UMRFC’s last night of pool play is over and the final standings are in for the playoffs. Some teams left the pitch looking forward to next week, others with a feeling of missed opportunity, but either way it was a great experience for the whole team. New players learned how the team operated and were assimilated in a fun way while older players got to play the sport they love and keep from getting rusty. If you would like to see the games yourself, please visit our YouTube channel, where the videos are already posted.
Game 1: Mary Sue Coleman 5 – Don Canham 43
The first game of the night was an important one for Canham, needing a win to keep themselves in the chase for the playoffs. They were the first to score after a series of hard runs and rucks that drove the ball down the field until Drew Vecchio was able to pound the ball in for the score. Jordan Ulmer followed this up with a powerful run, easily breaking through the Coleman line to run the distance for the score to put Canham up 14-0. The next score for Canham came off of a quick run downfield where the ball found its way to Ian Etheart’s hands who ran in for the try with an unsuccessful conversion to take a secure 19-0 lead. Coleman wasn’t going to be held off the scoreboard however as Robbie Greenfield broke down the wing to score the try, outrunning his pursuers. He could not convert however and the half ended 19-5 Canham. In the second half Coleman could not answer the size of Ulmer and Vecchio and their hard runs wore down the Coleman defense. Canham’s first try of the second half came as Vecchio offloaded the ball to Ulmer who ran through the arms of would-be tacklers and took the ball the rest of the distance to score the try. Ulmer followed this up by off-loading the ball on the following possession to Etheart who went the short distance for the try, putting Canham up 29-5. Next Vecchio scored on short field position off of a long Ulmer run to make the score 36-5 Canham. They weren’t done yet either as Oliver Gregerson followed this performance with a long run through the Coleman line to make the final score of the game 43-5 Canham.
Game 2: James J. Duderstadt 7 – Steven M. Ross 22
The second game of the night saw Ross continue their undefeated streak; however the Dudes put up a good fight and were almost able to come away with the game. It was certainly a competitive game with both teams driving down the field only to be stopped just barely short of the try zone. However Ross managed to score the first try of the game right after time expired as Christian Mentzer slammed the ball in for the try after a series of offloads and runs that brought Ross all the way to the try line. The Dudes immediately responded in the second half however as Cooper Smart picked up the ball along the wing and showed off his speed, outrunning and cutting across the Ross defense. The conversion was good, putting the Dudes in the lead, 7-5. Ross responded in turn as Chening Duker slipped through the line shortly after, running the long distance to score, putting Ross back in the lead, but missing the conversion making it 10-7. Duker showed that lighting can strike twice, and demonstrated the same slipperiness and field savvy a minute later as he took advantage of a hole in the Dude’s defensive line and scored. The conversion was good. Ross began to breakaway at this point as Mentzer broke away from the pack himself to score a long try, outrunning his pursuers but missing the conversion to make the score 22-7. The Dudes attempted to come back but to no avail and the game ended as a Ross victory.
Game 3: Bennie Oosterbaan 33 – James Earl Jones 7
The third game of the night was of extreme importance for Jones, needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Unfortunately for them, Bennie got off to a quick lead as Stu Starkweather saw an opening in the Jones defensive line and broke through to score the first try of the game. Chris Hopfner was the next to score for Bennie, breaking through Jones’ defensive line to score the long try. The conversion was good, making it 14-0 Bennie. Hopfner followed this up with a second long score, intercepting a Jones pass near the Bennie try zone and taking it 90 yards untouched to score making it 19-0 at the end of the half. Bennie continued their dominance in the second half with Starkweather offloading the ball to Bridges who ran the rest of the way for the try. On-loan back Robbie Greenfield was able to put Jones on the board however with one of his long runs down the wing to score, bringing the score to 26-7 Bennie. Bridges solidified Bennie’s lead with 2 minutes left however as he weaved his way through Jones’ defensive line and ran 50 yards to score his second try of the game, making the final score of the game 33-7 Bennie.
Game 4: Steven M. Ross 33 – Don Canham 12
With both Ross and Canham into the playoffs, this match was more for bragging rights and position than anything else. Canham drew first blood with Drew Vecchio making the hard run through tacklers to fall over the try line. The conversion was no good however. Both teams continued to play hard throughout the half with plenty of good possessions on each side, but Ross eventually retaliated with a score by Chris Padmos and conversion by Jared Bosma to make the score 7-5 Ross at the half. Ross was first to strike in the second half, scoring quickly as Christian Mentzer received a pass on the wing and blazed through Canham’s defensive line, running 60 yards to score the try with a successful conversion by Bosma to put Ross ahead 14-5. Padmos followed this up with a similar score, making the long run down the wing to score, but missing his own conversion. Ross continued to lay on the scores as Bosma broke down the wing as well, scoring his own long try with successful conversion to make the score 26-5. Canham wasn’t without an answer however and Zack Burns picked off a Ross pass and took it all the way down the field the other way, converting his own try. Ross wanted the final word however and Padmos slipped through the Canham line one last time, outrunning the rest of the field to score the final try of the game to make the score 33-12.
Game 5: James J. Duderstadt 21 – James Earl Jones 17
Jones got off to a quick start with Kenny Andutan making a hard run through the Dude’s line to score in the opening moments of the game. Burns could not convert however. Andutan quickly followed this up with another score, taking a pop-up pass from C.J. Stock and falling in for the try. Burns successfully converted this try. Jones added to their lead with a score by Stock as the time in the first half went out, giving them a 17-0 lead at the half. The Dudes responded in the second half however with Max Arevuo scoring their first try off of an offload from Evan Noon and Noon converting to put the Dudes back in the game. John Palladino followed this up by showing off his speed with a long run down the wing off an offload and conversion from Noon as well, bringing the Dudes within one score. The Dudes then took the lead off of an offensive lineout as Max Arevuo received the lineout and weaved his way through the Jones defense to score the try with Noon converting to put them in the lead at 21-17. Jones looked like they might score on their final possession but the Dudes defense held out and the final score was 21-17 Dudes.
Game 6: Mary Sue Coleman 0 – Bennie Oosterbaan 41
The last game of the night had no impact on the standings and was instead simply a game of pride as Coleman looked to get their first win. Bennie scored first however as Chris Hopfner scored off a Coleman turnover near their own try zone. Bridges’ conversion was good. David Hiltzik was the next to score for Bennie, taking an offload from McDonough near the Coleman try zone and falling in for the score. The conversion was no good, making the score 12-0 at the half. Bridges was the first to score in the second half, taking an offload from Hopfner and evading the Coleman defense to score. He could not convert his own try however. Bridges scored soon after however, dummying a pass allowing him to slip through the Coleman defense, keeping them unaware. Bridges made it a hat trick, breaking through the Coleman line a third time but missing the conversion to make the score 29-0. Hiltzik added on a second try of his own receiving the ball and breaking tackles to run in for the try. McDonough scored the final try of the night, taking an offload from Mark Borowski to score down the wing as time expired, making the final score 41-0 Bennie.
The playoffs will take place on Friday, February 22 at Oosterbaan Fieldhouse beginning at 8pm.
8:00 Semi-Final – 1 Stephen M. Ross v 4 Don Canham
8:20 Semi-Final – 2 Bennie Oosterbaan v 3 James J. Duderstadt
8:40 5th Place – 5 James Earl Jones v 6 Mary Sue Coleman
9:00 3rd Place – Semi-Final Losers
9:20 Championship (10 min halves) – Semi-Final Winners
9:45 Awards Presentation