Photo by Rodney Chen – UltiPhotos.com
The San Francisco Dogfish lost to the Seattle Rainmakers on Sunday, 20-14 at Yellowjacket Stadium. The loss leaves the Dogfish with a 1-4 record as they enter the second half of the 2015 season.
The Dogfish started the game with a break, and had a three-point lead on the Rainmakers into the final minutes of the first quarter. The Rainmakers then went on a run that continued into the second quarter, where they tied the game at four, again at five, then took the lead they would hold for the rest of the game. By halftime Seattle had pulled ahead to a four-point lead, and though San Francisco continued to make strides, the Rainmakers were up by five going into the fourth quarter. The Rainmakers widened the gap again by one and the teams traded points until the Dogfish ran out of time and the Rainmakers won, 20-14.
Errant swing passes and wind-powered flukes notwithstanding, the Dogfish flow on offense looked stronger in this game. Defensive plays by David Abram and Sam Adamson set the stage several times, and able disc work by Abram, Matt Kissmann, Drew Kim, Andrew Hooker and James Yeager kept things moving. As expected, Gabe Saunkeah served as an anchor in the back field, but he also managed to sneak in behind a teammate and two defenders for a score in the third quarter, and make a great layout grab for a score in the fourth quarter.
The Rainmakers were in the skillful hands of Danny Trytiak, Henry Phan, Ben Beehner and Evan Klein today. And despite Dogfish Thomas Adams’ impressive defense on Khalif El-Salaam, El-Salaam managed to run effective cuts that fueled Seattle’s momentum.
Although not a steady hindrance, the wind in Berkeley came up in gusts, and both teams struggled a bit in the first quarter against tough defense and wayward throws. The Rainmakers were stalled twice in the first quarter, helping the Dogfish gain a 4-1 lead. But quick work following a Dogfish turnover and a couple of Dogfish fouls were enough for the Rainmakers to regain their footing and end the quarter down by one, 4-3.
The Rainmakers scored the first point of the second quarter after a travel by the Dogfish, tying the game at four, then they tied the game again at five—the beginning of a six-point run that would see Seattle enter halftime in the lead, 10-6. The Dogfish were stalled twice in this quarter and had a few swing passes that went awry. It was a buzzer-beater huck by Andrew Riggs, brought down by Eric Rivera, that kept the gap to only four points at the end of the second.
At the beginning of the third quarter the teams traded points in two’s, but the Rainmakers pulled ahead again in the second part of the period. The Dogfish continued to be plagued by drops, while the Rainmakers remained focused and used the wind to aid their long game. Seattle entered the fourth quarter ahead by five, 15-10.
By the fourth quarter the Rainmakers had reined in some of their big plays to mix it up with quick, short work for scores. Still, there was no shortage of excitement with big throws, big defensive plays, three drops, two layouts and three timeouts. Kai Marcus provided the quarter’s most exciting sequence when he successfully made a second bid on a pass that got away from him, then moments later made the same play in the endzone (though it was ruled down). With 6:25 remaining the Dogfish were down by four, but it was the closest they would come before the game ended and the Rainmakers earned their second win against the Dogfish this season.
Rivera said the difference between the two teams today was psychological. “Even though we were up in the beginning, we had trouble locking into the mentality we needed to win. That’s what championship teams do for the whole game, and that’s what we need to work on.”
Next weekend the Dogfish host the 5-0 Portland Stags. Buy your tickets here.