Near Flawless Showing with an Exciting End
Edits: We originally reported Denver's Casey Rock intercepted Te'o and returned it for a try, when in fact it was Christian Wiessing
A game that started with a low scoring, defensively dominated first half turned into fast paced free for all to win it all in San Diego on Sunday. Denver, in the end, was able to eke out the victory over the Southern California squad, 24-23.
The first half saw what many expected going into it, which was two strong showings of defensive play from both sides. Players like Mikey Teo for San Diego (who was an absolute beast today with his signature goose stepping) and Chad London for Denver both had some great runs, but neither was able to crack the other one’s wall.
Mikey Teo came close with a huge run and some fabulous footwork, but it was ultimately called back for obstruction. The first and only try of the first half would go to Denver after taking advantage of some favorable numbers to the outside while inside San Diego’s 22.
The first half would come to a close with San Diego in the lead, 9-7, with all of the home team’s points coming from Kurt Morath kicks.
The second half would open up with a much faster pace shown by both teams. Denver’s wings were showing great improvisation in between tackles and were controlling the possession early, leading to a Magie kick to put them back in the lead 10-9.
San Diego was not to be kept down, however. Kurt Morath, who has been the not-so-unsung hero of his San Diego’s season thus far, gave his team the lead with 6 unanswered points resulting from kicks, giving them some breathing room at 15-10.
Unfortunately, that breathing room would fill up rather quickly and unexpectedly after a brilliant interception and Try by Lock Christian Wiessing. The conversion by Magie would be good, giving Denver back the lead at 17-14.
In games past, this has been the point where Denver pulls away and puts the last few nails in the coffin. This, however, was not any other team. This was San Diego.
The SoCal squad came back again, with 8 more unanswered points after another Morath kick and a Try off a Teo assist to give San Diego the 23-17 lead over Denver. But yet again, the excitement would be short lived.
Not long after, Denver began to employ a lot more kick and chase tactics. Eventually, they were able to get a beautiful kick up the touch line for a try. With time expiring and a so-so day already with accuracy, #10 Will Magie for Denver lined up and was able to hit the game winning conversion, putting the score at 24-23 Denver, where it would stay.
Not much you can say other than good show by both teams. The defenses were swarming, the wings communicated and for the most part seemed to be on the same page.
However, this game showed that getting Tries is the only way to sustain success. San Diego has got by thus far with a ton of help from Kurt Morath’s leg, and it very nearly won them the game today on its own. If San Diego hopes to topple Denver in their week 13 match up, they need to learn to win in both phases of the game.
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