PORTLAND, OR – When Texas last met Rat City at the Big O in Eugene, OR earlier in 2016, Texas took the win 165-122. This weekend their meeting played out slightly differently, with Texas claiming an early lead, relying on a wide style of jamming and a smooth, consistent, unrelenting defense for a second victory against Rat City in 2016, 238-50.The first jam had Fifi Nomenon on the jammer line for Texas against Rat City’s Carmen Getsome with Texas’s wall in the front and Rat City in a 3-and-1 braced wall. Getsome claimed the first lead status and called it with two points for Rat City. Bloody Mary earned lead status over Luna Negra after a pivot line jam start, but on her scoring pass, Bloody Mary committed a track cut and sat while Luna extended Rat’s score to seven. Mary returned to the track and picked up nine for Texas after being held up with excellent backward facing one on one defense by Cassie Beck.
In the next jam, Olivia Shootin’ John once again had to contend with Rat City’s strong positional blocking, this time from Enurgizer Bunny, before escaping the pack to push Texas further ahead, 18-7. The Texecutioners next sent Freight Train to the line, who made quick work of Rat City’s pack relying on strong decisive strides before being stopped by CeeCee, a strong force in the pack that anchored Seattle’s defense.
10 minutes into the game, Texas doubled their score against Rat, and despite aggressive and tight defense from Rat City, Texas’ jammer patiently fought through the braced walls, slowly whittling down the pack until they only had one to beat—often calmly inching forward until Rat was forced to release them. Rat’s blockers began to experience penalties, which Texas was quick to take advantage of.
Texas’ blockers locked down Rat’s jammers in a strong braced three wall, that could easily break down to a braced pair in order to maintain the pack. It was capable of regularly escorting jammers to the lines and resetting in formation, ready to capture Rat City again. Though Rat sent offense to help free their jammers, Texas refused to be distracted and simply reformed around the opposing blocker. Luna Negra ended a five-jam shutout for Rat, bringing Rat City to 14 and holding Texas scoreless thanks to her agile footwork up the inside line.
A few jams later, it was one again Luna Negra who escaped for lead and was able to get one point as Smarty Pants, now donning the star after a pass, snuck in two points for the Texecutioners. During power jams in their favor, Texas’ offense came in cross track sweeps that on every third pass involved two blockers sharply cutting across the track together to clear a path for their jammer.
While Rat’s defense, both one on one and in braced formations, consistently made Texas work hard to claim lead and again to score points. Offensively, Luna Negra was the only jammer for Rat City that seemed to gain any traction against the Texecutioners slow swarming defense.
At the half, Texas led 116 -20 over Rat City. The Seattle team had an active crowd despite the deficit however, with only about a three hour drive from there to Portland.
In the first jam back from halftime, Luna Negra sprinted up the inside line for a fast lead call and an effortless four points before calling the jam and shutting out Texas. Freight Train responded for Texas with a swift lead status and four points of her own after that. Scratcher in the Eye added another four points for Rat City, followed by three for Luna Negra, bringing Rat City’s total to 31 points against 120 by Texas.
Rat City found success splitting Texas’ defense, allowing their jammers to slalom through the defense, adding nearly 20 points over a series of jams. Rat City found their groove a little too late to threaten Texas’ lead, nevertheless, Rat’s defense continued to make some impressive, well-timed plays that interrupted Texas’ flow. The Texecutioners responded to Rat City’s sending blockers into their walls, by regrouping in the back of the pack. Texas committed only three total penalties in the second half, and with just six skaters on their roster earning any at all, they had plenty of blockers to reinforce brutal defense.
Texas won, 238-50 and will advance to face Rose City Saturday at 4pm PDT.
— Roller Derby Junkies (@rdjunkies) November 5, 2016