Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Review of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
    Let’s time-travel to the year 2012 and the world is raving about none other than Katniss Everdeen. I remember being in elementary school, begging my mother to let me dress up as her for my birthday. Now it’s over ten years later and I’m still just as excited for the new movie as I was […]
  • Found Family Books for the Holidays
    The holidays are quickly approaching and for some of us that means seeing our family. However, family has a loose definition. It could mean blood or who you were raised with. It could also mean people you’ve found during your life journey. Either way, the holidays are meant for spending quality time with those you […]

Rugby gets back on course

The BGSU rugby team got back on the winning track by sweeping four matches from previously unbeaten Michigan State over the weekend as well as a solo match against Toledo.

The Falcons edged the Spartans 17-12, 19-0, 7-0 and 5 – 0 while beating Toledo 20 – 15. The victories gave BG their eighth straight Michigan Collegiate Conference championship.

Nonetheless, the rain and a sloppy field played havoc with all three clubs’ offenses and conspired to hold the scoring down.

“The field conditions took us out of our normal basketball on grass style of play and made us play a ball control game,” said coach Roger Mazzarella. “It’s good to know that we can dominate the field in spite of the weather.”

The matches also featured a backfield that was completely alien to fans that had followed BG’s ruggers over the past few years. “We shuffled some people into different positions to try and maximize everyone’s abilities,” Mazzarella said.

Most notable of those changes was the move that put Vince Staropoli in the centers and out of the scrum half spot that he had owned since the second match of his freshman year.

“Vinnie is so versatile as an athlete and rugby player that he would shine at any position on the field,” Mazzarella said.

Of the seven backfield positions, only wing Alessio DiFranco and fly half Jon Woodman are in their original positions.

“This goes against everything I believe as a coach,” Mazzarella said. “But it was something we had to try to increase our point production.”

Thanks to the weather, the changes didn’t show much on the scoreboard, but they certainly had an effect on concentrating the power of BG’s offense. Taking the kickoff from the State, the Falcons set up camp on the doorstep of the Spartans goal line for the first 23minutes, or over one full quarter of the game.

“That was probably one of the greatest sustained offensive drives I’ve ever seen,” said MSU coach Dave Poquette. “I mean we threw an equally great defense at BG, but they just kept hammering away until they got the first try.”

Moving over from wing to fullback for the first time since his freshman year, Chad Cunnigan put up the first of BG’s three tries with a little juke move that left a Spartan defender down in the mud. Wing Matt Johnston’s conversion was followed by another short yardage try by prop Bobby Brandenstein to give BG a short-lived 12-0 lead. The Spartans battled back to tie the score at 12, only to watch Cunnigan take off on a 75-yard jaunt that broke State’s back and make the final 17-12.

While BG seemed to solve the problem of the slick field and greasy ball, the Spartans twelve points in the first match marked the end of any offensive coherence on their part.

In the second match wing Jeron Foust picked up two tries and center Anthony Wanzer punched in another. Scrum half Derek Imes landed two conversions as BG recorded the first of three shutouts in the 19-0 victory.

Wing Jeremy Welsh got the lone try and Imes converted to give BG a 7-0 victory in the third match. Flanker Jeremy Barber’s try in the fourth match, a 5-0 victory, completed the BG sweep over Michigan State.

Against Toledo, center Will Norman, scrum halves Brian Knaupe and Gordon Simon, and lock Tom Forbrizzio all scored unconverted tries in a 20-15 victory.

This Saturday the Falcons, now 28-5, will host Wisconsin Stevens Point in the third round of the Midwest Collegiate championships. It will be the first ever match between the number two seeded Falcons and number seven seeded Stevens Point. Game time is 1 p.m. at the College Park rugby field. The match winner will advance to the Midwest semi-finals in Columbus next weekend.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *