Spring Roll: MRDA Recaps
St. Louis took the lead on the second jam and never trailed en route to dealing New York their first loss ever, 158-138. Magic City and St. Louis were the only teams to go 3-0 on the weekend. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
The New York Shock Exchange had their one easy win of the weekend when they routed Dallas 182-46 on Sunday's first bout. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
St. Louis jammer Magnum PIMP leaps out of the pack against Harm City Homicide. St. Louis closed the game on a 83-3 run to swamp Homicide 261-56. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
In their third of four games, the Puget Sound Outcasts didn't have too much trouble handing Connecticut Death Quads a 234-95 loss. Connecticut went 1-2 on the weekend with losses to Puget Sound and Twin Cities Terrors but a narrow last-jam win over the Race City Rebels. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
Twin Cities Terrors jammer Bruce Knuckle tries to power past Angry Monk of the Connecticut Death Quads. Twin Cities dominated the second half of the game to win 232-104. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
Fro Serious of the Connecticut Death Quads takes out Jonathan Elliott of the Twin Cities Terrors. Twin Cities dominated the second half of the game to win 232-104. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
The Race City Rebels (Indianapolis, IN) put up a game fight against the Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen but went down 205-78. Race City and Harm City Homicide were the only two teams to go 0-3 at Spring Roll, but will meet on June 5th in Cincinnati. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
An unidentified Magic City player catches air over Dallas' fallen jammer Ninja Please. The teams played a high-octane bout but Magic City solidly won 211-104; Magic City and St. Louis were the only teams to go 3-0 on the weekend. Photo: Bob Dunnell.
Sunday | Saturday
New York Shock Exchange 125, Puget Sound Outcasts 118 -- New York put their 4-year, 22-win streak on the line against Puget Sound in the marquee MRDA bout of the 2011 Spring Roll, and for the first thirty minutes -- and the last five minutes -- it looked like it might end on the Fort Wayne concrete. New York's jammers were clearly more tired than usual against heavy, accurate blocking from Cory Pain, Ryrod, Radillac and Quadzilla and had more trouble than usual handling the size of Puget Sound's jammers. But after a very evenly matched opening half, the Shock Exchange finally locked into the dominating mode that built the streak for the first 12 minutes of the second half, and the lead they built there was just barely enough to survive a closing onslaught that brought Puget just 7 points short of a thrilling last-jam comeback win.
Jonathan R put NYSE in front on the first jam with a textbook 4-0 hit-and-quit, but the first powerjam went to Puget Sound on the third jam, when Ladies Knight cut his way to the box in an opening pass; Puget Sound took the lead there on a 10-0 to make it Puget 12, New York 8 five minutes in. Action stopped there for about five minutes on a referee timeout, though, as there was some confusion about the game rosters; when play resumed, it continued to be small ball between the two teams, leaving the score at 22-15 favoring Puget Sound with 20:11 left in the first.
Puget Sound didn't allow any points for 5 minutes and extended their lead to 36-15, but NYSE got their first powerjam opportunity when Hollywood was boxed; a tired but determined Jonathan R singlehandedly bulled his way through for a 14-0 jam as the NYSE blockers hung back and tried unsuccessfully to free him on split packs. That kept things close at 36-29 Puget Sound with 13:48 on a stopped clock. On the subsequent jam, Hollywood was boxed again on while Rinkworm had lead, but Rinkworm was himself boxed right afterwards; the full length 11-3 jam exhausted both jammers and put NYSE up 41-39 with 11:57 in the first half.
That led to a rapid-fire series of lead changes, as another 4-0 went to Puget Sound and put them up 43-41, but jammer penalty trouble bit Puget Sound again; with Ryrod boxed on a back block, Jonathan R went 6-0 for another lead change at 47-43. And the game was tied up on yet another powerjam when Rinkworm was boxed, sending Puget's Scott Slamilton to a 4-0 that put it at 47-47 with 7 minutes left in the first half.
Puget inched ahead again and almost kept NYSE blanked for the rest of the half, but Jonathan R picked up a 4-0 to make it 60-51 favoring Puget Sound with about a minute left in the half, and NYSE finished the half with some momentum with another small win -- 2-0 -- to Ladies Knight. At the break, it was a 7 point game favoring Puget Sound, 60-53.
