Shred Get Some Swagger, Beat Nitro 28-17

Picture Credit: David Kocherhans

July 5, 2024

By, Quincey McKeen

The Salt Lake Shred came into the Portland Nitro game ready to put their last game, a tough matchup with the New York Empire, to rest. Coach Merrill created three new lines, mixing up Shred’s traditional offensive and defensive lines, to shake things up and test out some chemistry. The Shred players were warned by Coach Merrill not to underestimate the Nitro - “They're young and explosive and fast. They're great playmakers. And TimmyP has them primed on when and how to take deep shots.” Portland had some great moments, but Shred came out with new determination and won the game 28-17. 

The first quarter was surprisingly close as the Shred figured out the flow on their new lines. Surprising, because the Shred had a run of four breaks to open the game. Luke Yorgason worked hard in the second point of the game, getting the frisbee back twice for the Shred with heads up defense. In the fourth point, Sean Connole pulled the frisbee and then hustled down the field to pick off a Nitro pass, inches away from a Callahan. He threw the assist to Grant Lindsley. With the score at 5-1, the Nitro got fired up. They held and then capitalized on a Jordan Kerr drop for their first break. Kerr was still in a cast with a broken hand, making catching understandably difficult. The Nitro broke again after getting the frisbee from a hand block in a double team. In an impressive play, Cole Eustis threw a big hammer over a Shred double team that was caught by Bram Allahdadi with a skillful toe-in. The quarter ended with an overthrown Shred huck and the Nitro only making it to half field before time expired. The score was 5-4 for the Shred. 

The Shred held with smooth offense to start off the second quarter of the game. A nice run-through D from Jonny Hoffman led to a John Hanni score. The teams traded holds until the Shred had another almost Callahan. Tony Mounga reeled it in for the score there. The holds continued, with both teams scoring twice. The Shred ended the quarter with two breaks. For the first break, tight team defense led to a Nitro misthrow. The second break came after a couple of overthrown hucks, one from the Nitro and one from the Shred. The Nitro hucked it again, but Joe Merrill put on the jets to make a play on the frisbee and get the D. The Nitro player made an impressive second attempt catch, but bobbled the frisbee out the back of the end zone. The Shred worked it down the field, where Jace Duennebeil had an impressive catch in the back corner for the goal, with one second remaining in the half. The Nitro were unable to score with that remaining second, ending the half 13-7 for the Shred. 

The Shred continued to pull away in the third quarter. Despite the broken hand, Kerr had several great one-handed grabs, including a big rip down with lots of pressure from a Nitro defender. Mounga, Eugene L’Heureux, Jacob Miller, and Matt Russnogle all had great defensive plays, leading to Shred breaks. Sean McDonald and Zach Burnside both played their first game of the season and got involved for the Shred. Burnside had 1 assist, 2 goals, and 1 block, while McDonald had 2 assists and 2 goals. On the Nitro side, Ben Thoennes had a great game, with 5 assists and 1 goal. The Shred looked especially themselves in the last point of the quarter: they worked it down the field with 10 seconds remaining, with zippy throws to decisive cuts, scoring with a Connole to Kerr pass. 20-11 for the Shred. 

The final quarter may have been the cleanest for both teams. The Shred got in a couple breaks at the beginning. In the first, Alex Forsberg picked off an undercut pass and Ben Ashton hit Hanni for the goal. In the second break, the Nitro threw it away and Chad Yorgason had the assist to Simon Dastrup. The teams traded holds for the rest of the quarter. The Nitro improved their huck game, scoring three times off a huck. The Shred had some turns, but managed to get it back and score every time. In the penultimate point, Connole hit Chad with a big pass: a one throw point for the Shred. The Nitro answered with a huck of their own and then the Shred played catch until the time ran out. While not the highest scoring game in franchise history (the Shred beat Seattle 32-21 in 2022), it was the Shred’s highest score of the season, with the Shred winning 28-17. 

The playoff teams for the West division are set: Seattle Cascades, Salt Lake Shred, and Oakland Spiders. But the final ranking and who will play who is still to be determined. It will come down to the Shred’s final regular season matchup against the Seattle Cascades, which will take place on July 19 at 7 pm (MT). Whoever wins that game will have a big advantage in the playoffs, hosting the final playoff game. Before that, the Shred travel to Portland for a quick rematch against the Nitro on July 13.