With the bracket narrowed to four, this topsy turvy tournament appeared that it had finally returned to normalcy (with the exception of Georgia Tech). Georgia and Wisconsin were squaring off late in the Championship bracket, like they had so many times before in the history of CCC.
On the other side, last year’s AC Regional Champion, Virginia, was taking on upstart Georgia Tech.
With the way that these teams had all been playing, and now that they weather was mostly clear, we knew that we were in for quite a semifinal round.
Georgia vs. Wisconsin
The Bulldogs were clearly in the right mindset for this game. Prior to the start of the game they handled their warmups peacefully. Wisconsin was still riding high from a double-game point victory over Notre Dame and the Hodags clearly still had some adrenalin pumping through their veins. For Georgia, this would be the calm before the storm.
The game started out innocently enough, Georgia fifth year captain Peter Demspey put a cutting clinic on display in the first point, eventually catching an upline score after the teams traded turns.
However, things would not remain calm for long. On the next pull as UGA ran down to cover, an early Wisconsin pass floated to no one and UGA senior Davis Waller brought down the errant throw before sending a pass of his own into the endzone into the waiting hands of sophomore Caleb Edwards, UGA takes a 2-0 lead.
Waller wasn’t done yet as another errant Hodag throw gave Georgia the disc again and sophomore Tom Ball sent a huck down the line and Waller laid out for the score, the Bulldogs now led 3-0.
Wisconsin would turn the disc again but this time the Hodag o-line stepped up their pressure on defense and forced UGA’s d-line to turn the disc on the goaline. The Hodags quickly picked the disc up and sent it the length of the field for a score to get on the board at 3-1.
The rest of the first half moved along fairly uneventfully, the teams trading scores and breaks by both teams, Wisconsin earning a break on a marathon point and Georgia grabbing the break back as fifth year Taylor Nilan laid out for a score in the endzone after a Hodag dropped pull, Jojah led 7-4.
Wisconsin would come back with a score by jamming the disc up the line for a whole point. On the next point, Georgia junior Charlie Herrig and Wisconsin senior Evan Klane would battle hard for the disc. Herrig eventually getting just a step on Klane, who laid out for the disc, Herrig brought the pass in, looked back at Klane long enough to instruct the Hodag to, “Get off of me,” before launching a flick downfield that led to Georgia taking half at 8-5.
After halftime the teams would trade scores all the way to a Georgia lead, 10-8. However, the tide turned quickly for Wisconsin. Charlie Herrig sent a hammer into the endzone that floated just a second too long and UW marched right down the field to narrow the score to 10-9.
The Hodags would get two more breaks in a row before Georgia called timeout to try and slow down the Wisconsin momentum. It was all for naught though, as Wisconsin cheered throughout the timeout, saying loud enough for all to hear that, “We ain’t tired.”
It was a different story for Georgia.
“It’s clear we need to work on our legs,” Nilan told us. “We ran out of gas against Wisconsin and they took advantage.”
After the timeout Wisconsin would increase their lead by breaking Georgia’s offense for the fourth time in a row thanks to a well placed huck from senior captain Jake Smart to take a 12-10 lead after being down 10-8.
Georgia would score twice more but Wisconsin would end the game on another break after a layout block. The final score being 15-12.
It was in this game more than any other that we got to see what it was that makes Wisconsin so successful.
“I think the difference was our legs,” Smart told us. “As the game wore on we have 27 guys that we feel comfortable putting in the game. Even when it’s 10-10 we’ll still put rookies in. The other teams are putting 9 or 10 guys on the field and they just start to break down.”
Wisconsin moved on to the finals.
Georgia was clearly disappointed with its finish. There wasn’t a whole lot of talking going on at the Georgia sideline after the game and, once the Dawgs lost their placement game to Georgia Tech in the next round, coach AJ Tiarsmith walked his team over to a far field and began full field suicides.
Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
As exciting and hard fought as the Wisconsin/Georgia game was, we didn’t get a chance to watch much of the Virginia/Georgia Tech matchup. However, we’ll do our best to tell you what we picked up.
While Georgia Tech is certainly a talented team that is not to be trifled with, it was clear that they have just a couple more steps to take before they can matchup with the Virginias of the Ultimate world.
The teams traded scores to 4-4 in the first half and it wasn’t until late in the Game that Virginia asserted itself, taking leads of 10-8 and 12-8 on the strength of its defense and conservation offense.
Tyler Conger told us after play that Virginia’s offense did not get broken against Tribe and, to him, that was the difference. Georgia Tech was impressed by a little bit more than just Virginia’s offense.
“Virginia is just a tough team, they were fucking sick, they were breaking the mark all over the place,” Tech captain Michael Spear told us. “They gave us a lot of things to work on in the future.”