FLIGHT PLAN – The official Raleigh Flyers Blog
Dallas Roughnecks @ Raleigh Flyers
Saturday, April 30, 2016 (Week 5), AUDL Game of the Week
RALvDAL Recap :
Raleigh 18, Dallas 24
In front of an enthusiastic and visibly excited home crowd, Raleigh’s unfortunate drops and careless decisions gave Dallas enough gifts to easily put the game away. Dallas beats Raleigh 24 – 18. See video recap at “
Raleigh Flyers @ Nashville Nightwatch
Saturday, April 23, 2016 (Week 4)
RALvNSH Recap :
Raleigh 20, Nashville 18
Flyers score a win with two-point triumph over Nashville in the NightWatch’s home opener.
The Flyers were without offensive stalwarts Jonathan Nethercutt, Dave Snoke, and Ben Dieter, but moved Noah Saul onto the O-line while Chris LaRocque rampaged on D.
The road trip of the season takes them to the Music City to play the ‘team nobody wants to play.’ That’s what the Nightwatch are saying anyways. Last year The Flyers went 4-0 against the Watch in mostly lopsided affairs but, did allow one of their games to be stretched into an overtime game after, you guessed it, a sluggish start. Nashville is calling itself the most improved team in the AUDL but the South division has improved everywhere you look. The two teams they’ve added to the division expect to finish over the top of Nashville unless they’ve greatly improved. The Flyers need to get after this one and take care of their first road victory with authority if they want to send a message to the rest of the division that the crown is theirs and any one who wants it is going to have to take it the hard way.
Austin Sol @ Raleigh Flyers
Sunday, April 16, 2016 (Week 3)
Raleigh 28, Austin 27
The Texas expansion teams ate up almost all of the chatter in the AUDL off season but it wasn’t this team. Despite playing second fiddle to their in state rival, Austin has filled its roster with plenty of local talent from the Doublewide squad that has seen lots of success on the USAU club scene in recent years. Their roster matches their coach’s philosophy, who says he focused on big throws and athleticism. Sounds like a fun matchup against a similarly tooled Flyers squad. Austin will be on the back side of a 2 game road trip through the Carolinas so the Flyers will want to try to get out to a quick start and make those legs feel a little too heavy to mount that big comeback.
Jacksonville Cannons @ Raleigh Flyers
Saturday, April 9, 2016 (Week 2)
Raleigh 24, Jacksonville 19
CARY–The Raleigh Flyers (2-0) defeated the Jacksonville Cannons (0-1) 24-19 Saturday night at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Hundreds of fans watched from the stands and from online through a livestream. After falling short in overtime of the thrilling AUDL South Division Playoffs last July, Jacksonville sent their top squad to Cary to take on the Flyers. Jacksonville started strong, taking the lead at 3-2 with multiple goals reeled in by the tall and lanky Mischa Freystaetter.
Not to be outdone, Raleigh returned fire with a pair of scores to lead for the first time at 4-3. The teams traded points and leads to tie 7-7 at the end of the first quarter. A pep talk on the sidelines spurred the Flyers, and the Raleigh men rattled off three quick points to widen the gap at 10-7. The Flyers would maintain this lead throughout much of the second quarter, finishing 14-11 at halftime.
As the first half ended and the time on the clock disappeared, so did the sun, dipping temperatures to below 40 degrees fahrenheit. Cold air and brash winds pelted the stadium, sending fans scurrying to the concession stand to purchase hot cocoa and hand warmers. The Flyers fan base, the Hangar, embraced the cold and livened the audience with fun cheers, and Raleigh-based singer-sensation Kaylin provided dazzling vocal entertainment.
After discussing second half strategy and tactics, the Flyers trotted back onto the field to take on a determined Jacksonville team. Aggressive disc movement from Stephen Poulos and Cole Sullivan threatened the Flyers, but excellent defense from Peter van de Burgt and Josh Hartzog kept Freystaetter at bay. Mark Lin played a standout game on offense, reeling in three goals and an assist, and the Flyers poured on the points.
