PHILADELPHIA, PA – Texas and Minnesota faced off earlier this year at the Big O where the Texecutioners took the win, 193-133. This time around Texas found the great wall of St. Paul a bit more permeable while strengthening their own defense to earn a final win, 280-153.
Texas shot out to a quick lead, claiming lead status and shutting Minnesota out for the first two jams. In the second jam, Minnesota was able to break free of the pack with a star pass – a tactic that both teams would rely on throughout the game, though Texas executed those passes with much greater success.
The third jam of the game saw Brickyard returning to the jam line for Minnesota after only one jam rest, while Texas continued its rotation. Brickyard was able to score the first 2 points for the Aqua and Army. While already on her scoring pass, OJ was granted a power jam as Minnesota picked up the first jammer penalty of the game. Texas iced the jammer in the box, and Freight Train collected 29 points uncontested as Switch Please was sent back to the box after being assessed a low block. At the end of the jam, Texas had pushed their score to 48-2. Jammer penalties rapidly began to be a problem for Minnesota, allowing Texas took advantage of their 3rd power jam in a row, this time after a star pass, Smarty Pants ending the score 60-10.
Minnesota’s defense used multiple start positions throughout the game, searching for what would be the most effective formation against Texas. Minnesota tended to claim the jam line and set up in a tripod with one blocker reserved for offense but also experimented with pivot line starts. Unfortunately for Minnesota, starting at the pivot line against Freight Train did not prove effective.
Texas lost two blockers and their jammer to the box, leaving Brickyard to collect 17 points bringing the score to 74-29 with just 15 minutes left to play in the half. Texas recalled an official review to upgrade the high block call by Diamond Rough to an expulsion but the officials determined that it was not upgraded.
Late in the first period, Minnesota found their rhythm that resulted in multiple consecutive lead calls and fewer blockers leaving the track to sit in the box. Despite their newly found momentum, it wasn’t enough to threaten Texas and close the gap that the Texecutioners built early on. At the half, Texas led 145-71 over Minnesota.
The second half echoed the first. Texas earned the first couple of lead statuses and added single passes to their score. In the third jam, Minnesota took advantage of the first power jam of the half and got on the board. Overall, penalties were higher than normal for both teams. Each team seemed to go through spells of higher blocker penalties, but it was the number of jammer penalties that hurt Minnesota the most. Texas capitalized on power jams with strong and effective, if not completely coordinated offense. Texas closed their 2017 Champs with a win, 280-153.
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