April 27 & 28, 2018 — In a rare Friday night lights game, the Growlers flew north to San Jose to chase some Spiders around the field at Foothill Stadium. On Saturday, San Diego would try its best to extinguish the defending AUDL Champion San Francisco FlameThrowers. Historically, the Growlers had not fared well against either bay area team on the road…
San Diego started the game on offense and after a couple turns, punched in the score, then San Jose answered. The teams traded again, but the Growlers took control with several breaks to end the first quarter, up 6-2. The second quarter began with San Jose scoring and producing several breaks of their own. San Diego stopped the bleeding on offense and held on to a slim lead at halftime, 10-9.
The Growlers had lost some of their momentum and in turn gave the Spiders confidence. The back and forth third quarter ended with San Diego up 14-13. Trading continued for a couple points in the fourth quarter, then the Spiders notched a break to take lead. The Growlers eventually tied the game at 17 all with 1:15 remaining and pulled to San Jose. San Diego forced a couple turnovers but neither team could convert, and that meant overtime. San Jose won the coin flip in OT, chose to receive, then scored on offense. After a timeout and multiple red zone turnovers, the Growlers let one slip away and the Spiders narrowly escaped with an 18-17 win. Click here for game highlights!
Steven Milardovich (3 assists, 3 goals, 2 defensive blocks, 2 turnovers) and Scott Radlauer (3 assists, 1 goals, 3 defensive blocks, 1 turnover) led the Growlers with +6 performances, and Travis Dunn chipped in with a +5 game (2 assists, 3 goals, 2 defensive blocks, 2 turnovers).
The second road game after a heartbreaking loss is never easy, and that’s especially true when you are playing the defending AUDL champions. The teams traded scores early in the breezy conditions, but SF struck gold for the first breaks. San Diego hung tough to tie the game at 5s, only to see the FlameThrowers catch a buzzer beater to end the first quarter. The Growlers jumped out to an early second quarter lead, but SF rattled off some late breaks and took a 13-11 lead into halftime after another buzzer beater.
The third quarter was back and forth to start, but the FlameThrowers once again earned a couple late breaks to keep the momentum and the 19-16 lead. Determined not to let another game slip away, the Growlers came out with purpose and defensive energy to start the final quarter and tied the game at 19s with 9:22 remaining. Several layouts and 3 breaks later, San Diego was in the driver’s seat 22-19 with 6 minutes left and never looked back to win 25-21! Click here for game highlights or here for the entire game!
Travis Dunn led the Growlers with a +7 game (3 assists, 4 goals), followed closely by Jake Gutkoski at +5 (5 assists, 1 goals, 1 turnover) and Wes Groth and Scott Radlauer at +4 each.
With this bay area split, San Diego remains atop the West Division with a 3-2 record. The Growlers will have the opportunity to avenge their overtime loss versus San Jose this Friday, May 4th, when they take on the Spiders at Balboa Stadium at 7 pm! Let’s pack the stands under the Friday night lights and May the Fourth be with you!!!