After besting the Austin Sol in back-to-back weekends, there were some among the Dallas following that were worried that complacency might set in as the Dallas Roughnecks faced the Jacksonville Cannons in The Colony. However, any doubters were soon silenced as Dylan Freechild got a poach D. The defensive unit would capitalize with a break a few throws later. The tone was set for the rest of the evening.
The Roughnecks dared the Cannons to beat them with the deep game, and the strategy worked. On the second point, the Cannons tried an upwind huck but were denied by Chris Larberg who got the inside position and swatted the disc away. He then got the bookends several throws later via a pretty IO-flick huck fade down the narrow sideline from Kevin Christian. Dallas breaks twice, up 2-0.
The teams then traded points to 4-2. Though the defensive line had forced some turns, several miscommunications prevented any breaks. At 4-2, however, the remainder of the first quarter was all Roughnecks. The Cannons caught a deep hammer just short of the goal, but their final throw was rushed and went too far for a wide open receiver. Wasting no time, Ben Lohre took off. Freechild pumped the backhand huck, then decided to launch it anyways. The all-alone Lohre was hit in-stride. After Kurt Gibson turned over the next chance at a break, he got the disc back by forcing a stall with a great mark. He then found Dillon Larberg with a mid-range flick huck down the sideline. 6-2. Cassidy Rasmussen and Jimmy Mickle would connect for the final break of the quarter as Rasmussen's backhand huck was reeled in with a fingertip grab from Mickle.
Second Quarter: 8-2 Dallas
In contrast to the first quarter, the second was a round of holds. Though the wind wasn't as strong as it was in Austin, this quarter featured mostly hucks for scores from both teams. After a Roughneck and Jacksonville hold, Beau Kittredge got his jersey messy. Mickle caught an under and released an IO flick on a line. Kittredge made up the ground and got the layout grab, nearly sliding into the fan section.
Not to be outdone by his former roommate and Revolver teammate, Rasmussen somehow managed to pull in his own layout grab. Matt Costello threw a big backhand huck to Rasmussen, who appeared to be out positioned by his defender. Rasmussen speed was no match for the defender who he absolutely burned past to make a spectacular grab.
The deep-game scoring continued from both teams en route to a halftime score of 17-10. The hamstring that sidelined Gibson during the opener looked fully healed as he found himself on the end of several hucks, one of which he was open by 30 plus yards. The lone Roughneck break came on a mid-range IO-backhand huck from Reid Bacon to Dillon Larberg but was later negated by Jacksonville break.
Third Quarter: 17-10 Dallas
The Roughnecks love the third quarter, and this week was no different. After a first point hold from the Cannons, the Roughnecks got back to their first-quarter form. They punched in their offensive point, and then let the defensive line take over again. First, a Cannon drop set up a Matt Jackson crossfield-flick huck to Dan Emmons. Despite a beautiful layout D on the dump from Ted Barnett the next point, the Roughnecks turned it over.
However, they earned it back after Dillon Larberg got a D in the air. Barnett would earn his glory after Chris Larberg shot a mid-range huck to him for the break. Dallas still not done. A floaty strike throw from the Roughnecks gave Jacksonville the disc back 30 yards outside the end zone. But no end zone is safe with Matt Jackson patrolling. A Jackson bid denied the front-cone score. He immediately picked up the disc and launched a flick huck upwind to Dalton Smith. Two throws later, their third break of the quarter was in the books. Kevin Christian got a D on the next point after his great dump D prevented an IO swing to the force side. Gibson would give and go on the turn and eventually break the double team with a scoober to Christian. After a 5-0 run, the Roughnecks extended their lead to 22-11. The Roughnecks and Cannons would trade the remainder of the quarter, despite a fantastic D from Dillon Larberg.
To end the quarter, Jacksonville attempted a buzzer-beating huck, but big Jake Anderson splits two Cannons players for the denial.
Fourth Quarter: 24-13 Dallas
The fourth quarter started with a series of holds for each offensive unit. The Dallas huck game settled down into more conservative unders for the majority of those points, until Gibson broke free again. He received Mickle’s flick huck effortlessly to make the score 27-15. Despite Mickle’s flying kick block on an attempted huck the following point, Jacksonville capitalized on their offensive point. The next point, however, set up the 6-0 run which would put the game to rest. The first break came from a forced stall outside our scoring end zone. Jackson picked up and hit Emmons who continued with a pretty lead down the force sideline to a streaking Thomas Slack. 29-16 Dallas. Another break came from great force side under cutting after the turn, leading to a Bacon throw to Chris Larberg for the goal. The next point great pressure D forced the stall count to get high. The Cannons tried a shot to an open receiver to avoid the stall. Unfortunately for the Jacksonville player, Jackson was in coverage. He maked up all the ground, went up early, and got the impressive tip in the air.
The remarkable Roughneck D would create another break and one after that. Up 32-16, the Roughnecks conceded a buzzer-beater goal to the Cannons as time expired. Final score: Dallas 32, Jacksonville 17.
The Roughnecks head to North Carolina next weekend to face the Raleigh Flyers and the Charlotte Express. The Flyers game will be streamed on ESPN 3 at 6:00 central time, April 30 here: https://t.co/sNYvVbuejk.