Week 19 Recap: Arkansas State and Oklahoma Make Statements

D1A Rugby: Week 19 Recap: Arkansas State and Oklahoma Make Statements
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There was a sense of excitement heading into the weekend, as top teams returned and conferences could be clinched; with all the anticipation, the weekend certainly delivered.

#10 Arkansas State pulled off the upset this weekend, over #4 Lindenwood 29-23 in Mid-South action. Arkansas State got on the board early thanks to a try from inside center Mazvitaieshe Nyamarebvu in the second minute of the match. Lindenwood would get there first points on the board in the 15th and 20th minutes of the match by way of penalty kicks from their fullback Evan Williams, bringing the score to 7-6. Nyamarebvu scored his second try of the match soon after for Arkansas State, helping distance themselves from Lindenwood. Lindenwood was able to remain close to Arkansas State for much of the game, but ultimately were unable to keep up with the rapid attack of Arkansas State.

Elsewhere in the Mid-South, #1 Life kept Clemson try-less in their 95-3 win. Inside center Mitchell Wilson had a fantastic day for Life, racking up 28 points in the lopsided victory. Wilson scored two tries and made nine conversions before being pulled in the 63rd minute. 8-man Keagan Sparks also had a strong showing for Life as he scored three tries in the win.

Oklahoma clinched the North Conference in the Red River league, after beating LSU 27-21. While LSU were able to get out to an early lead, Oklahoma was able to take the lead in the dying minutes of the first half, scoring in the 40th minute to put them up 15-14. Oklahoma came out of halftime on fire, racking up two quick tries to distance themselves from LSU and clinch the top spot in the North Conference. In other Red River action Arkansas beat Texas 105-14.

Cal opened their PAC season strong, with a shutout win over Arizona State 109-0. Three different Cal players scored hat-tricks in the game, with flanker Nic Mirhashem, flyhalf Samuel Walsh, and winger Marcus Shankland all crossing the try line three times during the match. UCLA also opened up their PAC season this past weekend, as they downed Utah 41-8.

In the California Conference, Santa Clara secured an important come from behind win over Cal Poly. With only a few minutes left to play Santa Clara’s outside center Daniel Pusack broke through the Cal Poly defense to tie the score up at 27-27. Santa Clara’s flyhalf and kicker, Owen O’Mahony, was able to put his team ahead with three minutes left after converting the try. Santa Clara was able to hang on and win 29-27. San Diego State was able to easily dispose of UC Santa Barbra 59-7 in Cal league action.

Utah Valley played their second game of the season and notched up a win against Utah State, 73-15.

In this week’s lone crossover match #9 Arizona beat #20 Grand Canyon 34-14, with outside center Lucas Bartzis scoring three tries in the win.