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SoCal HS Final Four Plays This Weekend

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SoCal HS Final Four Plays This Weekend

Belmont Shore looks to another win this weekend.

After playing five rugby games and 230 minutes of rugby over the weekend, the San Diego Mustangs and Coastal Dragons still had a playoff game to play.

The plan had been for the Mustangs and Dragons to meet up during the Pacific Cup (or at least, that was the hope). They didn’t. Both showed well in the tournament, which included two 40-minute games on Thursday, two 40-minute games on Friday, and a 70-minute game on Saturday, but the knockout rounds didn’t cooperate in allowing the Mustangs and the Dragons doubling up on their playoff game.

So somewhat tired and battered, SD and Coastal returned to California and met up on Wednesday for their SoCal quarterfinal game. It was, as you’d expect, a tight game. Both teams were tired, but they worked hard. The Mustangs led 10-0 thanks to a try from powerful wing Adam Eastwood and a conversion and penalty from flanker Jackson Baere.

The Dragons replied with two tries and led 14-10. Then Matt Goena took over, scoring two tries to make it 25-14. The Dragons replied and led 27-25. But Caleb Wilson went on a big break. He was tackled near the line, but offloaded to Goena, who scored the game-winner.

Justin Petersen was heroic for the Dragons, giving a stirring post-game speech about how these players have been playing against each other for eight years and how the rivalry will continue. Petersen was playing on an injured ankle, but battled through.

Baere, too, worked through injury to be crucial as an excellent flanker who kicks goals. Goena was big, scoring three tries, but unfortunately Wilson’s offload to his teammate was his final play of the season, as he suffered a concussion in the tackle.

Now, too tired to practice, the Mustangs will face off with a very tough Irvine Rhinos. The Rhinos have a powerful set of runners in the forwards, and have already beaten San Diego 26-22. 

Also this weekend, Back Bay, which beat Arroyo Grande on the road last week, will play Belmont Shore. With a snappy influx of talent from Centennial HS, Belmont Shore has not lost a league or playoff game, beating Back Bay 31-21 on April 15.