The Sunday Morning Bracket started without much of a hitch as all of the first round games went to seed and went there easily. As soon as the team’s that had been able to sleep in rolled up to the fields. Things started to get dicey and fast.
Michigan State was matched up with Wheaton College, Virginia faced off against Florida State meanwhile Notre Dame had a rematch with Georgia Southern and Clemson had a replay of Saturday’s contest with Georgia Tech.
Aside from Burning Couch’s big win over Wheaton, this round was as closely contested as any at the Tally Classic. Clemson topped Georgia Tech on a capped universe point, Notre Dame staved off Georgia Southern after being down a break in the first half and Virginia and Florida State got a late start but Night Train barely prevailed 9-7.
Michigan State vs. Wheaton
There isn’t much to say about this game, as Michigan State rolled from almost start to finish winning 13-5. However, Burning Couch did get a little scare from Wheaton.
“We came out a little flat,” Burning Couch captain Alex Edinger said. “They went up a break and our sidelines were a little lacking. Then we came out in the second half and we were ready to go.”
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
Call it a blessing or a curse, depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting on but Clemson and Georgia Tech met up for two spectacular double game point finishes over the course of the weekend. Their quarterfinal game was a hotly contested match between to sectional rivals that are almost certainly going to meet again with higher stakes than this weekend.
By halftime the Joint Chiefs were leading by a break. The game continued to go back and forth with Clemson never gaining more than a two goal lead. Tribe continued to try and match counter attack attempts, breaking Clemson to tie the game at eight and again at ten. Each time that Georgia Tech earned a break, Clemson’s defense would stand strong, tighten up and keep the separation between the teams.
“Everytime they broke us, we broke them back,” Clemson graduate student and captain Ben Slade said. “It was good to see that our defense could cover for our offense when the offense wasn’t at its best.”
After Georgia Tech tied the game at 10s, the hard cap came on and it was next score wins. Clemson’s universe point offense came on the field and didn’t turn the disc on its way to its second straight double game point win against Tribe, 11-10.
Notre Dame vs. Georgia Southern
In the second rematch of the round, the Notre Dame Papal Rage and the Georgia Southern Eagles took the field in a tooth and nail battle that once again had Notre Dame come out on top, 13-10.
The teams fought back and forth for the entire first half, getting and giving breaks and scores left, right and center.
“Georgia Southern wanted revenge,” Notre Dame captain Andrew Schroeder said. “We could see it right off the bat.”
Notre Dame pulled at 6-6 and managed to get a block and the score. It was this moment that turned the tide for Papal Rage. Notre Dame would not relinquish its lead for the rest of the game and as hard as Georgia Southern tried to mount a comeback, Papal Rage clung to its lead harder.
“We took a break into half,” Schroeder said. “That was huge.”
The momentum was in Notre Dame’s favor and Papal Rage took advantage, gathering up three more breaks to take a 12-8 lead before a minor Eagle comeback which led to a 12-10 score. Finally, Notre Dame pulled itself together and scored the next o-point to move on to the next round.
Virginia vs. Florida State
The hosts of the tournament had a shaky start on Saturday but managed to pull it together and get into the winners bracket on Sunday. However, it took a double game (marathon) point against UCF in order for DUF to advance. Due to the length of the prior game, FSU and UVA got a late start compared to the other three semifinal match ups.
This late start would end up being an advantage for Virginia as a late FSU comeback was staved off and Night Train prevailed, 9-7.
Compared to their prequarters game against Georgia-B, Night Train came out of the gates hot. Taking a 3-1 lead against a FSU team that had to know that time was of the essence after the late start to the game. However, while FSU had to understand the importance of early scores and the immediacy of the game, Virginia acted upon that knowledge.
Night Train, a clear leader in overall team experience compared to FSU, held onto its lead and did not relinquish it for the entire game. By the time the dust had settled, UVA had won by the same scoring margin that it began the with, 9-7.