Photo by Rowdy Webb – Ultiphotos.com
Playing in record high heat in Portland, the Nighthawks were unable to keep up with the Stags’ firepower down the stretch. After trailing just 12-6 at halftime, Portland pulled away and secured a 27-10 victory.
The Nighthawks (1-8) finished off their regular season matchup with the Stags (7-1), and were unable to take a game in the series in 2016. The longest point of the game was the opening point which lasted nearly three minutes of game time and the Stags look a 1-0 advantage.
Vancouver was able to hold on the subsequent point and tie the game at one, but that was the only time the game would be tied the rest of the way. After losing the first quarter to the Stags, 2-5, Vancouver surrendered three more breaks in the second quarter and were unable to force any of their own on Portland offensive points.
After falling behind 12-6 at halftime, the floodgates opened up on the Nighthawks. Portland scored seven straight breaks from the end of the third quarter until the midway point of the fourth quarter and cemented their seventh victory of the season.
The Nighthawks didn’t force a single break in their eighth loss of the season, while the Stags had a Defensive Scoring Efficiency of 53.6 percent. Their 43 turnovers were a season high, but only 20 were caused by Portland blocks.
Twenty-three unforced turnovers is a pretty tough handicap to overcome against any team, let alone the team with more wins than anyone else over the last two MLU seasons.
Playing with a short roster in Week 9 due to a long list of names appearing on the Injury Report, the Nighthawks struggled to keep up with the depth of the Stags. It became apparent in the second quarter as the heat began taking its toll on the players. It was at this point where the Stags started their seven break run.
Taylor Nadon was the best player on the field for the Nighthawks in Portland, finishing with three goals, an assist and a block in the loss.
Ryan Hoy recorded three blocks in the game, but he was also charged with four turnovers in the game.
For the Stags, Cody Bjorklund continued his high level play that he’s held throughout the season. He finished with seven assists and two goals while his teammate Raphy Hayes scored three goals, threw two assists and recorded a block in the win.
The Nighthawks have one game remaining in 2016. They’ll enjoy a bye during Week 10 before returning to the field in Week 11 when they travel to San Francisco to take on the Dogfish. Opening pull is set for 3 p.m. at Yellowjacket Stadium in Berkeley, Ca. The game will also be available to be streamed on MLU Live.