Whoever said a tie is like kissing your sister had some pretty weird ideas about stuff I guess. Machine’s 5th place finish after a quarterfinals collapse, on the other hand, seems a bit more apropos. Whatever. Let’s take a look.
Machine tipped off against Guerrilla, the Bay Area squad we last met at Pro Championships last year, and got outlasted and outran. This time was different, though it started the same. Guerrilla broke on two of the first three O points. Machine’s D was equal to the task, breaking on their first D point and then three more times for a 7-4 halftime lead. Breaking twice out of half could have been enough, but the Rowdy Boys added another for a 13-7 win.
Game two saw a revamped Philly Patrol, and the Machine O line cleaning things up. The O line would hold 8 of 9 possessions, and the D line, whose hot first half saved a lackluster second, cruised to a 13-7 win. Highlights include the only O line turn being immediately snatched back on a Kyle Rutledge Callahan.
A third round bye sent Machine to cheer on Nemesis against Underground, but the fellas had to leave too early to warmup for game three against Truck Stop to see the Chicago sisters’ epic comeback.
The Truck Stop game started auspiciously, with holds and D pressure, but the DC crew got the first break. Machine broke back and held for a 7-6 halftime lead. The temps were spring and the turf was HOT, but the D got a short field turn and punched in the break out of half to widen the lead. The game turned into a slog with long points but less D pressure. Machine had chances for more breaks, but couldn’t convert, as sloppy O line play led to two breaks in the final three points to give Truck Stop the 11-10 win. Fortunately the format granted Machine a bye to he quarterfinals against regional rival High Five.
After La Crewx shotgunned some La Croix's, the Rowdy Boys took to the Boulder Creek to cool off after a long day. Highlights include Wets with the gentlest jump into a creek that has ever existed.
Lighting delays in the last round Saturday pushed start times forward, but the squad looked sluggish arriving at the fields. Up 12-10 in a game to 13, the Rowdy Boys saw this one slip away 12-14. I don’t want to talk about this one so here’s a picture of the last few points.
After the L, Machine faced off against WUCC hopefuls Doublewide, with Kurt playing no favorites and cheering on both squads. Machine ratcheted up the D pressure in a big way and found turnovers and breaks in bunches. The O brought things back by the second half and the squad prevailed in a capped game, 12-9.
That left only Dig to play for 5th. Former Machine friend and current Dig friend Noah Backer and his Ironside transplants couldn’t figure out the D line’s bucket of looks and the Rowdy Boys took half 7-2. Great handler D and zone discipline continued to frustrate, and the teams traded to a 11-6 Machine win capped by a huge AJ Nelson layout from Travis Carpenter for the final goal. Other highlights include two shade tents blowing onto the field during a point. Scary. Hug someone you love, folks.
So okay. 5th. Missing some friends. And we could use them for this extra large helping of Humble Pie. And so how was it? The Cup, the wins, the Ls? The pie? What else can we do but repeat the quiet words of a legendary Alaskan cannery cook.