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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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BGSU Rugby defeats Ball State Cardinals in weekend away match

Even when not at top form, the rest of the Mid-American Conference is finding BG Rugby a formidable opponent.

Despite numerous dropped passes, occasional lackluster tackling and several less than brilliant tactical decisions, the Falcons crushed Ball State University 67 – 10.

“Taking a step back and looking at the game in the whole, the freezing cold, a 20 mph wind and the fact that we just came off a huge win the previous week against Northern Illinois, we were probably ripe for a down week,” said BG captain Dane Szente. “Fortunately we managed to pick the week we played against the last place team in the league.”

The Cardinals finished their season on Saturday 0 – 16 and winless in the MAC for the second year in a row.

“Maybe we were looking ahead a bit to the Miami game in two weeks, I don’t know,” said vice captain Mike Brown. “We won’t get away with the kind of performance against Dayton next weekend.”

Both Miami and BG remain undefeated in the conference and everything is pointing to a league championship and post season play resting on the November 9 match in BG.

The Falcons continue to show that they can attack from every point on the compass. Last fall, 340 of Bowling Green’s points came from just three players. This season the scoring has been pretty evenly spread out all over the first 15. Known in the past for a blazing fast backfield, the Falcons now have a senior-laden dominating forward pack to go with it.

BG’s power in the forwards was on display yesterday as they won 37 of the 46 scrums called in the game. The Cardinals were constantly knocked backwards while flankers Justin Stevens and Frank Viancourt harassed the Ball State scrum half unmercifully on any ball the Cardinals managed to win.

The Falcons took the opening kickoff and before 15 seconds elapsed, wing Nolan Cavano had a try in the corner. From that point on, the Cardinals were in a fight to play catch-up with the Falcons. Cavano added another try and was joined in the end zone by center Trent Szente, flanker Justin Stevens, lock Bryan Kean and prop Dane Szente.

BG tacked on five more tries in the second half, with three of those coming from Kean. Lock Mike Treon rumbled for a short yardage try and flanker Justin Stevens added his second of the day. Scrum half Mike Powel also booted three conversion kicks.

In the second match (non-league), freshman wing Drew Salvagni scored twice and wings Ian Dalton and Cole Shaffer each scored one point. Scrum half Nick Ross also added a try of his own. Prop Josh Avallone’s three conversions gave BG a 31 – 15 victory.

The Falcon’s freshman squad won their second in a row beating Kenyon College 28 – 12. Flanker Jon Adams, scrum half Ted Kilgore, prop Corey Bohach and wing Joey Lubera all scored tries and wing Andrew Slonkosky landed four conversion kicks.

The Falcons are now 5 – 0 in the MAC and 17 – 0 overall. They will go to the University of Dayton to take on the Flyers at 1:00 p.m. next Saturday.

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