Notre Dame College beat IUP 39-19 Saturday at Mueller Field in South Euclid, Ohio. to stay undefeated in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Conference. Notre Dame entered the contest ranked No. 8 in the country and IUP No. 9
NDC took the first lead with a try by sophomore No. 8 Tom Walsh at the four-minute mark. The conversion was missed, leaving NDC up 5-0. Both teams played good defense for most of the rest of the first half, but in the 33rd minute Notre Dame sophomore hooker Everett Smith smashed the ball in for a try to give the Falcons a 10-0 halftime lead.
The second half started again as a defensive struggle, and seven minutes into the half IUP was able to break through for a long try and missed conversion to draw within five. NDC answered back just four minutes later when Smith again took a try in under the posts. The first conversion of the game gave Notre Dame a 17-5 lead. IUP then responded quickly with its own converted try to stay in the game at 17-12.
Hard running on attack followed by aggressive rucking was the hallmark of both teams, but midway through the second half IUP was penalized for offsides and NDC capitalized with a 35-meter penalty kick by freshman Tristan Wasil, pushing the lead to 20-12.
The Tooters pulled within one, 20-19, with a try a few minutes later. The score served as a wake-up call to NDC, playing in front a large home crowd that included the Falcon marching band. Not wanting to let the home fans down, the final 15 minutes were dominated by Notre Dame with two tries by standout freshman scrumhalf Corey Graham and a third try by freshman Lachlan Rushkin to bring home the win.