You are here

They ran into the same issues that the Chicago Lions ran into the year before – a group of players used to cruising through a development fall into serious business in the spring had to hit the ground running in September.

They faltered. And last weekend, we might have seen a key sign of life. Yes Metropolis selected down for the final game of the weekend, but the Griffins desperately needed a win. They led 15-12 at halftime, but after a late penalty were 23-20 down with little time left. The Griffins secured the restart, however, and worked their way downfield to score the winning try.

Head Coach Wez Parkes, for his part, breathed a sigh of relief.

“I think the guys really wanted to make it happen,” said Parkes. “Over the fall some of the guys have really grown. They’ve grown into their roles on the team, and in this game I felt we really started to play our game.”

The fall has been humbling, but Parkes says he thinks that, ultimately, will be good for the team. Now the Griffins visit a very tough Cincinnati Wolfhounds squad, a team they lost to by a single point 31-30 on October 20. The Midwest quarterfinal is the last weekend of games in the region, and winners move on to the national playoffs, while the losers are done.

Neither is interested in being done. It would certainly be a mistake to look at the October 20 result, or the relatively records of the two teams (3-4-1 for Chicago, 7-1 for Cincinnati) and conclude the Wolfhounds are favored. This is a different Griffins team than the one we saw playing in September. Whether it’s different enough is the question.

The other question is whether Eagle callups Andrew Suniula and Graham Harriman will play. The team officially assembles on Sunday, so that seems a little up in the air. If you ask USA Head Coach Mike Tolkin, he’d probably want those two to stand down. But this is win or go home time.