The Potomac Exiles travelled south to take on the Raleigh Vipers hoping to keep their undefeated streak alive heading into a two-week bye.
The visitors came out hot, eager to prove that this would be no “trap” game, as winger Mark McKinnon capitalized on a Raleigh error with a try in the third minute. 15 minutes later, new scrum half Chris Saint extended the lead to 8-0 with a penalty kick, but a miscue on the ensuing kickoff led to a try for the home team, and cut the Potomac advantage to 8-5.
Regrouping after the miscue, the Exiles looked ready to put this one away early with a try and conversion from Saint, followed by a score from hooker Jason “Dutch” Vanterpool. Another penalty kick from Saint would put the visitors up 22-5 at the break, but things would quickly turn from there.
Perhaps a little too eager to begin the trek back up 95, Potomac began to fall into the trap with poor execution and effort. Raleigh scored and converted eight minutes in, and went across the try line again just five minutes later to close the gap to 22-19.
Finally realizing that Raleigh would not just hand them this one, Potomac regrouped and started to pick up the execution and intensity, and Saint capitalized with his second try of the game to put Potomac ahead 27-19. Dominating possession just as they had in the first half, it looked like the Exiles would put the final nail in the coffin, marching down the field to close out the match.
Refusing to make it easy for themselves, an errant Exiles’ pass was picked off and returned by Raleigh’s speedy winger, who centered the try for the easy conversion and 27-26 score. However, it was too little too late for the hosts, as Potomac booted the ball out of bounds at the ensuing restart to end the match and seal the narrow Exiles’ victory.
Tries: Saint (2) McKinnon, Dutch