|Metropolis diving for a score. Dropkick photos|
There were just three games of real consequence in the Midwest this weekend.
One was a 35-30 Buffalo victory over Cincinnati. Buffalo coach Ron Astridge said his team was happy to regain the respect of the Wolfhounds, to whom they’d lost 46-3 in August.
Nick Kusmierski booted Buffalo to the win with seven penalties, but no bonus point for four tries was gained. Cincinnati, however, did bag that bonus point, plus one for losing by seven or less. The Wolfhounds lead the trio of 3-1 teams and sit at first place in the Midwest East with 16 points. Detroit is second with 15 and Buffalo third with 14.
Metropolis avoided the upset in the West division, beating the pesky Blaze 50-27. The win didn’t always appear to be a guarantee, though.
“We started really slow. It was kind of opposite of the Lions game last week where we came out all guns blazing. We started a little slow and it took us a while to get into our rhythm and that was more so to do with their game than us not being ready,” said Metro coach Nate Osborne.
“They play kind of a scrappy game, trying to get quick turnover ball and spin it wide, and it kind of threw us off our game plan a little bit. Once we got settled in we played our kind of ball and put some points up.”
The third game of consequence was a possible relegation playoff, as Columbus and Indianapolis entered the contest winless. Columbus escaped the high-scoring fracas 48-40 winners.
There were no playoff implications in the battle of Chicago between the Lions and Griffins, but there was certainly pride, which the Lions captured as 16-5 winners.
The Griffins, however, did get the chance to blood several young players, including a young tighthead prop in Bryan Baskin, a 23-year-old from Iowa. Baskins assignment Saturday? John Vitale, who is considered one of the best scruammgers in the States.
“He held up very well, actually, but he also in his mind knows he was on a big learning curve, and he acknowledges that,” said Griffins head coach Wez Parkes.
“He picked up on a couple things (Vitale) was doing to manipulate him and dominate him. The kid is pretty mature in terms of being able to pick those things up and saying, ‘Hey I’m going to start trying to implement those in my own game.”