DES MOINES, IA–After Treasure Valley took out Omaha to open the first WFTDA Division 2 playoff with a one-sided affair, it fell to Dallas and Tallahassee to make things interesting. With 103 major penalties accrued between the teams, it was not the highest quality affair–but those penalties came in clumps, making scoring streaky and the final minutes tense. In the end Dallas managed to hang on and progress to face Sin City with a 267-249 win.
Tallahassee raced into a small early lead across the first four jams, but that lead was wiped out by Dallas’ Rhinestone Callgirl and Weapon X took advantage of two track cut penalties on Fem Venomous in jams five and six to give Dallas a 29-6 lead.
Anita Riot polished off the powerjam with only the tiniest of packs to deal with–at least 10 of her 25 points were earned by passing a lone Tallahassee blocker. Penalties continued to beset Tallahassee as the half wore on, but Dallas’ lead hovered around 50 points despite their constant numerical advantage.
That broke open with 10 minutes left in the period as Weapon X had a power jam with Tallahassee queuing for the box and pushed the lead to 123-46. Juice Box then munched through a micro-pack of her own to put up 20 with her first turn with the star–and the margin was then 96 and Tallahassee’s job had gone from very difficult to practically impossible before the first half was even out. That meant that, despite a penalty run for Dallas at the end of the half, Tallahassee ended in an 83-point hole. The gap might have been less but for a beautifully forced cut in the final jam that let Rosemary Raucous make the most of her first turn with the star to make it 182-104.
Rosemary Raucous starred as a blocker in the first jam of the second period, too, as Dallas kicked off the second period with a 4-0 jam. The Texans pushed past 200 before Sox Populi forced a cut on Weapon X with a nudge to the outside as the Dallas jammer let ill-advisedly let the jam run and OMG Bekhi cut 20 points out of the lead.
Almost a full minute of 4-1 pack advantage let Titanium Whip cut another 20 out as she finished the power jam, making it 168-209 with 20 minutes left and the win suddenly not looking so far out of reach.
One stat told the story of the first 45 better than the rest though: a combined 80 penalty minutes for both teams. Of those 80, 42 were for Tallahassee and 38 for Dallas, with the penalty count evening up with the score.
But every time Tallahassee looked to get within striking distance they seemed to send a jammer to the box. Dallas led 244-218 when a time-out was called as the bout entered its final ten minutes and Dallas’ Mona Bruis’r was removed from play having accrued her seventh trip.
Dallas passed Tallahassee’s penalty count two jams later, but kept their noses in front as the teams traded lead calls. A power jam for Titanium Whip took the game into its final two minutes. But she got a forearm major after cutting the lead to 17 points, just as Anita Riot returned to play.
Postal Penny backblocked her way to the box for Dallas at the two-minute warning–but just when it looked like Tallahassee might make the final push, Titanium Whip stepped out past Annie Wreckison with the star and stepped right back in front of her, dashing the Florida team’s comeback hopes. Weapon X played out an uneventful final jam for Dallas–spending some time behind the pack tying her skates rather than engaging–and Dallas took it 267-249.