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The Los Alamos Nuke U19 rugby team had a good first half Wednesday against Santa Fe, but couldn’t keep its foot on the accelerator in the second half.
Los Alamos led 19-12 at halftime but Santa Fe battled back and scored a quick, late try to prevail 27-19 at Sullivan Field.
“The second half, things were not bouncing in our direction,” said Nuke coach Demetrio Cardiel. “But I was proud of the kids. They stayed in it for 60 minutes.”
Los Alamos and Santa Fe are longtime rivals and two of the most experienced prep-division teams in the state.
Los Alamos scored three tries in the first half to take the lead. Mateo Cardiel, Michael Miller and Dominic Chiri all scored for Los Alamos to give the Nukes the advantage.
On a late kick, however, the Nukes couldn’t hold onto the ball, which was recovered by Santa Fe and returned for a score, giving Santa Fe the lead and, ultimately, the game.
Despite the loss and the less-than-ideal weather conditions, coach Cardiel said he and the team were delighted to see a good fan turnout at Sullivan Field.
The Nukes’ next home game is set for April 20. They will host Volcano Vista at noon.
Admission to all Nuke home games is free.