August 13, 2019
By Evan Lepler
Throughout the 2019 season, the AUDL’s weekly honor roll celebrated seven players each weekend whose individual exploits merit recognition. The players are listed alphabetically by last name.
- Jeff Babbitt, New York Empire—Even beyond the fact that his buzzer-beating snag as the third quarter expired gave New York a Sunday lead that it would not relinquish, Jeff Babbitt’s all-around effort and energy earn him a spot amongst the seven superstars from the final four. In two games at Championship Weekend, Babbitt scored six goals, recorded three blocks, and completed all 24 of his throws. His role changed from Saturday to Sunday, giving the Empire O-line even more size for the final after largely playing D-line against Indy. He adapted to the switch seamlessly, serving as a menacing presence after a turn and an open target when a stall count got high.
- Henry Furuta, Dallas Roughnecks—While Carson Wilder, Connor Olson, and Abe Coffin also were stellar for the Roughnecks, Henry Furuta merits recognition for completing 100 percent of his throws on the weekend, an especially impressive feat considering his usage rate. He went 56-for-56 on Saturday night against San Diego, with three goals and two assists, and he finished 33-for-33 on Sunday afternoon against New York, with two goals and four assists. Never before in his AUDL career had the 23-year-old registered that many touches in a two-game span, a testament to the trust his teammates bestowed upon him throughout their biggest games of the year.
- Harper Garvey, New York Empire—After registering multiple assists in 22 consecutive games spanning the past two seasons, including all 12 regular-season contests this year, Harper Garvey bizarrely threw zero scores in New York’s two playoff games prior to the final, when he erupted for seven assists in a brilliant distribution display to help lead the Empire to the title. The official stat-keeper had him three yards shy of 500 in the throwing department against the Roughnecks, and his total of 497 in the final was the highest for any individual in a single game at Championship Weekend.
- Ben Jagt, New York Empire—A dominant force in both games, Ben Jagt finished the weekend +18, with 11 goals, eight assists, and just one throwaway across the semis and finals, completing 32 of his 33 passes. In his 15-game season, mixing the regular season and playoffs, Jagt registered a ridiculous +111, the third-best plus/minus ever recorded behind Mischa Freystaetter’s +121 from 2016 and AJ Nelson’s +120 in 2013. Overall, Jagt is one of nine players all-time to deliver a triple-digit plus/minus, and he’s the only one in that group to also win the championship in the same season.
- Grant Lindsley, New York Empire—Since we have not had yardage stats for that many AUDL games, it can be challenging to contextualize what they mean in the big picture. But Grant Lindsley’s nearly 800-yard masterpiece in Sunday’s title game against Dallas’ dynamic defense can become a starting point for understanding greatness. After combining for 705 yards in Saturday’s semi against Indy—394 passing, 311 receiving—the lightning quick cutter accumulated 789 yards against the Roughnecks, 391 passing and 398 receiving. No player on the weekend came anywhere close to those totals, as Lindsley’s relentless ability to maneuver the disc downfield consistently gave the Empire a devastating edge.
- Kai Marshall, Dallas Roughnecks—The Roughnecks might not have made it to Sunday if not for Kai Marshall’s dynamic defensive performance on Saturday against San Diego, when he recorded five blocks, several in critical spots to help quell Growler momentum. He added one more D in the championship showdown against New York, denying Jagt another goal to his ridiculous ledger. With six Ds on the weekend, Marshall’s total was double what any other individual player recorded on the weekend.
- Dalton Smith, Dallas Roughnecks—The maestro of Dallas’s offense, Dalton Smith completed 113-of-115 passes in the two games, slicing and dicing his way through the opposing defenses throughout the weekend. With extraordinary vision, he would, at the very least, maintain possession ruthlessly, and at his best, simply pick his opponent apart with his precise puts and anticipatory cuts. He finished with eight goals, four assists, and a block in his two games, quarterbacking the Roughnecks with purpose and patience.