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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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Rubgy dominates in double header against West Virginia

It took a five-hour bus ride for the BG rugby team to finally find some open ground free of snow to start off their spring season.

Playing West Virginia for the third time in less than a year, the Falcons blew the doors off both matches of a double header to win 54 – 25 and 59 – 8.

Despite the score, though, the first half of the first match was a nip and tuck affair that saw the Falcon ruggers walk off the field at halftime uncharacteristically behind 17 – 18.

Missed assignments, defensive errors and an initial lack of offensive crispness underlined the fact that the squad that stepped onto the field against the Mountaineers was missing one third of the starters that won BG its 32nd straight MAC title in the fall.

“In one respect, we are no different than any other college sport: people graduate, are unavailable for whatever reason; guys get injured. The difference is that where other teams have to rebuild, we just reload,” stated BG head coach Tony Mazzarella. “We’ll be off the plum for a half, maybe even three halves, but after that we will be chugging along like before.”

“Tony does a great job getting people on the lower sides game time with the 1st XV,” said BG’s Director of Rugby Roger Mazzarella. “Players learn what is expected of them, see how much faster the pace of a 1st XV game is, but have a top- notch supporting cast to keep everything from going to blazes. Then when it is their turn to fill someone else’s shoes they’ve already been blooded and there is no drop-off in the won-loss columns.”

One of the hallmarks of the team over the past few years is that when things do start to go south, as it did on Saturday, there is no panic; units quietly make adjustments and the squad as a whole sticks to the game plan until it works.

With a 18 to 17 lead at the half, West Virginia may have thought that they were going to finally pin an “W” on BG, but the Falcons had other plans. The Mountaineers have yet to ever beat BG.

Playing his best game ever as a Falcon, scrum half Mike Powell tore up the Mountaineer defense for four tries in the second half, ending the second half for West Virginia before it had barely begun.

“Mike had a large contingent of his extended family drive over from Philadelphia to watch him play,” stated Coach Mazzarella. “I told them that they would have to come more often and keep up the inspiration.”

“As much as I thought we had them (the Falcons) in the first half, I knew that once BG got the wind behind them in the second half they were going to be coming after us- big time,” stated WVU coach Richard Glover.

Joining Powell in the end zone were wing Steve Fritsch with two tries and fullback Adam Regini and lock Bryan Kean. Fly half Teddy Terezis also picked up a try while booting for conversion kicks and two penalties in the 54 – 25 victory.

The points onslaught continued in the second match virtually unabated as the Falcons crushed the Mountaineers 59 – 8. Transfer center Mario Mockus chewed up the WVU backfield for three tries as did his backfield partner Dominic Charnier with three more. Center Ted Kilgore added a pair and fly half Nick Ross slotted six conversion kicks and added a try. Eight man Alex Cranmer opened the match with a quick try and Kilgore also added a conversion for the Falcons.

The Falcons will now prepare for their semi-annual trip overseas, this time to England – the home of rugby. This will be the Falcons’ eighth overseas trip and have included stops in Wales, South Africa and Ireland in addition to England. BG will be playing Brunel University, the Saracens RFC and the Univ. of the Arts London.

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