In the opening 10 minutes of the second, though, Puget Sound came out looking mysteriously flat, seemingly less aggressive with their hits and less careful about remaining in play, and NYSE pounced on it. On the second jam of the second half, Quadzilla was locked down by an excellent NYSE defense and seemed content to go to jammer defense on Rinkworm, but it didn't work out and RInkworm added to NYSE's opening 4-0 by putting NYSE in the lead with an 11-0 to make it 68-60 New York. And when Hollywood Chuck Bury was boxed on the third jam of the half, Ladies Knight rolled to a clutch 13-0 that tied the largest lead of the game at 81-60 favoring New York, with 23:24 left to play.
The run continued to about the 18 minute mark, where NYSE looked likely to start running away with it while keeping Puget almost entirely blanked; it was 107-62 with 18 minutes left. But Puget Sound began to chip away, very slowly. With 14:56 on a stopped clock, it was 112-70 NYSE; with 11:08, it was 113-78; with 7:45, it was 113-84; with 6:00, it was 113-86.
But when the next two jams went 0-0 and the score was still a 27 point margin at 113-86 NYSE with 3:57 to go, Puget Sound needed either a big jam or more time than they had available. A 2-1 NYSE jam win with Puget Sound holding lead jammer status did not help their cause, but on the subsequent jam, Puget got exactly what they needed -- a 13-0 run for Hollywood with the help of completely NYSE filling their box. That made it 117-100 NYSE with 54 seconds left on the clock and NYSE jammer Ladies Knight stuck in the penalty box.
Puget Sound put out Quadzilla to jam unopposed against a very light NYSE pack -- and although Quadzilla took lead and was able to pick up three easy passes before New York's penalty box finally rejoined the action, Puget Sound needed to make up at least 17 points, and New York's defense locked in just in time. During the pass that would have put Puget in front, Filthy McNasty and Abe Drinkin led a clutch blocking charge that barely kept Quadzilla in play while Ladies Knight picked up two desperately needed scoring passes. With period time expired and almost the full 2 minutes off the jam clock, they finally forced a track cut on Quadzilla -- and a few seconds later the jam ended on time. The jam had gone 18-8 to Puget Sound, and New York held on to their undefeated streak for at least one more day. -- Justice Feelgood Marshall
Magic City Misfits 165, Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen 120 -- This very athletic and hard-hitting battle of remarkably different styles was fairly low-scoring to start, with a total score of only 14 to 9 favoring Pioneer Valley after the opening ten minutes. Magic City seemed to have the more physically talented skaters, extremely potent with sharp directional cuts, spinning hits and speed control, but Pioneer Valley's jammers were surprisingly resilient in surviving the battering long enough to usually claim lead jammer. As importantly, PVRD managed to keep their jammers out of the penalty box early while Magic City lost the jammers to the box three times in the first 15 minutes. Pioneer Valley wisely called powerjams early to ice the MCM jammers in the box.
With just over 10 minutes to play in the first, Pioneer Valley only had a 19 point lead at 32-13, but given how low scoring the matchup had been, it felt like a much larger gap. However, the advantage flipped when the Misfits got their first powerjam opportunity when PVRD's Mars Travolta was boxed. A quick 5-0 and call was followed by a highlight reel run from MCM's Calkin Balls, who juked, spun and ducked his way to a massive 24-3 jam. That lone jam was more points than Magic City had scored in the previous 20 minutes, and it put Magic City up for the first time, 42-35, with exactly 7 minutes left to go in the first. That jam seemed to break the seal for Magic City, as they dropped a handful more big jams -- including a 17-0 to Duke Jukem -- on Pioneer Valley while only allowing 3 more points in those final seven minutes of the half. At the break, Magic City had a solid 40 point lead of 78-38 that had seemed very unlikely just 10 minutes previous.
