Recap: 2011 Club Regionals (Northwest Open)
Posted: October 6, 2011 01:14 PM
One point changed the landscape of the 2011 Northwest Open Region. All that Sockeye needed to do was to survive a late game charge by Revolver, and they would push the defending champs down to the 2nd place bracket and meet Rhino in the finals. Given Revolver’s dominance over the past two years, you can’t ask for much more than the chance to receive against them on universe point. Yet when Revolver’s Beau Kittredge got just a bit higher than Matt Rehder, Sockeye was sent packing to the dirt road where they would ultimately meet their demise.
Revolver's Beau Kittredge pulls down the final point for the win against Seattle Sockeye in the game to go. [PHOTO CREDIT: Scobel Wiggins]
Moments earlier, Sockeye’s Nate Castine fired two shots at the end zone, which if they had connected, would have placed Revolver in the 2nd place bracket, and Sockeye in the finals. On the initial possession, Castine’s huck to a wide open Andrew Fleming fell short. Then, after a Tim Gehret layout block, Castine over threw Reed Koss with a flick to space that sailed out of the endzone. Kittredge’s sky set up Revolver on the goal line, and a quick quick and go but the disc back in Kittredge’s hands for the goal.
With that goal, Revolver got the easy road to the crown as Rhino would rest their starters against the vaunted San Francisco club for the second time in the tournament. Sockeye was forced to meet their longtime rival Furious George in the backdoor semifinal. In a theme that was constant throughout the tournament Sockeye would blow a three-point lead for the third time. Furious rattled off five straight points, going from down 12-9 to up 14-12. With the score 14-13, Castine would have chance for redemption, but jumped too early for the disc. Furious’ Oscar Pottinger fell backwards with the catch for the goal and the win, marking the first time since 1999 that Sockeye has not made it out of the region.
Rhino’s strategy for resting in the title game seemed to be paying off early as they took a three point lead over Furious on the back of Mario O’Brien and an Oregon connection between Dylan Freechild, Cody Bjorkland and Eli Friedman. Things could have been much worse for Furious had it not been for a sensational hammer catch over a Rhino defender that gave Vancouver their first point of the game. With the momentum change led on defense by Andy Collins, Furious took an 8-7 halftime lead. Earlier, we saw a similar situation, with Rhino taking half in the semifinal, and then control the game to a 15-9 win. Even with Seth Wiggins domination on the offensive side, Rhino couldn’t take advantage of turnovers to get back in the game. Furious George would slip a forehand in on the open side for the winning goal, and the Canadian champs punched their ticket to the Club Championships.
David Bestock of Sockeye passing through heavy traffic in the semies v Revolver on Sunday morning.
[PHOTO CREDIT: Scobel Wiggins]
Had Castine been able to find Fleming in the end zone, we could have seen a rematch from Labor Day in the finals. Rhino may not have rested it’s starters in the final, for fear playing Revolver in the backdoor. Furious may have had its hands full with the defending champions, and may have been the first one to exit. For Sockeye, it will be a season of could have’s after they showed an inability to hold leads throughout the season; Rhino will also be facing regret in not being able to muster out a few more points. What we do know for sure is that one point changed the outcome positively for Furious George and Revolver, as they will relish another trip to Sarasota.
Revolver 15 - Rhino 10
2nd Place Game:
Furious George 15 - Rhino 12
1 - Revolver
2 - Furious George
3 - Rhino
4 - Sockeye
5 - Wolves
6 - Voodoo
7T - Boost Mobile
7T - Dark Star
7T - Downpour
7T - South Portland Knife Fight