The San Francisco Dogfish lost to the Portland Stags 21-17 on Saturday at Doc Harris Stadium. The defeat is San Francisco’s second loss in one week to Portland and their fourth straight loss this season.

The Dogfish came out of a three-point deficit at halftime to tie the game 15-15 in the fourth quarter. With the Stags up by one, the Dogfish were called for three fouls in a row, throwing off the defensive momentum they’d used to such advantage throughout the game. Capitalizing on some desperate moves from the Dogfish offense, the Stags went on a four-point run, then traded the last two points to secure their win.

Even with a roster ten men down, including some of their usual playmakers and the last-minute loss of team captain Evan Boucher, the Dogfish showed that they should not be underestimated. Sam Adamson was the star of the San Francisco squad in this game, with five goals (one layout), three defensive plays (two layouts) and one assist. Drew Kim, in his first game of the season after coming off an injury, lived up to expectations by popping up consistently on offense and earning three assists and one goal. Nick Weiss, another steady hand on offense, had three assists and two goals. And rookie Ian Ranahan ended the day with three assists and two defensive blocks.

Overall on defense the Dogfish double-team and zone were effective, but their man-on-man looked too loose in the second and third quarters. Like last week, Breeze Strout, Cody Bjorklund and Eli Friedman took advantage to aid the Stags on offense, along with Grant Cole and Jeremy Norden.

The first quarter proceeded slowly. After the Stags went up 2-0, the Dogfish picked up the pace and scored with 2:15 remaining in the quarter. They scored again 33 seconds later. Adam Farren made a great layout block in the final seconds to keep the game tied at 2-2.

In the second quarter the teams traded points, then at 4-4 the Stags went on a three-point run. At this point the Dogfish seemed plagued by a couple of calls. When the Stags scored to take the lead 6-4, the Dogfish sidelines argued the Stags had called a timeout before the goal. A few minutes later the Dogfish were called off sides, giving the Stags an easy score to maintain their two-point lead. And following a beautiful huck from Matt Kissman to Kim that would have put the Dogfish within one point with 29 seconds remaining in the half, Kim was called for an offensive foul and the Stags gained possession and scored.

By the third quarter both teams had picked up the pace, but also displayed great offensive control. The quickest goal was scored in 17 seconds, the longest took 2:28. One particularly nice point featured a perfect cross-field pass from James Pollard to Kim and, a few throws later, a sneak pass from Pollard into the end zone to Kim to take the Dogfish within one. They ended the quarter down 13-14.

The fourth quarter was another rapid-fire affair with big throws and catches. Unfortunately for the Dogfish, too many of their big throws resulted in big defensive plays by the Stags. Still, San Francisco never gave up. In fact, with 1:19 left in the game, the Dogfish tried a clever gambit off the pull—they dropped the disc outside of their end zone to draw a delay of game call on the Stags. In the end, there wasn’t enough time for the Dogfish to climb out of the hole, but Pollard gets another nod for getting an end zone block and keeping the Stags from another score in the final seconds of the game.

The loss comes at the start of another double-header weekend for the Dogfish—their second in as many weeks. Tomorrow the team plays their final regular-season game against the Seattle Rainmakers at 1 pm PT in Renton Stadium.

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