Day 2 of Men's Competition - Collegiate Rugby Championship
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Men’s Pool C, Life v. Cal: Two minutes in, the five-time-champion Cal Golden Bears broke through the Running Eagles’ defense by way of Marcus Shankland for the 5–0 lead. Cal’s second try put Cal in control of this clash of rugby blue bloods. Just before the end of the half, Troy Lockyear was sent to the sin bin, giving Harley Wheeler the space he needed for Life’s first five points of the match.

In the second half, the Golden Bears moved back in front by two scores when Christian Dyer turned strong pressure and great attacking position into points. An indescribably thrilling exchange of possessions and chaos paved the way for Life’s second score with just under two minutes to go, coming by way of George Phelan. The conversion pulled the Running Eagles within five. As the bell rung, Life’s talismanic Harley Wheeler crossed for the leveler. The conversion from just to the left of the post was on the mark for Life’s win at the death. On full time, Life 19, Cal 17.

Men’s Pool D, Temple v. Clemson: Clemson started the match on the wrong foot with a dangerous tackle leading to a yellow card. Even down a man, the Tigers roared with a try for Hunter Dawsey just to the right of the sticks. Drew Dommel added the conversion, putting Temple behind the eightball just two and a half minutes into the match. The Owls got a converted try of their own, two minutes later, when Ryan Liebau found space. On the ensuing restart, Brennon Adams looked to be free for a Clemson try, but was caught just inside the twenty-two and his offload went cleanly to Tim Groff of Temple, ending the Clemson attack. That soon opened things up for Temple with a try from Carson Delaney. As the half came to a close, Grant Weston added five points for Clemson to knot the contest. Dommel’s conversion then gave the Tigers the two-point lead.

Two minutes into the second half, Adams broke free down the right wing for a try in the corner for Clemson. Dommel’s conversion was just wide right, keeping Temple within striking distance of Clemson. Temple benefitted from a yellow card on Clemson’s Mike Jasinski with two minutes to play. Jerry Rosser fended a tackle and managed to get the crucial try for Temple. The conversion tied the match at 19–19. Still down a man, Clemson fought into full time to break the deadlock. The final phase of play saw a total reversal of fortune for Temple as a turnover inside the Clemson ten-meter line gave the Tigers the match. On full time, Clemson 26, Temple 19.

Men’s Pool D, Wisconsin v. Iona: John Powers strolled under the posts for Iona’s first score. Santiago Mascolo’s conversion made it 7–0 three minutes gone off the clock. Iona’s march to the quarterfinal continued out pace with Michael Scarcella adding five points. The first half ended with yet another Iona converted try, this one from Connor Buckley. In the second half, points were harder to come by, but Michael Hay still found a way, pusing Iona into the 24–0 lead. On full time, Iona 24, Wisconsin 0.

Men’s Pool F, Army v. Navy: In the always thrilling contest between Army and Navy, both sides had everything to play for. Navy entered with a surprising 2–0 record, while Army had a chance to force a likely three-way tie atop the table. Keeping up his amazing day, Erick Bleakley broke the scoreless deadlock at the start of the final minute of the first half with a run up the gut. Cole Euverard’s conveniently placed conversion gave the Middies the 7–0 advantage. Navy made it a two-score contest when Bleakley repeated his try-scoring effort to end the half. Euverard’s conversion made it 14–0 at the break.

In the second half, raising his hand for dream team consideration, Bleakley completed his hat trick. Euverard again slotted the conversion for the impressive 21–0 lead. Two minutes later, clearly tired of converting Bleakley’s tries, Euverard crossed for one of his own. His dutiful conversion of his own scored put the match out of reach of the Black Knights. He quickly followed that up with his second try, this one coming in the right corner, finally breaking up his perfect streak of conversions in the contest. On full time, Navy 33, Army 0.

Men’s Pool E, Saint Mary’s v. Fordham: Tavite Lopeti secured the early lead for the Gaels with an unconverted try. As the sixth minute wound to a close, Sean Yacoubian claimed St. Mary’s second try. The half ended with St. Mary’s third try, this one coming from Anthony Rodriguez. The second half deficit for Fordham sank even deeper as Thomas Brusati dotted down to make it 22–0 in favor of the Gaels. Three more unconverted scores for the Gaels made it a runaway, setting up St. Mary’s well for a shot to qualify for the quarterfinals even with a potential loss to Arizona in the pool decider. On full time, St. Mary’s 37, Fordham 0.

