Florida State Rolls Past Texas A&M Into Quarters, Presented By Ultimate Centrall

FSU moves on to face UMass.

Florida State at the 2015 Stanford Invite
Photo: Rodney Chen — UltiPhotos.com

The best of the Southeast met the best of the South Central in prequarters late today, and Florida State DUF pulled away late to take down Texas A&M Dozen 15-12 in a hard fought, but extremely well-spirited and entertaining game.

It took just about 20 points for DUF to truly pull away on a monstrous Scotty Moore grab, resulting in an upwind break. The rest of the game was about as close as it could get, with both teams scoring in what was nominally the upwind endzone.

That neither team was fazed by the win is a testament to the absolute show put on by top throwers on both sides. Even as their team fell, Matt Bennett and Dalton Smith combined for 10 A&M assists (6 and 4, respectively), while Chris Larocque and Connor Holcombe each had 5 for FSU.

A&M took the first break upwind early in the game to take a 3-2 lead, with finding the 6’3″ Kevin Land for the score. FSU locked down on offense after that, and both teams traded with very few turns until a Dalton Smith swing was ruled down by an observer. Chris Larocque battled open for a big gain that landed FSU just outside the endzone and called a timeout. Out of the timeout, Larocque faked off his first couple options and tossed it into Kody Cotton for a break and the 7-6 lead.

Dalton Smith struck quickly on the following point, finding Carter Hollo for the score and putting Dozen in a tough position, pulling upwind to FSU and trying to break to take half.

Zach Wernick scored from Brian Phillips after some equally smooth offense from FSU, and the first half ended still in a tight battle FSU 8-7 over A&M.

The teams went back to trading, with A&M riding just the kind of brilliant resetting expected of Bennett and Smith that has frustrated teams across the nation this season. Land, Slack, and a few others stepped up to keep Dozen in the game, showing up on the end of the handler duo’s throws. “They were deeper than I thought they were,” FSU coach Pete van de Burgt said after the win.

Scotty Moore’s giant catch of a Drew LaRocque hammer broke the game open at 11-9, and FSU never looked back. Larocque and Holcombe took turns covering Bennett and Smith, with Liam Rawson and Tom Mazza also taking the brunt of the coverage of A&M’s star backfield for the DUF D-line.

A&M also had trouble scoring from within their attacking brick. “We weren’t able to strike upfield, especially those last 10 yards,” said A&M coach Jose Cespedes.

As the game came to a close, Holcombe proved himself as DUF’s offensive edge, perhaps because he was able to save some energy while Rawson and Mazza took on Bennett and Smith. Holcombe added 5 goals to his 5 assists, with a number of those goals coming as he blazed through coverage and snagged the customary high arcing deep shots from his co-captains Larocque and Roney.

Through it all, both teams continued to have fun with each other, laughing off coverage mistakes, celebrating great catches together, and keeping the mood light. What made this close match even more fun to watch, was that the two teams reveled in the chance to compete with each other, caring little for the hubbub of prequarters going on around them.

FSU moves on to face UMass in a tough quarterfinal matchup tomorrow, after ending a landmark season for Texas A&M. “We were very proud of how we played, especially in our last two games,” said Cespedes.

  1. Simon Pollock
    Simon Pollock

    Simon Pollock is a Contributing Editor at Ultiworld. He lives in Seattle and started writing for the site in 2014 while living in Baltimore, MD. Email him: simon@ultiworld.com or tweet at him: @_simonpollock_ .

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