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.

HOME SCORE AWAY SCORE DIVISION
Potomac Exiles 27 Schuylkill River Exiles 36 Men - DI
Rocky Gorge Rugby 63 Washington Irish 10 Men - DI
Norfolk Blues Postponed Baltimore-Chesapeake Postponed Men - DI
Lancaster Roses 22 Doylestown Dragons 41 Men - DII-North
Lehigh Valley Hooligans 10 South Jersey Devils 53 Men - DII-North
Phoenixville White Horse 29 Old Gaelic Rugby 46 Men - DII-North
North Penn Rugby 10 Philadelphia Whitemarsh 29 Men - DII-North
James River Rugby 32 Richmond Lions 15 Men - DII-South
Raleigh Vipers 47 Virginia Rugby 15 Men - DII-South
Washington Renegades 60 Frederick Rugby 10 Men - DIII-Central
West Potomac Beavers 55 Virginia Griffins 14 Men - DIII-Central
Rocky Gorge Rugby D3 38 Washington Irish D3 12 Men - DIII-Central
Severn River Rugby 24 North Bay Rugby 15 Men - DIII-Central
Happy Valley Barbarians 5 Wilkes-Barre Scranton Breakers 94 Men - DIII-North
Blackthorn Rugby 69 Delmarva Rugby 0 Men - DIII-North
Schuylkill River Exiles D3 33 Philadelphia Gryphons 12 Men - DIII-North
Brandywine Rugby 12 Northeast Philadelphia Irish 74 Men - DIII-North
Rappahannock Rugby 3 Norfolk Blues D3 17 Men - DIII-South
Roanoke Rugby 50 Blackwater Rugby 24 Men - DIII-South
Virginia Beach Falcons 13 Newport News Mariners 26 Men - DIII-South
Philadelphia Rugby 27 Raleigh Venom 12 Women - DI-Eastern
Brandywine Riot 20 Northeast Philadelphia Rugby 36 Women - DII-North
Severn River Rugby 46 James River Rugby 10 Women - DII-South
Norfolk Storm 41 Chesapeake Rugby 32 Women - DII-South
Rappahannock Rugby 77 Patuxent River Rugby 5 Women - DIII-South
Frederick Rugby 17 Northern Virginia Rugby D3 36 Women - DIII-South