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Regionals

Recaps
by Davis

Saturday

Furious vs. Sockeye (Pool Play)

Curiously, our day began with the most important game of pool play against #2 seed and longtime rivals, Sockeye. Since our defeat at sectionals, the Monkey underwent a complete overhaul specifically intended to address Sockeye’s strengths and weaknesses. To stand any chance of stealing one of NW’s bids, we had to become Sockeye-killers, and Saturday’s game was our first test of that. Sockeye came into the game looking strong as they took the lead, but still not their strongest. Furious woke up and began running a little harder, and turned the game around in the third quarter with four points in a row to tie up the game. Oscar Pottinger showed off his reflexes and reads with some stunning endzone catches as Furious took the lead. We traded out the rest of the game to win it 15-14.

Sunday

Furious vs. Rhino (Semi-final)

Before this game, we had given only secondary consideration to Rhino; we genuinely thought we had them figured out. But Rhino showed up at full strength for the first time this year, and it was a whole new experience. The D-line struggled to contain Seth Wiggins, who salvaged any number of pressured situations, and the swift break-and-huck combinations he enabled. On offense, we suffered against Rhino’s smart and intense defense. While we did not necessarily play as well we could have, Rhino brought the pain to this match-up, plain and simple, and it paid off for them. After a close first half to 8-7, Portland pounded the Monkey to 15-9, and made off with the easy road to the finals and a chance to rest their starters yet again.

Furious vs. Sockeye (Pre-consolation)

After losing a barn-burner 15-14 semi-final against Revolver, Sockeye defended their seed against Wolves and met Furious in a rematch. When Sockeye feels the insult of defeat, they come back hard. They broke our O-line early, and held the lead for almost all of this game. Their offense looked twice as good as it did on Saturday, with masterfully quick handler exchanges and breaks. Our offense looked pressured and at times, frantic. Finally, down 12-9, the Furious defense took control and began grinding the Fish handlers, which threw off the timing of their cuts. With the help of some great defense by Aaron Liu, the Monkey scored 5 points in a row to 14-12. Sockeye finally scored and put us back on offense, but Oscar Pottinger reeled in one last huck over the head of Nate Castine to win the game.

Furious vs. Rhino (2nd Place Game)

With the win over Sockeye Furious earned a spot in the backdoor game to Sarasota in a rematch against Rhino. This scenario was part of Rhino’s master plan; their strategy hinged on resting their best players as much as possible and then ambushing a tired opponent in the consolation game. Once again they came out strong, breaking Furious early twice and taking a 3-0 lead. A crucial snatch on offense saved us from another break and put the defense on once more. This time, we had learned our lesson and we abandoned our fancier schemes in favour of man-to-man match-ups and a backhand force. We were determined to make this a war of one-on-one battles. Slowly but surely, the Monkey began to wear Rhino down and we chipped away at the score. On offense, Menzies, Brown and Seraglia kept the disc alive through one hair-raising clutch play after another, and Gailits, Underhill and Wong won the long game for us. On defense, Aaron Liu and Aaron Koenig turned the game around with decisive blocks, helping us to take the lead in breaks at 11-9. At 14-12, Furious shoved in the winning point in a quick-and-dirty prison-rules-style 7ft pass into the front endzone corner.

Alex Davis

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