Upsets and Close Finishes in Week 11

D1A Rugby: Upsets and Close Finishes in Week 11
Photo Credit: Cal Poly Rugby Facebook Page

This week in D1A Rugby had a lot to offer as teams began to make their final playoff pushes. The weekend slate featured a few key conference matchups and some top 20 teams going head-to-head.

#4 BYU hosted #13 Central Washington and came away with a 46-26 victory in the cold. CWU’s offense showed some firepower with a few quick scores, but BYU answered back with the final 15 points of the half, taking a 20-14 lead. From there, BYU kept up its pressure, lengthening the lead to dash any hopes of a CWU comeback. Top scorers on the day were Connor Parry for BYU and Cole Zarcone for CWU.

In snowy Salt Lake City, #3 Cal completed its sweep of the PAC Conference by defeating #17 Utah 80-0. Despite the wet conditions, the Bears found success on the outside, with seven tries coming from wings.  After yet another spring shutout, Cal seems to be clicking at the right time on both sides of the ball.

#10 Arizona returning from a spring break tour of Mexico, came out and played against #15 San Diego State. It was an important match as San Diego State going into the weekend were currently the first team out of the playoffs. A win would have helped them break into the playoff picture. It wasn’t to be, as the Aztecs fell to the Wildcats by the slimmest of margins. A missed penalty at in extra time saw them fall 41-42. 

Though they took a loss, Cal Poly had one of their best showings all season against #1 Saint Mary’s, losing 36-17.  Cal Poly matched St. Mary’s in the first half, limiting their own mistakes while capitalizing on turnovers to take a 7-7 tie into the half. The Gaels halftime adjustments helped them open up the field with kicks, and they soon got their offense going to pull in front. Some key takeaways for Cal Poly were their strong performances in the scrum and on defense at the breakdown.

In Mid-South, Life continued its dominant road trip with a 97-3 win over Davenport. Life stayed strong during some long defensive periods and responded with quick scores early and often.  Their away stretch will continue with an all-important rematch against #5 Lindenwood to decide first place in Mid-South. Elsewhere in the conference, #11 Arkansas State beat Clemson 57-21, bouncing back after two straight losses.

In Baton Rouge, LSU kept its chances alive to win Red River South with a 71-17 victory over Texas.

Utah Valley stayed red hot this week after its win over CWU on Wednesday, beating Utah State 43-19. Also in action in the Rocky Mountain Conference was Air Force, who edged out Colorado in a 57-46 shootout.

GCU continued to build its strong resume in its first year in D1A. After taking down #19 UC Davis earlier in the week, the Lopes picked up another win, this time over Santa Clara 83-13.