Froude vs. New York
The 2019 AUDL Championship Game was a battle between the season-long favorite New York Empire and the powerhouse that is the Dallas Roughnecks. For the Empire, the win would mean their first championship in franchise history, becoming the third team in AUDL history to finish undefeated and win the title. For the Roughnecks, they had been to Championship Weekend every year since their 2016 inception, though they had not won a title since their first unstoppable season.
Dallas’ Jay Froude has long been one of the league’s top players and is among the best athletes the league has to offer. The first overall pick in the first annual AUDL All-Star Game back in June, Froude earned First Team All-AUDL honors in 2017 and 2018, and he has never missed a Championship Weekend since his rookie season in 2015.
Coming out of a timeout looking for a break, Harper Garvey gets set to initiate the Empire offense in an 8-7 game with 9:12 left in the second quarter. Froude enters the game for the Roughnecks, matching up with Empire’s Grant Lindsley in the back of the vertical stack. A quick cut out of the front of the stack from Jack Williams opens up a long 30-yard completion on the left sideline. Froude runs back with Lindsley, ready for the continuation cut. A quick jab step at Froude and Lindsley takes off towards the end zone. With no hesitation from Williams, the disc is floated to the back corner with Froude a step behind his man. Lindsley rises up to make the catch, but Froude doesn’t, instead hobbling past as he grabs for his left hamstring.
Froude would not return to the field. The Roughnecks kept the game close throughout, but the Empire outlasted them, going on a 7-3 run to close out the game 26-22 and take home their first AUDL title. One can’t help but wonder how the game may have changed if the Roughnecks all-star hadn’t gotten hurt; Froude had racked up nine blocks in his previous three games, where he’d been switched to primarily D-line.