FlameThrowers Burn Growlers 28-19
The San Francisco FlameThrowers were feeling the heat on Saturday evening and took down the San Diego Growlers in a decisive victory that showed just how powerful the team can be when they hit their stride.
The FlameThrowers are proving themselves as the team that everyone knew would be a force to reckon with this season, but not just because of their flashy offensive abilities – it is their defensive line that continues to win games. The scariest part is that it just keeps getting better.
Captain Greg Cohen earned the first break for the FlameThrowers after only three points had been played, and thanks to a successful buzzer-beater the team had a five point lead by the end of the quarter. The second quarter proceeded similarly, with excellent performances by Marcelo Sanchez and captain Lucas Dallmann expanding the team’s lead to a whopping eight points with a full three minutes left in the half.
The team’s most notable improvements occurred on both sides of the disc; the offensive lines played with increased confidence and fluidity as the game progressed and their ability to take smart risks pushed them ahead of the Growlers, while the defensive line ensured that the Growlers’ offense felt stifled with respect to short and deep looks.
The third quarter opened with a quick score for the FlameThrowers, followed by two breaks to put the team up by ten. Dallmann continued to prove himself virtually unguardable, and despite the fact that the team seemed to experience a lull partway through the quarter the Growlers were only able to climb back within seven points by the end of the period. The Growlers did their best to stay in the game and showcased their athleticism with several athletic blocks of their own, but unfortunately it was not enough. They could not complete on a break opportunity until late in the third quarter, and by then it was too little and too late.
In the final twelve minutes, the crowd was reenergized thanks to an enormous two-handed layout point block by Kevin Cocks and both teams raked up some quick scores before the clock wound down. Cocks later said he was “just having fun” playing against some of his old college teammates from San Diego but that the block was definitely his “greatest achievement of 2017, if not the entire decade.” The final score was 28-19 in favor of the FlameThrowers – their largest margin of victory so far this season.
After the game, Dallmann praised head coach Ryo Kawaoka as an important aspect of the team’s ability to stay mentally on top of their game. “He really kept us locked in, even during lulls. We had our ups and downs but I’m happy with how we played. Ryo kept us honest and is always expecting more of us. During the third quarter we let up on the gas a bit but Ryo and Greg [Cohen] kept the fire and accountability going on the sideline. We’ve got to keep doing that all season long.”
His fellow captain Cohen expressed happiness that the team is “improving every game” and hoped that this trend could continue. “The guys made some exceptional plays, whether it was Cocks getting that block or Lucas’s run-through D, and in general it was a fun time. As a team we still have a lot of growing to do but it’s fun the whole way and I’m grateful for that.”
By the Numbers:
Sanchez led the team with six assists, while Cohen and Antoine Davis threw three apiece. Davis also scored three goals and fourteen different FlameThrowers athletes scored at least one. Joel Schlachet threw an astonishing 58 completions with three goals and only one turnover, and Patrick Baylis was close behind with 53 completions and zero turnovers. Beau Kittredge was also back with a vengeance even without his trusty sidekick, earning an assist and a block and throwing 33 completions with only one throwaway. Davis is still the king of defense, adding another three blocks to his résumé while eight of his teammates also generated at least one each for the team in a monumental defensive effort. Last but not least, Dallmann caught four goals (the most of anyone on the team) and maintained his perfect catching percentage even under tight coverage.
The FlameThrowers head south this weekend to take on the Growlers and the Los Angeles Aviators in a double-header road trip! Their next home game is May 13, when they face off against the Seattle Cascades for the first time since winning the inaugural Cascades Cup earlier this season. The Cascades are the defending Western Division champions, so this should be an incredible game! Tickets are available here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/san-francisco-flamethrowers-vs-seattle-cascades-tickets-31362547223.
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