Arizona reaches D1A Semifinals with convincing win over Baylor

D1A Rugby: Arizona reaches D1A Semifinals with convincing win over Baylor
Photo Credit: Connie Hatfield

One year ago the Arizona Wildcats were ousted from the D1A Playoffs in the National Quarterfinals. They did not make the same mistake twice after downing Baylor 48-5 to move on to the Semifinals to face Saint Mary’s.

“In the end we made a lot of mistakes that they were able to capitalize on,” Baylor head coach Mason Hering said. “We didn’t execute well and they punished us for it. They are a very skilled team so when you give them opportunities they will take advantage. Our boys played with a lot of heart and never quit which I’m really proud of. We’ll take this one on the chin and bounce back next year ready to compete again. We had a great season, so losing to a good team like Arizona is nothing to be ashamed of.”

The Wildcats did not appear to lose a step from their opening round victory over Air Force last week. The team led 22-0 at halftime, never stopping and never looking back in Waco.

The loss puts an end to a monumental season for the Bears who went from three wins in the Red River last year to Conference Champions in 2017. The Wildcats, meanwhile, head into the final four having knocked off two conference champions after entering the postseason on a sour 53-3 loss to Utah to end the regular season. They hope to earn a third victory over a conference champion with their sights set firmly on the top-seeded Gaels in their fourth consecutive road game next Saturday.

Saint Mary’s sailed to victory over San Diego State Saturday afternoon, 72-5 for their second win over the Aztecs this season. 

The winner of next weekend’s game will move on to the D1A National Championship May 6 at Saint Mary’s Stadium. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. PT and can be seen live on CBS Sports.