Tuesday, April 03, 2007
College Centex 2007
People wonder: Why are the Wisconsin Hodags so good?
The answer is: The Hodags want to win. As a Hodag, you need to win, you love it, and you have been taught how to do it. No matter what the circumstances, a Hodag refuses to lose and will never give up for there is always an insatiable desire to murder and punish other teams (see #19). This year’s team is not more talented than the successful teams of ‘05 and ‘06 (both seasons 5+ tournament wins), but the 2007 team clearly wants to win more.
So how does this Centex Curse work again? In the last 3 years since this tournament became dominant, the winner of Centex has lost in National finals! So even if a team can win the "hardest" tournament of the year, it is not a signal that you will be a National Champion and lately has been a curse to your future success at Nationals.
With Centex quickly approaching, Wisconsin was getting healthy just in time to adjust to the new players contributing in the lineup. Our schedule and pool looked very daunting as Saturday began with both Carleton and Oregon waiting for us. It appeared to be a stressful pool, needing to win all 5 games to secure a top seed and birth into the top 8 bracket.
All week the Hodags have been visualizing and getting mentally prepared for this tournament. (You never need a disc when you can just imagine one there instead;) Madison knew it would be extremely hard on our bodies with so many tough games and we were planning our strategy. As it turns out, Wisconsin has some very good players at college ultimate. On the top lines, Wisco is far more experienced than almost every single player they line up against and can usually dominate any match-up offensively. With more caffeine free jocks than most team’s, Madison was itching to get the weekend started off right.
The very first game of the weekend against North Texas, the Hodags were ready to go. We had the usual suspects supporting on the sidelines with the Fosters and Marshes out in full colors. The “rivalry” with UNT had Wisconsin amped up to start the tournament. However, the D could not break on the first point as UNT scored 1-0. Wisconsin instantly got on track as Jack found Foster deep (a recurring theme) as Wisconsin tied the game 1-1. And that was all it took. The energy at the beginning of the day was too much as the Hodags were foaming at the mouth to hurt some unsuspecting kid. In the pre-game huddle, players were strapping on their brass knuckles and looking for the right player to nail in the knee with the crowbar. It turns out that the Hodags did not actually need those weapons as Wisconsin broke with Gaynor finding Shane in the end zone 2-1. North Texas continues to huck the disc deep as Muffin gets a sky D and then hucks it full field to Jon Gaynor in stride for the break to 3-1. Muffin continues to dominate, throwing the next break goal to Blue Steel himself for the 4-1 lead. Animal finds Feldman for another break as the game blows wide open 5-1. K-Rich & Co. (collars and all) freak out and bring the game to 7-3 half. North Texas, using the Power of the Insightful Heckle, broke the O twice out of half (only team to break the O twice in a row all weekend) to bring the game to 7-5. Finally, the O pulls it together as Marsh finds Pearce for the 8-5 lead after a Riley handblock. Muffin was not to be denied as he D’d a hammer, and threw 3 straight goals for breaks to Lokke, Gaynor and Doede for the 11-5 lead. With the momentum clearly in Wisconsin’s favor, Cullen Geppert gets a sick layout D to finish the game 13-5. After the game, both team’s got together and had a Spirit Circle Session to keep both teams positive on the day. I think the K-rich injury occurred pretty close to the end of the game and there was some serious concern by the Hodag players. At the time, no one knew the extent of the injury except maybe Atheltic Trainer Dan Miller. I guess ultimate will need to adjust to the new generation of “Diet Jocks” and do more pushups when watching TV. Only the strongest will survive. However, this pic clearly shows that this is NoT a dangerous play, but two players just falling over. It should also be noted that "90% of the people who post on rsd are terrible at ultimate" according to Ted Tripoli.
