BROOMFIELD, CO — Texas hung with Gotham for the first 40 minutes of their semifinal game, but the heavily favored New Yorkers took over for good in the homestretch. Gotham advanced to the WFTDA championship bout for the first time since winning the Hydra in 2008, solidly defeating Texas 195-113.
Gotham jumped out to a quick lead on single-pass jams, and five minutes in, Gotham was narrowly up at 9-5. Jam 5 got the crowd riled up as both teams crowded the jammer line but didn’t take a knee in time to force an immediate start — the crowd started a “Skate!” chant but it took 90 seconds to actually work. When action finally got underway, Vicious Van Go Go took lead but only had time to grab a 1-0.
After 15 minutes, neither team had managed to get more than a single scoring pass in a jam, and it remained a low-scoring defensive contest to the midpoint of the half at 24-13 Gotham.
However, Gotham started pulling away at about that point. They finally got their first multi-pass jam on jam 17 as B Zerk, Slaydie, Suzy Hotrod and Papierschintt took advantage of a 4-2 pack to batter Vicious Van Go Go; Gotham’s Wild Cherri rambled for 15-0 and put Gotham up 56-17. Texas called their first timeout there with 9:02 on the first-half clock.
That break didn’t slow the Gotham onslaught, as they’d visibly clicked into a rhythm that had been missing for the first 15 minutes. Texas was blanked for 7 jams straight and Gotham’s lead had grown to 67-17 entering the final five minutes of the half. OSJ broke the drought with a 4-0, but Gotham was solidly in control going into the last two minutes with a 75-25 lead.
Texas, though, got some much needed momentum with 5-0 and 18-0 runs to end the half as Gotham’s first jammer penalty, on Wild Cherri, spanned the final two jams. At the half it was Gotham 75, Texas 48.
The second half opened with bad news for Texas as OSJ picked up lead but was boxed in her scoring pass; Wild Cherri got the better of that one in a 19-4. Two jams later, though, OSJ got it back with a 18-0 run; the teams again traded victories with a 4-0 to Gotham’s Bonnie Thunders and a 9-0 to Texas’ Vicious Van Go Go. With 20 minutes left to play, Texas was still stubbornly hanging around at 102-79.
Just as had happened in the first half, though, Gotham seemed to lock in their groove midway through the period. They kept Texas off the board for six jams in a row and went on a 34-0 run before a jam that saw both jammers — Bonnie Thunders and Olivia Shootin’ John — hit the box. Still, though, the 15-10 Gotham jam only increased their advantage, and with 10 minutes to play Gotham was in the driver’s seat at 146-93.
Key Texas blocker Killbox fouled out at that point, which didn’t help Texas’ diminishing chances. Gotham continued to pound away and was up 173-100 with 5 minutes to play, an extremely difficult margin to make up against any team and a nearly impossible one to make up against Gotham. When it was all over, Gotham went on the championship game with a 82 point win at 195-113.