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Heavily favored, the Glendale Raptors had all they could handle against the Olympic Club in PRP action Saturday, but the Raptors finally came out on top 33-26.
Olympic Club came into the game in Glendale 1-4 against the first-place Raptors, but didn't back down, scoring early thanks to some high-quality elusive running from wing Brian Barnard to lead 7-3. Despite the swirling winds in the Denver area, Glendale's Mike Graham managed to use his boot to keep Glendale in it, kicking three first-half penalties to put his side up 9-7 at the break.
In the second half, Barnard was set free once more to put Olympic Club up 12-9. But right after, Glendale finally got their backline rolling. Barnard made a desperate, try-saving tackle, but after Glendale kept up the pressure, flanker Spencer Scott absorbed a huge hit and somehow touched the ball down.
Moments later, center Justin Pauga capped off a pretty series of passing from Glendale to make it 21-12.
Fullback Dustin Croy's nicely-taken try seemed to have Olympic dead an buried. But the Bay Area team came back. An interception from sub forward Eric Ryan turned a Glendale attack around. Ryan didn't have to pace to go all the way, but he did well enough to keep the attack alive and the ball eventually found Dustin Muhn, lining up at scrumhalf rather than his usual spot of fullback or center, and the snappy runner deked his way over for the try.
With the score 28-19, Glendale mauled the ball over, with Justin Mitchell doing the honors, to make it 33-19, but once again, Olympic Club came back - Colin Hawley capping off a nice movement to touch down in the corner.
The effort from Olympic Club earned them two bonus points - one for four tries, and one for a close loss. For Glendale, it was all too close for comfort, but resulted in another much-needed home victory.
(Editor's note - we covered this game through Glendale Rugby's broadcast of it, assuming Infinity Park had the correct lineups. This was not the case. An earlier version of this article identified Garrett Hawley as the two-try-scorer for Olympic Club. We have corrected it to Brian Barnard. In addition, we said Stephan Salimi intercepted the pass near the end of the game, but it was actually Eric Ryan. We apologize for the errors. - Ed.
Tries: Scott, Pauga, Croy, Mitchell
Convs: Graham 2
Pens: Graham 3
Olympic Club 26
Tries: Barnard 2, Muhn, C Hawley
Convs: Engelbrecht 3