Wisconsin’s second game of the day would be no such fun loving picnic. Wisconsin has been thinking and preparing for this team far longer than just a week or two. In actuality, Wisconsin has been thinking about this game for over 17 years as CUT absolutely owned the Central Region for the period. Since their stranglehold of CN supremacy has been loosened of late, Wisconsin was feeling ready for Carleton. We were not to be tricked by their tomfoolery of throwing games in the preseason just to have teams underestimate them. I swear to you, Wisconsin will never ever underestimate how small town Carleton dominates the fuck out of ultimate Frisbee. This is probably because Carleton will always stand directly in Wisconsin’s path to a National Championship. Needing to win Regional Finals is an absolute priority to secure a high seed, which is crucial to performing well at Nationals. So please believe that every single Hodag in Texas knew the importance of this game for it would set the tone for the next meeting. The game started quickly with Wisconsin striking deep to Tim Pearce for 1-0 score. Carleton is running on high energy and punches in their first score easily 1-1. Kevin Riley continues to dominate with his throws as Wisco leads 2-1. The D line is still not breaking as the game ties as 2-2, despite Animal antics and layout attempts on Jacob. Gaynor also makes a super nice slow motion attempt on a disc. The O-face is putting things together quite nicely as Heijmen hits Foster with a buttery slick forehand 3-2. At this point the D gets a turn and works the disc to Carleton’s goal line before a timeout. Jacob Goldstein begins his molestation on the mark as Bobby Lau likes to get down and dirty. A swarming cup of 4 CUT kids berating of Bobby resulted in a foul call and huge argument ensures (video below – need sound for Bobby Lau bitching Jacob in an argument. As you clearly noticed, Bobby was clutching his lower back in pain and with welts from the vicious JG kidney punch. Anyway, the disc is finally dumped to Muffin who endures more of the Goldstein molestation and calmly throws a cross field hammer to Shane to allow the D to punch it in 3-2. At this point thanks to several slow motion CUT drops, Muffin throws the next 2 breaks, one a quick sick flick to a streaking Feldman who skies Baylis and spikes the shit out of the disc, coming dangerously close to Pat’s head on the disc taco as Wisconsin swells the lead to 5-2. Heyman Heijmen himself put the Hodag on a pedestal as he manned up, decided to hit the floor, and was accepted back as a Defender on the D line. Turns out that the Heymaker cannot be stopped as he scores 2 more breaks for a Wisconsin half 7-2. The O was never broken and Madison traded out to win 13-8. Kevin Riley threw 2 goals down the stretch, one with no mark and a huge rip backhand to TP and even recorded a sky D!? I mean, Tim Pearce completely blew up at Centex, proving he can get in-D’s and catch everything thrown to him deep, most times laying out with one hand. Wisconsin was in the zone at this point, perfect on Offense with Jack Darsh sticking out his tongue in CUT defenders faces and still getting crazy one defense. There is footage of the CUT game on the Hodag website right now which is pretty sweet.
Anyway, the third game of the day was against Illinois. This would usually be our letdown game in the middle of a hot Saturday. However, the O-face had different ideas as the some big time performances were being conducted. The Bucket of Greasy Chicken was looking a man reborn as K-Fed was wrecking marks and defenders as he threw the first 2 goals to Dan and Jimmy for a 2-2 tie. Tim Pearce was going deep and nobody was stopping him as he caught the next 2 goals for a 4-4 game. Illinois was convinced going deep was the way to go and since it was not windy, it wasn’t a bad idea. And then, Wisconsin got crazy, a little reckless, and possibly even a little scary as they bombarded defenders left and right with body shots of Hodag pain. The Hodags even called a timeout and had a strategy session about the best way to layout into someone’s legs in order to intentionally injure them. Clearly, Wisconsin had been planning how to hurt others and themselves in the pursuit of glory. After assassinating two Illini, Fist became afraid and fled as Wisconsin scored 5 in a row for the 9-4 lead. Tom Annen had a ridiculously nice O2 cut and forehand flick down the sideline to a streaking Will Lokke. Other sick plays included a Dan Heijmen in-cut layout catch on our goal line and a Foster layout D. Jon Gaynor got 2 D’s during the rout and Schmit was showing O was so easy that he was calling Touchdowns 2 passes in advance with the officials signal. That is 3-0 on the day and past 3 danger games.
