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business as usual for Belmont Saturday, as they dominated the Denver
Highlanders 35-11. It did take a while for the Whalers to take over, as
they led just 3-0 until the 22nd minute. Once they broke the levy, they
poured it on the Highlanders.
Belmont reached a 17-3 halftime lead with two converted tries from Deonia Matgla and Charles Beford (Seb Karalus hit both conversions) and a Karalus penalty. Denver's lone first-half score was a Leif Gibson penalty.
Karalus opened the second half with eight-consecutive points off a try and his second penalty, before Gibson slotted his second three-pointer.
Tom Reese and Matt Kay then ran in a pair of unconverted tries to give Belmont an uncatchable 35-6 lead. Denver finally got in the try zone in the 78th minute with a try from No. 8 Clinton Camp.
After surviving Denver's emotional wave in the opening quarter of the match, Belmont controlled the contest the rest of the way, and maybe most importantly, they did so while resting five or six guys who will start or play a big role in Sunday's quarterfinal with Glendale.
"We like to get some of our younger guys a chance to get experience in these games," said Belmont coach Greg Commins. "If we don't get them time in playoff games like these, how will they learn?"
Sunday will be the Whalers' first time facing former teammate Ata Malifa since he moved to Glendale.
Tries: Matgla, Bedford, Karalus, Kay, Reese
Cons: Karalus (2)
Pens: Karalus (2)
Pens: Gibson (2)