Growlers Battle but come up short

June 5, 2016 — The two time defending AUDL champion San Jose Spiders visited Serra High School for the Growlers’ first Sunday home game this season.  The sun was shining and the weather was warm, and hopefully the change of scenery was what San Diego needed to help improve their performance on the field.

The Spiders started the game on offense and scored despite a turnover, and San Diego matched with an offensive score of their own.  Both teams traded two more points until Danny Bellissimo had a nice layout defensive block and San Diego capitalized on the first break of the game to go up 4-3.  San Jose was up to the challenge, struck back on O, then earned their first break of the game to pull ahead, 5-4.  The Growlers held on offense to tie the score, then had a golden opportunity for another break but squandered it on the first throw near the end zone, and the Spiders took the lead again, 6-5.  San Jose closed the quarter strong with 2 more breaks after a couple more costly Growlers mistakes to extend their lead to 8-5.

San Diego needed to score on offense to start the second quarter, but another throwaway led to a Spiders’ break score, 9-5.  Both teams traded scores, then the Spiders came up with a nice foot block, which led to a hammer that was tipped and caught in the end zone for a lucky break, 11-6.  Both teams traded two scores until San Jose threw the disc away and the Growlers took advantage after a timeout, Griffin to Ivers, to pull within 3 points, 12-9.   Another Spiders’ throwaway on the next point yielded a Benton huck to Dunn to cut the lead by 2 scores, but San Jose held on their next possession, 13-10.  Each team traded scores, and the second quarter ended with a Growlers’ throwaway and a Spiders’ buzzer beater, 15-11.

San Jose received the third quarter pull, but the Growlers got a much needed break, 15-12.  Each team traded scores, highlighted by a leaping grab from Max Hume, 16-13.  San Diego found their energy and defensive pressure that was lacking in their last game, and three turnovers and break conversions later, the score was suddenly tied at 16s.  The Spiders stopped the bleeding on their next offensive possession, and then came up with a break score of their own to take the lead back, 18-16.  The next San Diego offensive possession turned into a marathon (aka hell) point that featured multiple turnovers from both teams, but the Spiders ultimately punched in the score to firmly take back the momentum and the lead, 19-16.

The Growlers started the 4th quarter on offense, but a throwaway on a dump pass led to a Spiders break and a 4 point lead, 20-16.  The teams traded scores until San Jose took advantage of an errant deep throw and went the length of the field with their own successful deep huck, 22-17.  The teams traded a couple more times until San Diego earned a break, but once again, time was their enemy.  San Jose ran time off the clock by playing very methodically and conservatively on their offensive possessions, and as the final horn sounded, the scoreboard showed 26-22 in favor of the Spiders.  San Jose made a couple more plays and less mistakes than the Growlers and that was the difference in a very competitive game.

The Growlers were led by Travis Dunn with a +6 performance (4 assists, 4 goals, 2 turnovers).  Will Griffin had a strong +5 game (5 assists, 1 defensive block, 1 turnover), and Casey Wu also chipped in with a solid +4 (3 goals, 1 defensive block).  San Diego still needs to reduce their number of throwaways if they want to notch their second win of the season with 5 games remaining.

San Diego will host the Vancouver Riptide at their next home game on Sunday, June 19th at 1 pm at Serra High School.

You can find pictures from the game here!