D1A Recap: Week 7

D1A Rugby: D1A Recap: Week 7
Photo Credit: @BadgerKings10
With fall conference play winding down, this week’s D1A action featured top teams playing pivotal conference matchups.

In the long-awaited showdown for Rugby East between No. 10 West Point and No. 6 Penn State, the Nittany Lions emerged victorious. After Army took a 7-0 lead early, Penn State responded with tries from Ryan McNulty and Thomas del Pino to take a 12-7 lead into the half. Army came out strong in the second half, scoring two tries to regain the lead but Penn State remained composed in the final minutes, pounding away at Army’s defense before stretching it wide to center Kiefer Kei-Boguinard to score the game-winning try for a 22-21 Nittany Lion victory. With this win, Penn State locked up its second straight Rugby East title and will finish with a perfect 6-0 record in conference play.

Also looking to make a late statement in Rugby East play was No. 16 Notre Dame College. After a loss last week, the Falcons responded with a 34-24 victory over St. Bonaventure, leaving head coach Jason Fox optimistic about the team’s future.

“I was happy with the way our players worked our system,” coach Fox said. “We did control the possession for a majority of the game, however, we made too many mistakes inside the 10 meters attacking. I am hoping by eliminating ball handling errors due to wet weather, we can play a solid game vs. Kutztown this weekend and let the playoff picture sort itself out.”
Two top teams out of the Big Ten also faced off over the weekend, with No. 7 Indiana defeating No. 17 Wisconsin 36-12. Senior 8-man Jake Ney picked up two tries for the Hoosiers as they captured their 5th straight conference victory to remain undefeated. Meanwhile, Michigan State handled Iowa 64-15, putting the Spartans in position to fight for a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game along with Indiana and Wisconsin.

The Rocky Mountain Conference continued to entertain with another thrilling upset, with Colorado beating No. 18 Air Force 49-41. Colorado started fast thanks to three early tries from its backline and while Colorado’s defense fended off several Air Force surges late in the second half to earn them the impressive conference victory.