Written by Pat Clifton    Saturday, 03 March 2012 20:14    PDF Print Write e-mail
Mizzou Clips Arkansas Late
Colleges - Men's DI College

Missouri scored a massive win Saturday, beating Arkansas 26-19 in Fayetteville, Ark. to move to 2-0 in Heart of America conference play.

The Tigers trailed Arkansas 12-7 at halftime, but poured in three tries and slotted two conversions in the second half to knock off the previously unbeaten-in-conference Razorbacks.

“We just got our continuity together again. We were a little bit too excited (in the first half), and I really think most of it was we just picked our defense up,” said Mizzou’s Matt Brotemarkle.

“We just started playing a lot more hard-nosed rugby. There wasn’t as many missed tackles. We were not catching them at the line, we were going up and meeting them. We came out a little bit rusty.”

Missouri scored two of its three second-half tries in succession to take a 19-12 lead. Arkansas then leveled the table with an intercept try with less than 10 minutes to go. But Missouri rallied, and flanker Ryan Scheidt bowled over the try line near the 78-minute mark to give the Tigers the 26-19 win.

“It’s huge. We’re very excited,” said Brotemarkle of the win. “We’re looking forward to playing the rest of the guys and we’re keeping our eyes on playoffs.”

Missouri, having played one less game than Arkansas and two less than Kansas, sits at third in the Heart of America table. But Saturday’s win sets up a colossal clash with archrival Kansas on neutral ground in Kansas City, Mo. In a week‘s time.

The winner of that match will almost certainly advance to the National Round of 16, which is noteworthy considering Kansas and Missouri were DII last season.  

“We definitely thought we could be this successful with the core group of guys we’ve had,” said Brotemarkle. “Most of our starters have been starting, if not two years, then three. We were pretty sure we had a good chance at playoffs this year with the group of guys that we have.”

The only other HOA conference match scheduled, Oklahoma at Kansas State, was canceled.

Heart of America
W L T PF PA Diff BT BL Pts
Kansas 3 1 0 151 41 110 3 0 15
Arkansas 2 1 0 90 46 44 2 1 11
Missouri 2 0 0 57 48 9 2 0 10
Truman State 1 2 0 63 114 -51 1 1 6
Kansas State 1 1 0 42 71 -29 1 0 5
Oklahoma 0 3 0 7 48 -41 1 1 2
Oklahoma State 0 1 0 15 20 -5 0 1 1