Week 20 Recap: Top Ranked Teams Hold Serve

D1A Rugby: Week 20 Recap: Top Ranked Teams Hold Serve
Photo Credit: Karen Drinkwater

With two Top 10 match ups and many of the top teams in the country back on the field this weekend, the action was expected to be close and exciting- it certainly did not disappoint.

#1 Life took on #5 Arkansas State at home this past weekend, looking to remain undefeated in 2019. Arkansas State was looking to capitalize on their momentum from the previous week, when they toppled powerhouse Lindenwood and hoped to repeat the feat against Life. Despite Arkansas State getting out to an early 3-0 lead after a successful penalty kick seven minutes into the game, Life was able to come back and level the scores with a penalty kick of their own. By half time Life held a narrow 10-3 lead over Arkansas State. Much of the second half was controlled by Life, as they were able to rack up 17 more points via a try from flanker Marek Lipold, a penalty try, and kicks from inside center Mitchell Wilson. Life beat Arkansas State 27-15, and are the only team in the Mid-South conference to remain undefeated this year.

In other Mid-South action #7 Lindenwood looked to rebound after their loss against Arkansas State with a win against an unranked Clemson side who have not won a league game this year. Lindenwood was able to shutout Clemson in the first half while scoring 29 points, giving them a commanding lead heading into halftime. Clemson managed to convert a penalty kick early in the second half to avoid being shutout, but allowed Lindenwood to run in a further 39 points. Flanker Michael de Waal, 8-man Wesley White, wings Christian Rodriguez and Samuel Chapman, and outside center Anelisa Mteto all scored two tries in Lindenwood’s 68-3 win over Clemson.

#3 Saint Mary’s took on #6 BYU in the other crossover match this past weekend, And defeated BYU 34-12. Saint Mary’s attack was led by Scrumhalf Sean Yacoubian, who scored two tries on the day. Saint Mary’s is undefeated this year while BYU suffered their first loss of the season. BYU will look to rebound against Arizona, while Saint Mary’s will resume California league action against San Diego State.

#2 Cal continued their impressive streak of winning each of their games by 100+ points this year, with Cal Poly falling to the Bears 138-5. Fly half Elliot Webb scored 28 points in the win, while wing Marcus Shankland was able to run in four tries to help Cal continue their dominance of opposing teams in 2019.

The Red River league played its final weekend of regular season play, with Arkansas downing Texas Tech 91-8, Baylor beating Texas 80-5, and Texas A&M finishing the season strong with a 43-8 win over LSU. Texas A&M finishes atop of Red River South, while Oklahoma finishes in first in Red River North based off bonus points.

In the lone PAC league game #10 Arizona defeated interstate rivals Arizona State 78-9, with winger Jon Rodgers leading the way with 19 points for the Wildcats.

The California league had two games this weekend, as UC Davis beat San Diego State on the road 32-12 on Saturday, while Grand Canyon blew out Santa Clara 76-3 on Sunday.

#14 Central Washington shutout Utah State 113-0 in an independent game, with fullback Henry Foster leading the team with 24 points and winger Cole Zarcone scoring 4 tries in the win.