Sunday, November 20, 2011

Defenseless Valkyrie Fall to Bliss 40-33

On a night when a lot of the focus was on the Minnesota Valkyrie's offensive side of the ball and the fact their starting quarterback and running back were out with injury, it turned out it was the defense that they should've worried about.  Rarely was Chicago's RB ChrissDell Harris touched, much less tackled.  The offense did it's best to play catch up with the Bliss after the Valkyrie spotted them 20 unanswered points, but the comeback bid fell short after a failed onside kick attempt with 1:31 left in the second half. 

Jocelyn Bendijo took the reigns from the injured Jana Skrtic at quarterback and after a slow start early in the first half showed herself to be a very capable quarterback.  She hit Whitney Meierotto for two late first half touchdowns to cut the deficit to 14, 26-12.  Jocelyn also ran for a touchdown in the second half.  Unfortunately though, the Valkyrie for the second straight game didn't make it through the entire 34 minutes with their starting quarterback healthy.  After many gritty second half runs for the smaller sized Jocelyn and taking multiple big hits in which she was slow to get up, with 2:25 left in the second half she was unable to get up after another big Bliss hit.  Bendijo looked to re injure her knee that was banged up in the LA game and was unable to return, being replaced at QB by Whitney Meierotto.

Meierotto ended the night with two td catches, one td pass and two extra point conversions (one by catch, one by run).  Whitney was the star of the night for the losing Valkyrie as she did it all at multiple positions on both offense and defense.  Meierotto carried the Valks, but the star of the game was ChrissDell Harris for the Chicago Bliss.  On the night she had two rushing touchdowns and would've had a third if she hadn't handed off a long touchdown run to a teammate on the 5 yard line to allow her teammate to run it in.  IN the second half Harris took over and answered every Valkyrie touchdown with a big gashing run down the sidelines to stretch the lead back to two possessions.  Harris had help as Heather Furr, the reigning LFL MVP, was a star as well running in two touchdowns and throwing for another while looking in total control of the Bliss offense against a hapless Valkyrie defense.

The Valkyrie are now 1-2 and will need to win against Seattle in January and then somehow have Seattle, LA and Chicago end their seasons at 2-2 and with a lesser point differential than the Valkyrie to have a chance at making the LFL playoffs.  Stranger things have happened, but there is no way the Valkyrie will make that run or win in Seattle if their defense plays like it did Saturday.  The offense will more than likely have it's starters back at quarterback in Jana Skrtic and possibly even at running back with Lisa Bastien for the Seattle game.  Yet, neither of those players will help out with the Valkyrie's defense, and it became obvious on Saturday that "help" is just what that defense needs.


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