Men’s Pool B, Notre Dame v. St. Bonaventure: In a now wide-open, Pool B, St. Bonaventure drew first blood by way of Christian Artuso’s try and conversion. The Irish fought back to level it with a try from Neilus Mulvihill and conversion by Leo Fangmeyer. But as the bell rang to close the half, it was St. Bonaventure’s Chaz Schwenk breaking free for a converted try to take the 14–7 lead into intermission.

The second half saw St. Bonaventure push its lead to fourteen with a converted try out of the gate. The Irish claimed their second try through Connor Grace, dotting down in line with the post. The conversion made it a one-score contest. The Irish threatened again moments later, forcing a five-meter Irish scrum. Notre Dame capitalized with another converted try for Mulvihill to make it 21–21 with thirty seconds to play. St. Bonaventure on the death scored to take the exciting win. On full time, St. Bonaventure 28, Notre Dame 21.

Men’s Pool C, Life v. Indiana: After the Hoosiers took a 7–0 lead in the first minute with a try by Case Fleck. But, for the Indiana hopes, unfortunately Drake Church’s conversion were the final points of the match in favor of the midwesterners. Life proceeded to rattle off 43 unanswered points to dominate the match. The Running Eagles were led by a brace of tries each from Conner Mooneyham and Harley Wheeler. Also scoring for Life were Ryan Rees with a try and conversion, George Phelan and Brian Muntanga each with a try, and Duncan Van Schalkwyk with three conversions. On full time, Life 43, Indiana 7.

Men’s Pool C, Colorado v. Cal: The five-time-champion Golden Bears had their hands full early with the Buffaloes before pulling away. Colorado scored first through Jared Reich to go up 7–0. Cal answered with a try by Troy Lockyear and conversion from Adam Roeske to level it. Colorado regained the lead when Reich claimed his second self-converted try. But the next 34 points went to Cal. Lockyear dominated the scorers list with three tries, followed by Chrisitan Dyer with two and a conversion. Completing the list was Elliot Webb with a try and Sam Walsh on a conversion. On full time, Cal 41, Colorado 14.

Men’s Pool B, UCLA v.Penn State: The Nittany Lions crossed first for the 7–0 lead. But an error on the restart followed by a bonehead mistake immediately after saw Penn State playing a man down with UCLA having a freekick at centerfield. Eric Naposki scampered away for the Bruins’ try. The conversion struck off the post, keeping Penn State ahead by two. UCLA, however, was unable to take the lead. In the end, there were no more points claimed in the first half.

In the second half, Cian Barry’s first try and fifth conversion of the tournament put UCLA on top 12–7. But the lead was only temporary as Penn State’s Jack McLean broke free for his second converted try of the match. Penn State’s second try of the half gave Penn State the 19–12 lead with just a restart to come. Penn State looked to have it won but instead of kicking to touch, the Nittany Lions’ player threw the ball to touch, giving UCLA one final shot to tie it. UCLA, thanks to John McKeon timely feeding the rock to Eric Naposki for Naposki’s fourth try of the tournament pulled off the stunning draw.

Men’s Pool A, Temple v. Virginia Tech: The Hokies claimed the early lead with two converted tries from Nathan Tadesse and Bobby McDonnell along with Temple facing a yellow card. A try and conversion for Wes Pan between the sticks made it a remarkable 21–0 with a minute to go in the first half.

A second Temple yellow card, this one to Ronan Carter, gave Virginia Tech the opportunity for more points. The Hokies claimed them through Pan to make it 26–0 with three minutes remaining. Temple managed to erase the goose egg with a try for Tim Groff thanks to an offload from Carson Delaney and converted by Adam Shapiro. With a third yellow card of the match, Temple could not stop the Hokies from one more score, this time by Mike Williams. Pan’s conversion set the final line. On full time, Virginia Tech 33, Temple 7.

Men’s Pool A, Lindenwood v. Clemson: Wesley White got the defending champions going with a try in the left corner just twenty seconds and change into the contest. Surprising many, Hunter Dawsey broke free for a try between the sticks. With Drew Dommel’s conversion, Clemson took a 7–5 lead. In the sixth minute, Lindenwood regained the lead thanks to White’s second try of the match, claiming a 12–7 lead. But the heavy favorites were not able to hold the lead at the intermission after Joel Jaldin crashed over for the unconverted try to make it 12–12 to end the first half.

