By Derek Fleming, Staff Writer, WNFC
Sometimes, taking a step back can spur a phenomenal performance. Such was the case for Liz Landry, the Atlantic Conference Player of the Week for Week 4. Landry said that she has had an off season in 2022 and hasn’t been finding her groove. After not being involved in the early part of Saturday’s game, Landry came in and lit up the field on offense and special teams.
Landry had two receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown as part of a monster day for Week 1 POTW QB Brittany Bushman. Landry, who is a well-known threat on special teams, had two punt returns, one that went for a touchdown and also returned a kickoff for 15 yards.
Before the game, Landry learned that she would not be part of the starting lineup on offense. After handling the opening kickoff, Landry hit the bench for the first few series.
“[Coach Jenkins] told me, sometimes you can be so into something that you have to take a step away from it and come back to it,” Landry said Jenkins told her when letting her know she wouldn’t start. Eventually, Landry heard her number called. “I just kind of hit the ground running so to speak.”
“Landry is one the most physically impressive players in the game,” Jenkins said. “On Saturday night, she took advantage of one-on-one coverage and put the team on her back with a huge punt return. She was a force all night and had been that for this team for a very long time.”
The punt return that went for a touchdown was the only points the prolific Elite Spartans scored in the second quarter. The score is Landry’s first special teams score of the 2022 season, and it was something she said that fellow Elite Spartan Deana Guidry told her to visualize.
Landry said that rather than running east and west to find an opportunity, she went straight down the middle of the field, eventually finding the end zone. Landry credited her fellow special teams players, whose blocking was “like Moses parting the Red Sea” on the run.
Landry said the award gives her a new perspective on the season and helps her understand the importance of slowing things down and remembering to have fun.