PORTLAND, OR – The last time Gotham met Angel City was during last year’s Playoffs in Omaha, where Gotham won, 205-83. This time, the contest was much less one-sided. Angel City challenged Gotham’s lead throughout the game by exploiting the gaps on the inside line and effectively scrambling Gotham’s defense but was never able to overcome Gotham’s hold on the scoreboard. Gotham maintained their lead, at times tenuously, by coming together at crucial moments and locking down their defense and giving their own jammers a few extra moments to fight through the top of the pack for lead or to pick up points.
Overall Angel City had a higher lead percentage with 53.7% to Gotham’s 39% but per jam, Gotham averaged 4.8 points to ACDG’s 4.1 overall–which can be attributed to the number of points Gotham jammers stole when not lead. Gotham advances to the 6:30pm PDT semifinal against London with a victory over Angel City, 197-168.
The first jam set up Bonnie Thunders against Satan’s Little Helper where Bonnie earned lead just as one minute of play passed. She added five points for Gotham after holding Satan in the pack on her initial pass for the entire jam. In the next jam, Darby Dagger escaped the pack with lead status and collected two points, followed by Micki Krimmel who added a full scoring pass to pull ahead of Gotham 6-5 after 5 minutes.
Gotham quickly reclaimed their lead in the subsequent jam after ACDG picked up a jammer penalty that resulted in a lead changing power jam for Vicious van GoGo. She extended Gotham’s score to 27-10 after a 22 point jam. Miss Tea Maven was next to push the score for Gotham by 18 more in the next jam.
Angel City’s blockers collected a few penalties over the next few minutes that left the Hollywood Scarlets’ defense down two blockers. Gotham capitalized on their pack advantage with quick lead jammer calls. The tables turned and then it was Gotham who was at a pack disadvantage, and ACDG who earned quick lead calls by exploiting the empty inside lines.
As the game crossed the 20-minute mark in the first half, the physicality of both teams was on full display- with blockers from both camps getting distracted with revenge hits. Angel City’s Octane Jane, Hunnie Brasco, Lo, and Laci Knight shut down a power jam with Bonnie Thunders, allowing Darby Dagger to come out of the box and earn lead.
At the half, Angel City continued to climb on a 46-8 point scoring run that brought them within striking distance of Gotham but still trailed, 91-83.
The first jam was a rematch of the first game, but this time around Bonnie Thunders paused to guide Satan’s Little Helper into the braced formation of her blockers before slipping through ACDG’s defense for lead and a quick 4 points. In the second jam of the half, Darby Dagger, once again, muscled her way through to lead status, collecting three points. Gotham was first to send a blocker to the box this half, though it did allow Micki Krimmel to pick up lead. Later three ACDG blockers sat in the box, as Bonnie Thunders sailed through for 24 points but Krimmel stole three at the end.
Gotham with two blockers in the box, elected to send Bonnie Thunders to the line to challenge Darby Dagger. Dagger was able to earn lead and collect four points after passing OMG WTF, the lone Gotham blocker left on the track. By the next jam, the pack was even at four blockers each and Ghetto Fabu-lez earned lead by once again darting to the inside line–a position that Gotham struggled to cover this game. Angel City found the most success when they were able to spare one blocker to break up Gotham’s formation and force some pack speed.
Gotham’s most effective offensive when on a power jam, which were more frequent in the second half, came from disrupting Angel City’s blockers from maintaining their formation, goating, and seducing ACDG into one on one blocking contests that provided enough distraction for their jammer to slide by.
At 11 minutes left to play, only one Gotham blocker was left on the track, for the second time this game. While Gotham’s penalty count this season has typically been on the lower end of the spectrum, this game resulted in two foul outs for Gotham: Roxy Dallas and Sexy Slaydie. For Angel City’s part, the Hollywood Scarlets lost three blockers to foul outs: Tui Lyon, Soledad, and Rachel Rotten.
With just over five minutes to play, Miss Tea Maven, was sent out on a cut followed by Darby Dagger on a forearm. Miss Tea Maven picked up a second jammer penalty however, before being taken out for a 3rd straight penalty after misreading where to re-enter. This series ended in a two jam run for ACDG totaling 32 points, putting the score at Gotham 182-155.
Gotham called their final team time-out, but still retained their official review, with 2:55 to play. Out of the time-out, Angel City held a slight pack advantage 3-2, as Darby Dagger faced off against Bonnie Thunders. Dagger picked up a cut, and Thunders passed the star to VanEssa V-Diva Sites to run out the jam who opted to play some jammer on jammer defense and was assessed a forearm, leaving Darby Dagger to end the jam with just 46 seconds left in the game.
Gotham used their official review to request a back block be assessed to ACDG’s jammer, and while the request for a penalty was a long shot—it did provide Gotham with a slightly longer rest period to plan for the next jam.
V-Diva started the penultimate jam in the box and Gotham fielded Thunders as a pivot. Satan’s Little Helper fought through for lead, and made two scoring rounds before calling it off with expert timing, allowing for an official review from Angel City. It stopped the clock with two seconds left, permitting one final jam.
ACDG fielded Darby Dagger and Thunders took the star for Gotham. After fighting at the top of the pack with Hunnie Brasco and Laci Knight, Bonnie Thunders picked up lead status and after checking with the bench and then confirming by looking at the game clock, she smartly called off the jam before reentering the pack and risking a penalty locking the final score at 197-168 Gotham.
Gotham advances to face London, tonight at 6:30pm PDT/1:30am GMT to decide who moves on to the Championship game tomorrow and who will fight for 3rd place.