|Glendale's Mike Kenyon in the spring playoffs. Pat Clifton photo|
The Glendale Raptors took complete control of the West-North league Saturday with a 39-33 win over the Denver Barbarians.
Both Glendale and Denver entered the contest 2-0 and tied for first place. The Barbos boasted big wins over Boulder (66-17) and the Denver Highlanders (51-8). Glendale had already defeated the Highlanders 77-3 and the Kansas City Blues 45-8.
Saturday’s match, 13-11 at halftime, was close most of the 80 minutes. The Raptors created some separation in the middle third of the game, taking a two-try lead, but a pair of yellow cards – one for a dump tackle and the other for repeated breakdown infringements – left Glendale vulnerable.
The Barbarians, down by the final margin of less than a converted try, were threatening the shorthanded Raptors deep in their end when a knock on turned over possession and killed any chance of a comeback.
The Barbarians and Raptors have swiftly become rivals, fuelled partially by a large number of players who’ve played for both clubs.
“Half of those guys I’ve played with, whether it was at CSU or at Glendale before leaving for the Barbos and stuff,” said Glendale No. 8 Ryan Chapman. “It’s always good to get a win against those guys, especially a close one like this.”
Elsewhere in the West-North Saturday, the Blues hosted and pounded the Highlanders 72-10 to take sole possession of third place.
The Highlanders traveled light, with just 19 players, but the lack of reserves would hardly come into play, as the Blues piled up 31 points by halftime. Wing Kevin Schwartze scored three first-half tries and a fourth in the second half to lead the Blues. Denver’s lone score came in the 78th minute.
Saturday concludes fall league play for the West-North, and below are the standings midway through the season. (Standings originally run sans the Glendale/Boulder result)