Week 8 Recap: Time is Running Out for Fall Teams and Their Playoff Push

D1A Rugby: Week 8 Recap: Time is Running Out for Fall Teams and Their Playoff Push
Photo Credit: Iona College Rugby Football Club Facebook Page

It was a weekend filled with significant matches throughout the landscape of D1A. Teams, seeing the twilight of their Fall seasons, attempted to launch attempts at securing or rectifying their hopes at conference glory.

On Sunday Fordham travelled to Delaware, with both sides looking to remain undefeated this season. After a well worked multiphase play, Delaware was able to crossover for their first try of the day. Delaware followed it up with the second try of the day, as they stole a Fordham lineout within their own 22 and ran the length of the field to score. The try was scored by prop Zephir Lampert, after a fantastic string of passes and offloads by his teammates. Prior to half time Delaware ran in two more tries; while Fordham, were able to cross the line twice as well. At halftime Delaware led, 22-12. Fordham came back to score twice in the second half, taking the lead at 24-22. However, Delaware would come storming back to score two tries of their own to seal the win, 36-24. Delaware remains undefeated this year and looks poised to make a run at a playoff seed in the Liberty playoffs.

In a highly anticipated crossover match, #5 Penn State travelled to play #15 Iona. Penn State’s number 8, Robert Irimescu, shined leading the team with three tries. Lock, Leo Van Buskirk took on the kicking duties for Penn State, successfully converting five of seven tries. Iona put up a good fight against one of the top teams in the country, but would end up losing 45-31. Despite the loss, Iona has repeatedly shown they can successfully compete against some of the best teams in the nation.

With the Big Ten season winding down teams, had little time remaining to make a run at the top of their division. Michigan State got a big win against Michigan, winning 25-15. They now move in to second place behind Wisconsin. #16 Wisconsin remained in first place despite losing to Ohio State 22-17. Ohio State remains the only undefeated team in the Big Ten. In other Big Ten action Indiana beat Illinois 32-17, while Minnesota lost to Purdue 19-61.

#6 Army hosted #14 Notre Dame College in a clash between rugby East powerhouses. It was not the outing that that NDC has hoped for, as Army won convincingly 58-27. The Black Knights remain undefeated setting up  what looks to be the Rugby East decider against Penn State, this upcoming weekend. In the other rugby east game this weekend #10 Kutztown beat Wheeling Jesuit 36-15.

Buffalo continued to struggle this year, after travelling to Colgate and losing 22-10 in a crossover match. Buffalo lead at halftime 7-5, but would surrender three tries to Colgate in the second half. Colgate had a strong defensive game that helped keep them in the game while their offense was largely ineffective in the first half.

In Red River Oklahoma took on North Texas, winning  66-15. Texas Tech continued to struggle this season, being demolished this week by Baylor 108-5. Arkansas travelled to Texas A&M, and remained undefeated after beating Texas A&M in a close match 27-24.

The Rocky Mountain season is winding down, with only two weeks left for teams to leave their mark on the division this year. Air Force rebounded this week against Colorado after losing two games to #8 Navy and Colorado State. Air Force got back on track with a, 49-8, victory over an inconsistent Colorado team. Utah State travelled to play a winless Wyoming team in a close match. In what might be Wyoming’s most painful loss of the year, they surrendered a 15-5 lead at half time against Utah State to end up losing 17-15.

An undefeated Syracuse side travelled to Albany, looking to continue their hot start; Albany on the other hand, was looking to rebound after losing their first game of the season in a shock upset by Oswego. Syracuse kept the Albany offense silent while running in 48 points before Albany scored their first try of the game as the game expired. In other Liberty rugby action Binghamton beat a struggling Cortland side 41-12; Rutgers hosted and lost to a resilient Stony Brook team 19-15; Tufts were trounced by Boston College 55-5; and Fairfield were defeated by Northeastern 40-24.