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Metropolis will play Palmer Sunday for the Midwest DI Club championship after winning semifinals Saturday.
(Editor's note - here was had a long paragraph about confusion surrounding an extra game for these teams. That's apparently been settled and we will explain later.)
Palmer ran out to a 25-10 lead and held on as the Chicago Lions mounted a furious comeback, and fell just short 25-22.
“We played the way I know we can play,” said player-coach Luke Stringer. “It was a total team effort. All 15 players contributed. We played at our tempo. But then I think we got a little complacent, and Chicago is a really good team and made us pay for it.”
Things were a little dicey late for Palmer, but they hung on.
Palmer’s opening try was from prop Corey Idrogo, but after that the points all came from Stringer, who touched down twice and kicked two conversions and two penalties.
Metropolis won a little more comfortably, beating the Chicago Griffins 29-12 to make the top two.
This was especially impressive because the game was the club’s first of 2013. A heavy winter has kept the Minneapolis club indoors all year so far.
“Early on we were pretty rusty, as you’d expect, but I thought we picked it up pretty quickly, considering how we had hardly been outside,” said Metropolis player-coach Nate Osborne.
“The Griffins are a good team, but we kind of picked up where we left off last fall and played well,” he added. “But especially in the last 30 minutes I thought we had the game in hand.”
Osborne kicked three conversions and a penalty to help his team’s cause, while Sean Kelly scored two tries and Ryan Chapman and Mitch Molloy scored one each.
So Palmer and Metropolis are guaranteed a spot in the Round of 16, as they do not have South opposition to play. The only question is, which team will be #1. But for some unknown reason, they have been told that they will have to play an extra game in two weeks, perhaps to even up the fact that they get a bye. What infuriates the teams is that on Saturday night, with a game to play on Sunday, they still do not know which game is for the #1 seed, and which is just a game.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Lions and Chicago Griffins have a big game on Sunday. The winner gets to host New Orleans in the Round of 32, while the loser will have the unenviable task of traveling to Marietta, Ga. to face Life University.