Lindenwood came out firing to start the second half with a try by Michael de Waal for the lead. The conversion from Cristian Rodriguez put the Lions ahead 19–12. The Lions extended the score further with a try from Nicholas Taylor. Clemson still refused to back down. Brennon Adams turned on the class and blistered down the pitch for an unconverted try to make it 24–17 in favor of the Lions over the Tigers. With no time remaining, Clemson had a lineout at its own five-meter line. Winning the lineout, Clemson was then rewarded with a Lions penalty. The Tigers kicked to touch just shy of midfield with a chance to force a draw. Unfortunately for Clemson, it was not to be. On full time, Lindenwood 24, Clemson 17.

Men’s Pool D, Wisconsin v. Kutztown: Kutztown absolutely dominated in the Golden Bears’ second match of the day. From the first minute through the last, Kutztown stepped on the gas and never backed off. Dmontae Noble got the scoring started. Thorne O’Connell hit his first of five conversion following the Noble try. Next up was Aaron Gray scoring the first of his two tries in the match. Then came Keagan Barnes with the converted try. Rounding out the scorers were Gerald Lowe with a try, Alex Schlager with a try, Tai Kauew with a try, Daquan Perry with a try, and Barnes with a conversion. On full time, Kutztown 54, Wisconsin 0.

Men’s Pool D, Boston College v. Iona: Iona dominated Boston College to move into strong position atop Pool D. Two tries each rom Watson Filikitonga and John Powers helped Iona to a shutout victory. Joining them in the scorers’ column was Micahel Marro and Michael Scarcella each with a try and Santiago Mascolo with five conversions. On full time, Iona 40, Boston College 0.

Men’s Pool F, Dartmouth v. Navy: The two-time champion Dartmouth Big Green took on the 2013 semifinalists from the Naval Academy. Dartmouth narrowly missed out on scoring two and a half minutes in when Gyorgy Brevnov was just caught from behind by Erick Bleakley. But Navy could not prevent the inevitable score, coming from Luke Bienstock and converted by Mike Weir to make it 7–0 in favor of Dartmouth. Continuing his brilliant play Bleakley took the restart and hammered through tacklers to get to the Dartmouth twenty-two. Eventually, the ball made its way to Michael Galvan for the try under the post. Cole Euverard’s conversion knotted the sides. Late into the sixth minute, Dartmouth retook the lead with a try from Pat Sheehy. The difficult conversion was mastefully driven home by Weir to put the Big Green back on top by seven.

Bleakley’s second-half score followed by Euverard’s conversion tied the match at 14–14 with five minutes remaining. Following an injury substitution seeing Joey Hobbs of Navy being assisted off the pitch, Dartmouth looked to win a scrum at its own ten-meter line. Instead, Navy stole the ball and came agonizingly close to scoring in the left corner. The crowd’s initial excitement of a score was temporarily halted by a flag on the touchline. After a conference of officials, the ruling ended up being a try for Navy in the corner from Bleakley. A quick follow up by Patrick Moore in the same corner made it 24–14 for Navy. On full time, Navy 24, Dartmouth 14.

Men’s Pool F, Army v. South Carolina: The Black Knights claimed the first points one hundred seconds into the contest when Brendan Cunningham hit Angelo Matz with the offload for the converted try under the post. Set up by maybe the pass of the tournament, South Carolina got on the board with a five-point from Patrick Thacker in the left corner during the sixth minute. A chip and chase nearly gave South Carolina the lead with seventeen seconds left on the clock, but the Gamecocks could not outrace the Black Knights, keeping it just a two-point contest heading into halftime.

In the ninth minute, Brendan Cunningham was narrowly brought down by South Carolina. He released the ball to get back up and score a nearly certain try. Unfortunately for the Black Knights, the ball rolled forward on Cunningham in the process, ending the immediate scoring threat. Two minutes later, Army finally got well-earned points by way of Sam Sutera, stepping through a tackle in the process. Cunningham’s conversion made it a two-score match with three minutes to play. A controversial yellow card against Colin Callahan for a fireman’s carry tackle, left South Carolina down a man and opened the try line for Luke Haug. Cunningham’s conversion from in front of the post made it three scores for Army, where it stood at the final whistle. On full time, Army 21, South Carolina 5.

