The Sporting Life: Nashville Knights hosting Denver Dream June 22 Edition

The Nashville Knights host the Denver Dream at Municipal Auditorium June 22.

Last season the Nashville Knights went into Omaha with an undefeated 3-0 record, looking to cap a perfect regular season. As everyone expected with Nashville’s talent on that 2018 roster, the Omaha Heart was no match and the Knights took home an 80-0 victory, finishing their inaugural regular season undefeated, having outscored their opponents by almost 50 points per game. The 2018 Knights fell just short of reaching the Legends Cup, losing to the eventual 2018 Champion Chicago Bliss in the Eastern Conference Championship.

This season the 2019 Nashville Knights are a completely different group of athletes compared to that inaugural season a year ago. Last year’s roster featured some of the best athletes in the game, future Hall-of-Famers, and a handful of All-Fantasy players,including KK Matheny, Jade Randle, Stevi Schnoor, Dominique Malloy, and other veterans. Nashville version 2.0 is very different at this point. Some of the notable athletes for Nashville are quarterback Molly Richardson, Netta Carter, and Austina Mellberg.

“We really don’t have anybody you would know,” said the Knights’ new head coach Yuir Howard. “We have a rookie team unproven and hungry to show what they can do.”

Nashville’s ownership set a goal to rebuild his team with local talent as well as bringing back some of the Knight’s rookies from last year to help this team compete. Nashville is going to rely on their athleticism and coaching to try to put together a winning season. Ownership and the coaching staff still have big expectations for 2019, despite a massive roster turnover that took place.

Stumbling out of the gate, Nashville suffered the worst defeat in franchise history at the Omaha Heart, losing 45-29 in their 2019 Week 7 battle on Saturday, June 1. After the loss to Omaha, it’s evident there is a lot of improvement needed before the Knights see any postseason action again.

Nashville’s quarterback Molly Richardson is in her second LFL season after having the opportunity to sit behind KK Matheny a season ago. Richardson impressed in her starting debut as, on the first play of the game, Richardson connected with Gabrielle Todd for a 35-yard TD pass and fans saw just what kind of arm strength and accuracy the Heart would have to defend. Richardson had a great outing, completing more than 50% of her passes (13-of-22) for 150 yards and two touchdowns in her LFL starting debut, with only one interception.

Richardson and the Knights held a 12-6 lead in the first quarter after two successful possessions. Omaha’s offense exploded in the second quarter scoring three times and holding Nashville to only one more score and Omaha led Nashville 28-19 at the half. A Danika Brace coached defense had already given up 28 points to the Omaha Heart which was a big surprise. Brace was the Knight’s head coach last season. Omaha controlled the clock scoring on nearly every drive while holding Nashville to just one more touchdown to take the 49- 25 win at home.

The Nashville Knights (0-1) defense will need to improve greatly in order to have any chance at a postseason run, as they’ll likely need to run the table against the Denver Dream (0-2) in Nashville on June 22, at Chicago (0-2) on July 20, and in their home and the LFL regular-season finale against the Austin Acoustic (1-0) on August 10. It is doable! Come out and join me to cheer your home team at Nashville’s Historic Municipal Auditorium on Saturday, June 22. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.