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Three tries in the final six minutes of the Men's 7s All-Star championship match decided the competition, as the Collegiate All Americans once again finished strong in a tournament, breaking a 21-21 tie and beating the Northeast 38-21 Saturday in Chula Vista, Calif.
The All Americans were winless on Friday, losing once and securing two ties, including a 17-17 draw with the Northeast.
But with all the teams in the playoffs on the next day, the college players shook off their fatigue and ran the table, edging Southern California, dismantling the Midwest, and beating a hard-nosed Northeast team in the closing minutes.
The All Americans took an early lead thanks to tries from Trevor Tanifum (Maryland) and Colton Cariaga (Life), both converted by Cariaga. But the Northeast replied when Steve Strydom scored, and then Derek Lipscomb touched down just before halftime. Chris Chapman converted both to tie the scores.
Central Washington's Patrick Blair's try put the All Americans ahead 21-14, but Strydom was the man again for the Northeast, tying the game up at 12 minutes.
But the final is ten-minute halves, and that makes a difference. The fit All Americans ramped it up, and Tanifum, youngster Keofi Unufe, and Zac Mizell all scored to put the game away 38-21.
Meanwhile the West beat the Midwest 26-7 to take 3rd, Carlin Isles scoring three tries. The Pacific Coast won 31-12 over the South for 5th, with Isi Daveta scoring 16 points in that match. Defending champs Southern California did not find the same mojo this weekend and finished 7th, edging Mid-Atlantic for that place on a last-minute try and conversion from Zach Pangelinan.
Final rankings and records:
1. All Americans (3-1-2)
2. Northeast (4-1-1)
3. West (3-3)
4. Midwest (2-3-1)
5. Pacific Coast (3-3)
6. South (3-3)
7. SoCal (4-2)
8. Mid-Atlantic (0-6)