Drama in the regular season's final official week.
August 26, 2021 by Chris McGlynn, Alex Rubin and Theo Wan in Rankings, Recap with 0 comments
Our coverage of the 2021 AUDL season is presented by VII Apparel Co., who provides premium performance apparel for the active world, featuring their proprietary GreenLine fabric made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
The Breeze clinched a home playoff game by taking down Raleigh in double overtime. Meanwhile, the best 1-11 team in AUDL history (Pittsburgh) missed out on multiple chances to take down Atlanta. With wild finishes across the country, the bulk of the regular season is over (though two rescheduled games will take place this weekend), and all eyes are shifting to the playoffs.
Current League Standings
Week 13 Means Extra Regular Season
Before we launch into the recap of Week 12, the final week of the regular season, let’s set the stage for this coming weekend. The postseason begins… in the Central and West. Chicago hosts Minnesota, while San Diego hosts Dallas.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic still has some unfinished business. Two rescheduled games both still have implications on the playoffs: Boston at New York and DC at Tampa Bay. This graphic breaks it down:
Word is that the Cannons will be fielding a skeleton crew, as many of their players had other plans for this weekend and they have nothing really to play for.
DC Needs Double OT to Hold Off Raleigh
Another week, another thrilling finish involving the Raleigh Flyers. For the second time in three weeks, the Flyers found themselves on the wrong end of a heartbreaking double overtime loss, this time at the hands of the DC Breeze in a 22-21 instant classic.
DC got off to a rocky start, surrendering two breaks to open the game. Raleigh did an excellent job pressuring the resets. An overthrow and a point block gave the Flyers the opportunity to jump out to the early lead. It helped that the offense was clicking as well. Anders Juengst continued his incredible season with seven goals and two assists to lead the way. The two sides traded the rest of the quarter, but Raleigh could not capitalize on its final possession, so DC trailed by just one at the break.
It didn’t take long for the Breeze to close the gap. Joe Merrill reeled in the disc out of a timeout for a break to tie the game at 7-7. Momentum swings picked up as Raleigh broke to take a 10-8 lead only for DC to punch in three in a row. That final run gave the Breeze an 11-10 advantage at halftime.
Neither side could hang onto a lead for very long. Raleigh opened the second half with three straight breaks only for DC to answer with three scores of its own. Joe Richards tracked down a Rowan McDonnell huck at the buzzer to reestablish the Breeze’s one-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter. It was one of six goals Richards hauled in during the contest.
Everyone was amped up for the fourth quarter, including Daryl Stanley, who showed off his athleticism by hurdling some of the signage at Carlini Field. However, Stanley’s feat was quickly outdone as Rhys Bergeron recorded the block of the year on a shoulder-high layout denial of a deep huck to Terrance Mitchell. It didn’t lead to a score, but it set the tone for what was to follow.
The fourth quarter was almost tame compared to what came before it. We did see some glimpses of McDonnell channeling his 2018 MVP form, but it was Raleigh who punched in a break thanks to an incredible bid from Juengst to save possession before he found Jacob Fairfax for the score. DC held on the following point and Sol Yannuck’s blading flick to Henry Fisher just bounced off the big receiver’s fingertips in the back of the end zone as time expired. The game headed to overtime tied at 19-19.
Overtime was rather uneventful through the first few points. Each side punched in two holds on turnover-free points. Raleigh received with just over a minute remaining but could not find its way into the end zone for the winning goal. With just seconds remaining, Luke Rehfuss earned a monster block to slam the door on the Flyers’ final possession.
DC received to start double overtime. The Breeze patiently worked their way into the red zone before their offense stalled. Stanley called a timeout to give his group a breather and refocus. DC, as it has all year, relied on its handler movement to get the job done. The trio of McDonnell, Jeff Wodatch, and Jonny Malks dinked and dunked their way to the goal line. Garrett Braun broke up sprinting across the field and he flipped the winning assist to Wodatch in the front of the end zone for the walk-off score.