Pioneer Valley was able to play Magic City fairly evenly for the first fifteen or so minutes of the final half-- but it was once again a powerjam opportunity that Magic City exploited to the fullest, with Powder rolling to a 20-0 jam that made it 128-54 with 16:00 to go. It seemed like that jam might effectively put the game out of reach for a tiring PVRD, but they continued to take advantage of the opportunities they did get, as Magic City seemed intent on leaving the door just barely open enough for Pioneer Valley to continue sneaking back in the game. It was 132-77 when Duke Jukem got lead for Magic City but was boxed on a cut track during his first scoring pass -- Jurasskick Park dug deep for a 18-1 jam that included a crowd-pleasing apex jump and got the bleachers very noisy with newly minted -- or suddenly re-invigorated -- Pioneer Valley fans. That made the score 133-95 with 8:40 leading into a lengthy referee timeout. A couple of jams later, with the score 144-104, MCM's Streak went to the penalty box and Jurasskick Park struck again with a 12-0 that made it 144-116 with 3 minutes to play.
However, Streak finally closed the door for good following that with a 10-0; though Mars Travolta gave the PVRD partisan crowd a little more to cheer about by getting lead in the final jam, the margin was too much to make up in a single jam and he was it was still a solid Magic City win at the horn, 165-120. -- Justice Feelgood Marshall
Connecticut Death Quads 106, Race City Rebels 103 -- After an opening 31-4 run to start the game from Connecticut, the game quickly proved to be the most evenly match MRDA bout of Saturday. Back to back powerjams allowed Race City to turn it around, freezing CT jammer Pastor of Muppets in the box to start 14-0 and 11-0 Race City wins. It was 31-29 with 18:49 left in the first, and Race City grabbed a one point 37-36 lead on the next jam. (This jam had its end delayed for about 20 seconds when Race City jammer Dragon Azz continually attempted to signal the jam to be called but repeatedly failed to actually put his hands on his hips, allowing Connecticut to pick up a gift scoring lap which would prove to be critically important given the final margin.) From that point on, neither team was able to establish more than a single-digit lead for the rest of the half. CT temporarily retook the lead at 56-53 with 4 left to play in the half, but on the followup, Connecticut jammer Cirkle Jerk decided to go to jammer offense while holding lead jammer, but picked up a back block major. Race City tied on the that jam at 58-58 and closed out the half holding on to a small lead at 67-61.
Connecticut took the lead back at 75-74 about seven minutes deep into the second half, and the game became even more of a stalemate than it had previously been -- the next six jams went 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 4-0 Connecticut, 4-0 Race City and 0-0 again. That made it 79-78 Connecticut with 15 minutes to go before Race City finally got a definitive jam win with a 9-0 win, giving them a 87-79 lead with 13:42 to play. But that lead was only safe for one jam, as CT's Cirkle Jerk took the star on a powerjam and went 14-0 to give Connecticut a 93-87 lead. Two jams later, on a referee timeout with 6 minutes to play, Connecticut clung to a 93-89 lead, with Race City just a scoring pass away from a tie -- and Connecticut suffered a major loss when Cirkle Jerk fouled out.
After a quick jam aborted on injury, Ron Scaremy picked up a 3-0 with the help of two penalty box points when CT was just a hair late on calling off the jam -- that made it, yet again, a one point game at 93-92 and 4 minutes to play. Race City moved back into the lead on a 2-0 jam for Dexter, but a critical major on Race City jammer 77 left the floor open for Johnny Holeshot to put up a 10-0. With 42 seconds left on the clock, Connecticut was holding a 9 point lead at 103-94 and Race City called timeout to prepare for the critical next jam.
The pack was a thin 3-2 favoring Race City with Zakk Sabbath against Dragon Azz -- and then there was a bit of extra drama as the period clock didn't start until some time after the actual jam started, forcing lead jammer Zakk Sabbath to wait longer than he would have liked to call the jam. That was enough time for Dragon to start a second scoring pass while Zack was still stuck on his first -- but even with the clock confusion, Race City was unable to make up the difference in the score before Zack finally did call it off with Connecticut still holding a 3 point lead, 106-103. -- Justice Feelgood Marshall
Dallas Deception 188, Harm City Homicide 133 -- This match marked two firsts for the Homicide on their roster -- their first game played with The Rev (a longtime Pioneer Valley standout who switched allegiance after the 2010 MDC season) and their first game played without founder Justice Feelgood Marshall (out on a broken ankle).The fact that Dallas was already warmed up seemed to be a significantly larger positive for Dallas than the fact that Harm City was more rested was for Harm. The Baltimore crew came out ice cold in the first ten minutes, with Dallas putting 30 points on the board before Homicide scored their first points, and were in a 72-4 hole before the offense got any really traction behind jammers Abe Froman and Carnage Asada, leading to a 100-33 halftime score favoring Dallas.
