PORTLAND, OR — The Rat City-Rose City rivalry is as old as Pacific Northwest flat-track roller derby. Separated by a 150-mile stretch of the I-5 corridor, skaters from these leagues meet in one form or another (home team bouts, travel team bouts, scrimmages, casual drinks, etc.) year-round. On the last night of the 2011 West Region Playoffs, the stakes were higher than they had ever been, with the winner earning the opportunity to play for the 2011 WFTDA Championship. Rose defeated Bay Area and lost a close bout with the Oly Rollers to earn their spot in the 3rd place game. Rat, the tournament’s big surprise, defeated 3W Denver and lost by a surprisingly narrow margin to defending champion 2W Rocky Mountain. But, in the end, Rat City’s preparation and high-level strategy fell short as Rose City capitalized on Rat’s miscues for a 186-134 victory.
Rat City’s pack started in front of Rose City jammer White Flight to start. Almost as if to illustrate how eager the teams were to play, Rat City jammer Carmen Getsome and Flight were both sent to the box on false-start majors when they started skating on the first whistle and did not yield. Getsome was the first to make her initial pass one minute into the jam. Rose City blocker Mercy was able to keep Getsome from completing her scoring pass, while Flight snuck through to make the score 4-4 after one jam.
Rat held the back wall on Rose City jammer SoulFearic Acid while Rat jammer Primp Daddy was able to penetrate the Rose front wall. Primp called it with SoulFearic close behind. Rat started the next jam with the blockers on a knee in front of Rose’s jammer Scald Eagle. Eagle was able to scrum her way through the wall for lead and pick up a grand slam. Again, Rat started jam four quickly on a knee with a focus on stopping jammer Sully Skullkicker, while Rat jammer Ann R. Kissed made her own path through the Rose wall to pick up two points making it 9-6 Rose. Rat’s tight walls earned many multi-player block penalties on the following jam as they stopped White Flight. Rat City jammer Carmen Getsome earned lead, but a big hit by Mel Mangles forced her to call it.
Rose’s SoulFearic Acid was first through the pack next but didn’t get lead. SoulFearic was able to pick up 4 before Primp Daddy was through to call it, pushing the score to 15-9 Rose. Rose City’s Scald Eagle picked up lead on the next jam but had to go to the box on her first scoring pass for a cut major, giving Juliet Bravo a power jam. Rose’s wall of Mercy, JK Rolling, and Hurricane Skatrina helped slow Bravo, but not before she could secure Rat’s first lead at 23-19 with 18 minutes left in the half.
After two fast jams that ended with no scoring, Rose’s SoulFearic Acid made it through the pre-turn one stopped pack and picked up three scoring passes before Primp Daddy completed an initial pass. The 14-0 jam gave the lead back to Rose 33-23. Scald Eagle gave Ann R. Kissed the chance to make up some of those points by taking a trip to the box. Ann R. Kissed led Rat with 55 points and scored a 10-0 jam here to tie the score at 33 with 12 minutes left in the half. Unfortunately for Rat City, though, that would be the closest they’d get to victory.
After a major forearm by Carmen Getsome, Rose gained lead and the biggest jam of the game. Navigating the stopped pack with blocker pals Mel Mangles, Cadillac, Hurricane Skatrina, and Layla Smackdown, Sully Skullkicker posted a 30-0 jam for Rose.
Rat burned a timeout to gather the troops, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference as SoulFearic Acid, the game’s leading scorer with 73 points, snatched lead for Rose and posted a 12-2 jam, making it 75-35 with 7:30 to go. Rat jammer Missile America’s first jam followed. She earned lead and had the help of a 4-2 blocker advantage before committing a back-block major. She was released early when White Flight committed a fourth minor, also a back block. The jam finished after two minutes with a 9-3 Rat advantage. Rat jammers Juliet Bravo and Primp Daddy followed with standard 4-0 and 5-0 jams respectively. A few jams later, Rose headed to the locker room with a 90-53 halftime lead.
Rose started the second half on a knee unleashing SoulFearic Acid on the Rat pack. With a grand slam and an apex-jumping second scoring pass, SoulFearic extended Rose’s advantage by 9-0. Missile America ran a 3-0 jam for Rat City next. Rose jammer Sully Skullkicker headed to the box at the end of the jam, but Rose City’s effective kill line only allowed Ann R. Kissed to score a 5-0 power jam. Again, the Rose walls proved too much for Rat’s Juliet Bravo on the next frame allowing Rose scorer Scald Eagle, who finished with 57 points, to fly around for a 9-3 jam. White Flight grabbed lead subsequently for Rose City and collected three points before calling it off from the ground when ReAnimateHer low blocked her. ‘MateHer headed to the box for her transgression.
With 21:30 to go in the bout, Scald Eagle pushed the Rose lead to 139-67 with a 25-0 power jam, a result of Ann R. Kissed back blocking her off the jam line. As the crowd chanted her name, ReAnimateHer took her first turn with the jammer star. Rose’s White Flight beat her through the pack but could not score any points. At the end of the jam, White Flight picked up a back block and misconduct penalty, meaning that Rat City’s Carmen Getsome had a golden opportunity of 2 minutes unopposed on the next jam. But the chance was lost when Getsome committed her own major, erasing Flight’s second minor, and White Flight took full advantage for a 10-7 jam.
Using a jammer-resistant wall, Rat lured Scald Eagle into committing repeated back-block minors to give ReAnimateHer a power jam. ReAnimateHer scored 14 points before committing a high hit. This allowed Rose jammer SoulFearic Acid a power jam to start the next frame. SoulFearic called the 10-0 jam off once ReAnimateHer was released, but the fourth jam-ending whistle did not sound before ReAnimateHer committed yet another major penalty and headed back to the pokey.
Scald Eagle extended the Rose lead to 169-88 with 11:30 to go after a 10-0 power jam and called it off before ReAnimateHer was released. The bit of strategy didn’t serve Rose, though, as ReAnimateHer was out of the box and gained lead promptly. She called it with a 5-0 Rat advantage. Rat knew they needed to get some points in a hurry and took a knee for a quick start. Rat jammer Ann R. Kissed almost instantaneously gained lead while SoulFearic Acid struggled to get through the pack. Her frustration lured her into committing a cut major. Ann R. Kissed decided right then and there to have Rat City’s best jam of the night: a 24-0 affair that put the score at 169-117 with seven minutes to go. The next jam started with SoulFearic still in the box making it easy for Missile America to get lead and outscore Rose 4-2 on the jam.
Rat took a knee to start the next jam quickly. Ann R. Kissed was able to get lead jammer for Rat and pick up a grand slam with Scald Eagle bogged down in the pack. She had to call it off, though, when Hurricane Skatrina absolutely leveled her. Missile America was next to grab lead for Rat City with 4:30 to go but was sent to the box on her first scoring pass after a major forearm. SoulFearic Acid went on a scoring spree putting Rose in the driver seat at 186-130 with 2:08 left in the bout.
Rat used quick starts and timeouts to maximize their ability to make up the 56-point deficit, but it proved to be of no avail. Scald Eagle picked up lead and Ann R. Kissed took a risky apex jump that ended in a low block major when she lost her balance and slid into a Rose blocker. This put a comeback out of the question. Rose City’s White Flight began the final jam alone and collected lead jammer with over a minute left to play, and Rose went into the victory formation, standing still on the track while showered with cheers, as the hometown crowd counted down the game clock. Final score: Rose City 186, Rat City 134.
Rose City will play for the WFTDA Championship in Denver in November, facing a 2 seed from either the East, South Central or North Central region in the first round.