Division II club Santa Rosa came back from 15-3 down to defeat DI club the Sacramento Lions 24-22 Saturday in a preseason game for both Northern California teams.
The game was played at Sacramento, however the hosts arrived somewhat late. That didn't stop them though as the bigger and very physical Lions side started the stronger.
An early Santa Rosa penalty was answered with three unconverted tries for a 15-3 Lions lead.
Santa Rosa came back with a try from wing James Trappe. That made it 15-10, and in the second half, Santa Rosa worked the corners well with some smart tactical kicking. Their forwards held firm in tight and Rosa was able to punish the Lions out wide. Wing Will Cooper and center Mike Rodrigues both scores, with Aaron Anthony capping an excellent day kicking with both conversions to go 4-5 on the day. Anthony's kicking was part of the different, but not all of it.
"Santa Rosa is not the biggest team in town but our forwards stood up to a pretty big team very well," said backs coach Rick Humm. "With a team that side it's pretty easy to get intimidated, but our guys kept their cool and stopped their forwards several times."
Humm said the win gave the Santa Rosa team good momentum going into the league competition. They take on the SFGG DI squad as well, as Head Coach Alan Petty tries to put his players under pressure early.