LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Three ranked Rugby East teams went on the road to snatch victories away from their opposition Saturday, Oct. 15. Penn State didn’t let a slow start against Iona keep it from returning to State College, Pa., with a win, while Army and Kutztown bounced back from last week’s losses to easily handle Wheeling Jesuit and St. Bonaventure, respectively.
#4 Penn State 36 – Iona 17
The Nittany Lions became the lone undefeated team in Rugby East after upending Iona given Wheeling Jesuit’s loss to Army. Penn State’s sixth conference victory did not come easy, though.
The visiting Nittany Lions lit up the scoreboard first through full back Jimmy Haley, but the Gaels answered quickly when Michael Scarcella scored his first of two tries on the day. Back-and-forth play continued as both teams managed their share of possession and go-forward ball until Penn State lock Leo Van Buskirk’s try broke the tie and scrum half Jimmy Ronan’s successful conversion brought the score to 12-5 at halftime.
Haley began the second half as he did the first half by making a big play – this time setting up teammate Rob Irimescu for a try and a 19-5 Penn State lead. Iona, as it did after Haley’s opening try, shifted the ball quickly down the field. On this occasion the Gaels sent John D’Allara over the line and Santi Mascolo’s conversion would split the uprights to bring the hosts to within seven points of fourth-ranked Penn State’s lead.
Iona’s attempt at a massive upset began to unravel when Haley scored his second try to make the score 31-12. Both teams did, however, play tough through the final whistle and added one final score each. Scarcella got his second for Iona, while reserve lock Dan Featherston scored his first try of the season.
Penn State is without a game this weekend, while Iona will seek its first win since mid-September when it hits the road to play West Virginia Oct. 22
#13 Kutztown 60 – 36 St. Bonaventure
The 2015 Rugby East Champions regained the form fans are used to seeing out of the Golden Bears a week after they fell to Wheeling Jesuit, 33-20.
Kutztown managed to score seven tries, including two by winger Dmontae Noble. Jackson Clark, who scored a try of his own, netted 15 points from his boot during a very accurate afternoon for the fly half.
Following a win over West Virginia in which the Bonnies scored 70 points, their attack was again on point against Kutztown. Unfortunately, St. Bonaventure had no answers for the Golden Bears’ mighty offense and fell to 2-4 in Rugby East with the loss.
Kutztown remains on the road this coming weekend for a fixture against Delaware. The Bonnies’ next game is also against the Blue Hens, but, facing a bye week, St. Bonaventure won’t match up with Delaware until Oct. 29
#8 Army 53 – 7 #16 Wheeling Jesuit
The Black Knights shrugged off last week’s loss to Penn State by putting together a comprehensive, 53-7, win over Wheeling Jesuit. The 46-point victory was especially surprising considering Army had to go on the road to earn its sixth Rugby East win over a team that dispatched No. 13 Kutztown a week earlier.
Fly half Jon Kim continues to be a kicking revelation for Army. Not only did the former West Point football player score a try, but he also slotted four conversions and five penalty kicks.
Beyond Kim’s 28 points, five other Black Knights found the try zone, including full back Jake Lachina. The junior from California leads the team with seven tries on the season.
Army is without a match this coming weekend, but will once again have to face a Top 20 team when it hosts Kutztown Oct. 29. Wheeling Jesuit, meanwhile, looks to get back to its winning ways Saturday, Oct. 22, against Buffalo.