Aviators,Growlers Battle in Search of Second Victory of Season
In the 34 days that have transpired since April 16, many events have taken place on this lovely little planet called Earth. The Rams used the overall number one pick in the NFL Draft to acquire their franchise quarterback of the future. Steph Curry has recovered from two separate injuries to lead the Golden State Warriors into the Western Conference Finals. Nyquist won the Kentucky Derby on the first leg of the Triple Crown. Ted Cruz ended his presidential campaign. And EgyptAir Flight 804 went missing.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Aviators (1-3) lost their only game action, the San Francisco Flamethrowers extended their undefeated season to a 7-0 mark, and the San Diego Growlers (1-6) have downward spiraled with four consecutive losses.
On Saturday, the Aviators and Growlers have their third matchup of the season. In the first game, Los Angeles defended their home turf by jumping out to a big lead early, then withstood a late run by San Diego to earn a 21-20 victory. In game two, both teams struggled to put their best foot forward on ESPN3’s game of the week, and San Diego prevailed 19-17. After these three matchups within the first two months of the season, the only remaining game between these two teams is in the last game of the season for both teams.
Having so much time off right in the middle of the season can be a difficult hurdle for a lot of teams to overcome, but it has given Los Angeles’ bodies a time to heal and put in more work in individual training and conditioning. As a result, the Aviators’ roster will be more healthy and complete this week than their last couple of contests. Stalwart Tyler Bacon and rookie standout Andrew Kohl return from their work at college regionals. Bryan Nguyen is back from vacation. Zach Theodore is healthy again. Sean McDougall suits up for the second time, with a much more prepared body than his first game. And while key contributors like Simon Evans, Mitchell Steiner and Steven Brooks will be missing the action, Timmy Beatty and debut-making Josh Kohl will be filling some of those voids more than ably.
San Diego’s record has to be somewhat surprising based on the amount of talent and chemistry the majority of their roster has. Combine that with the suffocatingly-tight, emotionally-charged rivalry with Los Angeles, and the Growlers will be firing on all cylinders as they try to give their home fans another victory. Whatever the outcome, the game is sure to be entertaining from start and close to finish.
First pull is scheduled for 6:15 pm at San Diego’s Balboa Field.
by Jacob Baumer
Aviators Beat Writer & Correspondent