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In SoCal DI action, OMBAC narrowly escaped a late comeback from the Old Aztecs, winning, 42-34. In other action, Belmont Shore moved to 3-0 with a 30-22 win over Los Angeles and Pasadena defeated Oceanside, 34-31, on the road.
With the PRP opening up next week, Belmont Shore started roughly half of its PRP players to get ready. “We played some of the PRP players, just some of the guys that had not gotten a game recently,” said Belmont Shore PRP coach, Ray Egan. Despite the presence of Premiership players, Belmont Shore had a slow start.
“LA was very much on the front foot in the first 10-15 minutes. They controlled the ball well, and we turned the ball over quite often,” added Egan. “We were under pressure in terms of field position.”
Los Angeles converted the pressure into points taking a 7-0 lead. After the early try, Belmont Shore regained its composure and began retaining possession. Midway through the first half, Belmont Shore struck back with a try and then added a second several minutes later to take a 14-7 lead. Despite being in control of the game heading towards the break, Belmont Shore took its foot off the pedal, allowing a score right before halftime. The game went into halftime tied at 14 apiece.
Belmont Shore regained its focus in the second half, scoring several tries by exploiting space. With the game winding down, Belmont Shore led, 30-17, but Los Angeles countered with a late score to finish 30-22.
OMBAC, like Belmont Shore, who is preparing for a PRP matchup next weekend, elected to put out almost an entire PRP side. Club Captain Ian Denham indicated that the side needed to put in the work as a unit, and with limited amount of practice and game time was its best opportunity.
OMBAC started the game off slowly, and finally when it started to build momentum, the Old Aztecs went up a man thanks to a yellow card. “This was an exercise in ironing out the kinks and we certainly have done that,” said Denham.
Despite the man advantage, the Old Aztecs trailed for most of the game and into the second half. The Aztecs took advantage of some sloppy play in the second half to mount a comeback but fell short 42-34. Nevertheless, it is a strong result for a San Diego team that does not field a PRP side.
With the PRP starting next weekend, it will eliminate PRP players from participating in DI competition. However, teams such as San Diego could be in search of points come the end of the season. While, it is not illegal to play PRP players in DI games, it will most certainly affect the standings come playoff time.
“When it comes to the end of the season, points wise and your going for a DI national championship, perhaps it has ramifications, but I think that any of the players at these clubs strive to play against top level players,” added Denham. “I think they probably learned a lot from us(Old Aztecs) and they had a great performance. If anything it is a building exercise for them.”
After 65 minutes in the Oceanside, Pasadena matchup, Pasadena led 31-14. However, two quick scores and penalty knotted up the game at 31 all. Oceanside was knocking on the door for a game winner, but a late turnover allowed Pasadena to regain possession and move down the field. With no time remaining, the referee awarded Pasadena a penalty and the visitors nailed the kick to earn a 34-31 victory at the death.