By Jeremy Vega
Battling to Stay Above the Water
Two winless teams sitting at 0-2 were set to due battle, both attempting to find their identity and secure a win to build momentum, and to try and get back to .500 in Week 4. The Vancouver Legion came into San Francisco to face the Sharks in what would be the first of two games for this new rivalry coming out of the Western Conference. Both teams sitting at the bottom of the league in power rankings, standings, and most of the SFL community’s opinions of who is the worst team in the league. In what most anticipated as a possible low scoring affair from two struggling offenses, one team struggled mightily, while the other lit up the scoreboard all game. Let’s get into the breakdown of the game starting with the San Fran Sharks.
Lost at Sea
The Sharks offense came out sputtering most of the first half. With two interceptions coming from QB Jacques Luyindula in the first quarter, and both being turned into points, it put the Sharks behind early, forcing Luyindula to pass a lot for most of the game. He did finish with good numbers, 24/31 371 yards 3TDs (all in the 4th quarter), and 3 interceptions. WR Gabriel Manning finished the day with 7 catches for 106 yards and 1 TD. WR Django Anoa’i making his first career start had a great game as well, finishing the day with 6 catches for 142 yards and 1 TD. Looking at the stats for the Sharks tells a much different story than the final score. The offense was very efficient, totaling 400 plus yards, going 10/16 on 3rd down and picking up 17 first downs. The early turnovers by the offense and giving up big plays by the defense along with a run game that got nothing going, ultimately proved costly for the Sharks. Coming into the season with lots of question marks surrounding their build, their defense stacked with stars and their offense lacking stars, most would have assumed the offense would struggle while the defense would shine. Well so far it has been the opposite and in this game, it showed. The Sharks will head to Dallas to take on the Ruffnecks, both teams being 0-3 and looking to avoid an 0-4 start and having their playoff hopes possibly come to an end early.
Legion Avoid Going Overboard
For the first time in franchise history, the Vancouver Legion avoids an 0-4 start to the season. Picking up their first win of the year in a dominating performance. The offense continuing to stick to their balanced attack, were finally able to pound the rock and punch their drives into the endzone consistently. With the defense securing turnovers from the Penitentiary and the offense converting those turnovers into points, they grabbed an early lead and never looked back. Tom Pepper again had a quiet, but proficient game, and Jonathan Sanchez had a monster game. He was able to bang out 33 carries for 163 yards and 3 TDs. One rushing TD went to the backup runningback who Sanchez felt deserved some love as well. Brett Killian had the biggest game of the receiving corps, stepping up after taking the starting role from Cade Stephens, who was cut this past week for missing practice. He had 6 catches for 107 yards a 1 TD. The linebackers for the Legion, Reid and Champion, were huge in stuffing the run, allowing the secondary to make plays. Reid and Champion are tied for 2nd most total tackles in the league along with Landin Mack from Mexico City. A performance like this is exactly what was expected from Vancouver coming into the season and is exactly what the team hopes to continue to replicate week to week moving forward. The Legion will take on the undefeated Tallahassee Pride in Week 4 on Saturday night in what could be the most watched game of the year to date.
Good luck to all the teams in Week 4 and thank you all for supporting the beat writers. Have a great week. One Love