Recap written by Muckety Muck – Photos by Bob Dunnell
(BALLWIN, MO) Saturday’s interleague flat-track action for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) saw the Stunt Devils thwart the M-80s, 253-230, and claim sole possession of second place in the standings.
At the league’s season opener last November, the two rivals scored an eye-opening 388 points combined as the Stunts claimed a 12-point duke.
On paper heading into Saturday’s re-match, one couldn’t assume a repeat for a variety of common-sense reasons. To start, both teams had progressed defensively and had acquired veteran blockers via a supplemental draft held a few weeks back. As a result, lower-point surrenders were projected.
More directly, lethal Stunt jammer Bricktator was out of the mix in the game-day line-up. The All-Star posted 86 points at the season opener but would be absent here. For knowledgeable local derby fans, the loss of a key cog in the scoring rotation could potentially lead to lower results in the stat book.
In the end, all assumptions were proven wrong as the Stunts, now 2-1 with the 23-point win, accumulated its second-highest point total in a local play since team inception ten seasons ago.
“We’ve had some really good private practices together,” reflected Stunt Devils’ co-captain Cruella Belle-ville of her team’s current upward trajectory. “We picked up some great players in the last draft. We’re hoping to utilize them and meld well together as a team.”
En route to Saturday’s triumph, the Stunts utilized a 52-21 second-period stretch that was propelled by three power jams.
Leading 7-0 after two jams, Stunt Devils’ jammer Aggie Wartooth collected a nine-point strike to push her team’s lead to 16-0 at the 26:30 mark.
Then after a 2-1 snatch by the M-80s in jam 4, Stunts’ jammer Psychokid D’ Freakout posted a 14-point strike with 24:20 left in the period to push the defending champs’ lead to 31-2.
The M-80s sawed away at the deficit and with blocking anchored by Fir Serious?!?, Snoop Dogwood, Pine as Buck, Lumberjam, Branch Devereaux, Rhino Might, Jenny Loggins, Sequoia Destro-ya, Chop It Like It’s Hot, Fionna Crabapple and Ginger, whittled the score to 40-23 following Shoulder, CO’s 7-3 jam with 17:10 remaining in the half.
After the Stunts collected a pair of points in jam 10 that extended the lead to 25, their jammer committed a late-whistle penalty resulting in a power start for the M-80s in the ensuing rotation. Jammer BEECH, PLEASE!! quickly grabbed lead and began making multiple scoring passes. The end result was a mind-melting 33 point mega jam that resulted in the M-80s’ 50-42 scoreboard flip with 14:00 left in the period.
The lead was shortly maintained as the Stunts posted 19 straight. With Violet Opposition’s fiver followed by D’Freakout’s 14-pointer at the 11:20 mark, the daredevils reclaimed a 61-50 advantage.
As the half drew to a close, the Stunts claimed six straight lead jams and stretched the score to 106-87 heading into the final rotation.
Unfortunately the M-80s, the period’s final jam would be best described as a “logjam of penalties.” With a Stunts’ power jam in tow and a perpetual rotation of red-flannelled skaters in the box, jammer Beaver Knievel notched a 34-1 gut buster that resulted in the defending champs’ 140-88 lead at intermission.
The M-80s went to work quickly in the second stanza and narrowed the score to 140-102 following BEECH’s14-point power jam opener.
The Stunts responded with a 36-16 run over the next six minutes. With blocking provided by Shear-Ra Powers, Nox, Bruise Almighty, Fletch A Sketch, Hakuna Renata, Goldie Blocks, Pegasass, Joan of Spark, Ophelia Bottoms, Wonder Thighs, Cruella Belle-ville and Hardcore Parkour, the Stunts pushed the score to 177-114 with 22:35 left.
The M-80s tried to keep pace with 19 straight points, finished by Megabirch’s four point pass with 18:30 left that made the score 176-133.
The Stunts then made its most significant rush with the aforementioned 52-21rally that stretched over the next six jams. Launched with Opposition’s 13-point power jam and concluded by Knievel’s 28-12 strike with 9:38 remaining, the daredevils pushed their lead to 228-150.
To their credit, the M-80s refused to surrender and made the game interesting down the stretch. Following BEECH’s 10-point power jam, Colorado’s 33-4 power jam scored with 6:00 left sliced the differential in half, 232-193.
In the end, time became a factor. Although the M-80s outscored their rivals 142-113 in the second period, the margin was out of reach for late-game heroics and the Stunts skated away with 253-230 victory to improve to 2-1 on the season and punch a one-way ticket to ARCH trophy game in late-April.
Knievel’s game-high 128 points set a new personal benchmark in local scoring, three other Stunts recorded over 35 points each in Saturday’s ledger and the squad’s 253 total points sits second all-time behind a 270-point output against Rebel Skate Alliance in January 2014.
No Bricktator? No problem!
“Our bench is very deep and very versatile,” said Belle-ville afterwards. “We have players that can pivot, block and jam. I think that was our benefit tonight, just being able to reach out those others that could fill in with Bricktator’s absence.”
Swanson scored 104 points for the M-80s (0-3), who face ARCH standings leaders the Smashinistas (2-0) on Saturday, March 11.
“We just need to work together more,” assessed Swanson afterwards. “It’s pretty simple that we have to build up that chemistry.”
STUNT DEVILS (253): Beaver Knievel 128, Psychokid D’ Freakout 46, Aggie Wartooh 39, Violet Opposition 35, Hakuna Renata 6.
M-80S (230): Shoulder, CO 104, BEECH, PLEASE! 87, Megabirch 15. Branch Devereaux 13, Ginger 9.
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