Men’s Pool C, Indiana v. Cal: The five-time CRC champion Cal Golden Bears return to the CRC after a year on the outside with a quick try from Ken Kurihara adding both a try and conversion against a young Indiana squad just a couple years removed from a tremendous run to the semifinal, where Indiana lost to Cal (29–14). A second Golden Bears’ try, this one coming from Sam Walsh and converted by Elliot Webb, made it 14–0 just three minutes into the match. The Hoosiers finally caught a break when Sam Cusano was sent to the bin in the fifth minute. A high-tackle call at the Cal twenty-two gave the Hoosiers great attacking position. But Indiana could not punch it in before giving up possession to Kurihara for his second try of the match, coming on the back of a ninety-meter run. Kurihara again converted his score to make it 21–0 with only the restart to come before halftime, but neither team could add any more points before the break.

Cal extended the lead by seven with a try from Marcus Shankland and Kurihara’s third conversion to make it 28–0 with five minutes to play. Christian Dyer, off an Indiana turnover, pushed the lead to 35–0, following the conversion from Troy Lockyear. Lockyear soon claimed a try of his own, with a blistering run down the right wing for the five-pointer to make it 40–0 with under a minute to play. The final points also went to Cal as Webb broke free and converted his own score. On full time, Cal 47, Indiana 0.

Men’s Pool C, Life v. Colorado: It took less than thirty seconds for Life’s Mike Islava to break the Buffaloes’ defense for the first points of the match. Duncan Van Schalkwyk was unable to connect on the conversion from the left touchline. Even with a man in the sin bin, Julian Roberts extended the Running Eagles’ lead. Van Schlkwyk connected on the conversion to make it 12–0 in the sixth minute with Life still playing six-on-seven rugby. Finally back to a full squad, Life added a third try to end the half, this one coming from Mitchell Wilson, timed perfectly with the sounding of the hooter.

Early in the second half, Mitchell made it a brace of tries to put Life ahead 24–0. And, with just a minute to go, the Rudy Scholz Award winner, Harley Wheeler, made his presence known with a try in the right corner for Life. On Full time, Brian Muntanga added five more for the Running Eagles. Van Schalkwyk hit the long conversion to cap the match. Life 36, Colorado 0.

Men’s Pool E, Saint Mary’s v. St. Joseph’s: On Field 1, it was a back-and-forth contest between St. Mary’s and St. Joe’s. The Gaels took the early 7–0 lead just a minute and a half into the match. But, two minutes later, St. Joseph’s responded with a converted try to make it seven a piece. St. Mary’s regained the lead right away with a second converted try, only to see St. Joe’s post an unconverted try to pull within two going into halftime. With the match very much up for grabs, St. Mary’s number 4 made it a brace of tries to give St Mary’s the seven-point win. On full time, St. Mary’s 19, St. Joseph’s 12.

Men’s Pool E, Arizona v. Fordham: On Field 2, the 2012 CRC runner-up Arizona Wildcats hammered Fordham. Jonah Eldridge put his stamp on the match with four tries and three conversions. A brace of tries was added by Kyle Fulton and two more scores, coming from Jack McCrossin and Garrett Walker completed the comprehensive victory. On full time, Arizona 46, Fordham 0.

Men’s Pool D, Kutztown v. Iona: Next up in Talen Energy Stadium was Iona and Kutztown. The Golden Bears looked to bounce back from a bowl championship last year to return the final for the third time and first time since 2017. Iona, in its second CRC, entered looking to build on a run to last year’s quarterfinal. As would surprise none, the first score of the contest came from Kutztown’s bona fide star, Dmontae Noble. Thorne O’Conell’s conversion ticked off the top of the right post and through for the 7–0 lead. But Iona answered right back with a try by Michael Scarcella blistering down the left touch line past the Golden Bears. The well-taken conversion by Santiago Mascolo tied the score. The half came to a close with Noble again diving in for the score to put the Golden Bears back on top.

Iona leveled the contest when Santiago Mascolo dove under the post. The conversion pushed the Gaels into the lead. Kuttown just about retook the lead right off the restart when Gerald Lowe burst into the Iona five-meter line. But the Golden Bears lost the ball forward, giving Iona a five-meter defensive scrum feed. Noble was pinged for being overly eager at the scrum and sent off to the bin with a yellow card. Looking to burn the clock, Iona kicked to touch and sought to hold onto possession to starve Kutztown of any opportunities for points. A handling error, however, put the ball on the deck and set up a Golden Bears’ scrum just inside the Iona twenty-two. Playing six-on-seven rugby, Kutztown yielded a penalty on the stroke of full time to give Iona the match. Iona 14, Kutztown 12.

