BOULDER, Colo. – Ranked teams Army, Penn State, and Wheeling Jesuit easily fended off their unranked opponents Saturday, Oct. 10, while a Sunday matinee between No. 20 Iona and No. 7 Kutztown proved to be the most competitive match out of the Rugby East this past weekend.
No. 8 Penn State vs. Buffalo
Filling in for sophomore standout Jimmy Ronan, scrum half Brendan McCabe scored a try and the subsequent conversion in the opening minute of Penn State’s 122-10 rout of Buffalo. Ahead, 70-5, at halftime, McCabe was subbed out after 40 minutes, but not before he was able to tally 25 points.
It was a good day to get on the stat sheet for the Nittany Lions, as 12 players scored tries. Michael Eife, Andrew Iscaro, Kevin Trotter, and Gabriel Tupper each had a pair of tries, and winger James Haley bagged a hat trick. The one-sided victory showed Penn State moved well beyond its only conference loss of the season, a 46-36 defeat at the hands of Army.
Tenacious flanker Maninderjit Singh was the lone bright spot for the Bulls. Singh, an All-Rugby East performer a season ago, scored two tries for Buffalo.
Penn State is off until Oct. 30 when it hosts Iona, while Buffalo has a legitimate chance to earn its first win of the season at home against West Virginia Oct. 17.
St. Bonaventure vs. No. 10 Wheeling Jesuit
After trading blows in the first half, Wheeling Jesuit controlled the second 40 minutes to upend St. Bonaventure, 46-10.
A converted try by prop Cecil Rich increased the Cardinals’ lead to 17-5 in the 25th minute. Minutes later, the Bonnies answered when lock Phillip Jackling went over the line to bring his side within seven points of the 10th-ranked team in the country.
The score remained 17-10 into the second half until Wheeling Jesuit scored its first of 29 unanswered points. Zachary Stramanak, Max Lum, Andrew Waggoner, and Aaron Gray each found the try zone during the dominant second-half performance for the Cardinals. Senior winger Brandon Stine was a perfect six-for-six on conversions, and added two penalty kicks in Wheeling Jesuit’s first win since Sept. 12.
The Bonnies are without a match this coming week before returning to the pitch Oct. 24 against West Virginia. The Cardinals have a huge match on their hands this coming weekend when they travel to Kutztown to face the seventh-ranked Golden Bears.
No. 20 Iona vs. No. 7 Kutztown
Newly-ranked Iona faced its stiffest test of the season when it hosted Kutztown Sunday. Thanks to some sleek distributing from scrum half David Snead and center Robert Stortz, the Golden Bears scored three first-half tries. Iona was able to answer the first two tries with scores of its own to keep Kutztown’s lead to 21-12 at intermission.
After trading tries to open the second half, Kutztown’s Jordan Ghyzel muscled his way to the try line for his second score of the match. John Sage converted the try to put the Golden Bears up, 33-19. The Gaels refused to go quietly, and scored another try before the final whistle. Still, it was Kutztown that left the pitch victorious, 33-24.
Kutztown will face a ranked team for the second consecutive weekend when it hosts Wheeling Jesuit Oct. 17. For Iona, the Gaels will have to get right back to work in terms of preparation with reigning Rugby East Champion Army coming to town this weekend.
West Virginia vs. No. 4 Army
Winless West Virginia hosted undefeated Army, but there was no sign of an upset in Morgantown, W.V. West Point raced out to a 24-0 lead to open the match. Just when it looked like the Mountaineers would enter halftime with a sliver of momentum following eight man Coston Burnes Jr.’s try, Army full back Torran Raby answered with a score of his own to bring the score to 29-7 in favor of the Black Knights at the break.
A clinical Army side continued to apply pressure on its hosts in the second half to put 34 more points on the board. Full back Christ Mackenrodt was able to split the uprights for two penalty kicks for West Virginia, but the afternoon proved to be another learning experience for the Mountaineers as the Brothers of West Point ran away, 63-13.
Army’s next match won’t be a walk in the park as the cadets hit the road again, this time against Iona. A pair of winless teams will meet in West Virginia’s next encounter when the Mountaineers travel to Buffalo to face the Bulls.