Week 13 Recap – 6.25.16

POTG_AUS Valerie L. Cason

Despite a tough overtime loss, CJ Clarke uncorked a simply stunning performance for the defensive squad. The Cannons offense struggled early without mainstays #3 Chris Gibson (PCL), #1 Andrew Roney (Ankle) and #12 Travis Catron, falling into a 7-2 hole. Losing #80 Stephen Poulos (Knee), a constant on the AUDL Assist Leader-board this season, didn’t help matters.

Acting head coach, Beth Vavrica once again had to make some gutsy calls in Tuba Benson-Jaja’s absence; Tuba was representing Team USA in the World Games where he took gold. The entire defensive squad, bereft its fasted player #16 Tanner Repasky and dynamic thrower #42 Alex “Kid” Bullock (Knee), once again boosted the Cannons right back into the game. CJ Clarke registered 2 blocks, 3 goals, 11 catches and 9 throws with no drops and no turnovers; simply fantastic stats for any player, especially on the defensive side.

The difference between this week’s overtime thriller and last week’s, besides the outcome of the game, was that the Cannons had a shot in regulation to put this one away; a squandered opportunity which inevitably cost the Cannons the game and maybe the season. Austin tied the game with seconds left, won the coin flip and rode their momentum to a heartbreaking Cannons loss, 26-24.

Nonetheless, all hope is not lost! The Cannons playoff hopes are still alive and well, however the Cannons no longer solely control their playoff destiny. The short, and most favorable, version is that Austin falls in their remaining two games (#1 seed Dallas and #2 seed Raleigh), while the Cannons win their remaining two games (#7 seed Nashville and #3 seed Atlanta, who the Cannons seem to play well against). A more in-depth analysis of the Cannons playoff picture will come later this week. With a bye this holiday weekend, the Cannons look to rest and recover for their final away trip of the season, where, hopefully, two wins will catapult the Cannons into the playoffs in dramatic fashion, just like last year 😉 BOOM!