by Alex Goff

Southern California shocked the University of San Diego Saturday in the Gold Coast DIAA Conference, scoring four tries in the final 13 minutes to turn an 18-10 deficit into a 30-18 victory.

USC, which had shown some improved results of late, was expected to give USD a push, but many would have accepted an 18-10 loss as a sign that the Trojans were improving. Instead, they blew the doors off the game.

USC started off well, with flyhalf Adam Bushell scoring a try, which he converted, and then adding a penalty for a 10-0 lead. But USD pushed back with a converted try scored by No. 8 Cameron Guirguis and converted by flyhalf Avery In the second half, a penalty to tie the scoe, a try at 55 minutes, and then a penalty to make it 18-10. That’s when the Trojans went to work, as center Dimitry Giudo, Bushell, and, at the end of the game, flanker Michael Cesar, all touched down.

The win bumped USC to 2-1 and dropped USD to 1-1.

Also in the Gold Coast, Grand Canyon defeated UC Irvine 36-15 to move to 2-1 and remain in 1st. GCU ran out a fairly young team and Coach Ryan Kelly said they played well at times, and not so well at times.

“We are hoping it all comes together by April,” said Kelly. “We’ll see where we are in two weeks when we play Long Beach State.”

As for Long Beach State, the 49ers smacked Cal State Fullerton 38-3. Fullerton actually scored first, but then tries from scrumhalf Roland Blackiston, No. 8 Jerell Abellera-Neri, and wing Devon Stone staked CSULB to a 19-3 halftime lead. Center Anthony Simeone and lock Joshua Myles scored tries in the second half, while flyhalf Steven Bodley added five conversions and a penalty.

So there’s plenty of rugby to be played and Long Beach State is the only unbeaten team.

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