016 12:57

Steam face Temptation in LFL East-West contest

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The Atlanta Steam (1-0) will host the Los Angeles Temptation (2-1) at the Infinite Energy Arena on July 9 in an intra-conference Legends (a.k.a. Lingerie) Football League matchup that will be the first meeting ever between the teams.

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The Atlanta Steam prepare to take the field for their season opener against the Omaha Heart.

After opening the season in Week 8 of league action with a 77-0 pounding of the Omaha Heart (1-1), Atlanta has to wait a month for the opportunity to improve to 2-0 against a Los Angeles team that will be much more competitive than Omaha.

The season opener for Atlanta was an impressive performance that put the league on notice that the Steam is the team to beat in the East. Outstanding individual efforts on both sides of the ball resulted in a team that smothered their opponent on virtually every snap of the ball.

A look at the final stats for the night reflects Atlanta’s complete domination of an Omaha team that came in believing they were going to earn their first win in the series after going 0-6 since the Heart joined the league in 2013.

The Atlanta defense held Omaha to 85 yards of total offense, including -4 rushing on 21 attempts, forced five fumbles (recovering four of them), had an interception, and four sacks. On 40 offensive plays, the Heart averaged just 2.1 yards per attempt.

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Steam quarterback Dakota Hughes (18) set an LFL record by throwing for seven touchdowns in a game in the 77-0 win against the Heart.

While the defense was beating up the Omaha offense, the Atlanta offense was moving up and down the field at will. The Steam racked up 293 yards of total offense on 38 plays, good for a gain of 7.7 yards per play, on the way to an 11 touchdown night that included quarterback Dakota Hughes throwing an LFL record seven TDs in a game.

In addition to the individual effort delivered by Hughes, a number of players had outstanding efforts in the blowout win.

OFFENSE

Dakota Hughes was 16-21 passing for 176 yards with 7 TDs and no INTs. She also ran three times for nine yards.

First-year Steam member Brittany Demery led the ground attack with 61 yards on seven carries (8.7 Average), and scored a touchdown in her first LFL game. Tiara Elvin, another rookie, scored a TD while totaling 23 yards on three attempts (7.7). Jessi Locklear, in her second season with Atlanta, scored a TD on her one carry-a 15 yard burst. Lauran Ziegler got a goal line carry, and responded with a 1-yard TD run.

The air assault included seven players making receptions, including four that pulled in TD catches, with Ziegler leading Atlanta with five for 57 yards and three scores. Locklear was next with three (39 yards) followed by Adrian Purnell (29 yards), Dina Wojowski (18 yards), and Theresa Petruziello (17 yards) with two catches each. Both of Petruziello’s receptions were TDs. Demery (10 yards) and Amanda Ruller (6 yards) each had a catch as well.

Locklear led the Steam in All-purpose yards with 72 (15 Rush, 39 Rcv, 18 KR).

DEFENSE

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Coco Montgomery (1) led the defense with 6.0 tackles, including two sacks.

Original Steam member Coco Montgomery led the defense in total tackles with 6.0 (5S, 2A), and had 2.0 sacks for a loss of 14 yards. She also had two other tackles for loss for another -4 yards. Ziegler was next with 5.5 (5S, 1A), forced a fumble, and recovered two. Demery had 4 total tackles, all solo, and a pair of sacks for -10 yards on the way to 3.0 TFL for -14 yards. Purnell and Keyon Harrison also had fumble recoveries. Harrison also had an interception in the big win.

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Lauran Ziegler (14) impacted both sides of the ball on her way to being selected as the Game MVP.

Ziggy was named the Player of the Game after a night that saw her make big plays on both sides of the ball.

Los Angeles will be a much better gauge of just how good this edition of the Atlanta Steam is. The Temptation comes in on a two-game win streak, averaging a little over 31 points a game while allowing 28 per game on the season. Add to the mix that two key parts of the LA team, Nasira Johnson and Jayne Caldwell, have spent time with Atlanta and you have the makings of a very good game.

Johnson was Atlanta’s No.1 RB for three seasons, but now wears the black and silver while Caldwell, a veteran of the Australian league, spent some time with the Steam working with Hughes, head coach Dane Robinson, and QB coach Dominique Robinson ahead of last season. Johnson is currently the top rusher in the LFL with 156 yards on 32 attempts and two TDs while Caldwell is No.3 in rushing with 116 yards on 18 attempts with five TDs. The Aussie native has also passed for 116 yards (11/25) and two more scores while sharing time behind center with Kiara Patterson.

The final home game of the season will be tougher, but look for Atlanta to emerge 2-0 as they head to the final half of their season. The Steam will play New England before closing the LFL regular season against Chicago with both games coming on the road.    

Images courtesy Tony Villatoro/Toro Photos.

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Read 4600 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2016 07:30
Mike Delrio

After six seasons covering pro sports as a credentialed writer/photogrpaher in the Atlanta area, Mike began covering Gwinnett County High School sports in 2013 which led to the launch of Gwinnettsportsreport.com. GSR is a site that highlights prep and youth sports in Gwinnett County. While baseball. basketball, and football receive the majority of the attention, GSR will include updates and news on a variety of sports across the county.

GSR coverage of pro teams in the county began in June 2015.  

With many of the top athletes and teams in Georgia calling Gwinnett home, there is a never-ending stream of news and Gwinnettsportsreport.com looks forward to becoming one of your favorite sports blogs for updates on the outstanding athletes in our county.

 

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