Recap | wk3 | Hustle force OT but fall to the NightWatch

The Hustle dug themselves a hole in the first quarter and spent the rest of the game trying to climb back out. A 4 goal run in the 4th quarter gave them the lead but Nashville hit a late goal to tie the game, forcing OT. The NightWatch started on offense in OT and held serve with another buzzer beater to take their first victory in Atlanta.

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NOTE: Unfortunately, youtube is blocking the video of the 1st half of this game. It detects the stadium's background music and flags it for copyright issues. The 2nd half and OT are available with commentary by cameraman Tucker Warner and 2015 Hustle player Blake Hannah.

First Half

The Hustle started out on offense with a hold. Nashville matched with one of their own and then converted two breaks off of Hustle miscues. The teams traded some more before the NightWatch created a third break of the quarter making it a 5-2 Nashville lead. The quarter would end 6-4, NightWatch up.

The NightWatch offense walked it in to start the 2nd quarter and their defense got a 4th break to stretch the lead to 8-4. The Hustle offense would finally get on track and the Hustle defense got one back with a break to bring it to 9-7, Nashville. The half would end with the Hustle trailing 8-11. 

Second Half

The Hustle offense made the proper halftime adjustments in the locker room. They came out crisp and clean scoring on their 1st two possessions. The Hustle defense got their 1st break of the 2nd half. Here Evan Boecking places a short hammer over the top of his mark to Ryan Archibald who flips a high release backhand in for the score, 12-11 Nashville. #CashMoney

Hustle all-star Matt Smith made his 2016 debut this week after missing the first two weekends for his wedding (Congratulations Matt and Kat!). Here Sam Gainer finds Matt streaking deep. Smith pulls it down on the goal line and scores off a give-and-go with Dylan Tunnell, 13-12 Nashville up. #GainerToGainer

"Gainer to Gainer" - Blake Hannah on the call

On the next possession the Hustle defense ties up the game for the first time since the score was 1-1. A NightWatch miscue is corralled and Ben Breault advances the disc upfield with two strong throws, 13-13. #ButteryFlick

The Nashville and Atlanta offenses would trade the next four points. At 15-15 the NightWatch received with the clock running low. The hustle defense would have accepted just keeping the disc out of the goal before time expired. Instead, Robert Bradham gets a nice block to give the Hustle defense the disc on a short field, a great chance for their first lead of the game. They cannot connect on the first under-cut and Nashville counter attacked quickly, racing the clock. A foul resets both teams but the NightWatch manage to deliver a hammer to beat the buzzer making it 16-15 Nashville. The NightWatch would also be receiving the disc to start the final quarter putting a lot of pressure on the Hustle defense to get some breaks in the next 12 minutes. 

The Hustle defense gets a break chance on the 1st point of the 4th but cannot convert a hammer to the goal. That makes the score 17-15 NW instead of tied at 16s.

On the next point the NightWatch defense gets the disc back with a nice block. Their staff calls a timeout to plug in the offense who does their job to work the disc in for a break, 18-15. The Hustle offense would recompose and punch in a goal to bring the deficit back to 2, 18-16.

Nashville frequently used a 2-3-2 zone look to slow the tempo of the Hustle offense down. With that in mind the Hustle decided to use their timeouts to sub the offense in for break chances earlier in the quarter. This worked for them when they converted to Matt Smith to make it 17-18.

With that momentum and playing with a genuine sense of urgency, the Hustle defense turned up the heat. Taylor "Tree" Goforth stretched out his 6'7" frame for this layout block on an under pass. It was a big play from the vet that fired up his sideline. 

SPIN Ultimate  Play of the Game - Taylor "Tree" Goforth

Ben Breault would put it up for Robert Runner to rip down the break, 18-18 with 5:30 remaining 

Often times teams expend all of their energy fighting to tie a game only to let the other team then reclaim it. The Hustle defense showed great effort to pressure Nashville into another turnover off of a hammer into a tight window. Coach Swanson burned his last timeout to sub in more offensive power. Again it proves the right decision as Austin Taylor finds Matt Smith on the break side for go ahead goal 19-18 Atlanta.

