The first round of a tournament can be difficult, you don’t have to get your kinks worked out. You might not be warmed up. The first round at this year’s Classic City Classic was no exception to that rule.
As teams warmed up snow covered the ground and the temperature was low. However, two teams had to get in gear in a hurry as regional rivals Michigan State and Notre Dame squared off against each other.
Michigan State brought low numbers to CCC, due to its proximity to Finals, and it showed early against Notre Dame.
Papal Rage shot out to an early 4-0 lead and quickly opened up their lines. Notre Dame captain Andrew Schroeder told us that his team’s goal was to keep lines open early and tighter later in order to improve its rookie class the most that it could. Once Notre Dame took the early lead the lines opened even more and Michigan State fought back into the game.
Eventually Notre Dame scored to take half 7-4. Michigan State had to evaluate its situation because it was clear that the eight players they were missing were going to hurt the team’s chemistry in the worst way. Senior captain Alex Edinger was moved downfield, a position that he is certainly not accustomed to.
That being said, MSU adapted as best they could and early in the second half they had a substantial amount of offensive chemistry going and cut into the Notre Dame lead slowly but surely.
It started with a hammer score right out of half to cut the score 7-5. Notre Dame picked up a score to maintain its lead but Burning Couch would earn a score and a break directly following that. After a Notre Dame turn, Edinger worked the Papal Rage defense with a hot inside-out forehand that closed the score to 8-7.
However, just as fast as Michigan State attempted to make adjustments, Notre Dame made them right back. As soon as the gap closed to one score Notre Dame jumped right back on the attack and scored three straight points. Going up 9-7 on a juggling catch in the endzone, 10-7 when MSU couldn’t move the disc out of its own endzone due to tough zone defense from ND and 11-7 after a layout block Papal Rage would earn another break to take a 12-7 lead.
Burning Couch refused to go down without a fight and responded with a score and a break to close the gap to 12-9 but, after a marathon game point, Notre Dame eventually took home the victory for the cold, wet and muddy first round.