Down to the wire against strong Orlando side

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Jacksonville RFC  hosted Orlando RFC Saturday, February 14th out at Huffman Park. Just so happened to be Valentines Day as well, but this would not be a loving situation. Both team coming into the game with the same records, four wins and one loss. This game had a lot of implications on the line and both teams were ready for the battle ahead. From the start of the opening kickoff, Orlando pinned Jacksonville in their own 22 for nearly 15 minutes. Every time Jacksonville would get a break it would get turned over. Jacksonville started to pick up momentum until a costly interception, led to the first try for Orlando. They were attacking the mid field hard and were coming up on defense efficiently. Jacksonville would have to find a way to attack their strong centers. As the game went on, both teams kept showing strong tackling ability but costly knock-ons and penalty were costing both teams possession. On one drive, Orlando would break the Jacksonville defensive line and swing it out wide for the score. Orlando started to show an edge toward the half way hooter.

The second half started were the first left off. Orlando was attacking Jacksonville’s defense line. Then a well timed grubber kick as caught by one of Orlando’s centers for yet another try.  Jacksonville was down 17-0. Substitutions started to come in for Jacksonville to give a new surge of energy into the squad. That is when the game changed.. Jacksonville started to notice that both the scrums and mauls were out powering Orlando, so they started to use them more and more as the game went on. We were either stealing the scrum or pushing them back mauled line outs. After pushing Orlando back into their own 5m line, Jacksonville executed in their forwards by putting their first try on the board by prop Tristan Morhous. Finally some points on the board for a struggling Jacksonville side. Momentum started to pick up as Orlando started to use some of their substitutions, but they could not match Jacksonville. After a failed kick-to-touch, wing Carid Scovill would single handily run from the 50m line all the way to the try zone untouched. Jacksonville was now down by 5 points with 10 minutes left. Orlando would suffer a costly yellow card toward the end of the game and Jacksonville exploited it. Around the 72 minute, Jacksonville’s back line broke through Orlando’s defense with a pass from center Tim Herff to Steven Krueger, who would score the try to tie the game. As the clock ticked on, Jacksonville was able to get possession once again and get back into their own 22m. A penalty by Orlando would set Jacksonville up for a game winning penalty kick. Trace Horevitz hit the kick with just minutes left on the clock. Now with only a few minutes left, Orlando would make their final push down to their own 10m line. After a penalty by Jacksonville, Orlando had the option to either tie the game with a penalty kick, or tap and go for the win. They elected the tap and after a few series got stuffed at the goal line. The ball was turned over and Jacksonville booted it out of bounds for the win.

Final Score 20-17

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