The Chicago Lions picked up their second Midwest Qualifier win Saturday in Milwaukee at Lakefront 7s, defeating the Youngbloodz 33-7 in the final. The Lions finished first in their pool with a 3-0 record, and the Youngbloodz second, losing only to the Lions.
The Chicago Griffins won their pool with an unblemished record, beating all comers by comfortable margins. However, Eagle Andrew Suniula pulled up lame with a minor sprain in the Griffins’ 33-17 pool defeat of Milwaukee, and did not play in Chicago’s 17-7 semifinal loss to the Youngbloodz.
“We just felt it’s not fair to put that sort of pressure on him with the World Cup coming up,” said Griffins coach Wez Parkes, who felt his team could have advanced to the final without Suniula had they stuck to their game plan.
“I think we lost our shape a little bit in the semifinal and we didn’t play as well as we did in the pool play, and I guess you’ve got to look at what the opposition around you did, and the Youngbloodz were a good side and got through to the final. We lost our shape and didn’t stick to our game plan, which we’d been demonstrating all day, and that really cost us.”
In the other semifinal, the Lions blanked Milwaukee 28-0. The Griffins won the consolation match 19-17.
In Cleveland, 1823 dominated the competition. Both their first and second sides went undefeated in pool play, but they met each other in one semifinal, in which the a-siders won 40-12. Cincinnati and host Cleveland Eastern Suburbs met in the other semi, which was much closer, with the Wolfhounds winning 19-12.
1823 jumped out to a 31-5 lead over Cincy in the tournament final before giving up 14 unanswered points, winning 31-19. 1823's second side defeated Cleveland in the third-place match.
After the weekend, 1823 retains its position atop the Midwest standings with 22 points, and the Chicago Lions move into second with 12. Youngbloodz follows with 11, and Milwaukee, the Griffins and Wolfhounds are stalemated for fourth.