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The Dallas Reds dispatched a strong Austin Blacks team Saturday to secure themselves in 1st place in the Red River Conference.

In defeating Austin 34-20, Dallas moved to 6-0-1 and the Reds now have an eight-point cushion over new challengers, HARC, who also won.

"This was a game for our forwards," said Dallas center Kelly Kolberg. "What the forwards did to get us possession made it easy for the backs."

Irish lock Jonny Heron was, at 6-7, a force in the lineout.

"We won our ball and stole a lot of their throws, as well," said Kolberg. "Jonny had a huge influence on the game and he’s really knowledgeable, too."

Fullback Chase Haberstroh had a big game, as well, but the game belonged to the Reds pack. Flanker Chad Joseph was once again big for the Reds, stealing ball at the breakdown and earning Man of the Match honors. No. 8 Jeremy Nelson showed a high work rate and broke through the Austin line repeatedly.

The game itself was a tight one. "Austin brought it to us," said Kolberg. Just before halftime the two teams were close when Dallas scored what turned out to be a game-changing try. After that they never looked back.

HARC, meanwhile, kept pace with a 42-15 defeat of Fort Worth, building on their huge victory over New Orleans the week before. At 5-1 HARC is just a point ahead of idle New Orleans for 2nd. Austin is 4th and the Dallas Harlequins, who won in a forfeit over numbers-challenged Woodlands, sit at 5th.