However, the fourth game was against Davidson and Wisco probably was not mentally prepared for this one. They were supposed to be one of the worst teams there, but they were playing way above seed. It was a war of attrition as both teams were getting close to exhaustion as they led 2-0 with a break and fast legs. Davidson also had the most annoying group of fans as the Hodags tied the game 2-2 with Riley throwing a goal. The handlers continued to hold the game together as Wisconsin broke to take the lead 5-4. However, Davidson’s fans kept screaming and broke back to lead 6-5 and even after a Foster score, took half 7-6. During halftime, heads were hung and it was annoying to deal with a bunch of noobs wearing running shorts who were somehow dominating with a terrible junk zone that was surprisingly effective and involved zero running by the defense. This just pissed Wisconsin off and Q-“Tip the fuck up” gave a well deserved butt lashing at halftime about getting crazy, deciding to dominate and how to put your body into midair for the welfare of the team. That will to win, that desire to dominate your opponent, and that love for punishment got the Hodags freaking out and going insane as they scored the O easily for a 7-7 tie and the D broke 3 straight times for a 10-7 lead. I think a UFC fight even broke out as Wisconsin flexed and did pushups on the sideline to intimidate the opponent and even plan the finishing move. Davidson answered and scored to put it at 10-9 but the D line wanted more destruction and broke twice to win 13-9. Miller rejoiced, for he did not have to listen to that fat woman yell in her Southern drawl, “Yeah, Davidson!”
The last game was against #7 seed overall and #2 seed in our pool Oregon Ego. The Ducks were fighting for their tournament lives, needing a win to get a shot at moving on since losing to CUT first game of the day. The game began tensely and uneasily, as no one on Wisconsin liked Ego and everyone thought they seemed a little eerie and weird, kind of like ginger kids. They were those leering lemming kids in middle school and they were playing such a weak zone. The Wisconsin handlers were making it look easy like a clinic as they moved the disc easily and smoothly. However, things seemed to have worked out for Oregon’s “ego” and confidence, as they had their O working well as they stayed in the game 1-1. Jimmy Foster makes a nice layout attempt to get Oregon a little nervous about the level of intensity. And then Heartthrob Heijmen himself decides to flip his switch, as he skies for a sick ass sky, ripping the disc out of the air better than Justin Timberlake could pop a dick out of a box 2-1. Oregon was bringing more zone, as Riley controlled the tempo as Feldman found Dan deep in the end zone for a 3-2 lead. The Zone O continues to pound the Ego of the Enemy as they go into transition and Dan Heijmen has the disc. The Balding Leader surveys the field and finds the end zone suitable for a sick blading forehand to an uncoverable Jim Foster in the back corner. There was no stopping that man-beast as Dan scored or threw the first 4 goals of the game to a 4-4 tie. However, Oregon had already been getting reckless themselves as they stole a break early at 4-2. With both teams losing control on defense, emotions spiked and the physicality of the game increased past level “Diet Jock!” It did not take long for the Wisconsin D to respond to the challenge of a break. Shane the Painthriller gets a surprising 2 handed catch run-through D. Animal holds it down in the backfield as Muffin finally finds Gaynor with the cross field hammer break for the lead 5-4. The Zone O is still killing as Riley breaks the cup’s face, as Heijmen breaks his personal match-up as the Wisconsin O continues to roll 6-4 as Ben scores again. However, Oregon refocuses and gets their stuff together, scoring their O and breaking for half 7-6 in a quick momentum change, as the Wisco D started the second half. The Hodags manage as turn as Muffin chucks the disc upwind to Doede and Animal takes over with some crafty O2 throws in the end zone set, as Muffin “threatens” a reckless fouling Ego player that physical play would only end in his demise as Scallet proceeds to find Animal for the 7-7 tie. Jack Marsh finds a Tim Pearce, who is still making incredible catches for the 8-8 tie. At this point, Kevin Riley gets a chance on defense, as he throws a divine pass to space as Animal rockets the disc for Foster for the 9-8 break lead. This was the moment of weakness. The gazelle was injured, bleeding, and limping. We could see the pain and wanted to