D1J: #8 Steel City (#29) Hurts #9 Pikes Peak (#36), 209-205

D1J: #8 Steel City (#29) Hurts #9 Pikes Peak (#36), 209-205 Photo by Louis Keiner

JACKSONVILLE, FL — The 2015 WFTDA International D1 Playoffs at Jacksonville opened up with the 8th and 9th seed game between Steel City Steel Hurtin’ (#29 in WFTDA) and Pikes Peak (#36 in WFTDA). What appeared to be a blowout from the first jams turned into an intense game where the winner was not determined until the last jam—even then, after the clock expired an official review threatened to change the results. After a wave of jammer penalties early on against Pikes Peak that resulted in an early lead for Steel City, Pikes Peak Derby Dames made smart adjustments at halftime that spurred an impressive comeback. Despite a final quarter filled with penalties against Steel City, Pikes Peak only briefly gained the lead before another jammer penalty stripped them of the win. Steel City clung to their victory over Pikes Peak, 209-205.

The first two jams went to Steel City, resulting in a 35-0 lead after 4 minutes. Penalties were a problem for Pikes Peak from the start and by the end of the first jam only one Pikes Peak blocker remained on the track. Once Pikes Peak was able to set up a tripod at the front of the pack, they were able to hold back Steel City’s jammer back long enough for Trick Pony to earn lead for Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak followed up with a second lead call, using quick call offs to ensure that Steel City was shut out.

In the next jam, Pikes Peak’s attempts at offense sent multiple blockers to the box and resulted in the second power jam for Steel City. Fortunately, Pikes blockers were back on the track and able to form an effective power quad that recycled and held Hurricane Heather, killing the penalty.

By the end of the half, Pikes Peak accumulated seven jammer penalties whereas Steel City only gave up one. Snot Rocket Science was able to capitalize on this and put up 61 points. In that one power jam, Pikes Peak was able to score 20 points.

Steel City

Photo by Ryan Quick/ Quick ‘N’ Derby

At the half Steel City led 131 over Pikes Peak’s 72.

Pikes Peak started the second half with a pack advantage that quickly grew as every blocker for Steel City went to the box.  Steel City’s heavy blocker penalties made earning three back to back lead jammer statuses for Pikes Peak much easier.

Snot Rocket Science was held back by a power quad while the blocker penalties against Steel City continued to take its toll. After multiple scoring passes for Pikes Peak, Snot passed the star to Hurricane Heather who struggled to escape the pack. This forced Pikes Peak to call it off after a 14-0 jam.

Penalty trouble soon began again for Pikes Peak as Pretty Penny picked up a forearm penalty, the 8th of the game against Pikes Peak.

Steel City

Photo by Ryan Quick/ Quick ‘N’ Derby

As jammer penalties against Pikes Peak slowed, Steel City picked them up more frequently. After committing only one jammer penalty in the first half, Steel Hurtin’ collected seven in the second half. Six of which came in the final quarter of the game. Pikes Peak was poised to take advantage of the flood of power jams, making multiple scoring passes. In 5 jams Pikes Peak closed the gap from 63 points to 20.

Pikes Peak entered the last jam trailing by 11. Pikes Peak pulled ahead briefly as Steel City’s jammer served a penalty. Soon after Pikes Peak’s jammer picked up a cut and Steel City retook their lead. The jam ended with an unofficial final score of 209-205 in favor of Steel City Hurtin’. Pikes Peak did not lose hope and requested an official review for a back block on Steel City’s jammer. Unfortunately for Pikes Peak, no penalty was issued and the score was finalized, 205-209 Steel City.

Steel City will advance to play London at 4pm (EDT).

Pikes Peak will face Detroit.

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