In another hard-hitting match in Columbia, Md., Rocky Gorge finished off an undefeated fall with a win over the Potomac Exiles, 46-21. Gorge built an early lead with tries from flanker Brady Smith and flyhalf Ben Cima. It looked as if the home team might cruise to another victory, but Potomac battled back to make the game competitive.
With a maul off the lineout getting it close, hooker Guy Lopresti picked and scored for Potomac’s first points. Gorge flanker Kevin Jackson responded with a try, but the Exiles came right back. After a line break from center Kenny Rothmann, flanker Alex Diegel finished the sequence with the score. With both Potomac tries converted by fullback Matt Quigley and a Gorge miss from Cima, the rivals went into halftime with the home team up, 19-14.
Gorge started the second period as it did the first with a quick score, this one from center Chris Kunkel. Potomac again marched the ball down the field as Lopresti scored his second try of the match. Quigley hit the conversion to close the gap to 24-21, but it was all Gorge from there.
“Our depth is the strength of our team,” explained Gorge head coach Nick DiMichele. “We kept composure and never broke our shape. We made some uncharacteristic mistakes, [but] we just hammered the system and got the result we wanted.”
Gorge ended the match with three unanswered tries as wing Ethan Reese, lock James Rehak, and wing Mike Tillman dotted the ball down in the endzone. For Potomac, it was a match to build on for the spring.
“I know this is a loss, but this is probably one of our better games of the season, in terms of what we’re looking to do on the field, in terms of the pattern,” said Potomac head coach Owen Lentz. “We played really hard defensively. We were unlucky on a couple of plays, but they’re a good team. They make their own luck and they scored really quickly. When they had an opportunity to punish us, they punished us, and that’s what good sides do.”