Green Dukes Fall 2-1 to Washington State Orkricultural in Last-Second, Heart-Breaking Loss
The Duqueswood University Green Dukes
looked close to ending their NCBB
losing streak before a nifty hand-off, orc-sprint touchdown run gave Washington State Orkricultural
a 2-1 victory in the closing seconds. Freshman Green Duke lineman Illihor Sunbroken ’26 (organic alchemy) scored the only Duqueswood TD on a reception of a Goreth Stagheart ’26 (tree-bark studies) pass in the first half. Sophomore blitzer Ghola Ogrethar, who led all players with 38 rushing yards, put Washington State Orkricultural on the board in the first half, and freshman blitzer Makhel Skeletonbone sprinted past Stagheart to score the deciding TD as time expired.
Skeletonbone sprints past Stagheart, moments before crossing the goal line at the final whistle to give Washington State the victory
“They just made more plays than we did,” Duqueswood Coach Gerric Smithson said after the game. “At the end of the day, it’s as simple as that. I mean, they also doubled our rushing yards, casualties, and blocks, but, yeah, I’m proud of my guys for the effort. They left everything out on the field today—including a lot of their blood and … a few teeth.”
Washington State scored first on a long, brutally blocked run by Ogrethar who scooped up the opening kickoff and quickly made his way up field, pausing only for something no orc can resist—a prone wardancer. Blitzing into the Washington State backfield after the opening kickoff, Green Duke captain sophomore wardancer Mirlin Spinleaf ’25 (tree bark studies) set his sites on taking down the orc ball carrier or capitalizing on a fumbled pick up. Instead, however, freshman Washington State blitzer Grogmar Dorffield delivered a forearm shiver to Spinleaf’s chin that put him on the ground. The orcs quickly surrounded the prone Spinleaf, and even the ball carrier joined in, as sophomore goblin Gul Treepox kicked the stunned elf in the head twice, knocking Spinleaf unconscious.
Treepox prepares to kick Spinleaf for the second time, which would KO the wardancer and keep him off the pitch until late in the match
The diversion almost gave the Green Dukes a chance to sack the ball carrier deep in orc territory. As Ogrethar stood laughing over Spinleaf’s unconscious body, journeyman elf lineman Martin Silentwing blitzed in from the other side. Silentwing, however, was unable to make the tackle, as Ogrethar delivered a brutal stiff-arm in the form of a mailed fist that rattled Silentwing’s jaw and left the elf lying on the pitch in a bloody heap. After another bruising stiff-arm and a failed leaping blitz from freshman wardancer Angorn Windfoot ’26 (undeclared), Ogrethar crossed the goal line just before the end of the first half.
Down three players at the start of the second half and with Spinleaf unable to wake up, the Green Dukes went for some fancy ball handling and a quick score. Gathering the kickoff, Windfoot ran to midfield behind standout—but controversial
—freshman treeman Oakward Weatherborn ’26 (undeclared), and amidst a cage of lineman, while Sunbroken ran a fly pattern down the western sideline.
In a stunning turn of events, Stagheart, who’s been secretly nursing a separated shoulder since week two, fought off a block from Washington State’s freshman troll Yashnarz Ratstream to open a hole for Windfoot. While Ratstream attacked with a rib-crushing bear hug, Stagheart—arms pinned to his side and a bit panicked at the sound of his bones breaking—reared back and head-butted Ratstream in the nose.
With both players lying in a tangle on the pitch, Angorn quickly stepped around them and ran up the eastern sideline. The wardancer might have broken into the clear, but the blue skies suddenly went slate gray and snow poured down on the field as the Washington State coach brilliantly unleashed the weather mage he’d hired before the game. Slowed by the gathering drifts of snow, Angorn was quickly hemmed in on the sidelines.
