If there is one thing every derby player can agree on, it’s that penalties can, and will, lose a bout for your team. That’s something Tucson Roller Derby’s Saddletramps experienced firsthand Saturday night in their season opener against Arizona Roller Derby’s Tent City Terrors. The TCTs took the win 356–160.

The TCTs and Saddletramps brought a much-anticipated match up of Arizona all-star teams that hasn’t been seen since Dust Devil 2012. A lot has changed since then, for both teams, and there was no way of knowing what the results would be.

Within the first few jams it was made evident that jammer penalties and power jams were going to play a huge factor in the outcome. The very first jam saw both Loco Lena of AZRD and Mystery Meat of TRD in the penalty box, causing there to be no lead jammer. Simple mistakes made by the Saddletramps in the third jam began a series of jammer penalties and scoreless jams for the home team. With an illegal attempt to pass the star, illegal procedure on a re-entry, track cuts and an even an insubordination call, the home team jammer seat in the sin bin wasn’t empty much the first 15 minutes, and the Terrors took full advantage. With three jams of 20 points or more by Atomatrix, the TCTs lunged into a 101 point lead by the 12th jam.

That doesn’t mean the Saddletramps were down for the count; Mystery Meat had a strong jam midway through the first half with two apex jumps and 23 points, causing the crowd to regain hope. However, with only one scoreless jam in the first half the TCTs were able to strengthen their lead to a score of 215-59 at halftime.

The second half brought out two refreshed teams ready to fight for their place on the track. There was a renewed strength in the Saddletramps, but it wasn’t enough to outplay the Terrors who were able to hold on to their lead and drive forward for a final score of 356–160.

Both teams were heavy with great blocking. Tucson had fierce walls made of Kosma Nauti, Pinky McLovin and new Saddletramp addition Blaxican Bomber, and the TCT jammers had their work cut out for them. But with offensive assistance from Cannibelle Corpse and Pushy Tushy, the Terrors were able to capitalize on their strong jammers. With a consistent four-jammer rotation, Atomatrix and Luz Chaos were on the line 12 times each, Loco Lena eight and Pushy Tushy four. With six jams totaling 20 or more points, Atomatrix was the lead scorer with a total of 167 points. Luz Chaos did her fair share by adding her own 119 points to the overall total. Tucson’s jammers seemed to have a secret weapon up their sleeves in the apex jump. Both Mystery Meat and Iva Coldheart successfully landed multiple jumps throughout the game. Iva was the highest point scorer for the Saddletramps with 75 points, followed by Mystery Meat with 36, and Deathproof with 29.

The TCTs started their Season 11 with a fight in their eyes. With new addition to the stripes in Blok ‘n’ DekHer and beloved Captain, Maria Montoya back from a brief hiatus, the Terrors are stronger than ever.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see these Terrors in action during their first home bout of the season on February 22nd against the Wine Town Rollers of Temecula, CA. See our schedule for more details.

—Lil Bunny F.U.