punish. The D line needed to destroy and shit was going to hit the fan. The D line was hungry as Gaynor got an awesome catch D in the air on a forced break mark huck by Ego. Jon wisely found Muffin immediately, who just as immediately, hucked it deep to the Red Headed Mexican Will Lokke. Zip-Loke proved White Men Can Jump, but also proved that Red Headed Mexican’s can’t catch, as Lokkdown strategically doinked the disc with his SuperGrip 2000 hands to add suspense to the moment 10-8 Wisconsin. The Hodags continue to pour on the jungle music as Animal finds another pass to space as and throws a smooth flick down the line to Lokke for the 11-8 break Muffin adds one more break to Tim Pearce, after the first ever Tim Pearce layout D for the 12-8 lead. Tim Pearce was still not done as he snags the trailing edge of a disc and keeps a firm grip on a huge catch. The game ends 13-9 Madison and we thank our fans (mostly parents) for the continued support on the field.
And then the fun began. The barbeque food at the fields was awesome and the anticipation for the showcase game increased. Texas was a dangerous team who had their strongest performance of the season at Nationals, playing Florida and Wisconsin the best of anyone. They had beaten the Hodags in the showcase game of 2004 and with the lights coming on, opposing teams were getting excited to heckle and jeer. The clearly pro Texas crowd was pretty funny. Too bad the Women’s team dance off was thwarted, but the North Texas jeering and Minnesota choreographed cheers were awesome. However, Texas looked a little too nervous or jacked up or something as early miscues lead to quick Florida goals. However, the first moment Texas scored, the cheers from team’s disliking Florida rang up, “Who are we? Tuff! Who are we? Tuff! TEXAS! TEXAS! YEEEEE-HAAA!!” However, the crowd did not help until it was 11-3 and Texas was able to fight back to 12-8 before the end. Some of the more memorable heckles included, “Showcase your tits” when the dance-off was about to ensue. The chant to put a number on Florida’s Hall and get him into the game was pretty awesome, as Bobby convinced Hall that he really did need a number. At least he didn’t shave the number into the back of his head, but it was cool to mistake Wyndham for Brodie, because everybody in the nation hates that kid even more than the kid with sunglasses. The Dogs of War boombox was also sweet as they had some good zingers and the atmosphere between teams on the sideline was a perfect manifestation of the ultimate community.
After all those hard games, it was time for an ice-bath. I think Jimmy Foster screamed for his mother the most, but Shane was gripping his testicles closely behind, as Lokke took it in stride and merely imagined images of gingers frolicking in the desert sands of New Mexico. Have you ever been so tired that you could not fall asleep? Probably if you did not have a bed spot or a blanket…
Whoever thought of an 8:30 am start time on Sunday was not thinking rationally. On paper it looked fine, but when Wisconsin woke up at the crack of dawn, nobody was as grumpy as the belligerent Dan Miller. We made it to the fields and were barely moving during warm-ups out of sheer pain. Wisco was careful not to underestimate Texas after last night’s performance, knowing Tuff would play us hard and that it was a new day of ultimate. It was very dewy and wet so Madison’s studs were trying to hit the ground in Seattle, just to slide on the grass and get the blood flowing for the anticipated Sobe pounding. However, Texas started out strong, scoring deep after several Wisconsin layout super reckless and dangerous layouts that were not close enough, 1-0 Texas. The O-face began a little sloppy, but was playing good enough defense to score the goal, Riley to Rebholz 1-1. The D line was rearing to prove it, as players were already getting antsy and angry on the sideline. The Bash Brother Combo of Pain, scored the break as Shane finds Lokke after a Gaynor catch D 2-1 Hodags. Texas holds 2-2 and the D line flips a nut as they run off 2 breaks to a 5-2 lead as Scallet finds Feldman deep for a break. Texas holds again 5-3, but Madison gets reckless as Gaynor gets another catch D as Muffin finds Feldman for the 7-3 lead and 8-4 half. Dan Heijmen was looking even more hot than usual with his karate kid style headband and masculine looking strong chin. He got the team fired up with stories of faltering late in the game against Texas in quarterfinals of Centex last year and the Hodags came out strong in the second half, breaking twice for a 10-4 lead as Evan Klane found