One the opposite sideline, Sunbroken spun away from charging freshman orc lineman Shelur Wolffire. When the spike on Wolffire’s shoulder armor missed Sunbroken’s midsection, the orc’s momentum carried him face forward onto the pitch, and Sunbroken stood wide open. Windfoot saw his opportunity, reversed field and handed the ball to Stagheart, who’d made it back to his feet while Ratstream still lay stunned on the pitch. With the spell-induced snow gone just as suddenly as it had appeared, Stagheart sprinted forward, flicked a short pass to Sunbroken, and watched in triumph as Sunbroken ran untouched for the score to even the game midway through the second half.
“Heck of a play and heck of an effort by Stagheart,” said Smithson. “Taking on that troll, making that pass, kid just showed a lot of heart. It’s a shame I had to cut him after the game.” When pressed about why he would cut the game’s standout player, Smithson revealed that the separated shoulder that had sapped Stagheart’s strength put the player too much at risk. “Look, I might blindly send blitzers into cages to get mauled, but at the end of the day, my job is to protect my kids out there, and Stagheart with that shoulder injury … that woody was one block away from joining his ancient ancestors.”
Stagheart makes the throw that would lead to the Green Duke’s only TD and become the highlight of his short Blood Bowl career.
With the game now tied, Washington State set up a drive to try for the winning score by again relying on the sure hands, sure feet, and sure-can-take-a-hit abilities of Ogrethar. Another well-blocked run brought him within 20 yards of the end zone with a 6-orc cage protecting him, and the winning TD looked inevitable. But then Spinleaf, finally shaking off the cobwebs from Treepox’s first-quarter head-stomp, made a desperate cage-leaping blitz. Vaulting himself over two orc blockers, Spinleaf nailed Ogrethar with a clothesline that sent both orc and ball flying.
Spinleaf goes airborne, leaping into the cage over two orc blockers to make what looked to be the game-saving tackle
With Greeny Bullwind ’26 (history of dirt) up field all alone and in scoring position, and Windfoot nearby ready to scoop up the ball, the Green Dukes looked poised for a possible last-second come from behind win. Alas, the ball did not bounce their way, as it landed instead amid three Washington State players. Yet, with Spinleaf still on his feet beside the ball, and their only scoring threat far from the end zone, a Washington State score looked unlikely—until the orcs tapped into their inner elves (we’re told several players actually did have elves inside them having eaten some during the pregame meal) and pulled off some fancy ball handling of their own.
Staggering to his feet and still slightly dazed from Spinleaf’s hit, Ogrethar grabbed the ball and stumbled forward to hand it off to Skeletonbone before collapsing. Still far from the endzone with time-winding down, Skeletonbone found an extra gear as he sprinted past Stagheart and dove across the goal line for the winning touchdown as crowd went wild. (And when we say “wild” here, we mean literally wild, as hundreds of orcs in attendance rioted in a blood frenzy that claimed the lives of 13 elven spectators.)
Despite the loss, the Green Dukes’ Weatherborn once again impressed on the day, racking up another casualty on 6 blocks. Yet, the lumber-on freshman treeman almost didn’t even play, as the controversy around his recruitment
and the injury to Green Duke linewoman Zephira Gettleaf ’26
(double major: Oakish; women’s & arbor studies) had Weatherborn contemplating leaving the team. But when he visited Gettleaf in the infirmary, the elf maiden woke from her coma.
Before her injury, she’d been teaching Weatherborn the common tongue to the point where he could almost pronounce her first name, crudely calling her “Zipper.” She’d also been protesting Weatherborn being “forced” to play Blood Bowl to expunge the criminal charges against him. But apparently Gettleaf finally saw how much the game meant to the treeman, how the violence she abhors strengthens his bark and deepens the green in his leaves—because when he told her of his plans to quit the team, she told him not only to play but to do his best to injure one of the opposing team’s orcs. “Maim just one for the Zipper,” she is reported to have said a few hours before kickoff.
Gettleaf tells Weatherborn at her bedside to “maim just one for the Zipper”