The Breeze clinched a home playoff game with the win and could conceivably stay in DC all the way to a championship. They will play one final game against the Cannons to determine the seeding in the Atlantic division playoffs. With a win, DC would claim the division title and set up a rematch with the Flyers.
Raleigh will await the results of Week 13 to find out where it will travel for its playoff game. It was another tough loss for the Flyers, who have struggled to win tight games this season. Raleigh has lost to New York, Atlanta and DC (twice), each by a single point this season.
Pittsburgh Forces Atlanta to Brink In Double OT
Just as we all expected, the one-win Thunderbirds pushed the playoff-bound Hustle to the brink in a back-and-forth double overtime thriller. In what turned out to be one of the games of the year, Atlanta edged Pittsburgh 26-25.
Pittsburgh added Henry Ing for this final game of the season, but it was not quite enough to stun their foes from the southeast. The Thunderbirds jumped out to an early lead, scoring four straight goals to bridge the first and second quarters. However, the Hustle responded quickly to tie the game at 10-10 heading to halftime. It looked like Atlanta would take over from there.
Instead, Pittsburgh hung around. CJ Colicchio and Max Sheppard were doing their best to carry the offense. Colicchio completed his breakout campaign with 10 goals and three blocks in a dominant aerial performance. Sheppard accounted for eight assists and five goals.
That proved to be nothing compared to Austin Taylor. The Atlanta MVP candidate went off for 13 assists and 1,102 yards of total offense on 65-of-68 throwing. It was an otherworldly offensive showcase that truly puts Ben Jagt under threat to win the regular season award. Both offenses kept pace for much of the third quarter before the Hustle punched in a break in the closing second to take a 18-16 lead into the fourth.
What happened next was bizarre, inexplicable, and highly entertaining. Pittsburgh stayed the course and knotted things up at 19-19. The Thunderbirds then soared into the lead with a 3-0 run. Up 23-21 with just 57 seconds remaining, it seemed like they were about to notch one of the biggest upset wins of the season.
But Eli Jaime scored a quick goal to cut the lead to one with 29 seconds left. Atlanta dropped the pull just outside their end zone and got exactly what it wanted as Pittsburgh lofted a risky pass into coverage, giving the disc back to the Hustle. Taylor capped the comeback with a deep rip to Christian Olsen. In under 40 seconds, Atlanta had tied the game.
While overtime seemed inevitable at this stage, regulation had one last thrill in store. Pittsburgh worked the disc up the field quickly and Sheppard had it all alone about 10 yards outside the end zone. A miscommunication on defense left Colicchio and Owen Watt unguarded, attacking the front cone. Sheppard turned and released a quick flick that sailed past both of their bids and out of bounds, fumbling away the Thunderbirds chance for a walk-off win.
To their credit, the Thunderbirds did not hang their heads about the missed opportunity. Karl Ekwurtzel reeled in the opening score of overtime and the Hustle forced a turnover on the Thunderbirds’ first offensive point of the period. Rather than crumble, Pittsburgh earned the disc back as it blocked Antoine Davis’ deep throw. Davis had a stellar game with five goals, three assists, and four blocks, but his five turnovers were costly. Thomas Edmonds hit Sheppard with a blading flick to tie the game at 24-24.
Sheppard knocked down another deep shot from the Hustle on the next point. It set the stage for one of the greatest grabs of the year, as Myles Cooper found his way onto SportsCenter’s Top 10 for dunking on Player Pierce in the end zone. Again, it seemed like Pittsburgh was well positioned to win the game in the final minutes. Instead, Atlanta patiently worked the disc in for a score and ran out the clock to force double overtime.
The drama continued as Edmonds overthrew an in cut to start universe point. Taylor picked up and hucked to a streaking Jakeem Polk, but it was Colicchio who jumped highest to knock away the disc. Tanner Robinson earned it back for Atlanta though on a ridiculous full-extension bid along the sidelines. The fireworks continued as Jimmy Towle crushed Robinson on the ensuing throw, leading to a lengthy stoppage. Towle was assessed with an unsportsmanlike foul and Atlanta marched off 20 yards. After a timeout, Taylor stepped around the mark to find Davis in the end zone for the game-ending score.
