Pro Championships 2018: PoNY Upsets Revolver in Front of Home Crowd

PoNY scored perhaps the biggest win in program history on home turf.

PoNY celebrates a score during the final at the 2018 Pro Championships.
PoNY celebrates a score during the final at the 2018 Pro Championships. Photo: Marshall Goff —

NEW YORK, NY — It was appropriate that the shootout between the two best teams at the Pro Championships took place just past high noon. After blowing away everyone that stood in their way, #1 San Francisco Revolver and #3 New York PoNY faced off to claim the tournament title and a notch in the Triple Crown. When the dust settled on the torrid encounter, PoNY walked away with a 15-12 victory while Revolver melted in the heat.

With the humidity climbing into the 90’s and the temperature reaching higher than that, Revolver pulled to start. The opening string was PoNY to a “T.” Harper Garvey hit Jimmy Mickle on an initiating cut, who in turn distributed to a slashing Chris Kocher, all but unguardable in the lane. With yards vanishing before their eyes, the Revolver defense was pushed back on its heels and a few throws later Mickle zipped an inside flick to Sean Keegan for the first goal of the game. Revolver’s vaunted defense, so dominant over the course of the weekend, had few answers for the simple but undeniable brilliance of PoNY’s offensive.

It would be some time before the offense got back on the field however, as PoNY’s defense made their mark early. Three poach blocks on the first two points along with aggressive transition offense gave PoNY a 3-0 lead before Revolver could get their bearings, and the New York fans braving the heat started to get loud.

On the following point, Revolver managed to get on the board and slow down PoNY’s momentum, but not with their usual clinical precision. Antoine Davis was forced under and the Revolver big man took advantage of the separation to get an around flick off into space before his mark could close. The throw looked rushed and the floaty disc wrongfooted Joel Schalchet, but the nimble receiver was able to adjust and pull the disc down by the back line. It was a hold, but like the rest of the afternoon from Revolver, it didn’t look good.

As the defenses got hungry for breaks, both offenses looked to relieve pressure by going over the top. George Stubbs gave Grant Lindsley the chance to jet past John Wodatch, to be followed up by Mickle putting a jump ball up to PoNY’s jump ball specialist Ben Jagt.

At 5-3, Revolver managed a break when Mark Lin put the clamps on Isaac Saul in the handler space, forcing a dump turn. Some tidy redzone offense ended with Eli Kerns toeing the front line on a shallow break cut, which pulled Revolver back within one. However, PoNY’s defense was quick to respond and continued to disrupt Revolver with smart poaching on the force side and tight defense in the break space. “Their game plan was poaching that lane,” said Revolver’s Lucas Dallmann. “They got a couple of nice, easy, cheap blocks. Those cheap blocks became cheap breaks.”

On a loaded line looking to break for half, Kocher crept off of the stack and struck down a loopy blade in the lane, quickly dishing and taking PoNY to the break up 8-5.

Revolver held out of half, then had a chance to break, but Ben Jagt stretched into the lane to tip away a pass headed up the sideline to Byron Liu. The break came a few points later, when Sean Keegan zipped a crossfield flick to plenty of open space but no PoNY receivers. John Stubbs sent a full field backhand to Eli Kerns and Revolver pulled the score back to 10-9. But as they did all game, PoNY responded. With Revolver streaking down on the pull, Mickle confidently broke the mark, igniting a series of breaks that created acres of space on the force side for Ben Jagt to score.

While PoNY’s offense cranked out holds, Revolver couldn’t keep pace. The heat lines were steaming off the pitch as the afternoon wore on, and Revolver’s offense melted down. The inside breaks sailed too far, hucks hung up for closing defenders, and there were even stone cold drops from world class players. The mystique of Revolver shattered on the hot turf, and what remained wasn’t pretty. “The heat is a challenge,” said Dallmann after the game. “I think PoNY rose to that challenge better than we did. They jumped into the heat while we were tip toeing into it. And hats off to them for it.”

If anything, PoNY’s D-line offense kept Revolver in the game, spurning several chances in the second half to blow the game open. At 13-11, both George Stubbs and Ashlin Joye made needless turnovers on the same point, and PoNY finally made them pay with a break.

When PoNY’s O-line got the chance to win the game, they didn’t blink, putting the contest away on their first chance. Garvey opened up the defense with a crossfield break, and after grinding down the flick sideline, he accelerated upline and secured the tournament winning goal. PoNY’s sideline erupted and the home crowd stormed the field, mobbing the New York players that has just delivered one of the biggest wins in the program’s history.

“Going into the season Ring, Truck, and Revolver were three offenses that I knew were going to be really hard to stop, and we prepared for them” said PoNY coach Bryan Jones. That preparation paid off for PoNY, as they beat those three teams in succession to win their second major tournament of the year. Of course, it’s not just the results that are good for this PoNY team, it’s what the results say about the team’s ability to continue their hot streak heading into the Series. “We don’t need to do anything different than what we practice to win,” said Jones. Must be a good feeling.

  1. Patrick Stegemoeller

    Patrick Stegemoeller is a Senior Staff Writer for Ultiworld, co-host of the Sin The Fields podcast, and also a lawyer who lives in Brooklyn.

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