BOULDER, Colo – Oklahoma prevailed against Texas Tech and won the Allied Rugby Conference in the process. In the Mid-South, the higher ranked teams, Life and Arkansas State, won their matches, but only by a combined 10 points. San Diego State was Saint Mary’s latest victim, as the Gaels won its third straight match by at least 90 points.
Allied Rugby Conference
Oklahoma 39-34 Texas Tech
Oklahoma and Texas Tech stood as the second and third placed teams in the ARC, respectively, going into the match. Still, the winner of the two would overcome Baylor as the top-placed team in the conference and be crowned the 2014 ARC 15s Champions.
The two squads traded leads in the first half, as Oklahoma’s Michael Al-Jiboori and Texas Tech’s Kyle Kulka each touched down two scores apiece. After 40 minutes, it was the Red Raiders who were playing with a bit more fire and skill, and took to the break with a 22-20 lead.
After extending its lead to 27-20 with a Zach McKinney try and Oklahoma’s captain and best player, Al-Jiboori, on the sideline with an injury, Tech looked destined to return to Lubbock, Tex. with the ARC title.
Oklahoma, however, proved its merit as a true champion and scored three tries in a 10-minute span to retake a lead that it would not relinquish. The Sooners’ win earns the program its second consecutive 15s title, after already claiming the ARC 7s Championship in the fall.
Texas A&M 46-30 Sam Houston State
Life 21-17 Lindenwood
For the second time this season Lindenwood challenged Life for 80 minutes, and for the second time Lindenwood finished four points shy of the No. 2-ranked team in D1A.
Life, playing at home, adjusted to the soggy field conditions quicker than its opponents. After Lindenwood’s Lungile Tshuma slotted a penalty eight minutes in, Life answered with 10 points of its own to close the first half.
Following a red card to Lindenwood Kolton Nelson in the early goings of the second half, Life’s Joe Cowley hit his second penalty of the game and followed it with a try of his own. The AIG All-American finished with 16 of the Running Eagles 21 points.
Down a man and 15 points on the scoreboard, the Lions roared back. Substitutes Mickey Bateman and Marshall Godfrey each scored tries to cut Life’s lead to just a single point. However, the comeback would fall a bit short, as Cowley added another penalty to keep Life unbeaten on the season.
Arkansas State 24-18 Davenport
After starting the season with three straight matches on the road resulting in losses, Davenport finally hosted a Mid-South game. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the result was the same – a hard-fought loss.
Davenport grinded to a 10-7 halftime lead, but Arkansas State used three ties in the second frame, including two from flanker Shaun Paterson, to regain control and improve to 3-1. Next week the Red Wolves have an opportunity to avenge its sole loss of the season when Life visits Jonesboro, Ark. for a highly anticipated Mid-South clash.
Colorado State 41-22 Wyoming
Colorado State got its first D1A win of the season against Wyoming on Saturday. The Rams had shown well in its first two matches of the spring, losing close games to Colorado and Air Force. Wyoming drops to 1-2 following the loss. Although Colorado has run out to a 3-0 record to start the West season, it looks like the conference is still anyone’s to be had.
Saint Mary’s 102-3 San Diego State
Prior to Saturday’s matches, I predicted that San Diego State would give Saint Mary’s a far greater challenge than the Gaels received in its prior two D1A matches. I was wrong.
San Diego State capitalized on sloppy play by Saint Mary’s early in the match, and even took a 3-0 lead. After the penalty boot by the Aztecs’ Kalei Konrad, the Gaels would score the next 102 points of the match.
Inside center Dylan Audsley nailed 11 of his 16 conversion attempts, and 14 different Gaels found the try zone on the afternoon.
On Saturday April 5, Saint Mary’s hosts fellow Bay Area rugby power Cal.
Wheeling Jesuit 27-7 Michigan State