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Thursday, May 11, 2017

DI East Coast Recap: Rocky Gorge, Chicago Lions Advance


Rocky Gorge and the Chicago Lions won their respective regionals to advance to the DI quarterfinals.

Midwest

The Chicago Lions have pulled off the biggest upset of the club season so far as they beat Columbus 33-20 to make it to the regionals in Pittsburgh. Columbus had lead the Midwest all year and didn't have much trouble dispatching the Griffins last week. However, the Lions played a terrific match and were able to limit much of what Columbus wanted to do.

The first try of the match came seven minutes in as Patrick Rappleye crossed over. JP Eloff, who was big all day hit the conversion. It took another seven minutes but Columbus responded with a try of their own to even the match. A try from Thomas Rancor gave the Lions a five point edge and they were able to maintain that as each team traded penalties.

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The big shift in the match came when Roland Suniula was shown a red card ten minutes before the end of the first half. Despite Columbus scoring a try just before the break to give them a 17-15 lead having to play down a man took it's toll in the second half. Columbus was able to extend their lead to 20-15 on a Taylor Howden penalty but then tries from Robert Stortz, Kevin Lydon, and two penalties from Eloff swung the match in favor of Chicago.

For the Lions they have to feel great pulling off the upset and having a chance to head to Pittsburgh. For Columbus it has to be bitterly disappointing, especially having led the league all year and have had the benefit of some players staying that were on the Ohio Aviators.

Mid-Atlantic

The Lions opponent in the DI quarterfinals will be Rocky Gorge. The Columbia, Maryland club has been the dominant team in the Mid-Atlantic this year and that only continued with a 38-15 win over the Pittsburgh Harlequins, denying the Quins a chance to play on their home fields. Nick Kuhl led the way for Rocky Gorge once again while Ben Cima continued with play well.

Rocky Gorge and the Chicago Lions will face off in the quarterfinals in Pittsburgh. The winner of that match will play either NYAC or Mystic River who are on the other side of the bracket. 

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