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NorCal HS Latest: Marin, Elsie Allen, and Ignatius

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NorCal HS Latest: Marin, Elsie Allen, and Ignatius

Mosese Luveitasau, left, and Jojo Keve, right, for Elsie Allen.

Northern California's club regular season officially kicked off with the first Premier League game, but there was some other action of note, too.

Marin, by two first-half tries from No. 8 Tomasso Visentin and two second-half tries from wing Matt Reilly defeated Mother Lode 54-12 to open their league account.

The Highlanders have logged some solid preseason results and followed those up nicely this weekend.

Wing Ben Jacobs scored in the opening minute and that, along with flyhalf Ian Ross's conversion, set Marin up with an early 7-0 lead. Mother Lode responded well, however, and it was 19-12 at halftime.

Fullback Van Hampton's try right after halftime added a cushion for Marin and then tries from lock Oscar Jordan Shamis, the pair from Reilly, and won from lock Will Pharis capped it off. Ross converted seven of the eight Marin tries.

In a non-league game D1 team Elsie Allen defeated Premier League team Danville 29-17. This was despite six yellow cards (five of which were for repeated offside, so maybe that's a work-on for the Lobos going forward). Flanker Jojo Keve has been in superb form so far this year, getting involved all over the place in last week's win over Gridley and following up on that with another performance on both sides of the ball.

Flyhalf Sikeli Nale ran the attack superbly and center Mosese Luveitasau has also been a force.

Danville has spent much of this preseason treating it like a preseason, moving players around and getting players experience. So certainly this is not a finished Oaks product, nor should it be. The difference between these two teams at the moment is their style of play. Since people of Fijian descent have a heavy presence in and around Sonoma County, Elsie Allen's style of play reflects that.

The first half had the home team scoring three tries, all in the corners, from No. 8 Edgar Farias, loosehead prop Donavan Patterson, and left wing Ay-Den Pressler, making it 15-3 at the break.

The Lobos continued to kick for position, with Emasi Rabukawaga chipping and chasing for a score. The Oaks pounded back to cut the gap to a try with some solid forward work (and the Lobos drifting offside a lot). With two minutes left Sikeli Nale scooped up a Danville knock on and took it 40 meters for the final try.

All in good spirit and as Danville Coach Kevin Barth said: "you know you're in trouble when the other team is calling their backline moves in Fijian." 

In NorCal's SIngle-School league, new team St. Ignatius continued on its run of good performances with a 43-21 defeat of 2-0 Bishop O'Dowd.

Prop Johnny O'Brien has been a powerhouse and he scored a try while No. 8 Flynn O'Connell, who has emerged as a key leader, scored three tries on the day.

Wing Marco De Benedetti added two while Cornelius McKeon was solid with the boot.

Two tries from Colton Downing paced O'Dowd, and when Corey Casqueiro scored about midway through the second half, it was 29-21 and O'Down was in with a shout.

But a converted try from Ignatius four minutes later game the Wildcats a three-score lead and that was enough of a cushion.

"St. Ignatius is a classy outfit, well coached, well organized and skilled athletes," said Bishop O'Dowd Co-Head Coach Ray Lehner. "It was a very physical match but their explosive players outshined ours. Good teams punish you for mistakes and they certainly did throughout the match."