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Two big matches happened in Southern California’s DII league, stratifying the competition into two levels – the top three, and everyone else.
In the big, big match, the San Diego Old Aztecs, 5-0 coming into the weekend, took on Ventura County, the newly-minted DII club, up from DIII, that was also 5-0 going into the match.
The two teams battled hard, with perhaps the edge in fitness and depth (and therefore fresh legs) going to the more experienced and savvy Old Aztecs. San Diego won 43-25.
“They are a very good team,” said Old Aztecs’ Sean Lindersmith. “They competed well at the breakdown, and they’re a young team that is going to be good for a while. But I think they need a few more numbers in the forwards. We were able to finish stronger.”
The Old Aztecs improved to 6-0, while Ventura County, still in the hunt of course, dropped to 5-1.
“A lot of us have been living and playing in San Diego for about ten years,” Lindersmith said of the Aztec players. “We’ve been playing together for a while and we know how we work together. We went into this game feeling like it was a playoff match, and the guys stepped up.”
In the backs, the Aztecs got some big games from fullback Micah Kropp and centers Andrew Webber and Des Wellington. Up front it was an all-eight effort, but captain and lock forward Lucas Edwards was the undisputed leader.
Meanwhile the Kern County Tuskers improved to 5-1 with a 48-10 defeat of Riverside.
Kern County used their heads well against a physical and athletic Riverside team. They spotted the overloads and the gaps, and exploited what they could. Jeremy Ramirez, John Oglesby, and Justin Jackson did just that to each score tries in the opening 20 minutes. The forwards that bashed it up to set up Oglesby for his second.
In the second half Riverside showed some fight and scored early, but Kern responded through fullback Lucas Ramos and flyhalf Kelly Naden. Riverside scored again before Wicus Postma, Jeremy Ramirez, and Thomas Vincent touched down to put the game away.
Lucas Ramos earned man of the match honors.
Those top three are well ahead of any of the other teams, but it's also
worth noting that the remaining seven teams are all fairly evenly-matched.
There have been very few real blowouts, and ten close losses is a very high
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