Avenged! Aztecs Rock Oceanside
-by Joey Ramone
On Saturday, the San Diego Old Aztecs rolled into Carlsbad, CA for the last stop on their infamous #RevengeTour. With previous stops in Pasadena, and an epic show in Las Vegas, this match would prove to be the grand finale, as the Old Aztecs took on the Oceanside Chiefs in the Southern California Division 2 championship.
The Aztecs played to a sold-out, standing room only crowd at Valley Middle School. The OA faithful had been starved for a performance, as the OAs had not played a match in San Diego County since April 7th’s 20-21 home loss at the hands of the very same Chiefs side.
Starting with the kickoff, the Aztecs wasted no time hopping into their hard- hitting and free-flowing style of play. The Chiefs put the Aztecs under pressure early, but the Aztecs were able to thwart the threat and countered with an attack of their own. In the 6th minute, it was Australian half-back Tim Howard, who left the Chiefs “Thunderstuck”, when he dotted down the day’s first try, getting the Aztecs off to an early 5-0 lead.
In the 14th minute, it was OA Winger Connor Mariani, who brought the already electric crowd to a fever-pitch. Mariani, a New Jersey native, showed the Oceanside defense who “The Boss” really was, as he got the ball on the far-side wing, dropped his shoulder and took the defender to “Thunder Road”. The helpless Oceanside winger could only watch from his back as Mariani touched down the OAs second try of the game, making it 12-0, and from there the Aztecs were off and running.
#10 Michael “Mike D” Deel and the Beastie Boy back line, proved they were ready to fight for their right to party, as lightning quick ball and acres of space let them run wild on attack. Meanwhile, threats to kick him out of the house for not cutting his hair fell on deaf ears, as Joe “Cocker” Haze got high with a little help from his friends. The OA lineouts were superb as Haze and Joey “Ramone” Ramonas trashed the opposing line-out like an LA hotel room.
The OA’s played all the greatest hits, as veteran fullback and Sting doppelganger Jaco Breytenbach reached back in time to produce a set list not seen since the 1980’s. Breytenbach continually attacked the line at pace, and proved to be the sparkplug for multiple tries on the day. Defensively, Breytenbach seemed to watch every step they took, as every line they broke was quickly snuffed out with a Breytenbach tackle.
In the forward pack, “Elton” John-boy Guerrero made the Oceanside attackers look like Tiny Dancers, as he swallowed up runners behind the gain line and put the home team on the back foot. Tyler “Chuck” Berry told the Chief attackers to B. Goode as he continued his season-long tackling clinic. Malaetasi Toilolo stormed over in the 26th minute made the halftime score 22-7 in favor of the Aztecs.
Following the halftime intermission, the Aztecs wasted no time picking up where they left off. In the 57th minute, it was an encore performance for Mariani. The winger proved he was “Born to Run” as a hustle play paid off, when he caught a deflected ball in stride and punched it in for his second try of the day. After that, the red-hot Aztecs simply couldn’t stop, as Anthony “Kiedis” Leyva took the Chiefs “Under the Bridge” in the 66th minute, to make the score 34-7 in favor of the OAs. “Stevie” Nicks Cavallaro made sure the Aztecs went their own way down the stretch, shutting down any chance of a Chiefs comeback.
The Chiefs never stopped competing, as they touched down the final try of the day in the 79th minute, making the final score 34-14. By that time, however, the crowd of OA supporters had already broken into a full out celebration. From Old Boys, and Ancient Aztecs, to infants in Old Aztecs onesies, the team drew from the crowd’s endless and unwavering support.
The Old Aztecs took home their 2nd Southern California Championship in three years, and continue their proud local winning tradition. As of publishing this story, the official count of OA championships was unavailable. Official OA record keeper Tom Lebjeko was at Saturday’s match, but when asked what the total Aztec title count was, he claimed that he “doesn’t remember the 90’s”. We will publish that information once it is made available.
Next up, the Old Aztecs head east to play a one-stop, two-night show in Dallas, Texas. On Saturday, they will take on the San Antonio Rugby Football Club in the National Elite 8. Bobby “Seager” Laulaulo left the pitch singing “On the Road Again”, as the Aztecs look to continue their Road Warrior approach in Dallas, despite their mounting frequent flyer miles. Assistant Coach George “Strait” Chronopolos has yet to confirm if he will make the trip to Dallas, as he has multiple exes who live in Texas.
The club would welcome any support to help cover the cost of flights and hotels for the Battle of Fort Worth.
There is a donation link on our Membership page, a GoFundMe campaign, and we are always open on Venmo @OldAztecsRFC. Many thanks in advance for any donations.