The Rainmakers pulled out a 24-22 win on the final game of the regular season versus the top-seeded Dogfish. Chock full of clutch eleventh hour performances, it was without a doubt their most cathartic victory of the season.
San Francisco was up 17-15 at the start of the fourth quarter. The Dogfish earned a break on the next point, stretching their lead to three. The two teams traded points until Sam Harkness connected with Donnie Clark to give Seattle a break. A massive layout D by Reid Koss set up Clark for another score with an assist from BJ Sefton, tying the game at 20-20.
The two teams traded scores again before Sam Harkness intercepted a Dogfish pass. Sprinting towards the sideline, cutter Jacob Speidel executed a perfect jab step.
“I saw the swing go up to Chicken [Adam Simon],” said Speidel. “A lot of times they’re expecting a quick in-cut for another continue up the sideline so I took one step [to fake].” The notorious Beau Kittredge bit on the fake, giving Speidel the score to put Seattle up 22-21.
BJ Sefton logged numerous layout catches and Donnie Clark caught three points in the fourth quarter alone, allowing Seattle to outscore San Francisco 9-5 in the period.
Earlier in the game was a different story. Seattle trailed all of the first three quarters; the first time the Rainmakers faced a deficit at home. Faced with a possible sweep by the Dogfish, the rally began when Seattle GM Skip Sewell brought out the Lucky Lumber during a timeout. It’s an ordinary piece of firewood, but to the Rainmakers, it has a meaning all its own.
“We had had a couple games in the early part of our season where we had real trouble closing a third or fourth quarter,” said Sewell. “We would go up huge at halftime against the Stags or Vancouver and they would chip away at our lead.” That’s where the log came in.
“On our way to Vancouver, while we were snacking, we picked up this piece of wood,” said Sewell. “It has become a symbol of closing out the third or fourth quarters.” The team ritually brings out the wood at halftime and before the third quarter. Today, the wood did its job.
San Francisco was able to build a tenuous lead at the beginning of the game with a few breaks, winning the first quarter 7-5 and halftime 14-11. Yet a crowd of 710 was there to give the Rainmakers a decisive home field advantage.
Unfortunately, the Rainmakers will have no such luck Saturday the 29th, when they will face the Dogfish again in San Francisco for the Western Conference Finals. Game time is 1:30 PM. Stay tuned all week for game previews, analysis, and injury updates!