Nashville received the disc in need of a game tying score as the clock was approaching 3 minutes remaining. Instead they overshot another hammer in the goal giving the disc back to the Hustle. With no timeouts left the defensive line was on their own to go 80 yards for a break or eat up  the clock.  The gritty Nashville squad kept them pinned deep until Taylor Goforth strikes long to Robert Bradham who had gotten behind the last defender. 

With a little more than 1 minute remaining and the disc in their redzone the Hustle could not maintain possession. Nashville picked up the disc with about 50 seconds needing to go 70 yards to score and tie. Ben Breault sells out for a block but comes up empty. 

On the next pass Nashville appears to throw it away but the Hustle's Robert Runner admirably invokes the integrity rule, admitting to fouling the thrower. Nashville retains possession. Nashville goes back to the hammer to score the equalizer with 17s left.

The Hustle cannot come down with a hail mary sending us to over time. Nashville wins the coin flip and elects to receive to start. 


Nashville comes up with a nice layout grab to score on their 1st OT possession, 20-19

The next point was a wild one for the Hustle offense. Nashville gets a poach block deep in Hustle territory only to drop the easy break pass in the goal.

The Hustle advance it quickly downfield in the transition before shooting a floating crossfield flick that Max Leonard saves with an acrobatic catch on the Hustle sideline. He regains his footing and finds Matt Smith alone in the middle of the goal for the hold, 20-20.

The Hustle went into this game with 19 players partly due to conflicts with college sectionals. They lost defenders Kelvin Williams to calf cramps and Christian Olsen to a knee injury late in the game. 

Nashville puts together a clean offensive point to go up, pulling to Atlanta up by 1, 21-20. The NightWatch use their zone look to slow down the Hustle offense. Mark Poole barely avoids a Nashville defender with a crossfield pass to Austin Taylor. The Hustle seem to be behind the Nashville defenders at this point with a great chance to tie the game. A nashville defender is rewarded for not giving up by laying out to block a soft pass.

After the turnover, Nashville calls their only timeout in OT. They look content to possess the disc and wind down the clock. Fortunately for the Hustle, Nashville can't connect on a simple reset that gives the Hustle the disc with new life.

After a few advancing passes the Hustle used their own timeout to load up for this big redzone opportunity. Coach Swanson told Taylor Goforth to sit in the back of the endzone and he did just that. Max Leonard finds him in the back corner for the goal, 21-21.

With 16s remaining, if the Hustle could keep Nashville from scoring they would get to receive the disc to start double OT giving them a decisive edge. 

A costly delay of game penalty pins the Hustle back in their own goal. The ensuing pull is out of bounds around the 35 yard line. Atlanta giving up the undercuts allows Nashville to advance to the redzone on the near sideline with 3s left.

Unfortunately, the Hustle lost track of Ray Davenport on the farside of the field but Tom Radcliffe does not. He sends up an easy hammer to clinch the victory as time expires. Good game NightWatch.

The two teams will face each other one final time in Nashville on June 11th. This week the Hustle travel to Charlotte for their first road game. The NightWatch host Raleigh for their first home game. 

Stats (ultianalytics)

  • The Hustle were +3 for the last 30 points of the game but were -4 for the first 14.
  • Hustle a combined 9/11 in redzone opportunities. 
  • Matt Smith +9: 6G - 3A - 1 BLK in his first game
  • Max Leonard +5: 3A - 2G
  • Austin Taylor +5: 2A - 2G - 1BLK
  • Sam Gainer: 3A - 2G
  • Mark Poole: 2A - 3G
  • Ben Breault: 2A - 2 BLK
  • Taylor Goforth, Robert Bradham, Christian Olsen with 2 Blks.


Elliot Erickson, Sun Choi, Christian Olsen, Matthew Knowles, Ryan James, Tyler Haskell, and WIll Carmichael are all dealing with injuries.