Lokke deep. Texas responded to 10-6 after a timeout and was looking for the late game run. Too bad the Hodags found the jungle techno remix of domination as Will Lokke had the highest sky of his life. He got up huge and stuck the disc, but the offensive foul was called as he used his forearm to clear space. Eventually, in the best move of spirit ever seen from Texas, the coach himself explained that the play was absolutely too sick to be called back on the foul 13-6. The feeling of respect was there as Wisconsin and Texas had met so many times in the last two years and the game ended with Lokke catching the last break, after his third catch D of the game 15-6. Wisconsin was playing well and getting really psyched for semifinals because the Hodags would face the winner of last year’s Nationals quarterfinals match up of Georgia-Colorado.
The Hodags had made it to semifinals for the third year in a row. However, the intensity was not there in 2005 after a lackluster effort. That type of effort is no longer acceptable in any circumstances as the current Wisconsin team is crazier and wants to win more than ever. The team desire was certainly all over the Mamabird for they had ended Wisconsin’s season’s twice, both times in quarterfinals of Nationals in 2004 and 2005. It only adds to the suspense that the Hodags did not play Colorado at all in the 2006 season and that Richter has been assigned to spy on the Wisconsin ultimate program and report all findings to Mamabird about how playing without coaches is sweet because the team won’t sit their O-line for tardiness. Anyway, Richter is getting soft (can barely handle the Sparks Challenge as I hear from Tripoli) and will certainly be feeling the pain at the alumni game. However, Colorado still has the three biggest deep threats in the game with Jolian, Martin, and Sir Beaufort. The D line started the game and could do little to stop the Mamabird Offense as they scored easily 1-0. The Wisconsin O made it look just as easy as DJ found J-Fo for the deep goal 1-1. Colorado’s O could not be stopped as they scored easily 2-1. The pressure was building as Foster found Heijmen for the 2-2 tie. It was enough trading as far as the Wisconsin firestarters were concerned as the Hodag defense finally got control of the disc. It was quick work as Animal found Doede for the break 3-2.
After Colorado finally stuck it in 3-3, the Hodag O-face got brutal. Who can guard Dan Heijmen? Well defensive specialist Martin Cochran gets his chance. As DJ is isolated in the lane, Martin gives him a hard shoulder and a physical body position, (which would crush most kids who haven’t been doing pushups, clearly a dangerous move that would break any non diet jock), but Heijmen who can bench the plates for all who are wondering, skeets his man-juice everywhere as he chest bounces off Cockran and sprints deep with several steps. A perfect full field backhand strike from Captain Matt Rebholz hits other Captain Dan in the chest for the clap goal as he beats Martin by 7 steps for the 4-3 lead. The crowd explodes and the Colorado supporters are quelled as Wisconsin thrives on the energy and quick goal. The defense must punish as they get turnover deep in the end zone. Muffin walks to disc to the line and Lokke takes off deep. The poach shows no respect and even the defender is not concerned about the deep cut. Muffin, powers up with thoughts of his power animal, and launches the full field huck for the Lokke sky goal break 5-3. The Hodags are pumped, but Colorado responds and gets a break of their own for a 5-5 tie. Dan Heijmen continuing to prove that he is unguardable and more unblastable than Matt Bruss, goes deep and is again, hit in stride with a full field huck from Rebholz that is clapped home for the 6-5 lead. Colorado ties the game at 6-6 with Beau going deep and skying anybody who wants to chase him there (mainly Lokke). However, Riley finds Foster for the 7-6 lead and Wisconsin has the opportunity to take half. Once again, the universe D line is ready to rock the cashbox, as Colorado cannot handle the best Hodag defenders as they turn the disc deep. Again, Mamabird gives no respect as Animal puts the disc in on the cone. A sick fast move to space and filthy throw puts Muffin in power position half way down the field. The moment Muffin catches the disc, Jolian glances over his right shoulder. Muffin, going crafty, throws the inside out backhand over and around Jolian, putting the disc perfectly in the back of the end zone, completely fucking the streaking defender as Lokke pancakes that shit home for the 8-6 break for halftime.
