Sneaking in there among the teams with long track records at national championships is Metropolis.
Or, if you’re not familiar with them, the fourth team at the Men’s DI Club Semis.
Not that long ago an also-ran in the Midwest, the Minneapolis club has been outstanding this season. They were 5-3 in the Midwest-West, losing twice to Palmer and once to a Chicago Blaze when their place in the league was decided. Come playoff time, they’ve done everything they have needed to do. They Crushed Buffalo and beat Cincinnati convincingly to claim the highest seed possible, #2, out of the Midwest.
Then they slammed Charlotte 48-0 in the Round of 32. Edged an excellent PAC team 33-28, and shut down Mystic River 30-5.
So in five playoff games so far they have scored 238 (47 a game) and allowed 74 (15 a game), with 28 of those points coming against the top team in the Mid-Atlantic, PAC.
In short, Metropolis is not just there for show.
“We feel really good, and the players are really excited,” said player-coach Nate Osborn. “When we got to playoffs we weren’t really all that sure where we stood against everyone else. But then we saw Palmer beat Norfolk by almost 50 points, and Chicago, who we beat twice, beat the Boston Irish Wolfhounds by 38, and we looked around and figured we had a shot, too. We’d played Palmer tough, even though they’d beaten us. We knew then we could do well.”
Now they face off against Belmont Shore, which has been among the best clubs in the nation for over ten years.
“We feel we have a shot at Belmont Shore,” said Osborn. “I feel our defense is really, really good. For us defense is king. We know that if we all make our first-up tackles, we’re going to do alright. We have guys who have been working hard and are fit and know how to play, but in the end it comes down to will. How willing are you to make those tackles; when Belmont’s big winger is bearing down on you, are you able to defend him?”
Added to that is center/flyhalf Louis Joubert. His goalkicking and kicking for territory has certainly helped Metropolis get where they are, and he can drop a goal every now and then, too.
“His ability to get us into opposition territory is a catalyst for us,” said Osborn.
With a lot of will and growing confidence, Metropolis is the only team in the final four that didn’t win their territory. That’s OK. They’ve been getting better with every game, and are ready to take the next step, too.