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A strong first half and tremendous defense propelled Tempe to its 2nd national title match in three years. The Old Devils jumped out to a 20-0 lead and managed to keep the Provo Steelers at bay in the second half to win 27-6.
Tempe got on the board with an unconverted try early in the game and really dominated the first half. Maceo Brown extended the lead to 10-0 after spending a number of phases deep in the Provo 22. Tempe sucked a number of defenders in and managed to outflank the defense. The Devils spun the ball right and despite an errant pass that bounced, Brown comfortably picked the ball up and dove over for the score.
Tempe added a penalty and scored a counter attack try late in the first half. Off an ill-advised Provo kick, Alex Taefu sent the ball high and deep. Provo made the mistake of letting the ball bounce. It bounced fortuitously into the hands of an oncoming Taefu chasing his own kick. The young scrumhalf grabbed the ball and scored under the posts. With the conversion, Tempe led 20-0.
Provo looked to get back into the game right before halftime. The Steelers spent several minutes on the Tempe goal line but could not manage to find a way through. Finally, the referee awarded a penalty to Tempe and the halftime whistle blew.
The Steelers managed to get on the board with a penalty early in the second half and added another midway through the half. Tempe, however, played a strategic second half, kicking well and spending most of the half deep in Provo territory.
The Old Devils capped off the game with a try late to win 27-6. The forwards worked the fringes and have a number of recycles drove over for the game clinching score.
Tempe will meet the Detroit Tradesmen at Infinity Park in Glendale Co. on June 7th for the DII National Championship. After losing to Rocky Gorge in the final two years ago, Tempe will be looking to take home the national title back to Arizona.