BOULDER, Colo. – The West Conference’s first week of competition produced two nail-biting finishes, and that trend continued when Colorado State traveled to face its instate rival Colorado on March 15.
The two sides feature players who played alongside one another in high school, and even team-up during the summer on select sides. But make no qualms about it, when the two schools lineup against each other it’s a bitter grudge match.
In a game that saw both schools exchanges scores to the tune of four lead changes, Colorado State struck first when Jason Beerlire found the try zone and Jackson Connoly followed with a successful conversion to make it 7-0.
After Both the Rams and Buffaloes added tries, it looked as though Colorado State would take a 12-7 lead into half. However, with no time remaining in the first half, lock Guido Murnig broke through the Ram defense to dot down a try that Sean Kilfoyle would convert to give the Buffs a 14-12 advantage at intermission.
Colorado seemed to be on its way to a win when it extended the lead to 24-15 near the midway mark of the second half. Colorado State, trying to avoid an 0-2 start to its season, scored the next ten points and regained the lead.
After already benefiting from tries from the team’s hooker, lock and flanker, it was another unexpected attacker to record the game winner for the Buffs – lock Robert Annis. Annis scored the unconverted try in the 77th minute to cap the 29-25 triumph for Colorado, which was eerily similar to game winning try scored the 78th minute of the Buffs win over Wyoming a week earlier.
Colorado’s Head Coach Jim Snyder has been impressed with his teams resilience and ability to play a full 80 minutes in the early stages of the season.
“It’s shows the maturity of this group,” said Synder. “I’m fairly confident that a year ago those are games we find a way to lose, and the fact that we’re now fighting all the way through and never out it show our maturity.”
The win puts Colorado on top of the West Conference heading into a Friday showdown against Air Force (1-1) at Glendale, Colorado’s Infinity Park. Colorado State has a week off before it hosts Wyoming (1-1) on March 29.
Snyder is pleased to see the tight finishes around the West and anticipates more matches to come down to the final minutes as the season progresses.
“It shows our is league competitive and it makes what we’re doing fun,” said Synder. “Week in, week out you better show up to play or you’re going to get beat, and even if you do show up to play you still might get beat. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why you do it – for the competition week in and week out. It’s exciting and it looks like the rest of the season is anybody’s to have.”