Prognosticate all you want, Belmont Shore should emerge as the top team from the first bracket in the DI club playoffs this weekend.
The Southern California team finished the SCRFU season 10-0, averaging a score of 47-12. They thrashed the Sacramento Lions in the Round of 32, and give no signs of slowing down.
“We’re feeling good; our trainings have been good, and everyone feels pretty focused,” said center Ed Pitts. “The big thing we’re looking at is the two-game weekend. That’s always tough, but we have really good depth, and I think we can handle it.”
Pitts said Shore has run out to so many quick leads there’s been a little concern in camp about keeping focused all game. It’s a mild worry, really, as Shore has rarely been tested.
“All of these teams are unknowns,” said Pitts. “We know a little bit about Dallas and a little bit about the other teams. We can’t worry about all of that, so we worry about our game. If we do that we’ll be OK.”
Yes they will. Dallas had pulled out some good wins, but overall they don’t have the consistency 1 through 15 to hold off Shore. The entire Belmont Shore backline can score from long range, and that’s just not the case for Dallas. They will be stressed on defense out wide.
In the forwards, Shore is better than many might expect, with Peter Dahl and Zach Fenoglio leading a hard-nosed pack that likes to win ball.
In the other game in this bracket, there will be another study in contrasts. Kansas City brings a fluid team game against an East Palo Alto Bulldogs team that is extremely physical and can turn nothing into points. EPA’s defense is what sets it apart from similar teams. They have excellent unity on defense to couple with their ability to rattle teeth.
KC will do well to keep the ball moving.
East Palo Alto Bulldogs v. Kansas City Blues
Belmont Shore v. Dallas Reds