The Cross-county rivalry between the Old Aztecs and OMBAC came to a climax last weekend, at the game fans were dubbing “The Battle for San Diego,” and while the DI rookie Old Aztecs managed to defeat OMBAC for the first time in team history earlier in the season, OMBAC settled the score, defeating the Old Aztecs 39-26.
“I think that this game should give us confidence for the rest of the season, but we definitely had some up and downs,” said OMBAC scrumhalf Jamie Purcell. ”We need to keep our consistency for the next time we meet the Old Aztecs on the field. This time we had some bad play, but we were also able to get back up on our feet and do well enough to win”.
Throughout the game, both teams went through high-scoring periods. OMBAC flyhalf Zach Pangelinan scored a penalty two minutes into the game, which was followed up with a try by wing Alex Lichtig. The Old Aztecs responded with their first try in the thirty-seventh minute by flanker Aaron Montoya , and then regained possession for a second try by Pierce Reed after the buzzer. At the close of the first half, the Old Aztecs were leading 12-8.
The kickoff to start the second half was shanked by the Old Aztecs, and it allowed Pangelinan to score the first of what ended up being four unanswered tries: two scored by OMBAC flanker Joseph Fontana, and one by lock Chris Clever.
”When it comes to kicking conversions, keeping my composure is key,” said Pangelinan, who played rugby in Guam before coming to OMBAC.
“I’ve been playing this position for a while now, and to be a strong flyhalf it’s important to stay calm and be focused the entire game.”
After facing off with Back Bay last week, the Old Aztecs were missing many starting players and were working from a light bench, which affected their ability to secure their lineouts throughout the game. Their mistakes in the second half put them down 36-12.
“The beginning of the second half was unlucky for us, and whenever there was a fifty-fifty ball, it ended up going their way,” said assistant coach of the Old Aztecs Greg Chronopolis,
”[OMBAC’s] lineouts were strong, and we [adjusted], but sometimes when you correct one thing, something else ends up causing a problem.”
At the 29th minute, the Old Aztecs recovered 14 points when Reed scored a try off of a fast break, and substitute Jeff Diggs was pushed over the tryling during a maul. However, when the Aztecs committed an off-sides penalty in their own territory during the thirty-eighth minute, Pangelinan secured their lead with a three-point kick, making the final score 39-26.
“We went to sleep for the first fifteen minutes of the second half, and they scored a few tries. It’s hard to come back against a team after that happens,” said Old Aztec coach and flyhalf Jarrod Faul. ”Despite having a light bench, we were still confident with the guys we had out there, and it just didn’t go our way today.”