Wisconsin resolves that it was a good half, but we have more pain to distribute. Again, Wisconsin wanted it more. The O-face started the half out right as Kevin finds Tim Pearce for a nice catch goal 9-6. The creatures of the Northwoods can sense fear, and smell blood. Colorado was reeling and matching the intensity on the field. They began faceguarding the Wisconsin throwers, locking down players and getting way more physical. Dan Heijmen got a D in the open field and as Wisconsin worked the disc around, Colorado was getting all up in Muffin’s face in the backfield. Muffin decided to go ahead and set up his deep game, maneuvering the defender into no man’s land before S cutting into the end zone as Heijmen places a perfect flick to space as Wisconsin broke to 10-6 and spiked the disc! Muffin was clearly powered up now, and put in one more break to stretchy roommate Andrew Mahowald who was debuting for semifinals for the 11-6 lead. Mamabird, completely dismayed, puts it together and scores 2 in a row for an 11-8 game. However, Wisconsin trades out to win 15-11. Other very notable plays were a Dan Schmit instinctual layout D in the backfield to keep the O on track as well as the funniest observer-player interaction I have ever seen. Beau is going deep and Jolian throws a pretty huge looping huck for Beau to sky. However, Rebholz’s poaches from the breakside and beats Beau to the spot. At this point, Rebholz launches his body into a Hodag Tomahawk Missile set to sandwich mode as Beau was to be the crème of the Oreo sandwich . However, the contact does not allow Beau to get off the ground and after a lengthy discussion, the observer rules that the disc was uncatchable and the contact was negligible so – no foul. Jolian, upon hearing that the disc was ruled as non-catchable, snapped his shit and freaked out, “UNCATCHABLE!? Uncatchable?! Do you know who that is?!? He could have caught that with his fucking teeth!” It takes several minutes for play to resume for Wisconsin players were laughing uncontrollably on the field. The observer wanted to hide in a cave momentarily, but the guilty smile of Jolian let everyone know that clearly, Sir Longshanks can catch any disc at any height, with his teeth. One more play should be rehashed, for Martin can launch his body close to 12 yards about 4 feet in the air. It is a freakish display of athleticism and very scary for any cutter trying to catch the disc as Martin almost D's Dan on this end zone catch. Anyway, it was fun to play Colorado and we were hyped to finally get a chance to nail Florida for Vegas.
However, Carleton did something unexpected. It seems like most teams cannot and do not play the style that Florida likes and that is why most teams do not play well against them. However, Carleton is an awesome ultimate team and is able to adjust to whatever other teams give them. Thus with some crafty planning and dominant performance, they beat Florida in quarters 12-10 by attacking Kurt on defense. Poaching against teams who can throw the disc is a mistake, as CUT has already taken out the likes of Colorado and Florida this year. However, CUT went down to Stanford in semifinals which landed Stanford against Wisconsin for Centex Finals 2007.
Sick, we made it to finals. This is a familiar place. However, Wisconsin was the defending champion and was the current owner of the tournament. We were going to win and we knew it. The Hodags were going to put a final statement on our spring preseason and prove that even without practicing with any regularity that Wisconsin can still dominate on the field. We were going to prove it with our legs, with our lungs, with our hearts, and with all the work we have put in on the track and in the weight room.
