by Warriors Staff and Titans Staff
Photos: Los Angeles Warriors and Kansas City Titans
In a first-ever meeting, the Los Angeles Warriors (10-0) will face-off against the Kansas City Titans (8-1) at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 14, at William Christian High School for the Women’s Football American Conference Championship. The winner gets its team’s first trip to the league’s National Championship in Atlanta on July 28th against the winner of the Boston Renegades/D.C. Divas National Conference game, also being played this weekend. [read DC/Boston preview]
Both the Warriors and Titans have demonstrated every week how to win football games. With their offense, defense, and special teams all running as a cohesive group, the Warriors have overwhelmed their opponents 293 to 29 and the Titans have similarly ousted their opponents, 367-81.
The Titans have been in the playoffs every year since the team formed six years ago, including another conference championship match in 2012 when they lost to the San Diego Surge, that year’s eventual national champions. And they’ve grown since their first round playoff loss last year to the Minnesota Vixen, who handed the Titan’s their only loss of this season and are also favored in this weekend’s Division 2 conference championship game against the Mile High Blaze.
“We lost 14 starters before the 2017 season and had also been going through different schemes but now we’re staying with the same scheme,” said Titans Head Coach Leonard Bulock, adding the team has benefited this year from its more experienced roster.
The Warriors also lost in the first round of the playoffs last year, and are looking for redemption.
In this year’s regional finals, the Warriors had a rematch with the Portland Fighting Shockwave, which began like the teams’ first regular season meeting with the Shockwave steadily marching down the field completing a combination of running and passing plays before they stalled.
When the Warriors took the ball on downs, the team never looked back. On the Warriors first drive, Priscilla Gardner took the ball from 18 yards out and not only scored the first touchdown of the game, but also reached an impressive milestone of running over 5,000 career yards.
When the final seconds expired, the Warriors had won that regional championship, 39-6, but the celebration was short-lived because they also realized that their next playoff opponents, the Titans, had demolished their opponent, the Arlington Impact, 67-10.
“L.A. has been tested because they have done what good teams need to do every game – they make the stops and score points,” Coach Bulock said about the Warrior’s regular season matchups against teams like the San Diego Rebellion, Sin City Trojans, and the Shockwave. “And when you see that the teams that we played have made it deep into the playoffs… it shows that we’ve been tested, too.”
L.A. will face several Kansas City superstars such as Brittany Williams, the Titans’ veteran running back, who is the league leader in carries, yards, and touchdowns. Additionally, wide receiver Liz Sowers, twin sister of the San Francisco 49ers coach Katie Sowers, has caught over 550 yards. On the defensive side, the league’s top three spots in sacks are all lead by Titans players: Jennifer Dulski, Kellie Fagg, and Krishna Lee combined for more than 20 sacks.
But the Warriors have the size and the depth advantage Coach Bulock said, who has been looking at tape and doing an unlimited study of the their patterns.
“LA has good tackles and they get rid of the ball fast so we are looking to anticipate the count a bit,” he said of the Warrior’s “west coast” style of play.
The Warriors preparation for this upcoming game has not changed much these past two weeks. Head Coach Bobby Patterson has the team reviewing film, conditioning, and practicing with an emphasis on the entire defense.
“KC will be no joke,” said Warriors’ defensive coordinator Jeff King. “They are well coached and also play hard.”
With all the talk about defense, both teams are clearly capable of putting up a lot of points.
“We are similar in so many ways,” Coach Bulock said. “There is great balance between these teams and the game will be a great showcase for women’s football.”