Arkansas State, Life, Central Washington and Kutztown advanced to the Cup Semis with wins over Cal Poly, Colorado, St. Mary’s and Tennessee, respectively. Arkansas State and Life will meet in a rematch of the South Independent 7s championship game, and Kutztown and Central meet in a rematch of the CRC Qualifier final in Las Vegas.
The Red Wolves escaped a close game with Cal Poly. When ASU’s Shaun Potgieter scored the first try, the Mustangs’ Landis Nasser stepped through some shaky tackling to set up David Schaefer for the leveling try.
When ASU’s Paul Benade stole the ensuing restart and took it to the house, Nasser responded with his own score. The stalemate was broken by a Pat Sullivan intercept try which sealed the win.
Life, which lacked continuity on the latter part of day one, started its game against Colorado in earnest. The Running Eagles quickly asserted their will with a Colton Cariaga try. They didn’t let up, pouring in three more scores before the end of the half. Cariaga scored a trio of tries in the win, while Life played without Cam Dolan, who did not have his best day Friday.
Central Washington also started its quarterfinal well. It didn’t hurt CWU that Gaels star 7s All American Bubba Jones went down with a hamstring injury. As he was lying on the ground, Central’s 7s All American, Tim Stanfill, raced in for a try.
Central continued pressure and forced St. Mary’s backed to their own try line. A failed clearance kick was fielded and grounded by Patrick Blair to extend Central’s lead to 14-0.
St. Mary’s got a break with a penalty near midfield, which Michael Haley turned into a score to pull the Gaels within nine at 14-5. They almost pulled even closer, but a scoring attempt was deemed held up at halftime, leaving the Gaels down nine.
Central Washington extended its lead to 16 in the 10th minute, and St. Mary’s suffered another big loss when Kingsley McGowan left the game with an ankle injury.
St. Mary’s put in two more tries before the end of the game, one coming at the death, but ran out of time and lost 21-17.
Tennessee actually had more possession at the start of the final quarterfinal, but twice Kutztown turned the Vols over deep in KU’s end and turned it into tries. The first was scored by Niku Kruger and the second by Matt Frederick. The Vols were unable to breach the tryline, and Jamie Gregory’s second-half try sealed the 17-0 win.
Both Life University and Central Washington needed some late heroics to win their Men's National Collegiate 7s semifinals and enter the championship game.
Life led 14-7 with two minutes remaining before Paul Benade's try for Arkansas State tied the game.
But with time up, Life was patient, retained possession, and finally Calvin Nell supported Cornelius Dirksen on a break to score the winner under the posts 21-14 Life.
Meanwhile, Central Washington ran out to a 14-0 lead and looked dominant before Kutztown rebounded and scored twice to close the score to 14-10 CWU.
Then with four minutes remaining Kutztown turned over ball and scored through Mike Lawrenson. That put Kutztown ahead 17-14 with time winding down.
But Tim Stanfill made four key plays to take CWU into the final. His break set up the attack that led to his try in the corner and a 19-17 lead.
Then Stanfill's tackle and poach forced a penalty to stop a KU attack, and then Stanfill's stop and grip on the ball forced a scrum to halt KU. That last one finished the game, and put Central Washington into the final against Life.
The semifinalists are set in the 2011 Men's Collegiate 7s Championships, with Central Washington making the biggest splash.
CWU, spurred by a torrid first five minutes where Tim Stanfill and Patrick Blair scored tries, both converted by Andrew Nelson, took a 21-5 lead into the final four minutes and held on to beat the vaunted (and RUGBYMag.com's favorite to win it all) St. Mary's 21-17.
Mike Haley, Chad Clark and Andrew Cook all scored tries for the Gaels.
CWU's stars had been relatively quiet on Day One, but Stanfill, Blair and Nelson all made crucial contributions, as did Paul Smith, whose try sealed the game.
Meanwhile Life also picked up their play for Saturday, crushing a good Colorado side 27-5 behind three tries from Colton Cariaga. Cariaga added a conversion for 17 points all on his own, while Tyler Salamon and Joe Cowley added scores. Luke Lahman scored for Colorado.
Arkansas State needed a late try from Patrick Sullivan to edge Cal Poly 15-10. Shaun Potgieter and Paul Benade scored for ASU while Cal Poly got tries from David Schaefer and Landis Nasser.
And finally to round out the Cup Quarterfinals, Kutztown shut down Tennessee 17-0. Niku Kruger scored late in the first half, and converted Jamie Gregory's second-half try, while Matthew Frederick's score right at halftime essentially decided the match.
That leaves CWU to face Kutztown in the semis, while South rivals Life and Arkansas State face off.
St. Mary's, Colorado, Cal Poly and Tennessee go into the Plate Semis.
In the Bowl Bracket, Miami, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and UC Davis all won, pitting Miami against the hosts A&M, and the Aggies against the Badgers in the semis.
In the Shield Bracket, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas and Air Force all won. Arkansas faces Air Force, and Virginia takes on Texas in the semis.
James Madison and UW-Whitewater will take each other on Sunday at 10:30AM ET in USA Rugby's DII 3rd/4th consolation game.The game is livestreamed below or here on RUGBYMag's YouTube channel. Read more...
The ACRA Women's DII championship game between Notre Dame College and Winona State starts Noon on Sunday, Dec 8, 2013.It will be live webstreamed below or on RUGBYMag.com's Youtube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/RUGBYMagazine1 Read more...
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