JONESBORO – Arkansas State University braved rainy and chilly conditions to post a 34-16 victory over Davenport University, Saturday afternoon at Curt Huckaby Field. The win marked the end of the Red Wolves’ regular season.
A-State’s Dylan Boast connects on one of his penalty kicks in the Red Wolves’ 34-16 win over Davenport Saturday. — Photo courtesy of Richard Carvell.
A-State, ranked sixth nationally, will learn Monday which team they will face in the first round of the D1ARugby.com national playoffs scheduled for Saturday, April 13. The Red Wolves finished 3-2 in the Mid-South Conference and 3-3 overall.
“Given the weather conditions, I thought we played well against Davenport,” said head coach Blake White. “The players did a great job and remained composed throughout the match. They came out committed to play as a team.”
The Red Wolves did not waste any time and scored on a penalty kick by Dylan Boast a minute into the game to post the early 3-0 lead. Ten minutes later, the junior from McKinney, Texas, added a second kick to make it, 6-0.
A-State’s first try came when junior George Sharpe scored in the corner five minutes later. Boast’s conversion fell short, leaving the home team with an 11-0 lead. Calvin Gentry of Memphis, broke free to score under the posts on a clearance kick returned. Boast’s conversion was good, extending the Red Wolves’ lead to 18-0.
Boast connected on his third penalty kick with 15 minutes remaining in the first half, making the score, 21-0. Shortly after, Davenport got on the board for the first time in the game with a successful penalty kick to cut into A-State’s lead, 21-3. But, just as the first half ended, Mazvitaishe (Beefy) Nuamarebvu’s penalty kick hit the cross bar and went over to allow the Red Wolves to take a 24-3 in at the midway point.
After missing on a long penalty kick to open the second half, the Panthers were then good on a kick to make the score, 24-6, in favor of Arkansas State. Davenport was able to score on a loose ball kick situation two minutes later to narrow the margin to 24-13.
A-State’s first scoring opportunity in the second half came with 14 minutes remaining from Christian Schulze’s try in the corner to give his team the 29-14 lead. Davenport converted another kick with eight minutes left to inch closer, 29-16, before Boast dove in for the final score of the day to secure the Red Wolves’ win.
“I thought it was the best collective game we’ve had as a team,” commented Gentry following the match.
Fourteen Red Wolf seniors completed their collegiate careers, including Nick Abreus of Houston, Texas; Pedro Alvarez of Houston, Texas; Valentin Balande of Bordeaux, France; Dylan Boast of Los Angeles, Calif.; Stewart Fay of Boston, Mass., Neil Maestri of Katy, Texas; Tabo Maree of Amersfoort, South Africa; Noe Pena of Houston, Texas; Tanner Pope of Katy, Texas; Andrew Pretorius of Roswell, Ga.; Brock Roper of Cocoa Beach, Fla.; Christian Schultze of McKinney, Texas; and Zach Young of Gold Coast, Australia.
Garrett Soileau of The Woodlands, Texas, the team’s 14th senior, was killed in an automobile accident in December 2017.
Additionally, Pope has been nominated for the 2019 Rudy Scholz Award for collegiate player of the year. The award is named after former Santa Clara rugby star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Rudy Scholz and is sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle, Wash. The nominees were selected by a panel of college coaches and administrators, overseen by FloRugby/Goff Rugby Report editor Alex Goff. Eleven players are on the ballot and Pope currently ranks third in the voting. To vote, go to https://poll.fm/10272117.
“I want to thank these guys for all of their effort throughout their careers,” added White. “Most of them have played for three different coaches. But, they committed as a team and left it all out on the field every time.”
Original article source: http://www.astate.edu/news/rugby-closes-out-regular-season-with-win-over-davenport | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council