#18 Notre Dame College hosted #8 Penn State in each side’s first East Conference game of the year. Notre Dame College took an early lead with a try, thanks to outside center Matthew Smith, in the second minute of the game. Penn State would immediately answer back, tying the game up at 7 a piece after winger Brian Stella crossed the white line in the sixth minute. Stella would again score, helping put his team up by seven with 20 minutes left in the half. A pair of penalties would lead to each side successfully converting kicks, pushing the score to 17-10, in Penn State’s favor. With seconds left in the half, Notre Dame College’s flyhalf Christian Olsen would break through the Nittany Lion line to score. Thanks to Olsen’s try and the conversion that followed, the scores were level at 17 all heading in to half time. Despite a close first half, Penn State pulled away in the second, scoring 14 points to put them over Notre Dame College.
Final Score: Penn State 31 – Notre Dame College 25
#10 Kutztown hosted #7 Army in a matchup of not only East Conference, but national, rugby power houses. The Black Nights got out to an early lead as freshman lock Andrew Dunham crashed over the line to score his first collegiate try. This initial lead was held for much of the first half until Kutztown struck back and scored in the 29th minute, drawing the scores level at 7 a piece. The game would remain level leading into half time. The Golden Bears would however go on to score three tries, to Army’s one, in the second half on their way to securing a statement win over the Black Knights.
Final Score: Kutztown 29 – Army 12
#5 Navy faced off against #17 Iona in a competitive conference-crossover matchup. Iona was able to keep pace with Navy for a majority of the match, being tied at 22 a piece, after 45 minutes of the game had passed. However, in the last 35 minutes of the game, Navy would go on to outscore Iona 31-7. Eight different players scored for the Midshipmen in their dominant win over Iona.
Final Score: Navy 53 – Iona 29
Within the Big Ten Conference, Illinois hosted Michigan State in a tight matchup to kick off each side’s fall season. This was a hard fought and physical battle, as six players were given yellow cards throughout the match, as well as a red card to Illinois inside center Jonathon Toriumi. Down nine points with 15 minutes left Michigan state was able to battle back, scoring two tries in the final moments of the game. These score secured a crucial win early in their season over their conference rival Illinois.
Final Score: Michigan State 25 – Illinois 24
OTHER MATCHUPS AROUND THE LEAGUE:
Four more teams in the Rocky Mountain Conference kicked off their seasons this past weekend. Utah State started theirs with a bang, beating Wyoming 84-15. Utah State’s offensive outburst was led by outside center Christian Smith, who scored five tries in the game. Air Force Academy dominated New Mexico, beating them 69-31, in Colorado Springs. While each team played poor defense, Air Force’s relentless attack kept them above leading to a statement win over the Lobos. Air Force winger Ryan Clancy, was Man of the Match, scoring 29 total points on the day.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten Conference, Purdue traveled to Minnesota and lost 21-29 in their season opener. While in other conference-crossover action, #25 Indiana travelled to South Bend to take on #24 Notre Dame, defeating the Fighting Irish 25-12.
In the Liberty Conference, Syracuse defeated Oswego State in their home opener 34-7. Fordham handily beat Rutgers in New Jersey, 61-6. Northeastern started their season out strong with a 60-3 win over Rhode Island. Cortland shut out Colgate on their home turf, 23-0. Binghamton steadily defeated Brockport 37-14, while Boston College traveled into Fairfield territory and came out victorious 40-27.