Much like the earlier Dallas / Twin Cities game, though, the losing team played a much stronger second half, didn't allow Dallas to bust any of the massive first-half powerjams that had ballooned their score and actually won the second half. Harm City scored 100 points to Dallas' 88 in the final thirty minutes, but Dallas was never in serious danger of losing their lead as they were earlier against Twin Cities, and won their second game in five hours -- and their second win over Homicide at Spring Roll -- by 55 points. -- Justice Feelgood Marshall
St. Louis Gatekeepers 201, Puget Sound Outcasts 78 -- Last year's Puget Sound / St. Louis matchup in Spring Roll came down to a final jam in which Puget Sound won by a point, but St. Louis apparently spent the intervening 12 months plotting their revenge. The Gatekeepers managed to get a gift-wrapped early lead here, as they started in a 4-0 hole after two jams but Puget Sound managed to put their jammer Grim Streeper in the box for part or all of the next 5 jams. St. Louis took the lead on the first of those powerjams on a 11-0, and by the time the series was over, St. Louis was up by a startling 58-4 with 17:27 to play.
But even once Puget was able to keep their jammers on the track, St. Louis' teamwork did an excellent job of containing them defensively while busting open timely holes for their own jammers. With 12:31 to play in the first, it was 81-17, and Puget Sound closed the half the same way they ended it, with their jammer -- in this case, Quadzilla -- spending about 10 seconds on the track in each of the last two jams before picking up a major. St. Louis fully capitalized by isolating the Puget Sound blockers and dropping 29 unanswered points on the last two jams. At halftime, Puget Sound was behind by more than they'd ever been, on the wrong side of a 123-36 deficit.
Puget Sound finally got some good news on the opening jam of the second half when Quadzilla pulled a 5-0, but the St. Louis lead entered triple digits two jams later at 152-41 on yet another powerjam win for St. Louis. There was no second half turnaround for Puget, and tempers flared a little bit late with 4:35 when St. Louis'
Wrecking Bill (CORRECTION: Double Excel) took out Quadzilla's legs and sent him flying on a ugly low block; after a brief altercation, Quadzilla was ejected on gross misconduct. A few jams later, St. Louis sealed an unexpectedly dominating win at 201-78. -- Justice Feelgood Marshall
Dallas Deception 128, Twin City Terrors 114 -- A fierce second-half comeback from Minneapolis's Twin City Terrors stalled out just short of the mark in the first men's game of Spring Roll 2011. Things were closely matched through the first 10 minutes of the game, leading to a 19-15 Dallas lead with 20:20 showing on the clock, but Twin Cities received a highly damaging penalty when their jammer Blunt Damage was hit with a major back block and then received a second minute in the box for arguing too vehemently. That led to a 20-0 powerjam for Dallas' Hateraid followed by a 10-3 for Ninja Please, and suddenly Dallas had a commanding 49-18 lead with 15:42 left in the first. Though most of the rest of the half was fairly even, Dallas once again got a big 18-0 powerjam from Hateraid to end the half that made it Dallas 92, Twin Cities 40 at the halftime break.
The second half saw Twin Cities quickly make up a lot of that last jam when TC's Blunt Damage picked up a 16-0 powerjam to make it 92-56 Dallas, and TC continued to nick away. They got some particularly crowd-pleasing jams from the agile Jonathan Elliot, who dropped a 19-0 with about 20 minutes left to get Twin Cities truly within striking distance at 103-79. But every time Dallas' lead was in danger, they got just enough to keep Twin Cities behind them. The closest they'd get was 119-108 with 7 minutes to play, but on the following jam Dallas blocker Rhino had a enormously effective takeout of Elliott that kept him on the floor just long enough for opposing jammer Matomic to pick up a 5-0 that blunted Twin Cities' momentum for the final time; five minutes later, Dallas had a 128-114 win. Although Twin Cities had convincingly won the second half 74-36, it wasn't enough to make up the first half deficit. -- Justice Feelgood Marshall