Honor Roll: Week 8

June 17, 2024
By Evan Lepler

Elliott Chartock, New York Empire

Handling a huge amount of responsibility for the shorthanded Empire on Saturday, Elliott Chartock’s calm presence, underrated athleticism, and dynamic distribution were all critical to New York’s sneaking out of Philadelphia with a one-goal win. About one in every four throws that the Empire completed across four quarters were tossed by Chartock, as he went 75-for-77 with six assists and four goals. Along the way, he accumulated 357 throwing yards and 210 receiving yards, the latter being the second-best receiving production he’s had in 44 career games for New York. His final throw of the night, a cross-field hammer over a double team, was perfectly angled to find its target and make the final seconds disappear, finishing off the Phoenix and handing Philly another heartbreaking home result. 

Josh Klane, Minnesota Wind Chill

Minnesota’s impressive victory over Colorado was a true team effort, but Josh Klane’s handling and hucking certainly stood out. The veteran Wind Chill distributor completed five hucks—tying his personal best for the yardage era (since 2021)—and produced a team-high 636 total yards in Minnesota’s 20-17 triumph. He finished the night with three assists, one goal, and three more hockey assists, but those numbers barely represent his impact as a problem-solving thrower that helped the Wind Chill escape several dicey situations throughout the game. Working in the backfield with the superb Will Brandt—who added four assists, seven hockey assists, and 460 total yards—Klane helped the Chill stay unbroken through the first half, building a multi-score lead that they mostly maintained throughout the second as well. 

KJ Koo, San Diego Growlers

We spend so much time breaking down offseason free agent movement, but here’s an instance where an announcement arrived on a Monday in mid-May and helped change the dynamic of the UFA’s SoCal rivalry. KJ Koo was solid in his San Diego Growlers debut at Salt Lake over Memorial Day Weekend, and he was spectacular in Saturday’s matchup against his former team. The 23-year-old, who played 19 games for the Aviators from 2019 to 2022, lit up LA for eight scores, no throwaways and over 700 total yards in San Diego’s 24-15 rout. He’s completed seven hucks in two games for the Growlers, providing the O-line with some much-needed firepower that significantly elevates the team’s ceiling as a dark horse playoff contender in the West Division. 

Pieran Robert, Madison Radicals

He’s just a rookie, but Friday was easily a career night for the talented, young Radical. Pieran Robert scored six goals in the first half against Colorado and finished the evening with eight scores, a block, and no turns in Madison’s first interdivisional victory since the 2018 championship game. Playing mostly on the D-line, Robert was a cutting menace after turnovers, torching the Summit early and often. Just in the opening quarter, he caught a 47-yard score for Madison’s first break, collected a 37-yard pass for his team’s second break, and then hauled in an 81-yard bomb on an O-point after his team had just been broken. He added a 58-yard goal early in the second and finished the night with a season-high 264 receiving yards.

Austin Taylor, Atlanta Hustle

The only player in the league who currently has at least 30 assists and single-digit throwaways, Austin Taylor basically pitched a perfect game on Friday night against Houston. The veteran handler did not miss on any of five hucks or 20 other throws, going 25-for-25 for 471 throwing yards and eight assists in the Hustle’s 27-13 rout over the Havoc. Half of those assists went to Jeremy Langdon, who caught 67, 76, and, and 52-yard scoring missiles from Taylor over the course of the evening. Perhaps most notably, Taylor helped the Hustle orchestrate the smoothest possession-oriented performance in UFA regular season history, as the four turns across four quarters for Atlanta was one fewer than Pittsburgh’s previous record-setting performance just a couple weeks ago. 

Jack Williams, New York Empire (Pictured)

When his teams needs him, Jack Williams almost always delivers. Saturday’s circumstances were certainly different than the many moments where “Playoff Jack” has often emerged over the past half-decade, but with the Empire missing so many starters in Philly, Williams put New York on his back with both the game’s signature play—a layout Callahan that tied the score late in the third quarter—and a brilliantly efficient full 48-minute effort, in which he produced two assists, three blocks, four goals, and five hockey assists, offset by just a single turn. Quite simply, as long as the Empire have Williams, they will always have to be considered a championship contender.

Jeff Wodatch, DC Breeze

Even at 37 years old, Jeff Wodatch continues to be a crucial cog in DC’s offense. He was exceptional on Sunday in Montreal, producing the first 300/300 game of his career (since the yardage era began in 2021). Against the Royal, Wodatch dished four assists, caught three goals, completed all 30 of his passes for 335 yards, and produced 311 receiving yards in the Breeze’s stunning comeback victory. He also added three goals and over 400 total yards in Saturday’s eight-goal win over Toronto, as the Breeze improved to 7-2 on the season thanks to their pair of road wins north of the border this past weekend.

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