Raleigh’s peak came late in the fourth quarter when they led by seven. A late push from Jacksonville was not enough to surmount a comeback, and the Flyers topped the Cannons 24-19. With this win the Flyers advance to 2-0 while the Cannons fell to 0-1, and improving the teams’ overall series to 4-1 in favor of Raleigh.
Josh Hartzog, who netted four blocks for the Flyers, discussed Raleigh’s defensive strategy: “I thought that us starting to play flatter on the marks and really taking away the easy hucks made it really hard for them to score easily.” Raleigh’s path to success also included preventing Jacksonville from putting up deep shots to Freystaetter, Hartzog noted.
Coach Mike DeNardis discussed the challenges Jacksonville presented: “It’s hard when they get a two-pass goal, and their big guys make a play, and you have to fight and get through it,” said DeNardis. “So it was really good that we absorbed those punches and came back and threw a lot of our own.”
“Our execution was really really strong tonight in spite of the weather,” DeNardis said. “It’s probably the best game I’ve seen [the Flyers] play in elements so that’s a vastly positive thing.”
Charlotte Express @ Raleigh Flyers
Saturday, April 2, 2016 (Week 1)
Raleigh 23, Charlotte 18
The Charlotte Express came rolling into Cardinal Gibbons Stadium for the Flyers home opener and first game of the season on a windy spring evening hoping to make a statement and show off their off season moves. Waiting for them, the Raleigh Flyers, defending South division champs were hoping to start the season off with a strong statement win over their in state and division rivals.
Whether it was the gusting, swirling winds or some early season jitters, both teams came out a touch shaky to start the game and despite a couple of great D blocks by Hunter Taylor and Tommy Lamar the game was on serve to 3-2. The Raleigh offense looked at times smooth and efficient, centering on the solid handling of Noah Saul while the Charlotte offense looked like Micah Hood to Shane Sisco. Pleasantries out of the way, Raleigh cranked up the defensive pressure and halted the Express short of midfield for quick breaks 3 times in a row to finish off the 1st quarter and a fire the fans up before Charlotte was able to get moving with a score to end the quarter, 6-3 Raleigh.
Quarter number two followed a similar format with the teams trading holds for the first half of the quarter but it was clearly Raleigh having the easier time holding on offense and creating problems for Charlotte on defense. With the Flyers use of their depth and the Express’s reliance on Sisco, Hood and Matt Bode to the majority of the heavy lifting Raleigh was able, once again to make a run to close out the quarter and double their lead, 13-7, with the Hood to Cisco connection accounting for 5 of those scores.
Raleigh came flying out of the gates to start the 2nd half and it started to look like the Express may have run out of steam with the Flyers stretching the gap to 7 behind the downfield domination of Ben Dieter and Justin Allen. Complacency? A slight pick up in the wind? A few slight miscues and the Flyer offense hit some turbulence and Charlotte was able to close the gap to 4 to close out the quarter as Jon Stone and Jeff Nordgren started to become a presence on the field. Suddenly the Charlotte sideline was the group with the energy as the Flyers tried to regroup and get their swagger back.
Charlotte did not let go of the momentum in the final quarter, finally spreading the field, moving the disc and making some plays on the defensive side of the ball, including an unreal display of speed from Polk on a run down D and with half a quarter left o play a 15-7 beating had tuned into an 18-17 nail biter for the Flyers faithful, capped off with a skying grab and power spike at the feet of Justin Allen by CJ Collicchio. Oops. Whether that spike or motivating words in the huddle were the catalyst, Raleigh responded with a solid offensive possession and score before turning the game over to the defense whose lead they had squandered. Another couple of booming pulls by Ryan Stitler and about 15 passes later Raleigh slammed three breaks down and effectively ended the Express comeback charge. Final, Raleigh 23 – Charlotte 18.