It was another nervy week for the Hustle as they clawed their way back against a team that they should have comfortably beaten. Perhaps it was a good test for Atlanta heading into the postseason, but these final few regular season games have highlighted some major flaws. Miranda Roth Knowles has done an incredible job this season, but her toughest job might be getting the team right heading into a likely matchup with New York.
As for Pittsburgh, it finished out the season on a bitter ending, but this looked like the team we expected to see all season, capable of challenging the top teams in the division and maybe causing an upset or two. If the Thunderbirds can find a way to build on their successes from this final game and add more of the existing talent in the Steel City, they should take a big step forward in 2022.
Boston Splits Games Against New York and Philly
Boston and New York shared an AUDL field for the first time ever to kick off the weekend. The Empire took round 1 with a comfortable 25-21 victory to keep their hopes for the no. 1 seed in the Atlantic division and a second straight division title alive.
After a rocky Week 11 featuring a one-point win over Philadelphia, New York looked as sharp as we’ve seen them all season offensively. Ben Jagt and Ryan Osgar put on a show. The former Grey Duck teammates torched Boston’s defense for a combined 11 goals and 11 assists. Jagt added three blocks to finish with an outrageous +12 rating and seemingly all but lock up the MVP award.
The Empire jumped out to an early lead with a pair of breaks in the first quarter. Ryan Drost joined Jagt as the only New York players with multiple blocks. Boston cut into the lead by perfectly executing an end-of-quarter situation, scoring in just 17 seconds. However, the Glory still trailed 7-5.
With another hold to open the second quarter, it felt like Boston was right back in the game. The Empire quickly squashed any momentum the Glory were building with a 3-0 run. Tanner Halkyard continued his breakout season with five assists and three goals. He helped Boston hang around despite the early deficit. A break and another last-second score had the Glory trailing 13-11 at halftime.
New York never pulled away for a blowout, but every time it seemed like Boston was closing in, the Empire responded. A three-goal run in the middle of the third quarter stretched the lead to 19-14. With the way the Empire’s offense was clicking, they had a season low eight turnovers in this game, that was pretty much insurmountable.
The fourth quarter was rather uneventful, with the Glory never pulling within three. Topher Davis did his best to keep Boston in contention. He punched in five goals and added three assists in his best performance of the season so far. Unfortunately, it was not enough to close the gap, as Boston officially misses out on a winning season.
However, the Glory can still avoid a losing season and they took their next step in accomplishing that goal on Saturday with a 22-19 victory over the Phoenix.
In addition to moving to 5-6 on the year, Boston got a small dose of revenge as well following their home loss to Philadelphia earlier in the year. Davis put together another impressive showing offensively to lead the way. He tallied four goals and four assists in the contest.
On the flip side, Philadelphia got huge contributions from Sean Mott and James Pollard. For Mott, who finished with seven assists and two goals on 35-of-35 throwing, it was more of what we have come to expect from the 2019 All-Star. However, Pollard is newer to this role of offensive dominator. He has slowly worked his way onto Philly’s offensive unit and his development this season culminated in a five-assist, three-goal performance. Greg Martin also added five more goals to bring his season total to 51.
Boston dominated the first quarter, outscoring Philadelphia 9-6. A pair of breaks was the biggest difference heading into the second quarter. The Phoenix roared back with two breaks of their own and drained the clock on the final possession of the half to knot things up at 11-11.
Playing their second game of the weekend, it would have been understandable if the Glory faded in the second half. Boston’s D-line went to work again with two more breaks in the third quarter to reestablish the lead. Willie Stewart and Eugene L’Heureux each recorded a pair of blocks in the game to lead the way defensively.
The fourth quarter was rather uneventful as the Phoenix could not find a way to generate a break. As a team, Philadelphia finished just 2-of-10 on break opportunities in the game. Boston simply kept on scoring to keep Philly at an arm’s length.
For the Phoenix, it was a tough way to end the season. As has been the issue for most of the year, Philadelphia had some great individual performances, but lacked the depth to truly challenge down the stretch. Meanwhile, Boston will get geared up to face New York in a rematch, but this time the contest will be held in Beantown.
