The San Francisco Dogfish (2-4) face the Portland Stags (6-1) on Saturday on the road in Oregon. The game is important for both teams, but for different reasons.

Mind Games

The Dogfish handed the Stags their first defeat of the 2015 season just two weeks ago. The Stags rallied back to win their game last week against the Seattle Rainmakers, but it was a closely fought battle. While the Stags still lead the MLU Western Conference, if they stumble again it confirms that the previous loss was not a fluke, and that the door is open to a repeat of last year’s playoff upset. A win for the Stags reasserts their dominance. A win for the Dogfish puts the other teams in the conference on notice that San Francisco is back in fighting form and one step closer to the playoff game.

The Bjorklund Effect

It’s no secret that Cody Bjorklund was the key to the Stags offense in the last game against the Dogfish and, in fact, he was no slouch on defense either, with three blocks. Expect more hammers and the occasional fast break into the end zone from Bjorklund. The Dogfish need to contain the damage he can inflict because he’s shown that even an arm cast can’t keep him down.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

San Francisco’s offense floundered last season, but there were indications of a rebound this year. In their last game against the Stags, the Dogfish showed they have finally pulled together the right combinations to make their swings and flow work. Rather than reacting to the play around them, look for the Dogfish to once again double-down on their own game, making secure and deliberate cross-field choices to open up big gains upfield.

A Numbers Game

The Dogfish will be low on players this weekend, which means they’ll need to be tough on defense and show off their dump-swing patience on offense to retain possession. They’ve shown they can take down the Stags. They just need to stay focused and keep the score close to bring home another victory for San Francisco.

If you’ll be in the Seattle area you can watch the Dogfish play the Stags on Saturday at Hillsboro Stadium at 1:00 p.m. Buy tickets here.

You can also follow the action live on Twitter, and be sure to check back here on Tuesday for the full game video and highlights!

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