LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Colorado and Utah State earned their second West Conference victories Saturday, Oct. 22. The Buffaloes enjoyed a dominant first half on their way to a 30-22 win over Wyoming, while Utah State had no trouble putting away New Mexico, 52-16.
Colorado 30 – 22 Wyoming
After producing two ties against one another two seasons ago before just five points separated Colorado’s lone game against Wyoming last year, it was a bit of a shock when the Buffs took a commanding, 25-3, halftime lead against the Cowboys over the weekend.
In the opening period, scrum half Evan Clark slotted two penalties and forwards Zach Niro, Ethan Alverson and Blake Rogers recorded tries for Colorado before Wyoming’s Sutton Willis concluded the half with a penalty.
Whatever was said in Wyoming’s halftime huddle inspired the visiting Cowboys, who scored two converted tries to get back within eight points of the Buffaloes.
In the 70th minute, Colorado winger Liam Turner found the try zone for the first time this season to push the Buffs’ lead to 30-17 with 10 minutes left to play. Center Lance Elliott scored for the Cowboys just a few minutes later, but Colorado’s defense would hold down the stretch to prevail, 30-22.
Both Colorado and Wyoming have tough games to contend at home this weekend. The Buffaloes are set to host No. 11 Air Force, while the Cowboys welcome No. 12 Colorado State Saturday, Oct. 29
Utah State 52 – 16 New Mexico
The Aggies’ contest against New Mexico was their fifth and final West Conference match of the season, and Utah State ended its first campaign in D1A Rugby with a bang by beating the Lobos convincingly.
Inside center Conner Peterson collected a first-half hat trick and the Aggies also received tries by Ian Newton and Chris Polinksi to build a 32-5 lead by the time the opening half came to an end.
Utah State’s dominance continued in the second half when winger Elijah Toa needed just two minutes to find the try zone. He was followed by a Michael Paskett try and two more from Polinksi during the Aggies’ imposing performance.
After scoring a try in the first period, New Mexico fly half Montague Chacon slotted two penalty kicks before teammate and eight man Brad Bedesem scored the game’s final points on his first try of the season. The late surge by the Lobos was deserved, but did little to deflate Utah State’s impressive scoreline.
The 36-point victory concludes a successful first season in the West Conference for Utah State. Its wins against Wyoming and New Mexico will be memorable for the players, but it’s worth noting that the Aggies’ three defeats against Air Force, Colorado and Colorado State were by an average of fewer than 11 points per contest.
New Mexico’s next opportunity to pick up its first West win comes Saturday, Nov. 5, when the Lobos will head to Fort Collins, Colo., to take on Colorado State.