Kutztown University Athletics

04/29/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/29/2019 12:23

Men's Rugby Competes in Dayton 7s

- On April 6th, the Kutztown Seven's team traveled to Dayton, Ohio and participated in the Kevin J. Hogan Memorial Tournament. It was the first time that a Golden Bear sevens contingency had ever competed in a tournament, held in the Buckeye state. The KU-1 side was the only Golden Bear team competing this weekend and was looking forward to the challenge of unfamiliar teams from the Midwest. Along with Kutztown University, the tournament consisted of Notre Dame College, Louisville University, Dayton University, University of Cincinnati, Purdue University, Miami of Ohio University and Ohio State University. The rugby pitch was located on the Dayton campus. It was a terrific collegiate venue, surrounded by dormitories and situated on a hill overlooking the rest of the Flyer's campus. It was a beautiful spring morning, full of sunshine and blue skies. The Golden Bears opened their tournament bid with a kickoff to Louisville University. The Cardinals were a well-respected team and possessed an abundance of speed within their lineup. They received the egg shaped ball and proceeded to test the Golden Bears on the perimeter but were surprised to see their speed matched by several of the Kutztown players. Keagan Barnes was especially effective in either turning their attack inside or driving it to the side line. After trying to mount an attack that was met with a stingy defense, Louisville managed to find a few gaps and pressured Kutztown, testing their defense. The Kutztown defensive wall didn't break but it did bend slightly and felt the pressure of a few of the Cardinal's break away style runners. However, in their effort to pressure the Golden Bears, Louisville made a few costly mistakes and those turnovers were exactly what Kutztown was patiently planning. The Kutztown counter attack is as good as any. The Golden Bears proved that with an efficient and explosive four trys in the first half. An outstanding effort by Thorn O'Connell provided the first score. While , who has been nothing less than spectacular all season when he has ball in hand, stepped one then two Louisville defenders, on his way to a try that he made look easy. A few minutes later, Sam Devine was bullying his way across the try line on a pick and go. Then on the very next possession, Keagan Barnes turned the corner, shifted into overdrive and sped into the try zone. converted three out of those four trys and before you knew what happened, Kutztown had a comfortable 26-0 lead at the break. In the second half, Louisville demonstrated that team speed and scored a couple of trys. Kutztown answered right back when Aaron gray touched down for his second try of the day. Freshman scrum half, Ti Kauwe followed with one of his electrifying runs and converted both trys. The Louisville Cardinals put up a valiant effort but fell to the Golden Bears by a respectable 40-19 score line. The second pool game had Kutztown taking on Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI ). Just in case this is a new university to you, it is a combination of Indiana and Purdue Universities one centrally located campus in downtown Indianapolis. It is a public research university with approximately 22,000 students. However, the Jaguars were no match for Kutztown Rugby and they fell quietly by a 32-10 score. led off the scoring with a long run down the sidelines, followed by the Kutztown Skipper, . Gerald carried the bread of heaven over the try line and Thorn O'Connell converted both trys. It was Kutztown holding onto a slim lead at halftime, 14-5. In the second half, Keagan Barnes continued to have a very productive day and led the charge with two trys, while couldn't be denied, as he chipped in with another exciting run and a trip to the promise land. Thorn O'connell converted both trys and had an outstanding kicking game with four out of five conversion attempts. In the third and final pool game of the day, Kutztown took on the University of Cincinnati, It was a game for the backline. As Dmontae Noble drew first blood with an electrifying run into pay dirt. Then and Keagan Barnes each scored three trys in the match. This array of names that crossed the try line are the epitome of the saying, 'Speed Kills' converted on three out of four first half scores and converted on one out of three trys in the second half of the match. The final score saw the Golden Bears shutout the Bearcats 43-0. Kutztown now advanced to the semi-finals of the knockout round and were facing the Buckeyes from Ohio State. The Golden Bears took the opening kickoff and fought their way down to the try line when, once again, took the rock over the try line with authority. had a long, dashing run for another try on the afternoon and Sam Devine just drove his way into the try zone. Thorn O'Connell only missed one time on conversions and the Golden Bears were out in front by a respectable 19-5 half time lead. In the second half Keagan Barnes and freshman, scored a try, while converting one out of two kicking attempts and at the final whistle, the scoreboard read in Kutztown's favor, 31 - 5. The Cup Finals found Kutztown playing against Notre Dame College. Everything that could have gone wrong for Kutztown in this game, happened to go wrong. A few key penalty calls, a few mistakes by Kutztown, not to mention, an excellent Falcon's rugby sevens team from Euclid, Ohio. During the arial battle in two re-starts, the rugby Gods granted two Sunday hops into the arms of on-rushing Falcons. That put Notre Dame College out in front by a 17-0 half time score. An insurmountable lead in a sevens game against a team like the Falcons. However, no one told the Golden Bears. The determination to come back against their Rugby East Conference foes was evident when Dmontae Noble broke a gang tackle, early in the second half. Then took the comeback effort into his own hands. He scored two more of his patented electrifying runs on the perimeter, while freezing numerous defenders with a wicked sidestep, AKA Dmontae Noble. However, two of the trys were touched down in the corner, causing extremely difficult conversion kicks. The Golden Bears fell just short when the horn blew and lost a valiant effort at 24-17. This was the fourth consecutive podium appearance in four tournaments (semi-final or final appearance) for the Golden Bears. The coaching staff continues to swap out different players each and every week. As they search for the most efficient combinations on the field of play. This strategy will persist throughout the regular season tournaments, as the buildup for the Collegiate Rugby Championship Tournament continues deep into the spring season. RUN WITH THE BEARS