Rugby sweeps Virginia Tech.

The Bowling Green rugby team swept No. 13 Virginia Tech. In a match much closer than its score would indicate, No. 9 BG beat Virginia Tech 32 –13 before shutting out the Hokies in the next two matches 38 — 0 and 69 — 0.

“Take eleven hours on the road, mix in a night game and some dinged up players and you’ve got a game with ‘upset’ written all over it,” BG coach Roger Mazzarella said. “They came at us as hard and as determined as anyone we’ve played in the last five years. I don’t think there was a single moment that we didn’t feel compelled to keep playing in anything less than high gear.”

Tech coach Mobolaji Ojumu gave the Falcons credit.

“I didn’t feel we showed what Hokie rugby is all about last year up at BG (V.T. lost 55-10),” he said. “We had a good crowd tonight and we were certainly up for the match but BG showed why they are the class of the Midwest. [Mazzarella] may think we hit his guys hard, but I know I’m going to have a batch of walking wounded myself come Monday.”

Both teams came up short of crossing the goal line in the first match.

“The team that adjusted first [to the officiating] was the team that was going to win and we were going to be both,” Mazzarella said.

Fullback Matt Johnston opened the scoring with a penalty field goal that was followed by a fifty-yard try by wing Alessio DiFranco to give BG an 8 — 0 lead. The Falcons appeared to be on their way to an easy win when flanker Alex Demma picked up a loose Hokie ball and took it in for a try just at the close of the half. Johnston’s kick made the score 15 — 0.

The Hokies had different ideas. Taking the second half kickoff, Tech ran the ball through fourteen straight phases to score an unconverted try. For the first time this season, BG looked like they were in trouble.

“We needed a response right then and there to stop the shift in momentum,” stated BG assistant Chris Hoops. That response came in the form of center Zac Molnar. Taking a pass from partner Carl Samuel, Molnar proceeded to zig zag through the Hokie backfield that left tacklers sprawled all over the field.

Working the ball down the entire length of the field, Tech was poised to answer with a try of their own when wing Chad Cunnigan picked off a pass and won a 96-yard foot race to the Hokie end zone.

Tech came right back to claim their stolen try as well as a penalty field goal to make the score 25 — 13. Demma put the match away with a dash up the sideline that was converted by Johnston to make the final 32 — 13.

Tech didn’t mount any kind of an offense threat through either of the two remaining games. The Hokies rarely even left their own end of the field.

Sophomore fullback Mike Craig reeled off three tries while lock Joe Cmolik and center Ian Gagnon each added solo tries. Fly half Derek Imes kicked three penalty field goals and a pair of conversions as BG won the second match 38 — 0.

In the third match Ben Gutek had a career day. The sophomore fly half made three long distance tries and had seven conversion kicks for 29 of BG’s 69 points. Wing Kyle Sitzes scored a hat trick, prop Scott Holden, scrum half Brian Knaupe and flanker Terry Kilbane added a try apiece. Imes also added a conversion.

The Falcons, now 12–2, will host Miami of Ohio University on Saturday. Both teams enter with undefeated MAC records and BG will be trying to win their 22nd straight conference rugby championship. The match is also the first round of the Midwest Championship and a victory is a must for BG to return to the national championship next spring.

Since 1982 the Falcons have posted a 62–1 record against the Redhawks, most recently a 97–0 win in 2001.

Game time will be 1 p.m. at the College Park rugby field.