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Dead Rabbits Hop Past Kelp

With the Santa Monica men’s ranks severely depleted due to injuries, school and work commitments, 15 Kelp and 6 Barracudas traveled to the desert to play the SoCal Division IV leader, Dead Rabbits.  They traveled in style, thanks to Nate Hall, who organized a bus with purple neon lights and a stripper pole (minus the stripper).   With Santa Monica being the only team to defeat the Dead Rabbits this season in a close game 18-17, it was sure to be a tough game.   The ref and the rabbits made their objections known about the Barracuda players, playing the game under protest and it looked as if the ref was attempting to balance the game with his whistle.  For 10 minutes Santa Monica would drive down the field only to have a questionable penalty called against them and the Dead Rabbits would drive down the field the other direction before the defense held.  Despite that, it was still Santa Monica that struck first with Shawn Lee finding a hole in the defense from 22 meters out and converting his own try.  But the Santa Monica defense was full of holes having had only one training together and the Dead Rabbits scored 2 tries in 4 minutes.    But Santa Monica worked together to shore up the defense and held them from scoring the remainder of the half.   The Dead Rabbits caught Santa Monica off guard at the start of the second half by scoring an unconverted try and for the next 25 minutes it was again a game of defense.  Even with Dead Rabbits taunting players and picking fights, Santa Monica kept their composure.  Ryan Booker made a strong tackling to force a turnover and the Dead Rabbits were penalized under the posts and Lee added 3 more points.  Minutes later it was Jeff Astor making a break from the Santa Monica 10 meter line to score a try in the corner.   With the home team frustrated, they made another mistake under the posts, with Lee added 3 more points on another penalty kick.  Only 6 points behind and less than 10 minutes to go, injuries were taking their toll.  With no more reserves, Santa Monica faltered allowing a final converted try into injury time.  Final score 18-31.