Men’s Pool B, UCLA v. Notre Dame: On Field 1, last year’s runner-up dismantled the the Fighting Irish. The Bruins were led by Eric Naposki with three tries. Four conversions were added by Cian Barry. Adding a brace of scores for UCLA was Shane Barry. And rounding out the scorer’s list was Yanick Mendes in for a try. The Irish were unable to post any points in response. On full time, UCLA 40, Notre Dame 0.

Men’s Pool B, Penn State v. St. Bonaventure: On Field 2, the Nittany Lions posted a comprehensive victory over St. Bonaventure. With a 12–0 lead at halftime, Penn State refused to surrender any points to St. Bonaventure and added a converted try in the second half to come out victorious. On full time, Penn State 19, St. Bonaventure 0.

Men’s Pool D, Wisconsin v.Boston College: Returning to the Talen Energy Stadium, a quick yellow card against Boston College for kicking the ball away gave the Badgers a man advantage. It took a while for Wisconsin to fully capitalize, but points finally came when Owen Sheehy found space for the score. Danny Plinck slotted the conversion for a 7–0 lead with just under three minutes to go. With just twenty seconds to go in the half, Sheehy made it a double with his try in the right corner for the 12–0 Badgers’ lead at the intermission. The tough conversion was just a shade off the mark.

The second half saw Wisconsin expand the lead with a score from Jacob Benzing followed by a score from Sheehy to complete his hat trick. Malcom Clark’s conversion made it 22–0. John Higgins’ try put the match well out of reach. Wisconsin missed the simple conversion but stood in front 29–0 midway into the second half. Sheehy’s fourth try in the thirteenth minute put him in early consideration for dream team selection and put the Badgers ahead 36–0. Boston College could not avoid the shutout. On full time, Wisconsin 36, Boston College 0.

Men’s Pool A, Lindenwood v. Temple: On Field 1, the defending CRC champion dominated from end to end against Temple. Lindenwood scored first through Evan Williams, producing his first of three tries in the match. Joining Williams in the scorers column were Reece Botha, notching two conversions, Michael de Waal with a try of his own, and Cristian Rodriguez with two conversions and a try to close the contest. On Full time, Lindenwood 38, Temple 0.

Men’s Pool A, Clemson v. Virginia Tech: On Field 2, Clemson took on Virginia Tech. Clemson made it a contest in the first half with a try from Brennon Adams, but Virginia Tech was able to pull away in the second half with a second try by Brian O’Neal accompanied by tries from Wes Pan and Rob Patchet. On full time, Virginia Tech 22, Clemson 5.

The first matchup inside Talen Energy Stadium for the men saw two perennial powers in Dartmouth and Army collide. In a rematch of the 2011 CRC final, the Big Green powered through the Black Knights to cross into the try zone just forty-five seconds in. Fortunately for Army, the Dartmouth ball carrier was held up in goal, giving Army a breather. The ensuing scrum proved less defensible for Army, as Mike Weir took the ball cleanly and in for the try. The conversion clanked off the left post, making it just a five-point contest. Army levelled it with a try by Joe Ryan in the right corner with just over two minutes to go in the half. Army’s error on the restart gave Dartmouth the free kick at centerfield. The Big Green looked to make great work of the possession, but a lost ball just shy of the try line gave Army a chance to take a lead before halftime. But an Army turnover led to Jack Badenhausen’s try to give Dartmouth the lead at the break. Weir’s conversion made it Dartmouth 12, Army 5 going into the huddles.

The second half began where the first half ended, with Dartmouth scoring in the corner through Gyorgy Brevnov to put the two-time champion even further in front. The conversion left Army two full-scores behind. Army threatened to score just a minute later, but Riley Smith was unable to fight through multiple Dartmouth defenders, getting pulled into touch just shy of the Big Green five-meter line. Dartmouth won the resulting lineout but yielded a penalty just out from the try line. Army couldn’t quite capitalize due to a lost ball that if it had been held onto would certainly have been a try. A penalty on Army in the five-meter scrum finally relieved some pressure from the Dartmouth defense. Heading into the final minute, Dartmouth’s Jasper Green was cited for an intentional knock on, sending him to the bin for the remainder of the match. Army just about used the penalty to score right away, but a handling error just shy of the line yielded a knock on and ended the chance of Army to tie it up with the little time remaining. The following scrum did not come until full time. Dartmouth won it and kicked to touch to win. On full time, Dartmouth 19, Army 5.

Kicking off the men’s leg of the CRC, Navy took on South Carolina on Field 2. A five converted-try effort for the Midshipmen gave Navy the commanding 35–0 victory over South Carolina. With two tries and four conversions, Navy’s number 15 dominated the scoring.

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