How It Happened: In arguably the best game of the MLU season to this point, the Nighthawks won a sudden death, double-overtime thriller for their first win in 2016. It was a sloppy game played by both sides, which saw the Nighthawks jump out to an early 3-1 lead in the first quarter. After the Dogfish fought back to take a 9-8 advantage into the half, the Nighthawks rallied to record three breaks in the third quarter and put the pressure on San Francisco entering the fourth quarter after tying the game at 15.
The first point of overtime lasted an incredible 3 minutes and 15 seconds before the Nighthawks were able to convert when Victor Cheng found the endzone. After James Yeager found Andrew Goldstein, Vancouver was able to force a turn to force sudden death. Working it up the field and showing great patience, Jasper Lu found a pocket of space in the back of the endzone and hauled in the winning score. The Dogfish and Nighthawks played to a near statistical draw with the teams matching each other in OSE(42.0%), DSE (60.9%), blocks (14), turnovers (27), and fouls (9).
Turning Points: The Nighthawks got a pair of breaks late in the third quarter to enter the fourth quarter tied at 15. Battling back and forth in the fourth quarter and overtime, the Nighthawks forced a turn in double-overtime and patiently worked the disc up the field for the victory.
Stat of the Game: 42.0% TSE. For just the second time in MLU history, a team with a lower Team Scoring Efficiency won. The Nighthawks had a lower scoring efficiency across all possessions than the Dogfish (42.6%) but still managed to escape with the 21-20 victory.
Player of the Game: Graeme Barber returned to the field for the Nighthawks and the Vancouver coaching staff rolled him out mainly on their defensive line. He notched a pair of blocks and threw five assists for the Nighthawks while playing 13 defensive points in the victory.
Whats Next: For the Nighthawks, they hose the Rainmakers next Saturday at 6:00PM PT at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver. The Dogfish have a quick turnaround, facing the Rainmakers in Seattle tomorrow (May 22) at 1pm PT to start the first of three consecutive games against the Rainmakers in what could decide who makes the playoffs in the West.