Hoosiers Confirmed as Big Ten Champions – 58-38 Defeat over Wolverines

D1A Rugby: Hoosiers Confirmed as Big Ten Champions – 58-38 Defeat over Wolverines

Indiana University Hoosiers overcame the University of Michigan Wolverines 38-58. This brings the Big Ten to the end of the Fall season after seeing some sensational game play. In all, the Hoosiers set the standard with a strong showing of fitness, strategy and plain old hard work, as Indiana Coach Sarasopa Enari would say. The first half of the match, though, saw a very different story – it seemed quite likely that Michigan despite all odds would come out on top of the mighty Hoosiers. Weather conditions can be attributed in part to the Wolverine’s success, though the spirit out on the pitch was otherworldly. In all, we did not see the upset of the century; Michigan had a strong showing forcing Indiana to earn their win.

Starting off, a tough series of penalties brought the Hoosiers up 0-12 early on in the match. Responding with force, Michigan looked to seniors Kenny Andutan and Chris Padmos to ramp up the intensity resulting in a successful trip into the Hoosiers try zone, 7-12, with a big thank you to flanker Sequoyah Burke-Combs for touching the ball down. Some strong play by both sides persists as IU blood subs occur. Working it up the field, Matt Kasten brings in a 60 meter run and after a quick recovery, IU gives up another try bringing the score to 14-12 Michigan.

Hoosiers recognize areas to sure up and organize, eventually awarded multiple penalties. IU confidently elects to go for the five point try, as opposed three points from a penalty kick, without a successful touch down The next points to be scored came from Wolverine Joe Conzelmann after launching the pill through the uprights, bringing the score to 17-12 Michigan with just five minutes left in the half.

A quick turn around off the restart, Indiana managed a try at the 37 minute mark. Unsuccessful conversion attempted, the scoreboard read 17-17 with three minutes left in the half. Some quick plays to come in the final minutes of the half seeing a significant attempt to the try zone by Wolverine Burke-Combs proves fruitful. A missed conversion by Conzelmann brings Michigan ahead 22-17. As we all know play does not stop until the referee blows the whistle – the boys in blue have really taken that to heart. With just moment’s left, Conzelmann brings in three penalty points by launching the ball through the uprights from 39 meters out. Half time score sees Michigan up 25-17.

Some of Michigan’s successes in the first half can be attributed to a favorable wind helping them march into the Indiana try zone. After just five minutes into the second half, Indiana crosses the ball over Michigan’s try line bringing them within one point of the Wolverines, 25-24. Maintaining the momentum the Hoosiers continue to apply pressure and bring the ball deep within the Wolverine’s half. A successful goal line stand ends with an Indiana knock on, resulting in a Michigan scrum. The Hoosiers rebound by winning the scrum and bringing in five more points with 25 minutes to go in the second half.

Shortly thereafter, Michigan draws a penalty giving Conzelmann, who is up for nomination as D1A Player of the Month, the chance to impress us all with his kicking consistency by achieving another penalty kick – 28-29 Indiana. This is where the Hoosiers really bring up the heat. After some strong phases and execution of legendary IU pattern play, we see a try and conversion bring up the tally, 28-36 Indiana.

Maintaining this pressure and momentum, Indiana restarts to Michigan and keeps the Wolverines pinned deep into their own half. With discipline, the Hoosiers impose a turnover and capitalize to bring in their seventh try of the match, 28-41 Indiana. After another restart, Indiana manages a penalty kick for the first time of the match – a success brings the score to 28-44 Indiana.

A restart places the ball in Michigans hands with only a few minutes left in the game. Wolverine determination brings the ball straight through the Indiana half narrowing the point spread, 33-44. Playing on injury time, the game continues as the Hoosiers score two back-to-back try’s, bringing the count to 33-58. And just as we are all ready to pack our bags and head in for a hot chocolate, the Wolverines pull out a final try as if to make a statement that they are a force to be reckoned with. The final score of the match is 38-58 and places the Indiana Hoosiers as Big Ten Champions earning and undefeated season. Indiana will move onto the American Collegiate Rugby Championship to take on Bowling Green this Saturday, November 16th