It took six years, but the Madison Radicals are finally on top.
After making it to the final weekend every year since 2013, the Radicals clinched their first title with a 20-16 win over the Dallas Roughnecks in the championship game of the American Ultimate Disc League on Sunday at Breese Stevens Field.
“It’s been five years of just almost winning, almost winning,” Radicals owner Tim DeByl told WKOW after the game. “I felt like this weekend people were just so dialed in.
“We just decided we weren’t going to lose this year. We were never going to quit.”
The Radicals (15-2) took an early lead when Peter Graffy scored off of an assist from Colin Camp.
Madison and Dallas (15-2) went back-and-forth throughout the rest of the first, finishing the quarter tied at 6, before the Radicals opened up a 10-8 lead heading into the halftime break.
With the lead still at two late in the third quarter, Kevin Pettit-Scantling caught a deep pass to score as time expired to hand the Radicals a 15-12 advantage.
Madison pulled away in the fourth quarter, taking a 19-13 lead with 3 minutes left and holding on to seal the victory.
“I can’t describe it, it’s so great,” Graffy, who scored a game-high six goals, said to WKOW. “It’s such a relief, such an amazing feeling.”
Kevin Brown had three assists and Andrew Meshnick and Thomas Coolidge each had two blocks for the Radicals. Brown also led the team with 22 completions.
The Radicals, which were formed in 2013 and have advanced out of the Midwest Division every season of their existence, were making their third appearance in the title game after downing Los Angeles 24-19 in the semifinals Saturday night.
They made sure that they weren’t going to come up just short again.
“We came here with a game plan in January, that we were going to be the best team in the league,” Pettit-Scantling, who has been with the team since its formation, said. “All we had to do was come out and execute and we would be. And that’s what we did.”