Dunn/Hume vs. San Jose
With the folding of the San Francisco Flamethrowers last offseason, the San Jose Spiders came into 2019 with a Bay Area all-star team, adding several former Flamethrowers headlined by Marcelo Sanchez and Antoine Davis. The offseason favorites to win the West, their season started with a tight one-goal win over the Seattle Cascades and a four-goal loss to the Los Angeles Aviators. They now faced the San Diego Growlers on the second day of a double-header weekend, a team that had defeated the Aviators in Week 1 and was hungry to build on last year’s momentum from their first playoff appearance in franchise history.
The Growlers found themselves with possession of the disc 15 yards outside the end zone with 10 seconds left. The game was tied 24-24. Jonathan “Goose” Helton, a two-time AUDL MVP and first-year Growler, has the disc on the left sideline, looking downfield but finding no options. He throws a swing to teammate Travis Dunn, but San Jose’s Brandon Fein jumps the throw and gets a hand on it, batting the pass backwards a good 12 yards. Dunn doesn’t lose focus though, and is able to save the disc inches from the ground as time is about to expire. Dunn quickly gets up and immediately launches an OI flick towards the middle of the end zone. The buzzer sounds as the throw gets tipped twice and floats towards the back of the end zone, where it’s caught by a diving Max Hume for the Growlers victory.
A prove-it game for both teams, this Week 2 battle showed the league that the West wasn’t going to shake out as expected. The Growlers looked like the team to beat through two weeks, and the Spiders, dropping to 1-2, looked like an early disappointment. From that point on, it was the Growlers’ division. And the Spiders would go on to go 0-8 against the West’s eventual playoff teams.