Canada Cup: Montreal Locks Up Spot in Final, Ottawa Pressures Toronto
Heading into the weekend, Montreal had a stranglehold on the Canada Cup standings with a 4-1 record. Ottawa, on the other hand was reeling from three straight losses, and were sitting at 2-3. Toronto was firmly at the bottom coming in at 1-4.
Toronto’s matchup with Montreal was very important because there are only so many games left for them to be able to make up ground in the standings. The Rush headed into this game without veterans Andrew Carroll and Thomson McKnight. They did get a welcome return in Geoff Powell, who played his first game of the season against Montreal. Montreal had its usual personnel for this game and was taking on their final doubleheader of the season. At some point desperation starts to set in and the results of this game would impact how one franchise sees the rest of the season.
Montreal’s defensive line had a fantastic day as they provided tough pressure on defense while being efficient on the turn. The Royal started the game hot, scoring quickly on offense before being able to ring up two straight breaks. Role players for Montreal got involved in the scoring, which fits into the team’s gameplan of even defensive lines that get similar playing time. Nabil Chaouch is one of the young players that benefited from more playing time, as he took Gabriel Monfette’s spot on offense this game and notched two goals in the first quarter. The Rush ended the quarter down 8-6 with their defensive line being able to punch in a much needed hold with less than 19 seconds left in the first.
Both teams traded breaks in the early going of the second quarter. Toronto avoided near disaster after a Phil Turner throwaway was negated because of a smartly timed Adrian Yearwood timeout. Another Toronto timeout later in the second quarter resulted in their offensive line coming on and Luc Comiré getting his fourth assist of the contest. Nabil Chaouch continued his presence on the offensive line as he claimed his fourth goal of the match allowing Montreal to secure a key hold at the end of the second quarter. Toronto was hunting for blocks on their last defensive point but ultimately came up short down 14-12 at halftime.
The third quarter is where the Rush unraveled and perhaps the pressure of the standings was too much. Toronto gave up two straight breaks in the early third quarter with Montreal benefiting off of a high stall count huck and a Luc Comiré stall down. Toronto’s offensive line has had to shuffle slightly through the season and, with no Andrew Carroll and Thomson McKnight, they had to add some different pieces into the mix. Whether it was chemistry issues or a lack of focus, Toronto had as lackluster of a quarter you could possibly have. Montreal rattled off five breaks total in the third and pushed the lead to 22-15 giving the Rush their biggest deficit of the season.
Having a couple of veterans missing meant younger players had to step up during this large deficit. Young players like Turner and Daniel Wong helped Toronto get two breaks in the early fourth quarter, severing the lead to 22-18. Cam Harris continued to help the Toronto comeback charge with a sky block and assist to make it 23-20. As Toronto continued to push, Montreal called a timeout and was able to get a hold at 24-22 to seal the victory.
Montreal completely dominated in the third quarter and almost relinquished it in the fourth. The Montreal group was able to hang on for the victory and a 5-1 record. Sacha Poitte-Sokolsky finished with six goals and one assist while Jakob Brissette finished with five assists, one goal, and one block with over 500 yards of offense. Toronto’s Mike MacKenzie bounced back from his last game against Montreal as he contributed six assists in the losing effort. Montreal headed into the doubleheader with Ottawa with all the momentum while Toronto was left looking at their 1-4 record and a possible absence in the Canada Cup final.
Having experienced a three-game slide, the Ottawa Outlaws were in need of some positive momentum heading into their week 12 matchup against the Montreal Royal. The Outlaws continued on without Nick Boucher and David Colic in the lineup, but welcomed Paul Renaud back to their starting offensive line. Montreal inserted Nabil Chaouch the night before on the offensive line and they were resting Jakob Brissette on a hot Sunday afternoon. The referees deciding before the game that there would be hydration breaks when there were eight minutes and four minutes left in each quarter, which helped provide some relief for the players.
