• Omaha Infinite Energy Arena - Duluth, GA Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 8:00PM ET Atlanta


    • 6
    • 42
    Standings 1-3
    2-2 Standings

    Infinite Energy Arena - Duluth, GA Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 8:00PM ET


    Atlanta Finds Redemption on the Legs of Sweetness as They Scorch Omaha 42-6

    The Atlanta Steam have quieted the skeptics who said a winless first season was probable. With a lopsided 42-6 victory over the Omaha Heart, the Steam claim their historic first win in franchise history, putting their harsh season opener far behind them.

    The Steam looked confident on Saturday Night. From the moment they took the field under the red lights and roaring crowd at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, this group of women had an aura of toughness about them. It was as if the loss that took place two weeks ago in Jacksonville instilled a nothing-to-lose mentality. Their defense played angry, their running backs lowered their shoulders, and quarterback Brittany Morgan’s true colors as a leader surfaced with a vengeance. Atlanta head coach Ray Norell implemented a Georgia Tech style triple option running game that had the Omaha defense guessing on every play. Sweetness and Nas, who were nowhere to be found in week one, were endzone magnets.

    Game MVP Nasira “Nas” Johnson scored on Atlanta’s first drive to put a nervous chill through the Omaha bench. The score was only 8-0, but the ease at which the Steam drove down the field was foretelling of the success they’d have Saturday night. Two more touchdowns from Cynthia “Sweetness” Freeman gave Atlanta all the swagger they needed to walk calmly into the locker room at halftime. Omaha was trailing 21-0 and needed to find something to be positive about after getting stopped on the Atlanta goal line late in the first half.

    Mind you, not only was Atlanta’s running game impressive, what with their misdirections and counter plays, but the true bright spot for this team was the intensity of their defense. Their style of play was the sort that riles up a crowd. They tackle right on the border of what’s legal. They close line weaker ball carriers. They throw their opponents to the ground, and are not shy to a start and finish a fight when things get dicey at the end of a play. The dominating power of Colette “Coco” Montgomery and Alexandria Stone had the Omaha players looking at each other, each saying, “you take the ball…No…you take the ball.”

    Omaha struggled to move the ball and suffered the killer drops and busted plays that tend to plague a rookie team on opening night. Despite showing great toughness, Omaha quarterback Linsey Noble forced too many passes downfield. Her key target tonight was Kelsey Lane, who’s great size enabled her to find mismatches and get open often. She’ll need to work on her speed, but the chemistry between her and Noble is a positive light that Omaha will work to center around moving forward.

    The second half was all Atlanta again. Sweetness capped off a 3rd quarter drive with another powering rushing touchdown, her third of the night. Brittany Morgan completed her first passing touchdown of her career, after Jodie Nettles found herself in the right spot at the right time, catching a deflected pass in the end zone. Omaha found the end zone late in the fourth, but it was far too little far too late.

    Atlanta made a statement with an Alfye Gore pick six to end their franchise home debut and found themselves circling the middle of the field in celebration. This 42-6 victory will give the Steam a little hop in their step as they head back to practice on Monday. Coach Norell will sleep well tonight knowing he’s coached a winning team in a league that is growing with more talent every day, but he knows the season for the Steam is only half way done. There is still much more to prove for this young team from Atlanta.