Photo by Pete Guion – Ultiphotos.com
Ultimate is a sport of big moments – the long downfield huck, the layout goal, the end zone sky and the list goes on. Over the past four years of Major League Ultimate, those moments have been captured by our partners at UltiPhotos. In our series, Caught in Action, we will look at some of the great moments from MLU’s history and how they have been captured by the talented photographers at Ultiphotos.com. This week, we take a look at a moment captured by Pete Guion.
While ultimate is a first and foremost a team sport, there may be now more exciting moment than when two of the best in the game matchup one-on-one. In 2016, we were treated to just that when Marques Brownlee and the New York Rumble faced off against Delrico Johnson and the Washington D.C. Current in Week 3 of the 2016 MLU Season.
While the Current had enjoyed a significant lead for the entire game, the Rumble had begun to cut into the deficit in the 4th quarter. Leading by 3 goals, the Current looked to their top playmaker, Johnson to stop the bleeding and secure the win. Johnson, known for his impressive speed and athletic plays, was the primary deep threat for the Current in 2016, leading the team in scoring on his way to being named Eastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
While Johnson is about as reliable as a cutter can be, as he cut deep for the end zone, the player defending him was no slouch either. New York’s answer to Johnson was Brownlee, another player filling the MLU’s highlight reels with jaw-dropping plays. The MLU’s 2016 blocks leader and Eastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Brownlee quickly closed the distance between him and Johnson, leading everybody in the stands to brace for what was to come.
As the disc began to descend, well past the goal line, both players leapt, each getting a hand on it simultaneously. As both players landed, Johnson stumbling but staying on his feet while Brownlee tumbled to the turf wrenching the disc from the D.C. cutter, the referees singled that both players had received the disc at the same moment.
According to Rule VIIIa of the MLU Rulebook, “if, in the judgment of the official, a receiver and a defender simultaneously establish possession of the disc, possession is awarded to the offense,” meaning Johnson and the Current were awarded the goal.
As Johnson and Brownlee snatched the simultaneously, Guion captured the moment perfectly, confirming the referee’s call.
While Johnson’s score would extend the Current’s lead, the Rumble would go on to complete the comeback and hand D.C. the loss (BOXSCORE – WATCH GAME), the matchup between two of the MLU’s biggest stars was one of the more memorable moments of the 2016 Season.