Montreal continued their break train from the night before starting early with a Christophe Tremblay-Joncas goal for the 3-2 lead. Montreal’s offensive line was able to secure holds throughout the first quarter but an ill-advised huck into triple coverage allowed Ottawa to record a break at the end of the first quarter to make it 5-4.
A key to the success of Ottawa’s offense was being able to score quickly, allowing their defense to put pressure on Montreal. Brandon Adibe caught his first goal of the game and punctuated it with a head spike firing up his squad for the 10-6 lead. The Royal’s offense throughout this quarter used a flick huck down the line which led to mixed results. Montreal ended the quarter with Sacha Poitte-Sokolsky’s third goal narrowing the deficit to 13-10.
After trading breaks early in the third quarter, Montreal was able to string together a couple of strong defensive possessions off of an Andy Ouchterlony drop and an overthrow from Geoff Bevan. Malik Auger-Semmar continued his dominance in the air this game by going up strong with his left hand for the sky and break to tie up the contest at 17-17. Ottawa seemed unfazed from this as they were able to generate a break of their own off of a Montreal short field turnover. There was quite the chaotic ending to the third quarter, with some sloppy play resulting in Montreal having the disc with less than two seconds left. Kevin Quinlan dialed up a huge hammer into a crowd where Andre Arsenault came down with the disc and the buzzer-beater.
The Outlaws bent but not did break in this game, not allowing Montreal to take the lead after the second quarter. Montreal did tie up the game though, after an overthrow to Alec Arsenault resulted in Montreal shooting the disc quickly to Ywan Cohonner who collected the huck for the 23-23 tie. A short field turnover from Montreal allowed Ottawa to get a critical break with 51 seconds left and the 25-23 lead. It was an exciting final minute as Montreal was able to get a critical hold off of a Rhys Toogood drop in the Ottawa end zone. Montreal then pulled it less than five yards, forcing Ottawa to run down and get their offense going. After a Montreal triple-team allowed Ottawa to have the disc at the center of the end zone line, Greg Ellis popped up a throw that Montreal’s Miguel Goderre snatched out of the air. Goderre proceeded to take it out of the end zone and then threw an immediate turfed throw resulting in a Montreal turnover and the end of the game.
Ottawa came away with a 25-24 record improving their record to 3-3, with key contributions from Bevan and Arsenault. The Outlaws had 10 blocks on the day and their defense forced Montreal to a 50% offensive hold percentage. Despite the discrepancy in turnovers and offense hold percentage (Ottawa was at 68%), Montreal kept it close. Sacha Poitte-Sokolsky and Malik Auger-Semmar dominated the deep space finishing with seven goals and four goals, respectively.
Montreal plays their final game against Toronto on Sunday with their Canada Cup final berth already sealed. Toronto plays Ottawa in a must-win situation where an Ottawa victory would mean the end of Toronto’s playoff hopes.
Chicago Finalizes Central Crown
Chicago traveled to Detroit and walked away with a wire-to-wire victory. The Detroit Mechanix have made a habit of putting up some surprising fight against their opponents in recent weeks, perhaps even enough to inspire hope that they could notch a win this season. That was not the case in this matchup, which the Chicago Union controlled from beginning to end on the way to a 29-19 win.
For the Union, while they had little to fear in the matchup, they did have something to motivate their play. Aside from pride and trying to maintain momentum as they move towards the postseason, Chicago claimed the Central division and the home field advantage in the playoffs with their win.
The first quarter set the tone that would maintain through all four. Chicago broke in each of the first four points, leading to a 6-2 score to end the period. Yes, Chicago had more breaks in the quarter than the Mechanix had goals. Once the deficit grew in the second quarter, it never got closer than six goals.
In the win, the Union delivered some gaudy stats. Pawel Janas cracked the 700 total yard mark with 524 throwing yards to go with five assists. Jeff Robinson’s five blocks and three assists also stood out. And Chicago converted in 11 of their 18 break chances. For Detroit, Ashton Hoffman stepped up with 344 throwing yards to just one turnover, and Andrew Sjogren continued his remarkable statistical season, with 446 receiving yards and one turnover.
