Mid-Atlantic Recap: Contenders Announce Their Presence

As the Mid-Atlantic enters its fifth weekend of the fall, contenders for the conference crowns are separating themselves from the pack.

The club enjoying the most out of their early season success is Rocky Gorge. Its Division I and Division III sides swept the Washington Irish by a combined score of 101-22. Led by a hat trick from captain Nick Kuhl and a 23-point day from Ben Cima (a try and nine conversions), the DI side slammed their opponent, 63-10. The DIII squad ran out to a 26-0 lead and finished with a 38-12 victory.

"Losing always puts a sour taste in your mouth and that's what happened at the end of last season," Kuhl said. "We didn't make it out of MACs and into Nationals and that always makes you work a little harder and go a little bit more... With the backline we have and Ben [Cima] running at the helm at flyhalf, we expect to do big things... It's a process and it doesn't end until MACs and Nationals. It's about setting our goals high and putting in the work."

The women's Division I rivalry between Philadelphia and Raleigh started anew on Saturday as the Venom made the seven-hour trip north. Raleigh lacked its full complement of players from its playoff run while Philadelphia was at peak strength. Philadelphia's Lucy Dawson, Katie Cardone, Caitlin Jackson, Laura Delgado, and Remy Bremner scored as the Philly set piece dominated play to a 27-12 victory.

"When teams are so close and one of the teams is missing some of their most important players, they suffer and that's what you saw at the game," coach Arturo Bravo-Nuevo said. "We won all of our set pieces and a lot of their set pieces... We had most of the ball possession and played on their side of the field for most of the game."

The final four unbeaten teams in men's Division II rumbled on Saturday as Doylestown faced the Lancaster Roses and James River hosted Richmond. Doylestown cut down the Roses, 41-22, as five Dragons scored six tries in the chiefly defensive battle.

"On both sides, the defense made it a spectacular game. It was a fantastic, hard-fought match and at the end, we took advantage of a couple mistakes they made and took the wind out of their sails," coach Mike McCandless said. "Our team is starting to have some confidence in each other and taking a few meters at a time instead of expecting big breakaways. We played that type of game and moved the ball on [Lancaster]."

After a successful 2017 Division III season, James River moved up to DII this fall and has ripped off three straight victories. Against Richmond, James River used its dominant set piece to notch a 32-15 win. Flyhalf Steven O'Dwyer played like a man possessed scoring all 32 points with two converted tries and five penalties.

"The game was pretty even in the first half even though James River had the greater share of territory and possession," coach Mark Fowler said. "In the second half, James River's greater control at the set piece, especially the lineout, started to take its toll and allowed James River to go through the phases."

In men's DIII, Wilkes-Barre and Northeast Philadelphia Irish walked off the pitch with statement wins after burying Happy Valley, 94-5, and Brandywine, 74-12, respectively. Likewise in women's DII, Severn River stayed perfect with a 46-10 defeat of James River.

HOMESCOREAWAYSCOREDIVISION
Potomac Exiles27Schuylkill River Exiles36Men - DI
Rocky Gorge Rugby63Washington Irish10Men - DI
Norfolk BluesPostponedBaltimore-ChesapeakePostponedMen - DI
Lancaster Roses22Doylestown Dragons41Men - DII-North
Lehigh Valley Hooligans10South Jersey Devils53Men - DII-North
Phoenixville White Horse29Old Gaelic Rugby46Men - DII-North
North Penn Rugby10Philadelphia Whitemarsh29Men - DII-North
James River Rugby32Richmond Lions15Men - DII-South
Raleigh Vipers47Virginia Rugby15Men - DII-South
Washington Renegades60Frederick Rugby10Men - DIII-Central
West Potomac Beavers55Virginia Griffins14Men - DIII-Central
Rocky Gorge Rugby D338Washington Irish D312Men - DIII-Central
Severn River Rugby24North Bay Rugby15Men - DIII-Central
Happy Valley Barbarians5Wilkes-Barre Scranton Breakers94Men - DIII-North
Blackthorn Rugby69Delmarva Rugby0Men - DIII-North
Schuylkill River Exiles D333Philadelphia Gryphons12Men - DIII-North
Brandywine Rugby12Northeast Philadelphia Irish74Men - DIII-North
Rappahannock Rugby3Norfolk Blues D317Men - DIII-South
Roanoke Rugby50Blackwater Rugby24Men - DIII-South
Virginia Beach Falcons13Newport News Mariners26Men - DIII-South
Philadelphia Rugby27Raleigh Venom12Women - DI-Eastern
Brandywine Riot20Northeast Philadelphia Rugby36Women - DII-North
Severn River Rugby46James River Rugby10Women - DII-South
Norfolk Storm41Chesapeake Rugby32Women - DII-South
Rappahannock Rugby77Patuxent River Rugby5Women - DIII-South
Frederick Rugby17Northern Virginia Rugby D336Women - DIII-South