BOULDER, Colo. – Canterbury D1A Top 20 sides Ohio State and Wisconsin won in convincing fashion over the weekend in the Big Ten Universities Conference, and Illinois defeated Minnesota for its second consecutive victory. However, the most notable result out of the BTU came in a nonconference bout between Indiana and the Mid-South’s Davenport.
No. 9 Indiana vs. No. 5 Davenport
In what could be argued the biggest nonconference match of the fall semester, BTU’s best, Indiana, hosted 2014 and 2015 D1A Semifinalist Davenport.
The opening half saw the Hoosiers dominate territory, but they weren’t able to capitalize on the field position and allowed the Panthers to take a 14-3 lead at intermission. Indiana took advantage of its opportunities in the second half, starting with a try and subsequent conversion of Teddy Terezis to pull his side within four points of No. 5 Davenport.
After trading successful penalty kicks, Indiana was again down four points. Then, with less than 10 minutes remaining in the match, outside center Alex Dorrier dotted down for the game-winner, 18-17.
The monumental win for the Hoosiers should move them up a few spots in the D1A Top 20 before next week’s fixture against Michigan State. Davenport’s difficult slate of fall nonconference matches takes them to South Euclid, Ohio, next weekend, where the Panthers will face D1AA program Notre Dame College.
Iowa vs. Ohio State
Ohio State broke 70 points for the third time this season, this occasion at the expense of the winless Hawkeyes. Winger John Walsh scored his second try of the season in the sixth minute, and five other Buckeyes followed Walsh over the line for scores of their own before the halftime whistle sounded for a 36-7 lead at the break.
It was more of the same in the second half, as flanker Scott Freitag and center Ryan Skelly scored their second tries of the match. Iowa’s Nick Felice dotted down in the first half, as did Antonelly Jones in the second. Fly half Taylor Young would convert both of his opportunities, but the afternoon belonged to Ohio State, which eventually won, 71-14.
Iowa has another difficult game staring at them in an Oct. 24 visit to Michigan, and Ohio State has its biggest match of the season – a 2014 BTU Championship rematch – against No. 13 Wisconsin this weekend.
Illinois vs. Minnesota
After dropping its first two games of the season, Illinois has evened its record to 2-2 with a 57-20 win over Illinois.
Despite the 37-point margin of victory at fulltime, the Gophers didn’t make things easy on Illinois for a majority of the match. Fighting Illini center Danny Lyons opened the scoring with a try that was converted by scrum half Mario Lozano. Minnesota would answer with a Jay Kim Jr. try, and the teams traded back-to-back unconverted tries to give Illinois a 17-15 lead midway through the first half.
Illinois was able to push its lead to 24-15 just ahead of halftime, but it was the Gophers who were on the front foot to open the second half. Wing Charles Shaw pulled Minnesota to within four points at the 51st minute, but those would be the final points Illinois would surrender. During a flurry of offense to close out the game, back-liners Joseph Lincoln and Elijah Seay earned their second tries, and Illinois doubled its win total.
Illinois should be a favorite to win a third consecutive game when it travels to Purdue next weekend, while Minnesota is off until it hosts those very same Boilermakers on Halloween.
Purdue vs. No. 13 Wisconsin
Shutouts in which Wisconsin totaled 87 and 88 points against Iowa and Minnesota, respectively, made Purdue’s 63-24 loss to the Badgers far less egregious.
Inside center Dion Crowder gave the Boilermakers their lone lead of the afternoon with a converted try to open the match. The rest of the half belonged to Wisconsin, outscoring Purdue 41-7. The Boilermakers did well to counter the Badgers’ running rugby, but the effort was not nearly good enough to punch the team’s first win.
There will be BTU Championship implications involved in next weekend’s battle of undefeateds when the 13th-ranked Badgers visit Columbus, Ohio, to take on the 15th-ranked Buckeyes. Despite the final score line, Purdue will have positives to take away from this match and build on prior to its next match – a Halloween date with Minnesota.