In 15 rushing attempts, Regina Rage rookie sensation Kylie Rossler amassed 89 yards and one touchdown as the Rage upset the undefeated Saskatoon Sirens by a 26-20 score in Lingerie Football League Canada action.
For her efforts, she was named player of the game. With the win, the Rage claims the upper hand in the Saskatchewan Bowl series, pleasing their fans, known as the Green Machine Nation. Their two-game winning streak has resulted in a three-way tie for first place in the LFL Canada standings.
The game had an emotional investment for the fans at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon. In the section Q stands of the arena, fans of the Sirens and Rage were involved in a punch up. A total of 11 fans were ejected from the arena, and one man was arrested. The fight has made national news, and been a very popular video on the Internet.
For the season, Rossler has increased her yardage totals to 182 yards while amassing three touchdowns this year.
With Saskatoon struggling in run defense, Rossler exposed a lot of its weaknesses in a key win for the Rage.
While her numbers make her a strong favorite to be the LFL Canada Rookie of the Year, quarterback Nikki Johnson (of the Las Vegas Sin) leads all players on the Rage with 218 yards and seven touchdowns. Johnson and Rossler’s 398 total rushing yards of offense accounts for 98 percent of the Rage's 406 total rushing yards. In addition, Johnson ranks second and Rossler fourth in league rushing, behind leader Stephanie Manou.
Johnson has also contributed to the team as its offensive coordinator. Linebacker Tessa Barrera (a Lingerie Bowl Champion with the Los Angeles Temptation) serves as the team’s defensive co-ordinator. She brings her championship experience to the top-rated defense in LFL Canada, a key reason the Rage have the No. 1 ranked defense in LFL Canada.
Statistically, Barrera has seven solo tackles and one interception in three games played for the Rage.
Two other U.S. imports have been key contributors to the defense. Cydney Froelich, the Bismarck, North Dakota native played for the Minnesota Valkyrie. With the Rage, she has led the club with 16.5 tackles (third in the league) and eight yards of interception yardage.
Andrea Cecchini, from Jacksonville, Florida is the team’s sack leader, while ranking second in the league. Whitney Meierotto, another Minnesota native has been the most solid two-way player for the Rage this season. Her tackles are near the top five on the Rage, while she ranks third in offense in rushing, and leads all players in receiving. Her three receiving touchdowns have led all players on the team.
Sirens quarterbacks (and LFL US division veterans) Anne Erler and Heather Furr were unable to continue their momentum of an unbeaten campaign.
Known affectionately to Sirens fans as Furrler, the two have also played the safety position and combined for six interceptions, with Furr having made one in the loss. Casey Simpson continued to establish herself as one of the finest two-way players in the league but will need to step up her game in the next contest versus the Rage.
While Regina and Saskatoon comprise the smallest markets in LFL Canada, fan loyalty has been the story of the season.
The rivalry between the two Prairie franchises is the cornerstone upon which the league can build. Like the rivalry between the small-market Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings in the NFL, the Rage vs. Sirens is quickly emerging as a great Canadian sporting story.
With a rematch in two weeks, the deciding match of the Saskatchewan Bowl guarantees that the football fans in Saskatchewan football fans are the real winners.