The San Francisco Dogfish defeated Seattle 18-17 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco to end Seattle’s playoff hopes.
The game came down to the wire. With Seattle down 18-17, Rainmaker handler Adam “Chicken” Simon unleashed a long backhand huck in a desperate Hail Mary attempt with just four seconds on the clock. But the disc died in the air and San Francisco’s Mac Taylor earned the D to end the game.
The Rainmakers were neck and neck with the Dogfish, but were unable to overcome a severely depleted roster and a solid San Francisco line.
The game began with a San Francisco break to put the score at 1-0. The two teams traded points before the Dogfish broke again, to jump to a 3-1 lead. They would trade more scores until the end of the quarter, where San Francisco was up 4-3. Heavy wind from the north would be a factor throughout the game, and especially the first half. The first quarter alone featured fourteen turnovers.
San Francisco received the pull to start the second quarter and the ever-consistent Beau Kittredge scored again to give his team the hold. Seattle responded on the next point as player and coach Ben Wiggins connected with the crafty Danny Trytiak in the end zone to make the game 5-4. After missing several games, Wiggins rejoined Seattle in the postseason to provide much needed depth at the handler position, with handlers Allan Laviolette, Mario O’Brien, and Matty Zemel down with injuries.
The calmer weather was reflected in the second quarter, as the number of turnovers compared to the first quarter dropped from fourteen to seven. Both teams struggled to capitalize on the opposition’s mistakes and each team’s O-line was able to get the job done, trading points for an 8-6 San Francisco lead at half.
The third quarter continued the same steady trend, as the receiving team scored every point. The Dogfish earned a quick score out of the gate to grab a 9-6 lead. Seattle responded with the most interesting point of the game, throwing wise. Wiggins again spearheaded the Rainmaker attack, dishing out a massive hammer throw to Brit Atack, who promptly stood up and matched Wiggins quirkiness with a left handed push pass for the score.
While the two teams continued to trade points, Seattle cutter Sam Harkness demonstrated exemplary sportsmanship after a well played D by Dogfish cutter Russ Wynne. Harkness used the Spirit of the Game rule to override a foul call by the referees.
The third quarter ended with San Francisco leading 15-12. After a Dogfish hold via huck, Seattle’s Mark Burton connected with Danny Trytiak, who logged four scores on the afternoon. The Rainmakers then strung two breaks together to whittle San Francisco’s lead to 16-15. The two teams traded points, with Seattle missing a big opportunity when they failed to capitalize on a Dogfish turnover that would have tied the game at 17. Instead, the home team went up 18-16 and Seattle was forced to play catchup. The Rainmakers held the next point, scoring with less than twenty seconds on the clock. With the score 18-17, Seattle forced a turnover with an excellent double team by Jacob Speidel and Sean Sears. Unfortunately, Chicken’s Hail Mary came up short.
The Seattle Rainmakers finish their inaugural season with an 8-3 record. The team will surely be looking for some revenge next year, as all three losses came at the hands of San Francisco.
The Dogfish will face the winner of the Eastern Conference finals, the Boston Whitecaps, in the MLU Championship game. The finals will be held at Franklin Field in Philadelpha on July 13th.
We here in Seattle wish the Dogfish good luck. After all, west coast, best coast.