OMBAC and Belmont Shore won in routs in Southern California, while Santa Monica and Las Vegas played to a draw.
Back Bay stayed with OMBAC in the first half, as they did with Belmont Shore last week, but the San Diego club exploded in the second half to win 46-27, scoring the first 16 points after intermission.
Belmont Shore was dominant most of the 80 minutes of their 67-5 pounding of Los Angeles, utilizing a much larger, more physical pack to push LA around the park.
The key swing came late in the second half, when LA, trailing just 18-5, was held up in the try zone.
Had they scored and converted, perhaps they’d have gained some momentum. But after the five-meter scrum, Belmont repelled LA, turned them over and drove the length of the field to take a halftime lead of 25-5 and break the will of LA.
“We won’t apologize for it. We’ll take the win,” said Belmont coach Ray Egan.
The cracker of week two featured Las Vegas and Santa Monica. This much anticipated rematch contained numerous lead changes, even play and a last-minute drop goal to end the game in a tie.
Las Vegas opened scoring with a penalty, and Santa Monica answered. The rest of the game carried on in the same fashion.
“The lead changed so many times throughout the game. It was just a seesawing sort of affair,” said Las Vegas coach Expo Mejia. “It just went sort of end to end in the second half. We’d score a try, they’d score a try, we’d score a try, they’d score a try.”
Santa Monica threatened to break that trend twice, but twice fumbled the ball inches short of the try line.
“We were literally about an inch from the line and just couldn’t finish it off,” said Santa Monica coach Greg Commins. “I think that’s the frustration of the game. We’d do some amazing phase play, and just to finish off we didn’t quite convert that little bit.”
Las Vegas center Ed Doyle busted through Santa Monica’s midfield to score from about 40 meters out near the 70th minute to give the Blackjacks a 27-24 lead. Then, on the last possession and last play of the game, Santa Monica fly half Brian O’Shea slotted a drop goal from about 25 meters out to end the match in a draw.
Commins thought a try might have been on.
“We had two options. If we had shoveled the ball out wide, it would have been a dead given try, but he just saw the poles and he saw a drop goal,” said Commins. “Would have preferred the win, but I’ll also take a draw. Now we can move one and move forward.”
Mejia shared the same sentiment.
“The lead changed so many times, and we were pretty evenly matched up,” he reiterated. “I was pretty happy with the boys, the way they stuck it out…I’ll take a draw any day."
Commins said Sturday's draw should remain a draw. Unlike with the OMBAC result in week one, he joked, there are no hidden penalties or drop goals to be found on tape.