Rollercon: #9 Philly Stops #8 Rocky Mountain, 172-116

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LAS VEGAS, NV– Coming in as an East Coast challenger to a West Coast-heavy lineup of WFTDA sanctioned bouts at Rollercon, Philly won over the sometimes hostile crowd to skate out 172-116 winners, showing off strong defence and smart offense while taking advantage of heavy penalty problems for the 5280 Fight Club.

Philly started the game in unconventional fashion when they treated the Rollercon crowd to an a capella rendition of their traditional skate-out song “Gonna Fly,” better known as the theme from Rocky.

When the bout got underway a few minutes later, things started in more conventional fashion. Philly took a knee on the jammer line before Rocky had even finished kit checks–and the tactic seemed to have worked when V-Diva pushed her way through the Rocky pack to get the game’s first lead jam call. Her pack couldn’t hold on for long though and she was forced into a 1-0 call.

Rocky’s offense came to the fore in the next jam though and they took a 3-1 lead, but Philly restored their advantage in jam three with a 4-0 for Mo Pain. Jam four was the first not to see a lead change with a 4-0 for V-Diva as she exploited a 4-2 pack advantage.

Rocky edged the next five jams 8-7 to round a low-scoring opening ten minutes and leave the score at 16-11. RMRG tied things up the next jam with a natural grand slam against Teflon Donna who was struggling under the force of hits from Amanda Jamitinya and positional work from May Q Pay. Rocky took the lead for the first time since jam 2 when Sweet Mary Pain laid down the first big jam of the game with a 14-0 when Antidote was boxed. They put more on the board next jam, but momentum then started to swing towards the Liberty Belles.

Consecutive lead jam calls for Teflon Donna and V-Diva let Philly close the gap as Rocky filled the box– and when Rocky jammer Casstrator was boxed after being forced into a major cut by a sharp hit and incessant attention from Olivia Face, Mo Pain made no mistakes and pushed Philly into a 38-34 lead with ten minutes left in the half.

A Rocky timeout turned into an official review as they tried to recover the initiative–but the only result was to see a two-minute penalty assessed on one of their own blockers. V-Diva and Teflon Donna combined with a run of lead jam calls — again with Rocky consistently having only two blockers on the track at any one time–to give the Liberty Belles a 55-37 lead. Rocky eventually managed to empty that box of blockers, but just as they did so Casstrator took a deliberate minor cut, not realizing she was on three minors. She was released seconds later when Mo Pain got a major back block call on her first scoring pass, but went to the box for a second time in the jam after Mo Pain was released when a botched apex jump saw her penalised for misconduct. A lengthy official time-out followed and saw that call reversed.

Jammer musical chairs followed two jams later between V-Diva and Casstrator–and some strong defense from Shenita Stretcher let Philly slip into a 73-45 lead with a minute left in the period. Rocky just edged the final two jams of the period 3-0 and 8-0 to make it a 17-point game at the half, 73-56.

While it seemed like a tossup at the half, Rocky Mountain’s penalty problems continued to doom them through the last 30 minutes. Philly jammers V-Diva and Teflon Donna gave Philly a 33-point lead, with Shenita Stretcher showing off her offense skills, sending Rocky blockers to the floor to make points for her jammers. 7 minutes had gone in the second period before Toxic Taunic put up Rocky’s first points of the period, but next jam it was the turn of one of Philly’s other transfers to prove her worth. When Damage Dahl held up Sweet Mary Pain as Teflon Donna laid down a series of natural grand slams, Philly found themselves with a 122-60 lead with 19 minutes left after a 49-4 run.

Rocky handed Philly another power jam as Mo Pain extended Philly’s lead to 143-64 with a 21-0 while Casstatror sat in the box after being penalized for a major back block.

Philly had put 8 more on the board before V-Diva was carelessly boxed on a major cut, but Rocky only managed a 10-3 in the resulting powerjam thanks to smart pushing and defense that proved almost immune to Rocky’s hard-hitting offense. Rocky were gathering momentum though–they pushed the score to 154-85 as the game entered its last ten minutes with a run of lead jam calls as they finally managed to maintain a full-strength presence on the track.

They’d cut the deficit to 66 as the clock passed the five-minute mark before Philly started to move into clock-management mode, obviously lifting up pack speeds and looking to keep jams they had lead running for as long as they could without dropping points.

With a little over three minutes to go Sweet Mary Pain picked up a major back block and Mo Pain reduced Rocky’s already slim chances of making a comeback to nothing. Philly had an 80-point lead with two minutes to go when Pain was boxed herself at the end of the jam.

Alpha Q Up teamed up with Sweet Mary Pain to put up 20 points without reply over the resulting powerjams–Alpha had pushed Rocky up to 116 when she called it after the period clock had expired, 56 points short of Philly’s 172.

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