ST. PAUL, MN – In a game between the two teams that have exchanged #2 and #3 positions throughout the season, the game play was always going to be visibly tense and competitive.
What developed was a game of familiar Rose City play – with alternating jammers, Scald Eagle and Loren Mutch, and their classic tripod blocking formations at the front of the pack. Bay Area’s game felt the loss of their former pushing jammers, as the more jukey, lightfooted jammers they have now didn’t stand a match for the heavyweights of Rose’s defensive line. In the end, Rose’s persistent points grabs paved the way for them to take home the win, 191-145.
The first jam started with Loren Mutch on the line with Lulu Lockjaw. When Mutch took a forearm penalty as the very first penalty of the game, she was swiftly followed by Serelson and Swanson. By the end of it, the score was 10-0, to B.A.D, but it wasn’t to stay that way for long.
The second jam displayed the jamming talents of Scald Eagle in much the same way that the game would continue to do so, as she proved essentially impossible to stop by Bay Area. A 9-3 addition brought us to a 9-13 game score. BAD visibly seemed to be attempting to maximize on jams without Scald Eagle in them, but the crowd responded to the Rose City jammer positively every time she busted through the pack and claimed lead. While this occurred on only half of the 10 jams she spent on the track, the Eagle still managed to claim 74 points across the game, nearly 30 points over Bay Area’s highest scorer, Fluezy, at 46.
By 7:30 into the game, Rose was starting to pull ahead on the score, with a 18-9 addition for Rose. Scald began to pull ahead on the track, and Frightmare was minimally effective against hefty Rose blocking forces.
Then the game entered the second quarter with the teams still relatively closely matched at 56-49, and Mutch stepped onto the track. She took jammer lead and LuLu was stuck in the pack for two scoring passes, adding 7 points for Rose. The following jams displayed further attempts by BAD to play strategic derby with goat grabs and even a highlight moment of two blockers taking a knee to shift pack definition. Each of these tactics ended with some ultimately negative effect for the team – whether an early jam call-off, or an outside jammer hit ending in an injury.
With 5 mins remaining, Bay Area’s jammer Skrappie was boxed and Mutch was left with a power jam to which an engaged Rose offensive in response. They gathered holes and space for Mutch to add points for the team, despite her becoming the entirety of BAD’s focus for defensive moves. Halftime left the teams at 104-56, with Rose in the lead, showing no indication of letting go.
The game returned after the break with Scald Eagle up against Lulu Lockjaw, who was probably the most solid of Bay Area’s remaining jammers after their jamming powerhouses left the team at the end of last season. Scald put in a 10 point addition before Lulu even made it around the track to score, but it ended with a 14-4 call-off.
Loren Mutch chose the very next jam to add a spectacular 25 unreplied points, bringing Rose’s additions to the score to 40 by the end of the second returning jam in the half. Rose claimed the game for themselves in a way that wasn’t to be shaken from their hands even by a 14 point reply from Fluezy just one jam later.
As the game continued to play out with infrequent additions from Bay Area, and enough points grabs from Rose City to maintain their lead. The team in actuality held only 35% of the lead jammer calls for the second period, in comparison to 60% for Bay Area, and while that ended in almost identical points additions for each team – 87 for Rose, and 89 for Bay Area – that wasn’t going to close the gap between the teams.
When with 3:40 remaining in the game, Bay Area called the first team timeout for the game, it seemed like they might have waited too long to take the time to reset. A second BAD timeout at 1:17 remaining in the game wasn’t going to change much either, and while the teams finished the game with almost similarly slim partial single scoring pass additions, Bay Area was far enough behind to leave the game in Rose’s hands.
As Scald Eagle took the final jam against Frightmare, taking lead and burning time, a tripod blocking crew of Rose held the front line against a pushing Frightmare. That left the two jammers with only time to slide in 4-3 in Rose’s favor as the game clock counted down. Rose City took the win with 191-145, and moved on to the first semi-final game at 6.30pm CST.
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