May 27, 2017 — Facing a must-win situation, the San Diego Growlers traveled north to play their SoCal rival, the Los Angeles Aviators. History has shown that these match-ups are always close and exciting, and this game was no different.
Wasting no time, the Aviators got on the scoreboard first with a great layout catch from Mark Elbogen, but San Diego countered with a score from LA’s former captain, Hunter Corbett. The teams traded 3 more offensive scores before the Growlers broke twice in a row to take the lead, 6-4. LA stopped the bleeding, both teams traded, and then the Aviators earned their first break to tie the game at 7 all. A very efficient offensive first quarter ended in an 8-8 tie.
LA began the 2nd quarter with a break, the teams traded, and then the Aviators notched two more break points to go up 12-9. San Diego quieted LA’s home crowd and scored on offense, the teams traded, then the Growlers broke twice to tie the game at 13s. Both teams traded before the Aviators somehow sliced in a last second cross-field blade to take the lead at halftime 15-14.
The Growlers came out hungry in the third quarter and capitalized on two break opportunities to take the lead 16-15. Each team traded 3 offensive points before San Diego earned another important break to extend their lead t0 20-18. With 2:42 left, both the Aviators and Growlers had chances to score once more before the clock expired but had no such luck.
Los Angeles executed on a break opportunity to start the 4th quarter to pull within 1 of the lead, 20-19. The clock was beginning to become a factor as the rivals traded 3 long offensive scores each, but LA tied the game at 23 apiece with another break with 2:15 remaining. The Growlers were patient on offense and worked the disc calmly downfield as Hunter Corbett found Kevin Smith for the go-ahead goal, 24-23 with 1:34 left. The Aviators slowly advanced the disc downfield, but a couple of offensive picks eventually caused LA to turn the disc over on the goal line and the Growlers ran out the rest of the clock for the win! Check out the game highlights here!
Hunter Corbett led the Growlers with an outstanding +8 performance (5 assists, 6 goals, 1 defensive block, 4 turnovers). Travis Dunn (3 assists, 5 goals, 1 turnover) made a huge contribution with a +7 game and Jesse Cohen added a +6 effort (5 assists, 1 goal). All three made highlight worthy catches for scores.
San Diego will travel to the Pacific Northwest this weekend to face the Vancouver Riptide and Seattle Cascades. The outcome of those games could set the stage for a very important AUDL Game of the Week on Friday, June 9th when the Growlers host the Seattle Cascades at Balboa Stadium.