Anyway, Stanford started the game with more energy and toughness than the Hodags as they proceeded to throw the whole kitchen at Wisco in the first half. Their intensity, game plan and strategy on the field had Wisconsin playing pretty poorly. Stanford was scoring easily with break mark throws and hard running, breaking Madison to start 1-0. The O-face tied the game at 1-1 and got the D line on the field. With the excitement of finals, the D line got a turn and Lokke found Gaynor for the 2-1 break. However, Stanford was up to the challenge as they scored their O and with deep pulls and hard fronting D in the wind, was able to break again for a 3-2 lead. The rest of the first half was trading as Wisconsin was down 5-6. Riley got things going as he found Tim Pearce for an awesome catch in the end zone for the 6-6 tie. The Harvard love reunion of Jack Marsh and Will Chen climaxed with a heated discussion and quick man love hug as Jack only contested the handblock. Even Florida heckled that Wisconsin got the better of the Harvard graduate students – as Air Jordan Jack Darsh sticks out his tongue. It was all fun and games until Stanford got ridiculous. I think Will Chen gets a break to Cahill who throws a flick deep that hovers with both Andrew and Heijmen closing. The disc was almost D’d by both Hodags, but the final inside-out cut let a Stanford cutter sky the pile in a very aggressive and
potentially dangerous play… but it was sick as Stanford leads 7-6. The O-face could not convert immediately but had pushed Stanford back to their goal line. On a poach in the backfield, Rebholz
stole the swing pass for a Callahan, getting Wisconsin pumped up as Rebholz freestyled the spike with a little ghostriding. It was now universe D point line to try to steal half. The excitement of a sick play got Wisconsin going as they got a turn and worked it around until Heijmen found Foster in the end zone for the break to take half 8-7. That was a momentum changer. In the halftime huddles, it was clear the differences between Wisconsin and Stanford. Stanford’s huddle and coach was urging his players not to be satisfied with finals. Leader Dan Heijmen was in the middle of the Wisconsin huddle urging his players to get more pumped up and excited to dominate in the second half. At first, the Hodags resolved that we had played bad, almost terrible, but we were still winning the game. For how dominant Stanford started and how much they played out of their minds, they could still not take half. Wisconsin was not satisfied with finals, Wisconsin was not satisified with anything. When the Hodags frenzied into excitement the challenge was issued. We have more to give. We can play better, we can destroy this team. The sense was in the air and Heijmen was screaming words of encouragement in the huddle. The Hodags screamed their war cry until even Sparta was intimidated. As “Hodag Love” cheer rang out and the D line players walked to the line one spectator shouts, “Yeah Wisconsin, get more angry.” That was perfect because Wisconsin was getting crazy and psyched to will themselves to victory. Even the crowd could sense the momentum changing and how Wisconsin was going to run away with this game and tournament. Wisconsin broke twice out of half on the back of Shane Hohenstein, throwing goals to Gaynor and catching one deep from Heijmen 10-7. The Hodags freaked out and forced Bloodthristy to call a timeout. However, Stanford responded by scoring 2 goals to make it 10-9. However, Animal and Riley kept it chilly and punched in a goal for the 11-9 lead. The D line crushed and broke all the way to 14-9 and should have finished the game right there. However, this just gave Jack Marsh another opportunity to get a sick run through D and have Rebholz windmill stick the macked D. Heijmen had already planted too many daggers as hammers and on the last point, Foster made a sick layout catch on the goal line before finding Tim Pearce for fist pumping tournament winning goal 15-11.
It was awesome that Wisconsin went 8-0 and repeated as Centex Champions with many players injured and without some of our top players. It took heart, guts, desire, and mental toughness to win and it is still clear that Wisconsin wants to win more than any other team at this point. To be able to turn on the intensity and go on defensive runs was really the key to destroying and punishing teams. A Golden Skull Trophy …boo ya baby! Hodag Love.