D1-AA Championship Twice as Nice for Davenport
SANDY, Utah – The Davenport Panthers made it two National Championships in a row with a 39-0 win over San Diego State in the Emirates Airline USA Rugby D1-AA College National Championship.
The match was never really in doubt after Davenport jumped out to an early 5-0 lead when #7 Ryan Hargraves scored one of his two tries on the day. His second try would come just 10 minutes later, and it was then that San Diego State knew they had an up hill battle on their hands. JP Eloff converted the try, and Davenport was up 12-0.
San Diego State used their wide-open offense to make some inroads into Davenport Territory in the first half, but their mistakes proved costly, and SDSU couldn’t capitalize on Davenport’s mistakes.
Mistakes lead to opportunity, and Davenport made SDSU pay for theirs when Mason Baum grabbed the bounce off a kick following a turnover and the Panthers were out to a 17-0 lead just halfway through the first period.
Joe Marino finished off another try, which Eloff would convert, and Davenport would go to the break up on the Aztecs 24-0 at the half.
San Diego State came out of halftime with a renewed sense of vigor, probing deep into Davenport territory. The Panther D would hold firm though and after 10 minutes Davenport’s attack again overwhelmed the Aztecs when Outside Center Adam Ries finished off a nicely worked try.
Lance Cavanaugh and Travis Kamstra would add two more tries in the 65th and 79th minute, respectively, to cap off the 39-0 whiteout of SDSU. This match also caps off an undefeated season against collegiate opponents for Davenport.
Solid defense and relentless pressure was the story for the Panthers. Because of that they are now National Champions for the second straight season having captured the DI Championship last year in Stanford, Calif.
For photos of the D1-AA Championshp, visit klcfotos.com/usarugby
Tries: Hargraves (2), Baum, Marino, Ries, Cavanaugh, Kamstra
San Diego State 0