Throwbacks defeat Nimble Jacks. That is all.

Game 2 of the day featured two .50 caliber offenses in the Jet Sets and Night…whoa, wait, hold up a hot second. What  did I just type? Is that first recap a dyslexic slip or has temporary insanity found me? Maybe it was a keyboard glitch. These things. Whatever the cause, I’ll go back and correct the err…wait, they lost? and THEY won?!

An award-winning fiction writer would have had trouble coming up with a chapter that told the story of the Kronum League Throwbacks taking on and taking down the two-time champion Nimble Jacks, winners of 18 straight games over a two-and-a-half year stretch that could be its own era in the history of time. The Jackassic Period? Probably not. Moving on.

Game One of Round 6 featured the top two strategic Kronum clubs in the league. A re-re-match of the 2010 Kronum League Championship game. A chance to avenge a 40 point loss earlier this season. These squads are similar in approach and game-planning, the ‘Jacks just always had a higher talent level athletically, and after the first 20 minutes, fans and viewers around the globe were settling in for another predictable match-up.  Nimble Jack ranger Joe Petrino (game-high 20 points) was a bit ring happy in the 1st period, connecting for two 4-point rings from the Flex and another 4-pointer from the Cross Zone. Captain Scott Kennedy (20 points, 5 assists) fed Petrino pinpoint passes on two of his 4-point scores. The T-Backs responded with a steady dose of 2-point throws and kicks from captain Joe Ferrigno (8 points, game-high 6 assists) and ranger John Graham (13 points). The typically slow-to-start Throwbacks came to play offensively on this day but their usually reliable defense did not and the Jacks took a 44-28 lead into the 2nd period.

Ferrigno must have huddled his troops and watched ‘300’, ‘Gladiator’, and ‘Little Giants’ all within a 3-minute intermission because the T-Backs put a serious whoopin’ on the Jacks in the second and made it look easy. They nearly doubled the Jacks scoring output in the period, putting up 52 against 27 with ranger Nick Ferraro (14 points, 7 blocks) playing like a man possessed hitting two 4-point rings from the Flex while rejecting shot after shot with authority in his zone. The Jacks could barely get a shot near the net in the “Botta Quad”. Ferraro was playing through a torn plantar fascia ligament injury that he suffered early in the game but overcame the pain to dominate on defense. Wedgeback Steve Botta (12 points, 8 saves) of the aforementioned “Botta Quad” drilled an 8-point Kronum to highlight the T-Backs outburst with Steve Fariss (15 points) and Kevin Casero (8 points) chipping in with 6 points a piece, respectively, in the period. Meanwhile, the Jacks were literally going postal on the goalposts. The most accurate shooting team in the league was certainly not showcasing their target-shooting skills on this day. The T-Backs defensive pressure forced quick shots that banged off what it seemed like all eight posts of all four goals on the round. Crosser Ryan Coyne (15 points, 6 assists) hit a 3 point penalty kick and Wedgeback Sean Kennedy (13 saves) had 6 saves in a damage control effort to end the period down ‘only’ 9 points at 80-71.

Could this really be happening? Is this where it ends? Why won’t they stop shooting on 21? These were just some of the questions coming from a record-high and stunned spectator crowd mostly comprised of Nimble Jack supporters. One could argue all day which team the pressure was on in the 3rd period and both sides would have been correct. The Jacks had a perfect season and undefeated streak on the line and the Throwbacks were in danger of hitting a 2-4 mark on the season with a loss and neither squad was considering losing as an option. Both teams turned up the intensity but the period belonged to the T-Backs wedge-backing crew of Ryan Hoff (12 point, 10 save double-double), Jim Bradley (11 saves), Botta, and James “Cell Block T” Thomas. Before Alcatraz became a defunct federal prison, Cell Block D was the famed in-penetrable segregation chamber of the San Francisco Bay slammer. On this day, Thomas locked down his quadrant making 8 of his game-high 15 saves in acrobatic fashion. The four combined for total saves in the third period alone as the Jacks frantically peppered the net with time winding down and wedgeback Dustin Gebhard completed a 5-point “And 1” play with a 2-point ring jam while getting fouled and drilled the 3-point penalty kick past Bradley to cut the lead to one. However, Ferrigno kept his crew calm, cool, and collected down the stretch. When the final buzzer sounded the T-Backs achieved the unthinkable, outlasting the mighty Nimble Jacks by a score of 104-98. The win propelled the Throwbacks to 3-3 and right back into the mix while the Jacks fell to 5-1 yet remain at the top of the 2011 standings.

What a game. What a finish. What an upset. What a streak.