Friday Round Three Recap: Prequarters

Six matches closed out the day on Friday as teams played to qualify for both quarterfinals and a spot in the Pro Flight of the USA Ultimate Triple Crown Tour.

Aside from an exciting run made by Johnny Bravo to start the second half, this game was all Chain Lightning. The Atlanta squad came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, reeling off a number of highlight plays during the first few points of the game. Chain’s momentum — largely created by the huge bids they were making all over the field — carried them through a dominant first half, which they took 8-3.

Johnny Bravo battled back, scoring twice out of half to bring the game within three, but Chain was not going to let them back into in. The end of the game was filled with even more highlights from both sides — including an enormous catch block by Bravo’s Ethan Pollack in the endzone against Chain’s Dylan Tunnell — but the balance was heavily in Chain’s favor as they finished the game up 15-12 and moved on to the Quarterfinals on Saturday.

The game also had implications for next season. Johnny Bravo will be relegated to USA Ultimate’s Elite Flight whereas Chain will have a shot at the winning the Triple Crown in the Pro Flight.

Chicago’s Machine’s game against Portland’s Rhino in the prequarters was over from the start. Execution errors — including a pair of drops from Rhino’s Dylan Freechild — helped Machine jump out to a 5-0 lead that they would never relinquish. Rhino fought back in spurts, led by stellar handling from Chase Sparling-Beckley, but could never string breaks together to close the gap. They were within two at 11-9 before Machine rattled off four straight to take the spot in quarters to face San Francisco’s Revolver. Machine lost to Revolver yesterday 15-8.

In the pre-quarters match-up between Pool E’s bottom team — Austin’s Cosa Nostra — and Pool H’s top team — Oakland’s American BBQ — the score turned out pretty much as expected. Cosa Nostra took an early lead and steadily kept adding to it until the end. Down 8-3 at half,. there was little American BBQ could do to stop the Cosa Nostra offense for most of the game — which was largely dictated by the direction of strong wind gusts — but they were able to amass a few breaks towards the end to keep the score close. Cosa Nostra responded quickly, though, and went on to punch in the last points to take the game 15-11.

San Francisco’s Mischief took on Boston’s Slow White in the other mixed prequarter game. Slow White would get a break to take 8-6 and would extend their lead to three late. At 13-10, they looked poised to close out the game. But Mischief had other ideas. They took it one point at a time, first earning an upwind break to get to 12-13 and completing the downwinder to tie it up. With all the momentum, they scored two more to earn a spot in quarters.

Canada battled in the women’s prequarters finals with the Toronto/Ottawa Capitals representing the east coast and Vancouver Traffic representing the west coast in a tight game that went to universe. The Capitals were up at least a couple points for most of the game, but Traffic turned it on late to tie it at 13-13. With the end in sight, both teams put it all on the line and traded points to 15-15.

Capitals started the final point on offense going upwind. In what was a swift turn of events, Traffic eventually pulled down a big huck but got stalled out right near their endzone. That turn led to the crucial final score, a big huck that sent the Capitals over Traffic 16-15 and moved them into the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Both Boston’s Brute Squad and Atlanta’s Ozone went into this game looking to prove themselves after mediocre performances during the the rest of the weekend. Going into half 8-3, Ozone showed they weren’t afraid to work both the in and long game. Brute Squad fought hard but couldn’t seem to convert any of the crucial upwind breaks. Ozone finished it out at a comfortable 15-6, making it clear they plan on coming out strong in quarterfinals.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).


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