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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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BG club rugby downed by Davenport University

The Bowling Green club rugby team looked like it was headed toward its worst defeat in 46 years of program history on Saturday in their matchup against Davenport.

The Falcons were down 37-0 with only eight minutes remaining, but staged a valiant comeback effort late in the game. However, the Falcons ended up falling to the Panthers 37-26.

The contest was close in the beginning, but after BG lost Niall McNamara for 10 minutes following a tackling penalty, Davenport jumped at the opportunity to attack BG offensively while they were playing short-handed. The Panthers used their man advantage to score five tries and a conversion kick during this time.

“Momentum is a funny fire sometimes,” Director of Rugby Roger Mazzarella said. “You’ve got to keep feeding that fire constantly, because when you let that fire get down to just embers, it is almost impossible to get blazing hot again.”

While Davenport maintained momentum after boosting its lead to 37 and keeping BG from scoring, the Falcons gained momentum late in the game.

Freshman hooker Phil Bryant provided the much-needed spark for the Falcons. After punching in a try from short yardage, Bryant went on to score another try on a powerful burst through the middle. Mike Powell booted in two conversion kicks, making the score 37-14, in favor of Davenport.

With momentum shifted to the side of BG, senior Frank Viancourt brought the crowd back into the game as he powered in a try off a lineout to make it 37-19. Ryan Steinmetz, another freshman, snaked through the Davenport defense for 40 yards and another BG try. Mike Powell’s conversion kick brought the score to 37–14. With the Falcons surging, Davenport seemed to be losing its luster. The final whistle blew, crushing the BG comeback and diminishing the Panthers’ panic.

The final score may have been different if the Falcons mounted their comeback earlier. Had the game gone on any longer, with the momentum on BG’s side, another last-second victory may have been in store for the Falcons.

Head Coach Tony Mazzarella said the team’s youth was exposed throughout the game, as the Falcons started nine underclassmen.

“Maybe we didn’t look so hot for three quarters of the game,” Mazzarella said. “But they say you haven’t lost until you give up and that is something the guys certainly did not do.”

BG’s record now stands at 3-1. The team takes on Ball State Saturday, Sept. 27 at the College Park rugby field.

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