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The Provo Steelers trailed Santa Monica 23-10 at halftime of Saturday‘s Round of 32 match in Provo, but rallied to win 30-23. Conventional wisdom would suggest the larger team would wear down as time melted off the clock. But like a fighter‘s body punches, the Steelers’ constant crashing had a cumulative affect.

“We wore on them, you could tell,” said Provo co-captain Dave Valeti. “With about 20 minutes left in the game, they were just sick of tackling our big guys.”

Provo struggled with the Dolphins’ sheer speed to begin the game, which is what led to the halftime deficit.

“Definitely shocked us at first, their speed. We knew they had speed, but it was just a matter of getting to their legs on defense,” said Valeti. “They were a very good team. Their lines were just unbelievable.”

Provo detractors or skeptics always bring up fitness, say it’s one of the reasons they won’t win at a high level. Earlier in the week, Valeti said the Steelers have made fitness a priority, but a lot of players or coaches say that. Saturday’s second-half performance proved it. Valeti vows to continue to make fitness a priority.  

“We’ve got two more weeks and we intend to make everyday count,” said the captain. “Two more weeks and we could be pretty scary in the 16.”