After their first loss of the season in a tough game against San Francisco, Seattle is looking to bounce back against northern rival Vancouver.
The two teams are in the middle of the standings, with Seattle holding a +6 point differential and Vancouver with +4. With a win, Seattle would keep pace with the Dogfish in the Western Conference, as San Francisco will be playing last place Portland this Saturday. But if Vancouver takes the match, they could gain a huge momentum boost by leapfrogging Seattle in the standings.
Seattle won the season opener on their home turf, 14-12. Seattle will retain the home field advantage again this Sunday. The two will switch places after the game, as Vancouver will host the Rainmakers at the end of May and June.
Seattle dominated the opening three quarters of their head to head, jumping out to a 14-6 lead. But the Nighthawks ended the game on a 6 point run, turning the game into a bit of a nail biter as they earned break after break.
The Nighthawks’ tenacity did not come as a surprise to Seattle Rainmaker Sam Harkness. “Vancouver is an extremely good fourth quarter team,” said the O-line handler. “They’ve always been able to hold onto leads and make up ground. That’s just their game. It’s always been like that.” Conversely, Seattle has had trouble holding on to late game leads. Last week’s matchup with the Dogfish saw them get outscored 11-4 in the second half.
Vancouver can take advantage of the loss of Seth Wiggins and Matt Rehder. Wiggins is out for the season due to an injury while Rehder is in school. The loss of the two, both deep threat cutters, will allow Vancouver to utilize their superior huck game against Seattle’s light secondary.
Controlling Vancouver in the fourth quarter will be key for the Rainmakers. During the Nighthawks’ run last game, Seattle’s O-line lost the rhythm and flow they possessed through the first three quarters, where they were shredding Vancouver’s defense. The offense will need to keep the throttle firewalled throughout the match. If Seattle can shore up the offense and play its customary tight defense, they’ll make it rain on Sunday. Pull is at 1:00 PM at Chief Sealth Stadium. See you there!