Drag’n Thrust Goes to MUDI

Maple Plain, MN
July 28-29

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Saturday morning is when all of the Drag’ns from across the land leave their caves to join forces to do battle on the horse hoof beaten plains. We all assembled to start pool play with some light wind. Our first game was against Stud Muffin. The O-line came out firing on all cylinders. They were converting with smooth flow and powerful hucks. The D-line was generating turnovers but struggling to get anything going on offense. Both teams traded points for a while and right before half our D-line figured it out and rattled off a couple of breaks, giving our O-line a cushion. Near the end of the game Stud would capitalize on some throw aways by our O-line to bring them closer, but sleepy Drag’ns are still lethal and won 15-10.

In our second game we were pitted against the four seed in our pool Mad Udderburn. Being that their mascot is a cow, and Drag’ns are a direct counter to them, we were super effective in this game. Our defense was tenacious and our O-line saw the field a total of five times. The game’s final score was 15-4.

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Our next challenger was the second seed in our pool and goes by the name of panIC. Drag’ns almost never panic and when they do they shoot flames everywhere, which makes interior redecorating a regular occurrence. Once again our D-line was on point and our O-line used ruthless efficiency to score. The final was Drag’ns 15 – panIC 6.

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In our crossover we faced our regional rival Chad Larson Experience, and what an experience it was. Due to a wedding we lost a lot of O-line starters and more returners, leaving the rookies and company to deal with CLX for the second time this year. Both teams traded the first couple points, but CLX broke first on miscues from our O-line. Our D-line was struggling to convert upwind when they generated turns, and CLX jumped out to a lead. The O-line was consistently playing against CLX’s zone. CLX took half and we tried to figure out what needed to change to beat them. The D-line started generating more turns and became comfortable working it upwind against zone which started to put a dent in CLX’s lead. The rookies and company were poised for a comeback, but some late turnovers lead CLX to a 15-11 victory.

Fueled with the loss from Saturday and inspired from watching the Olympics we came out with a vengeance on Sunday.

In our quarterfinal match up we were pitted against NOISE. Our D-line came out hungry and secured a couple of early breaks. Our O-line coasted us safely into half with the lead. The D-line gave zone a chance with limited success. NOISE got a break and tightened up the score sheet. Our D-line took that as a challenge (challenge accepted!) and switched back to Drag’n defense. In the end NOISE was silenced 15-11.

Our semifinal match up would be a repeat of our first game of the tournament against Stud Muffin. Our O-line was struggling early and Stud Muffin took an early lead. Our defense got back on track and cranked out some breaks before half. The O-line fixed their first half woes and started converting easily. In this game Strings earned one of the coveted Sarah Meckstroth stars on the stat sheet with an amazing layout D coupled with a sky that needed wings to come down safely. We rode that feeling all the way to a 15-11 victory.

The finals were a rematch of the crossover game on Saturday with CLX. After losing that game and having all of our players present Drag’n was poised to spit flames at CLX. The game started with each team’s O-line trading points. CLX broke first after a throw away in their zone. Our D-line fought back to bring the score on serve. CLX broke again and they scored their O to take it to half in the lead. Our D-line used our younger legs in the second half and opened up the field with unstoppable hucks after generating turns. Our O-line figured out their zone staying patient and boring. We took the lead half way through the second half, but we had several major injuries. Alex Delegard tore his ACL, Jeff Trosvig cracked his pinky toe (Jones Fracture), and Shwa pulled his calf. The hot sun and long day sidelined others with existing injuries. We rallied around our fallen comrades and shifted the O-line to compensate for the injuries. We held our lead deep into the second half and pulled out the victory on defense with a hammer from Dan Kaler to Strings. This was a great come from behind win, but very expensive victory. MUDI was a great growing experience that showed what we needed to work on for the Chesapeake Invite.

-Thanks to Jay Drescher for written contributions