Barnburner #1 Mid-South Championship: Arkansas State 13 – 17 Life
Life has taken the 2012 Mid-South Championship after an epic battle at Arkansas State. The Life Running Eagles will have a home playoff match while the Arkansas State Red Wolves are forced to hit the road to open the playoffs.
The match started out in Arkansas State’s favor as Patrick Sullivan touched down a try and converted it himself in minute nine. The Red Wolves enjoyed a 7-0 lead until minute 15 when Sullivan kicked through his first of two penalties to give ASU an early 10-0 lead at home. Neither team was able to add any points through the remainder of the first half and the score stood at 10-0 in favor of ASU at the half.
After the restart the teams traded possession until minute 53 when Sullivan kicked through his second penalty of the day to give ASU a 13-0 lead with just over 25 minutes to play. However, Life would prove there was a lot of rugby yet to be played.
The Life outside center, Darrian Woodson, touched down his sixth try of the season in minute 60. Joseph Cowley converted the try for life to bring the score to 13-7 with just under 20 minutes to play. The next 15 minutes of play saw no scoring until minute 75 when the Life winger, Calvin Nell, touched down a try to bring the Life deficit to one before the conversion. In true form, Cowley converted the try to give Life a 14-13 lead with just four minutes of play left.
The pressure was now on ASU to regain possession and find a way to get at least three points on the board. Unfortunately for ASU they were unable to regain possession and actually committed a penalty in minute 80 that gave Cowley a chance to add three more points, which he did to give Life a hard-fought win with a final score of 17-13.
Barnburner #2 Rugby East Championship: Penn State 19 – 20 Army
Army defeated Penn State 20-19 on the road, in a back-and-forth game, to earn their second consecutive Rugby East Championship.
The Army Black Knights got on the board early, in the first minute, behind a Will Holder penalty. Army enjoyed a lead until minute 13 when the Penn State prop, Matthew Spellman, touched down a try. The missed conversion would prove costly at the end of the match.
Penn State controlled the scoreboard until minute 37 when Holder kicked through his second penalty of the match to give Army a slight 6-5 lead heading into halftime.
After the restart Army wasted no time in adding points to their total, as their outside center, Karl Crist, touched down a try in minute 41. The Holder conversion gave Army a 13-5 lead with essentially a whole half to play. The two-score lead was short-lived as the other Penn State prop, Jonathan Hellmann touched down aw try in minute 48. Joseph Baker kicked through the crucial conversion to bring the score to 13-12 in favor of Army.
It was a one-point match for the next 13 minutes until the Penn State 8-man, Michael Erickson, scored a try in minute 61. Baker converted his second try of the match to give Penn State a 19-13 lead with just under 20 minutes to play. The six-point lead was just enough to force Army to score a try and convert in order to take the lead. Which, in minute 70, is just what Army did.
Kyle Ulses scored a late try and Holder made the conversion to give Army a delicate 20-19 lead with ten minutes to play. The Black Knights would be able to maintain the lead despite the efforts of Penn State and earn the Rugby East title and a first-round home playoff game.
Week 10 Scores
Navy 27 – 10 Delaware
Kutztown 90 – 10 Rutgers
Texas A&M 36 – 14 Notre Dame
BYU 99 – 12 Colorado
Utah 103 – 14 Wyoming
Air Force 68 – 10 Arizona State
Central Washington 60 – 31 Cal Poly SLO