Week 17 Recap: Top Guns Flex Their Muscles

D1A Rugby: Week 17 Recap: Top Guns Flex Their Muscles
Photo Credit: Alex Ho

Round 17 saw some of the best teams in the country return. Despite it being the opening game of the season for many of them, teams already looked to be at their best; setting the stage for what should be an exciting Spring season.

This past weekend saw the return of one of #2 Cal, who kicked off their season with a crossover match vs UC Davis. Cal shutout UC Davis and scored 22 tries on their way to a 136-0 win. Cal had three players score hat tricks in their game, both wings, Marcus Shankland and Sam Cusano, and inside center Christian Dyer all lighting up the scoreboard.

The California Conference saw #4 Saint. Mary’s host two league games on Saturday against Santa Clara and UC Santa Barbra. St. Mary’s sent their B-side out to play their league game vs UC Santa Barbra; while the A-side played against Santa Clara. Both teams won in lopsided victories, with St. Mary’s A-side defeating Santa Clara 113-0, and the B-side beating UCSB 123-0. In St. Mary’s win over Santa Clara, wing Kaipono Kayoshi scored four tries; with three of them coming within the last seven minutes of the game. St. Mary’s B-side also had some outstanding performances in thier win over UCSB, with outside center Derek Ellingson scoring four tries in their shutout win.

In the first league game of the PAC conference Arizona State hosted Utah. Arizona State outside center, Kyson Jester was a big part of the Sun Devils’ success on Saturday. Jester lead the way for the Sun Devils, scoring the team’s first try 12 minutes into the game as well as two more crucial tries later on to help push the Sun Devils ahead of Utah. Utah was able to make a late run in the game, but still came up short to Arizona State, losing 32-27.

Eight teams played in the Red River conference this past weekend, as that conference begins to heat up again. Oklahoma beat Arkansas 35-20 at home to claim first place in Red River North, as Texas A&M distanced themselves from the rest of their league after beating Texas 98-3. Texas A&M now sit in first place in Red River South, leading the next contender in their division by 12 points. In other Red River action, North Texas continued their hot start to 2019, as they defeated Texas Tech 77-7; and Baylor beat LSU, 44-33, to make it two losses in a row for the Tigers.

In crossover action, UCLA hosted Cal Poly and #11 Arizona travelled to take on San Diego State. Cal Poly was able to keep pace with UCLA for most of the game, and by the 58th minute of the game they were only down by three points. But soon after UCLA began to pull away, going on to score 29 points in the last 22 minutes and finishing with a final score of 46-19. UCLA fullback Cian Barry scored 26 points in UCLA’s win over Cal Poly; by way of three tries, four conversions, and one penalty kick. Arizona beat San Diego State 42-7, with the wildcats scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half.