Minnesota Denies Madison of 100th Win
With the Central sewn up, Madison’s trip to Minnesota had no playoff implications. But the Radicals were seeking their 100th franchise victory, while the Wind Chill now knew this would be their final home game. After Minnesota’s 19-15 win, Madison will have to wait.
That outcome wasn’t so clear at the game’s start. Madison started Kevin-Pettit Scantling slid his toes before the backline while making a splayed catch to open the game with a break. It was certainly a road statement. But whatever early edge that play created dissipated; the Wind Chill broke back a few points later and then ended the quarter with a 4-0 run. After a Madison hold kicked off the second, another 4-0 Minneapolis run pushed the score to a cavernous 11-4.
The Wind Chill defense just chugged away, relying on their depth to throw out line after line. Scott Hearne tallied three assists, Bryan Vohnoutka stacked up three goals and two assists, and Dylan DeClerk knocked down three more blocks. DeClerk, barring some insanity in the Atlantic’s last two games, will finish the season third in the league in blocks with 22. For Madison, four different players had multiple turnovers in the first half.
A fairly even third quarter meant Madison needed a miracle in the fourth, traveling 19-12. All in all, it had been a fairly fast-paced game, but that rhythm was absent in the fourth. It was an ugly mistake-ridden quarter with just three points played. The Radicals scored all three, but the amount of time it took was too great to enable a comeback.
San Jose Season Done in SoCal
With home field locked up, San Diego entered Week 12 looking to keep momentum and positive energy going. With nothing but pride to play for, the San Jose Spiders came to SoCal hoping to end their season on a positive note.
The teams traded runs of two and three scores a piece to bring the score tied at 9-9. San Jose worked the disc up the length of the field, but Justin Norden’s blading flick to the end zone was just too far for his receiver. The San Diego defense swung the disc around their own end zone and just as Bryce Lozinski was winding up to throw, a whistle blew. Jordan Kerr ran through the pass to catch what looked like a Callahan, but the Growlers called perhaps the season’s most timely time out just before the pass.
The Growlers offense moved the disc in five throws from midway in their own end zone to midway into the scoring end zone. Then, Steven Milardovich skied for a reset block and immediately threw a goal to Michael Tran. A short armed dropped throw gave San Diego another chance and an open side flow punctuated by a diving Jeff Silverman second effort catch gave the Growlers another break. Then the Spiders worked it again to their attacking end zone line, but a miscommunication with the isolation cutter left the disc on the turf ten yards away from the nearest receiver. With time running out the Growlers called a time out, subbed on their offense, and watched as Travis Dunn hit Goose Helton on a huck with less than ten seconds left in the first half. What was a tense affair turned into a 14-9 blowout. Jackson Stearns came down with the buzzer-beater huck to bring the Spiders back to 14-10 at the end of the first half.
That run was more or less the difference in the game; the Spiders actually won the second half 11-10. Every time San Jose made a move, the Growlers had an answer. While they’d probably like to have been a bit more dominant ahead of a playoff showdown against Dallas, San Diego should be happy with their complete performance, especially as they converted nine of their 10 break opportunities.
Dunn reminded fans why he’s in the MVP conversation with a four goal, four assist, 40/40 completions showing. Milardovich chipped in another three block performance. Every rostered player played at least ten points and only four left the game without an assist, goal, or block.
Norden threw six assists for the Spiders on 5/52 throwing. Rookie of the year candidate Jordan Kerr had four goals and two assists. Stearns led the game with four blocks and the team headed to Los Angeles for their last matchup of the season.
With both teams out of the playoff picture, the Aviators and Spiders had to rely on their own internal motivation. Execution errors against the Spiders junk and zone looks plagues the Aviators early. San Jose jumped out to a 4-1 lead without earning a block. After an Aviators hold, San Jose went on a 4-0 run to expand their lead to 8-2. The Spiders d line offense was aggressive in hucking after a turnover to not let the LA defense set up.
