Schuylkill River won its second MARFU 7s qualifier this weekend, going undefeated at Rocky Gorge for another title. All of the top vying for MARFU Championship bids were in attendance, and SR, followed closely by Kutztown, proved itself the class act of the bunch, outscoring opponents 116-20.
Schuylkill River got rolling early, banking two shutout wins against Philly-Whitemarsh (26-0) and Wilmington (20-0) during pool play. Up next was the team's toughest match of the day in KU. The university team ended River's title bid during the Wilmington qualifier a few weeks ago, and they looked to repeat the feat when they put up a 5-0 lead early on. But tries from Greg Ambrogi and Will Knipsher (2), who led River's offense all day, secured the 15-5 win and #1 seed heading into knockouts.
River rested some of its starters during its semifinal against the Pittsburgh Harlequins and showcased the excellent depth the team's been developing all summer. Tries from Randy Helsman Joey Bardwell (2T, 2C) and Knipsher helped produce the 24-5 win and berth to the final. A late score pushed the Maryland Exiles ahead of KU 14-12 in the other semifinal.
The Exiles' physical game against KU, coupled with the fact that River rested a couple of its top players for the final, took a toll on the Maryland team. Although the first seven minutes were close, River ran out to a 31-10 final on tries from Ambrogi (3T, 3C), Bryce Pyle and Josh Albowicz.
With this 1st place finish, Schuylkill River locked up the number one seed for the MARFU 7's Championship to held in Norfolk, Va., on July 23.
Schuylkill River Point Scorers
Tries: Greg Ambrogi 6, Will Knipsher 5, Randy Helsman 2, Gavin Blower 2, Josh Albowicz 2, Joey Bardwell 2, Bryce Pyle
Conversions: Greg Ambrogi 6, Joey Bardwell 2