Aggravatingly, all the games I wanted to see were simultaneous. Fortunately, the three biggies were on adjacent fields, so I plopped myself in the middle and caught what I could.
I had hoped that one of the three games would be a blow out and this was it. Like lightning it was halftime 8-1. Voodoo turn, Monkey goal. Voodoo turn, Monkey goal. There isn’t any way to explain this other than the power of experience. Furious, down personnel and struggling, put all that aside and played the game they need to play: defense first and defense second. For a young team like Voodoo, it is very difficult to take an emotional hit like going down 3-0 or 4-0 and survive. They didn’t. 15-7 Furious.
This game was very, very similar to the pool play game from the previous day. Lots and lots of good defense and lots and lots of inexplicable turnovers. It was a lot windier than the day before and Traffic did a better job of managing their field position. Both teams threw some passes that looked a lot like punts. Riot’s game winner was indicative of the game as a whole: a stalling nine jump-ball over the back of the stack. 12-11 Riot.
This was a very, very enjoyable game to watch. Both teams know the other very well and gave each other fits defensively. Rhino relied on stingy man-to-man and Sockeye on their zone transition. Rhino doesn’t play O- and D-lines, instead mixing their stars in and out constantly. This has some drawbacks, but strength as well. One of those strengths is their ability to play defense at a consistently high level. There’s no O-team defensive let down. Consequently, Sockeye generated a lot of turns in the first half, but really struggled to cash them in. I asked Reid Koss about it: “The wind was keeping us from doing what we want and we aren’t going to Plan B very well.” So of course I asked, “What’s Plan B?” and Koss replied “There is no Plan B.”
The game was decided by an absolutely lovely block by BJ Sefton. Right at the start of the point, about 15 yards out of the Sockeye endzone, Sefton got beat by Jacob Janin on a comeback cut. The Rhino handler was running upfield for the ladder pass and Janin just laid it off for him. But Sefton hadn’t slowed. He just kept on coming and as Janin released the disc, Sefton laid out and ate it up. A few passes later it was over. 14-13 Fish.