PHILADELPHIA, PA – #7 Arch Rival and #12 Crime City met nine months ago on the floor of The Big O. Crime ran into penalty trouble throughout and generally had trouble countering the power of Arch Rival’s defense. In the last consolation game of Champs weekend, many people were expecting Crime to perform, but ARCH was able to clamp down a victory early.
Crime City proved to never count out the underdog, despite the loss, they didn’t go down without a fight, having gained the momentum several times. Bettering their differential from the last time they met, Crime City fell to the Arch Rival All-Stars, 220-160.
Arch Rival gained lead status in the first nine jams, which would imply a dominance in gameplay, but Crime City was able to respond with quick offense to spring their jammer. Only one of the first nine jams resulted in a multipass score for ARCH, limiting the score to 37 – 0 going into jam 10. Hanna P put up the first big jam for Crime City, using jumps and high-stepping moves to gain 18 points. Rather than calling it quick, they allowed Hanna to run it. They did this a few times against Montréal in the first game of the weekend with mixed success. This time it paid off, in other jams throughout the game it did not as much.
When Crime City put up points, they did it in a big way; there were only two jams in the first half where Crime only scored a single pass. Arch Rival loves to play the runaway train strategy whenever possible, but in most of the big scoring jams, Crime was able to smush the pack so tightly, that the Crime City jammers could duck through little gaps along the lines. SPINOSAURUS and Below Me worked as a team to delay Arch Rival blockers from recycling, and trap ARCH jammers. Salty and K Woodward were terrifying as blockers, levering their bodies under Crime’s center of gravity to assert their control in packs.
Arch Rival seemed to get shaken by the high steps and quick toe stops of the Crime jammers. They did not rotate all the way to the lines, or allowed Crime to manipulate the space to their own advantage on the big jams. Penalty issues didn’t help. Arch Rival sat down 23 times in the first half, Crime City did 21 times, and both teams had their jammers out three times.
After successive a 20-point and 13-point jam, Crime City took the lead and kept it for four jams. After a well-placed timeout, Arch Rival turned their precision up to 11 and helped Swanson take advantage of a short pack and put up 18 points three jams later, taking the score into halftime at 99-94 ARCH leading.
Coming into the second half, it looked as if Crime City was going to continue terrorizing Arch Rival’s line coverage. The first four jams were controlled by Crime City, though the point scoring was low. Then, Arch Rival got tired of playing around. While Crime City started to fall apart with penalty trouble, Arch Rival tightened with determination. St. Louis became less frantic and more confident. Trust exuded from the packs, each player choosing to hold their ground and believe in their friends instead of twitching any time a Crime blocker tried to disrupt them.
Penalties killed Crime City in the second half, as they sat down 26 times and six of them were active jammers. Arch cleaned up their skating, only sitting 12 blockers and one jammer. From jam 4 to 13, Crime City only scored 16 points against Arch’s 101. A little late, Crime City calmed down and Hanna P put up a 23-point jam before King K finished the game with a 17-point gain.
Crime City Rollers showed the world that they are the real deal. Arch Rival displayed an ability to regain composure unlike most teams at this level. The game ended with a score of 220-160.
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