2012 Club Championships: Saturday Open Recap

Posted: October 28, 2012 08:44 AM

Saturday recaps:

Open Scoreboard

When I asked Sockeye’s Skip Sewell what the score of their game against Ring of Fire was, he told me "We’re even, but it’s a battle." That was an understatement. Ring of Fire and Sockeye matched up in a game of long points, big skies and aggressive defense. Ring’s defensive offense was ruthless and made the most of Sockeye’s turnovers, taking a 6-4 lead. From there Sockeye struggled to find a rhythm on offense, often taking multiple possessions to score. Ring continued to play stifling man defense on Sockeye’s shifty handlers and broke again late in the game en route to a 15-10 victory. Machine took an early lead on 2 seed Revolver at 4-2 but from there on out it was all Revolver. Their experience was evident as the D line buckled down and scored efficiently in the wind. They cruised to a 15-8 win. 
On the top half of the bracket the untested top seed Ironside faced the surging Chain Lightning in an incredibly exciting game. Chain Lightning came out on fire, running off three breaks to go up 6-4. However, a sky d by Colin Mahoney that Ironside converted led to three straight breaks and Ironside took half on serve 8-7. Chain was dedicated to their deep game, but it did not work in their favor as they were unable to connect deep on 3 of their 4 hucks in the first half.  Early in the second half Teddy Brower-Jarus’ lay out D jumped started the Ironside defense as they broke twice more for an 11-8 lead. Chain Lightning’s Joel Wooten provided some fire for the defense, and Chain got a much-needed break but Ironside was able to hold on for a 15-13 win on an upwind D point. Over in the Doublewide vs. GOAT game GOAT jumped out to an early lead as Doublewide had trouble throwing deep as well. However, Doublewide put faith in their short game and relied on their zone defense to gain breaks back in the second half. GOAT struggled going upwind and Doublewide pulled of a 14-11 win.
2012Club D2 O LeClaire
[Photo Credit: Kevin Leclaire, UltiPhotos.com]
In the Doublewide vs. Ironside semifinal Ironside took a huck and play defense strategy that seemed contrary to their typically patient offense. Using a mixture of offensive and defensive players they attempted to trap Doublewide on the upwind goal line. Doublewide did a very good job of working the disc upwind and took an early 3 break lead. Ironside shifted away from the huck later in the half, and athletes like Will Neff (2 layout Ds) stepped up on the other side of the disc. Ironside was able to break back to 7-7 before Doublewide took half. As the game went on the wind continued to play a factor as teams struggled going upwind in the second half. The cap went on with the score at 12-10 Doublewide, making it a game to 14. An impressive layout grab on a tipped huck by Max Cook saved possession and gave Doublewide a 13-11 lead. With the score 13-12 Boston pulled upwind to Doublewide. Again it was Max Cook going deep for Doublewide, this time for the 14-12 win and Doublewide’s first ever finals appearance. 
In the other semifinal Revolver seemed unfazed by the wind, using their speedy cutters to run an efficient spread offense. Ring of Fire’s defensive line continued to play with intensity, but seemed a bit overmatched by the experienced Revolver squad. Ashlin Joye and Robbie Cahill dominated for Revolver, displaying pinpoint throws and smart decision marking. Noah Saul continued to impress for Ring, often initiating their vert stack offense when working upwind. Ken Porter and Justin Allen’s speed were impressive as they showed that Ring of Fire is an extremely athletic group. In the end though, Revolver’s poise and confidence were too much for Ring, whose impressive run ended in the Semifinals. 
2012Club Sat O Wu
[Photo Credit: Brandon Wu, UltiPhotos.com]
Other observations:
  • This is Revolver’s 4th straight bid to the finals, a feat that has not been outdone since Death or Glory’s streak ended in 1999 (it has however been tied by Sockeye 2003-2007)
  • All three teams from Pool C that qualified for Quarterfinals exited in that round.
  • Ironside, Doublewide and Revolver are all returning semifinalists from 2011.
  • GOAT and Sockeye who both gave opponents trouble with quick handler movement in the early rounds struggled to establish offensive rhythm today.

  • This is Ring of Fire’s highest finish since 2003.