Rat City Shocks Denver, 159-148

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SEATTLE, WA–In a strong showing on their home turf, Rat City (WFTDA #12) shrugged off their recent losses to London (#16 WFTDA) and Rocky Mountain (#9 WFTDA) and battled until the last whistle to take the win against Denver (WFTDA #2), 159-148 at the Rat’s Nest.

Carmen Getsome took the line against Julie Adams in the first jam, and made light work of the Denver defence, scoring six points. Rebecca Dickie put Denver on the board two jams later with four points, before Rat City’s Sintripidal Force stretched the score out to 17-8 six minutes into the half.

A recharged Adams blitzed around Rat City’s defence next as Denver’s blockers punished Missile America. By the time Missile passed the star to pivot K. Beezy, Denver had cut the Rat lead to one point, at 18-17.

The first powerjam of the game went to Rat as Dickie cut the track. Rat’s Jalapeno Business scored eight points before calling it and allowing Carmen to capitalize on the advantage. Dickie was released soon after but held expertly by Glitter, Beezy, Shorty Ounce and Killah Kelly. The jam ended with the score 35-17 to Rat.

With just under 18 minutes left in the first half, Rat jammer Sami Automatic was boxed for a back block and two Rat blockers followed her soon after. This left Sharpless to cut through Rat’s waning defence and hustle Denver into a 40-35 lead.

Rat was held to just two further points in the next three jams, and called a time out. One minute later they came back strong–Missile gained lead quickly as Shorty Ounce and Rumble Fist worked Amanda Sharpless hard at the front of the pack. Rumble Fist soon caused Sharpless to cut the track, but Missile only added four before she called it to let Carmen finish off another powerjam.

Some smart offensive play from Rat allowed Carmen to blitz around Denver’s trapped blockers, but was shut down after scoring 13 points as Sharpless returned from the box and jumped the apex to complete her initial pass.

After a bit of initial trouble dealing with the Denver defence, Jalapeno Business upped the aggression on Denver to bring the bout within 10 points at 73-63 with 4:20 left in the half. Beezy, Killah and Shorty worked Dickie hard in the following jam and Sintripidal evened the game up at 73 a piece as the Denver defence crumbled.

In the last minutes of the half, both teams grabbed lead jammer and a few quick points, but when Adams was boxed in the final minute of the half, Jalapeno pushed the score up to 89-77 to Rat as the period clock expired.

The second period started with Denver’s penalty box full and Adams standing. Carmen fought against a tough two-wall of Shaina Serelson and Akers but was able to steal two passes and take the score to 97-77.

Denver’s Sami Lester was boxed in the following jam, but Carmen followed soon after with a back block. Rat killed Lester’s chance at a big comeback, but she was still able to rack up a few points, bringing the score to 108-89 Rat.

A hit by Rat’s Full Nelson caused Adams to cut in the next jam, leaving Nelson, Teeny Mussolini and Hard Cora to employ solid active offense to get Missile through. Akers, Sarelson and Deidre Sage stood their ground in the following jam to kill the remainder of Adams’ penalty. Jalapeno was able to score a grand slam but was trapped to a line while calling the jam and Adams snuck through for three. With 16:41 left, Rat led 132-105.

Both teams’ scores crept up incrementally for some time, with both teams ramping up their defence and keeping the pack speed slow. A frustrated Sharpless cut the track with just over nine minutes left in the game, but the mechanical defence delivered by Serelson, Akers, Jessica Rivas and Sage was enough to force Jalapeno to call it. Missile finished out the powerjam with an apex jump, stretching the score to 153-120 with 7:30 to go.

All looked lost for Denver as Rat started to chew through the period clock, but with less than two minutes to go, Adams had a field day against a trapped Missile and racked up 20 points to give Denver yet another tense final jam.

With 52 seconds to go, both teams put out their strongest blockers. Carmen took the star for Rat; this time it was Akers who took the star for Denver as the Mile High Club continued their search for a closer. Their first passes through the pack seemed endless as both jammers played against strong, slow defence. Carmen made a break for it first some time later and played it safe, watching the period clock expire. The game ended with Rat celebrating a 160-148 win, but a later clarification from a points recount revealed the final score to be 159-148 in favor of Rat.

Speaking to DNN after the game, an elated Teeny Mussolini congratulated her team’s hard work to pull off a win against WFTDA’ #2 ranked team.

“We came into this game feeling confident and strong,” she said, “and we’re leaving it knowing this is our trajectory from here on out; we’re setting our course for playoffs and championships.”

Compartmentalizing the loss against Gotham the night before, Teeny says Rat went into the game against Denver confident in Rat’s revamped style of play. “We’ve worked on being a lot more dynamic this year and have expanded our defence to include a range of different formations,” says Teeny. “When it gets tough out there, we take any opportunity to refocus, reset and make the next jam a good one.”

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