LSU, Oklahoma prevail in Red River showdowns

D1A Rugby: LSU, Oklahoma prevail in Red River showdowns
Photo Credit: Tom Dunning

LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Baylor and Texas A&M’s hopes of improving to 3-0 in the Red River were dashed when Oklahoma and LSU got the better of their conference foes, respectively.

Eight months after losing to LSU by just two points, Texas A&M had plans to travel to Baton Rouge, La. and hand the Tigers their first Red River defeat since joining the conference last year. LSU, however, had plans of its own.

The Tigers jumped all over its guests following the opening whistle. Loose forwards Todd Dupre and Brennan Falcon scored the game’s first tries to build a 12-0 advantage. Still playing on the front foot, winger Charles Mitchell added a third score, which Alex Miller converted to push the advantage to 19-0.

Texas A&M stopped the bleeding when Mitchell’s opposite number, James Graham, found the try zone for himself. The Aggies momentum was short-lived, though. LSU full back Terence Alexander scored what would be his first of two scores at the 36-minute mark.

Trailing 24-7, Texas A&M got itself back into the match by scoring a try just before halftime through Taylor Whistler, and again to open the second half.

Nursing a narrow five-point lead, LSU went back to the offensive and sent Thomas Wisecarver over the line before Alexander netted his second try.

Aggie eight man Braeden Hood, who had scored four tries in two conference games coming into the contest, added one more late in the game. Ross Navarro split the uprights on the conversion to follow, making him three of four on the day, but LSU still prevailed, 36-26.

The Tigers will look to improve its undefeated conference streak to 3-0 on the season Friday, Nov. 18 when they travel to TCU. Meanwhile, the Aggies have completed the fall portion of their campaign and will get back on the pitch to face Baylor Jan. 28.

Baylor’s 2-0 start in conference play and overall record of 4-0 had many in the Southwest buzzing about the Bears. Baylor’s buzz may have dipped a few decimals over the weekend when Oklahoma shutout the boys from Waco, Tex., 37-0.

Sooners scrum half Manny Soto ended a scoreless opening 10 minutes by finding the try zone. Wing Giovanni Winters and flanker Colton Grantham soon followed suit to bring Oklahoma lead to 22-0 before Soto added a second to end the half.

Already leading 27-0 to start the second half, excellent play from the Sooners reserves and a red card issued to Baylor only made things worse for the Bears. Inside center Luke Prosence dotted down for the second time this season in the 66th-minute, and eight man Robin Persegol added a late score for good measure to bring Oklahoma’s final margin of victory to 37-0.

Baylor now has two months to correct the mistakes it made against the Sooners so it can get back to its winning ways Jan. 21 against Arkansas. Oklahoma, on the other hand, will like to carry its momentum onto next week. The Sooners will remain at home to take on Arkansas Saturday, Nov. 19 in their final game of the fall semester.