Burning Tree Elementary—Bethesda, Maryland. The Potomac Exiles returned to winning form in a big way this past Saturday, earning a bonus point victory over the Washington Irish by a score of 33-7.
Kicking off to start the match, PERC put the Irish under pressure early and often. A quick turnover inside the visitor’s half allowed the Exiles to enjoy consistent possession inside the opposition 22 for the opening five minutes of the match. Although PERC ran through a large number of phases, the Irish absorbed the early pressure and were able to earn a penalty to exit from their 22. The relief from pressure was short lived, as PERC soon found its way back into the visitor’s half thanks to a turnover and a penalty against the Irish. After a successful lineout drive and strong work from the forwards, prop Pat Love found the try zone from short range. Rothmann added the conversion to give the Exiles a 7-0 lead ten minutes into the match.
In the minutes that followed the opening try, both sides exchanged territory and possession; however, PERC’s stout defense earned a turnover in the 20th minute. From the turnover, the homeside worked its way down the pitch into the Irish 22. After tough work from the forwards drew in plenty of defenders, PERC’s backline worked the ball through the hands and ultimately capitalized on an overload with a Kenny Rothmann try. Rothmann converted his own try to push the score to 14-0 25 minutes in.
Despite conceding two scores, the Washington Irish were eager to show the power of their offense. In the 30th minute, they did just that. After earning possession thanks to loose play from PERC, the Irish drove down the pitch to score a try. The visitors added the conversion to pull the score to 14-7 with ten minutes to play in the half. From that moment on, the Exiles took control of the match. In the 35th minute, PERC flashed its offensive prowess by working the ball through a combination of forwards and backs out to Dom Tommarello on the right wing. Although he had plenty of work to do with two defenders in front of him, Tommarello sprinted down the touch line and scored in the corner. Rothmann added the sharp angle conversion to the well-worked try to put PERC up 21-7 just before halftime. The score held for the final five minutes of the frame and PERC went into the break with a three tries to one advantage.
The second half opened with more back and forth play from the two teams; however, PERC broke through the Irish defense in the 55th minute. After coming close to a five pointer several times in the early going, center Tyler Blaser ran a superb line to score a try virtually untouched from fifteen meters out. After a missed conversion, the score stood at 26-7. As the match neared its conclusion, PERC successfully added one more try to seal the victory. After earning a scrum from an Irish miscue at a lineout in their own territory, the homeside quickly moved the ball through the hands to wing Junior Sucu who centered the ball in the try zone. Flyhalf Will Taylor added the conversion to bring the score to 33-7.
Although several players had inspiring performances, including flanker Harry Lee and center Kenny Rothmann, captain Guy Lopresti earned Man of the Match honors. Lopresti, as always, was a consistent contributor around the park in all aspects of the game.