While winds raged outside the Palace of Fine Arts, crowds gathered inside to witness the opening bout of Bay Area Derby’s 2019 season. It was the newly-zested zombies of San Francisco ShEvil Dead playing against the outstanding Oakland Outlaws (champs of the #20SkateTeen season). Fans feasted on hotdogs and nachos to sustain their raucous yells as music from the Silk Road Truckers raised heart rates and anticipation — which team would come out on top?
Legs//Cité of Oakland took the line against Neuralize HER of the ShEvil Dead. A piercing whistle marked the start of the game, and the jammers were off! Legs//Cité pushed through the pack as lead jammer, scoring the first two points of the game. Next on the line was Snatch of the Oakland Outlaws, who pirouetted her away down the outside line and away from the pack. ShEvil’s jammer, Disco Brawl, kept pace with a brilliant star pass to the ShEvil pivot, Snakes Anna Plane, a pattern that would continue throughout the game. The first point for the zombies came when Red Hot Chilli Wrecker of ShEvil was able to get lead jammer status against Blood, Sweat, & Ears of the Outlaws and quickly call off the jam.
Throughout the first half of the game both teams struggled to skate on the slippery track. Oakland demonstrated solid footwork on the line and smart gameplay by scoring several points, then calling off the jam to prevent ShEvil jammers from scoring. Meanwhile, ShEvil experienced success in the last fifteen minutes of the first half, driving hard through the center of the pack and avoiding being hit out of bounds. Nonetheless, at halftime, Oakland led against the ShEvil Dead with a score of 106 – 42.
The Outlaws sustained their winning momentum in the second half, and were able to lock down their defense as skaters adjusted to the slick track. In the first few jams of the second half, blockers Lethally Blonde, Grim Reeba, Eris Jordan, and pivot Esteemed Bun Bun each played effective offense against ShEvil, creating opportunities for their jammer to pass by on the line and earn points. ShEvil Dead blockers Danger Dre and Brick Houser provided notable defense against Oakland, especially as they dealt with a power jam for the Outlaws in the first five minutes of play, and Stomping Hound scored ShEvil’s first points of the second half shortly thereafter. ShEvil jammer Neuralize HER came out hot after a team time out ten minutes into the second half, and scored seven much needed points for the zombies.
Throughout the second half fans saw more official and team timeouts and exciting power jams for each team. The last six minutes of play exemplified the game, with powerful play on both sides, and high-scoring jams for Oakland. In the nineteenth jam, Legs//Cité ran on her toes along the inside line to make the initial pass through the pack, while Hieronymus Bash and Ripley Effect provided relentless offense for the Outlaws. Wicked Bruisah of ShEvil made a powerful hit on Legs//Cité, knocking her out of bounds, although she was quickly back on the track scoring points.
The Outlaws sustained a victory of 267 – 95, and will return to the Palace of Fine Arts to defend their title against the Berkeley Resistance on June 1st. The hardworking zombies aren’t returning to their graves just yet, and will have another chance to triumph against the Resistance on July 13th. You won’t want to miss the action!