Growlers Down Nitro 24-17

Photo by Greg Pettus

The San Diego Growlers hosted the Portland Nitro under the Friday Night Lights of Mission Bay HS on May 17, 2024.

The Growlers came out strong with a break score to start the game when Jimmy McGuinness intercepted the disc and caught the bookend goal thrown by Max Hume.  The teams would trade a couple offensive holds until San Diego rattled off 3 consecutive breaks to take the lead 6-2.  The Nitro made a nice grab in the end zone to stop the bleeding, Kyle Rubin assisted to Max Gibson for a hold, and Michael Tran’s hammer to Aaron Coble gave the Growlers another break. The teams traded out to end the quarter with a nice half-field throw from Casey Wu to Travis Dunn for the 9-4 lead.

Each team traded holds in the second quarter and the Nitro earned their first break of the game for a 10-6 deficit. At this stage, both Portland and San Diego found their offensive rhythm, and Matt Miller, Gibson, Rubin, and Dunn all contributed to the next 4 scores.  The Nitro were matching goals until a throwaway led to a Taylor Gilman dish to McGuinness for a break.  Portland scored once more before halftime, but still found themselves trailing 15-10.

San Diego’s defense came out firing in the third quarter with a Tynan Sander interception which led to a Stefan Samu to Tran connection for the break.  On the next point, Daniel Pryke had a massive layout block and caught the bookend goal for the 17-10 lead. Portland bounced back with a hold and a break and the Growlers countered with a Miller to Dunn one throw hold, but the Nitro punched back with a hold and a break again, 18-14.

In the fourth quarter, the Growlers burned time from the clock with their first hold and were somewhat content to trade scores with the Nitro. To cap off their third consecutive offensive conversion, Peter Lenz made a great leaping tip-toe catch to save the goal, 21-16. The teams traded holds once more, before San Diego closed out the game with two late breaks and a convincing victory, 24-17.

The Growlers were led by Travis Dunn (4 assists, 5 goals, 1 block) with a +9 performance. Captains Kyle Rubin (5 assists, 2 goals) and Michael Tran (2 assists, 2 goals, 1 block) were also key contributors adding +7 and +5 games respectively.  

Next on tap, San Diego will travel to Salt Lake City to face the undefeated and 1st Place Shred on Saturday, May 25 at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT.