RENTON, WA – Here’s a quick recap of the Nighthawks’ (3-7) 20-19 win over the Rainmakers at Renton Memorial Stadium.
How it Happened: Aside from each team scoring three points in a row in the second quarter, this game was full of back-and-forth play and sloppy offense. Seattle appeared to show signs of running away with the game when they took a 9-6 lead early in the second by capitalizing on some overzealous undercuts by the Nighthawks which allowed the Seattle defense to come up with some easy blocks across the middle of the field. Vancouver quickly countered with a three-point streak of their own before the teams traded points for most of the rest of the game. Vancouver tied the game at 19 with 30 seconds left before coming up with a huge hand block and score with only two seconds left on the clock.
Turning Point: With one minute and eight seconds left in the fourth quarter, Seattle finally got a break point to take the lead 19-18. This looked like the end for Vancouver but they rallied and scored the game’s final two points to steal a win from Seattle.
Player of the Game: Mark Burton was all over the field today. He barely kept his toes in bounds on a put to the side of the end zone from Khalif El-Salaam to put the Rainmakers up one with just over a minute left.
Stat of the Game: Three of the four quarters of this game resulted in a buzzer-beating score. In the fourth, Vancouver scored after a block at midfield with about 15 seconds left. Seattle scored going into halftime on a huck to Bren Bryerly. The third quarter ended with another score by the Rainmakers. In the fourth again, Vancouver scored with only two seconds left.
Quotable: “I wasn’t sure at first if I needed to go for a greatest or if I could toe the line,” said Burton on his go-ahead goal late in the fourth quarter. “I could see the line and I left my foot back and made the catch. I knew Khalif would put it. I’ve played with him for a long time. I was just happy at the time that we had the lead.”
What’s Next: Vancouver finishes their season with a win but remains with a fourth-place finish in the Western Conference. Seattle will travel to Portland in two weeks to play for the Western Conference Finals.