Later today the San Francisco Dogfish host the Seattle Rainmakers at Yellowjacket Stadium for the two teams’ second matchup of the season. The Rainmakers defeated the Dogfish 20-17 in their May 3 game in Seattle.

Follow the Leader

We’re at the halfway point of the season, and there is undoubtedly a lot of soul-searching happening along the west coast right now. The Portland Stags (5-0) are the undisputed leader of the Western Conference, leaving the Dogfish (1-3), Rainmakers (1-2) and Vancouver Nighthawks (1-3) to battle it out for a spot in the playoff game.

In their first game against the Dogfish, the Rainmakers took a page out of Portland’s playbook—go up early and often and don’t look back. The Dogfish went on small runs in that game but found themselves too deep in a hole with the time remaining. It’s been a problem in San Francisco’s games to date. They’ve shown they can make big gains from behind, but they’ll need to focus on keeping things tighter to make that an effective fourth-quarter strategy. Or they’ll need to turn the tables on the Rainmakers in this game and take the lead without letting up.

Back to Basics

The Dogfish have been taking some hard looks at strategy over the past couple of weeks. Expect them to come out with a renewed focus on possession and leveraging the connections that consistently work on offense. With a 95 percent completion rate, MLU rookie handler Gabe Saunkeah has been a steadying force on the team and will be one of the leaders in making that happen.

On defense, expect the relentless coverage for which the Dogfish are known. David Abram’s six blocks put him in a three-way tie for third in the MLU, and he’ll be looking for every opportunity to regain possession for his team.

This will be the Rainmakers’ first experience in Yellowjacket Stadium. Like most teams this season, they will probably struggle a bit with the uneven wind before gaining their feet. The Dogfish can take the upper hand by capitalizing on this and minimizing the effect of Danny Trytiak and Mark Burton on Seattle’s plays. Khalif El-Salaam, who missed the first matchup this season, will be there today. He’s third on the Rainmakers for points (31) and will also need to factor into the Dogfish strategy in order to get this win.

Today’s game is an important step toward the Western conference finals. Don’t miss a minute of it! The action starts at 2 p.m and the theme is “animals” in honor of the Berkeley Humane Society. So put on your “dog”, “fish” or other animal gear and buy your tickets here.

 

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