Belmont at Las Vegas (Div. III) March 22, 2014 (Blackjacks vs. Belmont)
---By Patrick Opdyke (Blackjacks "Forward")
Belmont came out strong at the Blackjacks scoring two tries early in the first half. The Blackjacks then recovered the ball on a kickoff and spent a good deal of time in Belmont’s own middle territory, until the ball was lost on a penalty. Belmont gave the Blackjacks an opportunity to score by knocking the ball on on Belmont’s own try line, causing a 5m scrum reset. Belmont’s hooker won the defensive scrum, catching the Blackjacks offguard for a full field try against the Blackjacks. On the reset kickoff, Belmont played a few phases, gaining minor territory in the middle of the field. Attempting to pass wide against the Blackjacks forceful defense, Belmont scrambled a pass, causing the winger to knock the ball on. After some changes of possession and phases back and forth, Belmont chipped the ball ahead and out the back for a Blackjack 5m reset. Blackjacks quickly exited the ball with a kick deep into Belmont territory, which Belmont knocks on, giving the Blackjacks advantage. The Blackjacks capitalized strongly on it gaining 25m, culminating in a tackle into touch. The Blackjacks hold strong against Belmont’s maul off the lineout, ceding no ground. Belmont broke off, breaking the defensive line and drawing a penalty. On the quick tap, Belmont capitalized on the Blackjacks retreat to earn another try. On the kickoff, Belmont makes modest gains with numerous phases, culminating in a big tackle into touch by Trevor. On the Blackjacks lineout, Blackjacks form a maul, pass the ball to the backs for a chip kick for a modest gain. The ball was recovered by Belmont who drew a penalty and quickly tapped the ball to run a few phases up until the try line. Blackjacks scrum half won a loose ball on the ground but did not release, earning a penalty. Belmont took advantage of the quick ball on the try line to score another try.
Early in the second half, Graham grabs a loose Belmont ball deep in Blackjack territory, running straight through a gap in Belmont’s defense to score a full field try. Both teams played strong with much back and forth, trading territory. After a Belmont player ran without support, Pati managed to poach a ball and run for a minor gain in territory. Blackjacks lost the ball and the game resumed with many resets and trading of territory. On a quick tap penalty, Belmont exploits a hole in Blackjacks’ defense, scoring a half-field try. On the kickoff, Belmont knocks the ball on, and Blackjacks play advantage, ending in touch. Belmont won its lineout and forms a maul, which the Blackjacks again kept still. Belmont broke off the maul scoring another try. Off the kickoff, Belmont got a lucky route, breaking some minor arm tackles to score a quick try. The game resumed with the Blackjacks holding Belmont in their own territory and midfield, trading possession on occasion. Belmont kicked for distance, going into touch. A lineout on the 22m line, Blackjacks were called for a not straight throw. Following a quick tap, the Blackjacks were able to hold Belmont, but unable to force any errors or win the ball. After many, many phases, culminating in a presence close to the try line, Belmont found a small hole to dive for a try.