Photo by Scott Houghtaling – UltiPhotos.com
Seattle recorded its first win of the season against San Francisco, 20-17, at Rainier Beach Stadium in Seattle, Wash.
After an 0-2 start, the Rainmakers were looking to capitalize on a true home crowd in Seattle. With the sun shining down and temperatures reaching near 70 degrees, players were treated to perfect ultimate conditions.
The Rainmakers came out to a fast start, notching six of the first seven points led by an up-and-coming defensive squad.
“This game was a huge confidence builder for us, and I think it’s the start of something very special,” said captain Mark Burton. “Our D-line came out hungry and gave us a cushion.”
After last week’s Border Bid in Mount Vernon, Wash. against the Nighthawks, this was the first home game in Seattle, and the players felt their crowd’s presence immediately.
“It was great to play in front of our home crowd,” said Eddie Feeley. “They really brought the energy early and helped the D-line have a great first quarter.”
That energy would wane however in the second quarter as San Francisco (1-1) would go on a 8-4 run to bring the score within one going into half. The offensive line began to give the disc back as San Francisco played some junk zones, and began to tighten down on their own turnovers.
The Dogfish scored first coming out of half to tie it at 10, but that would be the closest San Francisco would get as the Rainmakers answered by going on a four point run.
“I was looking for the D-line to have a complete game,” said Feeley. “In the first game of the year the D-line was able to convert on break opportunities, but unable to generate many turns. In the second game we generated a lot of turns, but couldn’t convert. The D-line did a great job of generating pressure to force mistakes and then convert them into breaks.”
The teams would essentially trade out for the remainder of the game, with a final of 20-17. The Rainmakers offense had a solid game with Burton notching four goals and two assists. Gavin McKibben had three assists and a perfect completion percentage on 21 throws, and their early season rookie of the year candidate Jeff Pape continued to contribute big with two goals and three assists.
The D-line continued to produce with Eddie Feeley racking up two more blocks and two assists, bringing his season total to five and three, respectively. Brad Houser and Matt Neeley both had highlight games with three goals and two blocks. Neeley went for the cycle with an assist, a block and a potential SportsCenter Top 10 catch for a goal.[iframe width=”628″ height=”360″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/D732Il8jsII” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]
“We had a heck of a fourth quarter to finish the game off, and that is what good teams do,” said Burton. “The D-line won us this game today and the offense kept us in the game. It was nice to finally piece together what it means to play as a team. We need to keep growing off this win and going into a bye week, we need to keep our mind on our goal for the season: to make it to the Western Conference Championship game.”
The Rainmakers have a bye this coming weekend and then will head down to San Francisco for a rematch on May 17. Buy tickets for the away game here.