Arkansas holds off Oklahoma to highlight Red River weekend

D1A Rugby: Arkansas holds off Oklahoma to highlight Red River weekend

Following tough back-to-back conference losses, Arkansas kicked off February on a high note as they held off Oklahoma by a final of 37-31 Saturday afternoon. Elsewhere in the Red River Conference, 20th ranked LSU stayed perfect on the season and hope to rise in the D1A rankings after downing Texas 64-12.

The Razorbacks (came up short back in November against the Sooners), a game that Arkansas thought got away from them. Defensively the team could not find a solution for Oklahoma’s Manny Soto, who tallied seven tries in that outing. Arkansas would not let history repeats itself, holding the scrum to one successful try early in the game this past weekend.

Coby Graves gave the Razorbacks the early lead with a try in the sixth minute. A successful penalty kick conversion, and two more tries by Alexander Rees and Brady McQueeney put Arkansas up 18-7 at the half. Two additional tries by Jack Casey helped propel Arkansas out of the gate in the second half to go up 30-7, but Oklahoma was quick to respond.

Following Casey’s try, Luis Nunez scored two tries of his own in the 48th and 55th minute to help narrow the gap. Casey’s third try of the game helped ease the pressure on Arkansas with 20 minutes remaining, now up 37-19 following a conversion by Rees. The score would remain that way until the waning minutes, when substitute Baldwin Smith sparked a final push with a try in the 75th. Austin Weber responded in the 78th with a try of his own, but the rally would ultimately fall short as time expired.

The Razorbacks now sit at 2-3 in conference play, and rest in the middle of conference standings with 12 points. They will now hit the road this weekend to play Texas Tech on Feb. 11. The Sooners meanwhile rest just behind LSU in second in the Red River with 24 points, and will regroup versus Baylor on the road on Feb. 18.

LSU hopes to rise in the D1A rankings looks good following 64-12 win. Eight different players tallied tries for the Tigers on Saturday, including three by junior flanker Brennan Falcon in the first half. Through the first 40 minutes, the Tigers walked off the field up 45-0.  Hooker Hunter Breit meanwhile converted all seven attempts for the Tigers. The Longhorns however did not find the scoreboard until their first try in the 55th minute, and tacked on another plus a conversion in the 68th minute.   

Sitting atop the conference, LSU won’t meet another Red River opponent until next month when they and Arkansas are slated for a Mar. 11 .  Until then, the team will test themselves when they host Arkansas State in a non-conference matchup next weekend.

For Texas they will remain home for the second part of a back-to-back homestead when they host Texas A&M on Saturday, Feb. 11.