Lycans Fall Again, Playoffs Fade Away
On Saturday , the Los Angeles Lycans once again let victory slip through their hands late in the game. The Vancouver Legion (9-1), having already clinched the Pacific Division, held on to the 21-20 victory after a key interception under a minute to go in the game thanks to some questionable play-calling by the Lycans (3-7).
Ashley Rose-Finch picked off Sully Richardson early in the game at the Vancouver 21-yard line. From there, Tom Pepper would find James Walters, Brett Killian, and Chris Curtis through the air before Robert Redford capped off the drive with a 5-yard jaunt into the endzone for a 7-0 Legion lead after the Chance Touwin PAT.
The Lycans would answer right back. Richardson found Davius Reid behind the Legion defense and he scampered seventy yards to tie the game at seven apiece after Rob Emms connected on his point after try. This was a much-needed boost for Los Angeles after the drubbing they took the week before at the hands of Fort Worth.
On what looked like the last possession of the second quarter, Vancouver drove down the field in a hurry. Using quick outs, Pepper marched the Legion within striking distance to the LA 27-yard line. The brilliant QB would find Killian all alone in the endzone, tying him for third all-time in receiving touchdowns, for a 14-7 lead with 0:14 remaining in the half.
Los Angeles would have one last play with 0:08 to go from their own 24-yard line. Robert Johnson would bust up the middle and have clear sailing ahead. The 76-yard run tied the game at 14 heading to the half.
Richardson would move LA in front midway through the third quarter. A key reception from Elzie Pryor and runs by Johnson would set up a field goal attempt by Emms. He would stick it through from forty-three yards out to put the Lycans out in front 17-14 with 6:01 remaining in the period.
Pepper would once again go to the air to put pressure on the Lycans defense. He would find Redford out of the backfield, Kendra Hall and Walters twice apiece, with the latter finding the front part of the endzone to put the Legion back on top. With the Touwin PAT, Vancouver jumped back ahead 21-17 with 1:08 to go in the third.
Terrance Weary and Chris Lee helped lead the Lycans down the field in the fourth quarter, with Richardson connecting with each to drive LA into scoring position. After Johnson was unable to get in the endzone from inside the five, Emms would kick another field goal from eighteen yards away to inch his team closer at 21-20 with 5:24 to play.
Los Angeles would get the ball back with just over two minutes to play looking to take the lead and steal a win from the division-leading Legion. Richardson would use Johnson on the ground and find Pryor over the middle for a key first down under a minute to go. Inexplicably, the AI decided to call for a pass on three consecutive plays instead of running the ball and taking the field goal. The first one was a fortunate incompletion, then a three-yard out, and finally a tipped pass interception by FS Marc Lopez. Vancouver would go into victory formation and two plays later walk away with a 21-20 win.
Tom Pepper was 27 of 36 passing for 302 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Robert Redford ran the ball nineteen times for sixty-two yards and a touchdown, while hauling in six passes for thirty yards. James Walters led the Legion receiving corps with six receptions for eighty-six yards and a touchdown. Kendra Hall would grab five balls for fifty-four yards, while Brett Killian would catch three balls for fifty-one yards and a score. Former Lycan punter Chance Touwin would connect on all three of his PATs. Drew Hamilton would lead the way for the Vancouver defense with ten tackles, including one TFL. Earl Field IV chipped in nine stops. Ashley Rose-Finch and Marc Lopez each picked off a pass, while Gerald Giudicessi would contribute a sack.
Sully Richardson would go 22 of 31 through the air with one touchdown and two interceptions. Robert Johnson toted the ball twenty-six times for 166 yards and one touchdown. Davius Reid was the leading receiver with six catches for ninety-seven yards and a score. Chris Lee hauled in five balls for forty-one, Terrance Weary four for fifty-four, Elzie Pryor four for thirty-seven, and Jack Flash two balls for eleven yards. Rob Emms made both of his PATs and both of his field goals in the game. Danny Stinson was the top Lycan tackler with ten, Kevin Brackett had nine, and Mike Scott had eight. Ace Blackwell was credited with a sack/TFL, while Stinson, Buddy Blaze and Tazzy Blackwell were each got a TFL for the game. Ryan Yoseph intercepted a Pepper pass for the lone LA interception.