SDSU, Davenport to square off in DI-AA Championship
For Immediate Release
May 18, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Davenport University will take on San Diego State tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. MDT (Saturday May 19) in the Emirates Airline USA Rugby Men’s DI-AA College National Championship. That game will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah and will be webcast live on KSL.com. Tickets start at $17 and can be purchased at riotintostadium.com or at the gate.
The two semifinals that propelled SDSU and Davenport into the Championship were scorchers and saw San Diego State take care of Tennessee 25-12 and Davenport beat Dartmouth 35-18.
San Diego State vs. Tennessee
SDSU and Tennessee were neck and neck for a majority of the semi, but the Aztecs floored the throttle late to put the game out of reach for Tennessee.
The crowd was watching for 18 minutes before it was treated to a penalty kick from Kaleikaumaka Konrad to open the scoring. A volley of tries put the game at 8-5 SDSU after a very entertaining first half.
Konrad started the scoring in the second period as he did the first, with a nice penalty conversion. Tennessee’s Zach Mobius answered back though and Nick Vigder added the extras, but a late break and try from SDSU’s Nick Mazzilli in the 80th minute put the game out of reach for the Vols despite a gritty effort.
Davenport vs. Dartmouth
The defending National Champions, Davenport, showed exactly why they won their first-ever national title last year with their semifinal win over Dartmouth. J.P. Eloff, an All-American, took charge of the attack and the dynamic offense of Davenport wore Dartmouth down in the end.
J.P. Eloff scores for Davenport in the semifinal. Eloff, an All-American, was a spark plug for the Panthers' defense. Photo credit: Kelley L. Cox. More photos available at KLCfotos.com.
Dartmouth got out to a lead though thanks to scores from fullback Madison Hughes and his back three compatriot, Kevin Clark. But Davenport kept the game within its grasp in the first thanks to Eloff’s boot which delivered two penalties. An 11-15 half time deficit gave the Panthers all the motivation they’d need for the second half.
Davenport dominated possession in the second period and managed to stay in an attacking mindset that kept the pressure on Dartmouth defensively. With the tackle count building for Big Green, it was only a matter of time until their defense showed a few cracks and Davenport poured it on. Eloff dotted one down in the 65th minute to make it a two score game for Dartmouth and the Panthers were able to keep the Ivy Leaguers off the score sheet to close the game out, save for a penalty kick from Madison Hughes.
The Panthers will take on a strong San Diego State team in the final to determine the 2012 champion of Men’s DI-AA College Rugby. Four other National Champions will be crowned tomorrow at Rio Tinto including Boys’ H.S., Boys’ H.S. Club and Men’s DI College, and DI-A.
San Diego State 25
Tries: Villar, Kelm, Mazzilli
Cons: Konrad (2)
Pen: Konrad (2)
Tries: Boyd, Mobius
Tries: Ries, Sochanek, Beach, Eloff, Hillary
Pen: Eloff (2)
Tries: Hughes, Clark,
Pens: Hughes (2)