The LA offense eventually settled in and the teams traded holds for most of the second quarter. With under a minute left in the first half, Sam Cook laid out for a shoulder-height huck grab. A first throw turnover on a swing pass gave the Aviators a prime chance at a break. A time out subbed on the offense and Calvin Brown found a sliver of space for Marcel Osborne on the front cone to bring the game within four points at halftime (12-8), and give LA a little spark for the second half.
The teams traded holds to start the second half, with LA’s fast moving offense negating the sideline double team trap the Spiders defense likes to throw. But the Spiders lead started to crack. Mitchell Steiner read Kerr’s huck perfectly from a help position to swat it away. Nate Ransom hit Brown in stride on a sixty yard huck to give the Aviators their first timeout-less break of the game. After a Spiders throwaway and an Aviators time out, Brandon VanDeusen snuck upline on a tight throw-and-go to bring the game within one. The Spiders offense stagnated as time ran out, and the third quarter ended with San Jose up just 15-14.
A set play huck to Keenan Laurence opened the fourth quarter for the Spiders, but the disc floated too high and a swarm of Aviators came in to knock it down. Brown led the charge the other way, and LA tied the game at 15. The Spiders offense came out very direct, using over the top throws to find weak points in the defense. Brown’s set play huck to Sean McDougall fell long and the Spiders methodically worked the disc up the field to break and lead 17-15, an impressive feat late in a doubleheader weekend after giving up a six goal lead.
The Aviators were not going to let their home fans down though. LA pulled off a 5-1 run, first tying the game back at 17, then taking a 20-18 lead. A turfed swing pass gave LA a short field for the first break. The Aviators got a bit lucky with the ensuing hold when San Jose’s Andrew Moore had a chance to score, but bobbled the disc trying to milk it into the end zone. Instead the Aviators scored to tie the game at 18-18. From a help position, Brown snatched one of Kerr’s hucks and after a time out, the LA offense scored to take their first lead of the game at 19-18. San Jose couldn’t escape the ensuing double team and Ranson threw a massive hammer to Steiner for the insurance goal with just 1:22 left in the game.
The San Jose offense finally scored again after nearly five minutes of game time without a trip to the end zone. The Spiders pulled with 21 seconds left down by one by placing the disc in front of the goal. San Fontaine’s scoober looked like it found a target on a tipped pass, but Cook dropped the disc when he made contact with the ground. Even as one referee signaled for the goal, San Jose called time out to set up a last effort offense. Laurence caught Steven Chang’s blade a few yards outside the end zone with three seconds left, but without any targets, Laurence could only muster a floaty backhand that was easily blocked by Wally Kasprzycki to clinch the game and end the season on a high note for Los Angeles.
McDougall finished with a game high five assists and added two goals and a block for LA. Cook tallied five goals and an assist. Brown managed three blocks and led the D-line effort that was crucial for the Aviators’ comeback in this game. The Spiders as a team managed just four blocks in the game, a testament to LA’s improved offensive efficiency over the course of the season. While they didn’t make the playoffs, the Aviators are clearly a better team now than they were back in June and have a lot of young talent to build up in future seasons.
Norden compiled 715 total yards, four assists, and a goal for San Jose, and Kerr ended his impressive campaign with another four goals and four assists. Similar to LA, this season was about growth and improvement for the Spiders who hope to be more competitive with another year of seasoning under their belts in 2022.
AUDL Power Rankings:
|New York Empire
|San Diego Growlers
|Minnesota Wind Chill
|Los Angeles Aviators
|Tampa Bay Cannons
Survivor Pool Update
5/6 move on, though the four people who took LA or Atlanta were sweating until the last moments.
Stall Seven/Deep Look Picks Contest
With their (well, the DC Breeze’s) win this week, Deep Look has officially won the season long picks contest ahead of the Week 13 finale. In a pick ’em game, Stall Seven put their faith in the Raleigh Flyers, but Keith’s DC pick on Deep Look – the Breeze won in double overtime – proved to be the decisive selection.
- Stall Seven: 1/3 on the week, 17/36 for the season
- Deep Look: 2/3 on the week, 21/36 for the season
This week’s picks are the final two regular season games:
- DC (-3) at Tampa Bay
- New York (-5.5) at Boston