Photo by Michael Pimentel/GoldenBearSports.com
The top two seeds both won convincingly to move on to the Varsity Cup final. BYU defeated Navy 60-0 and Cal surged by Central Washington 58-14.
BYU vs. Navy
On cold a rainy day, BYU overcame tough weather conditions to score 60 points on the Midshipmen.
BYU scored five minutes into the match via outside center Jared Whippy. Whippy would exit shortly after the try with an injury.
Chris Wernli quickly put the cougars up 12-0. It was the first of his two scores on the afternoon.
Paul Lisike, the injury replacement for Jared Whippy, came on added a spark to the BYU side. He ran over several Navy defenders in route to a try.
A penalty and another score by Zane Mendenhall gave the Cougars a 29-0 lead going into the break.
The skies opened up at the start of the second half making the ball very slick and tough for passing. BYU elected to play the field position game for most of the second half, using Johnny Linehan’s boot to pressure the Navy defense.
In an error filled and sloppy second half, Navy was never able to establish any continuity. The cougars continuously disrupted Navy ball at the breakdown, frequently turning it over.
BYU dominated the set piece, driving Navy back in the scrum. Combined with solid line defense, BYU was able to keep Navy off the score sheet.
“I think we did a good job getting out on these guys early, playing solid defense and we never let up. Anytime you shut out a team, especially, one as good as Navy, you’re going to be happy,” Kyle Sumsion told BYU reporters.
Once again Kyle Sumsion played a solid game for the Cougars. He consistently got over the gain line forcing the Navy defense backwards.
Josh Whippy, Joe Pikula, Steve Saia and Josh Anderson all found the try zone in the second half on the way to a 60-0 victory for the Cougars.
BYU coach David Smyth was happy with his team’s performance and will be looking forward to the Varsity Cup championship.
I thought we started the game well given the conditions,” said Smyth, “And overall we put together a solid performance that we can certainly build on moving into the championship game next week.”
Cal vs. Central Washington
Read: Cal Rugby recap.
With 48 first half points, Cal dispatched Central Washington 58-14.
Cal jumped out to a fast start thanks to a Jake Anderson score. Anderson dummied a pass inside and beat a Central Washington defender for a try. Anderson converted his own try giving the bears a 7-0 lead. Anderson’s was nearly perfect with the boot, finishing with 28 points on the day.
With a stiff wind at its back in the first half, Cal won the field position battle with well-placed kicks. Combined with several handling errors from Central Washington, the Golden Bears were in good position to put up points.
Off a scrum, Harry Adolphus finished off a series of passes for a try in the corner. It was the first of his two tries on the day.
Cal’s next score came off a dynamic run from Seamus Kelly. Kelly beat five Wildcat defenders for an emphatic try under the posts. Within ten minutes the Golden Bears were up 21-0.
Central Washington showed some life off the kickoff earning a penalty and a lineout inside Cal’s 22. After a series of pick and go phases, Jacob Bates edged over the try line for Central Washington’s first score of the day.
Cal continued the onslaught by adding a penalty and a skillful try. Russell Webb chipped the ball to an oncoming Harry Adolphus making the score 31-7 in favor of the home side.
Cal was seemingly able to score at will in the first stanza.
“Especially in the first half, it came down to how fast we played,” said Anderson. “The way we were getting to the breakdown, resourcing the ball and moving it away was really encouraging.”
It did not help that mental and physical mistakes plagued Central Washington all day. With the score 31-7, Jake Anderson placed a kick in behind the Central Washington defense. A Central Washington player claimed he had touched the ball down for a 22-meter kick but the referee did not award the kick. The referee awarded Cal a penalty for a forward pass and subsequently scored a try.
Central Washington coach Tony Pacheco credited Cal for capitalizing on Wildcat errors.
“Whenever we made a mistake, Cal was clinical in how they punished us and put in tries.
Cal’s superb play combined with Central Washington’s mistakes led to the half ending 48-7 in favor of the Golden Bears.
The second half was a much more even contest. Now with the wind, the Wildcats used the kick to win field position. The Wildcats earned numerous penalties and kept electing to take the lineout. They struggled all day with their lineout’s losing a majority of their own ball.
The Wildcats earned a try with less than five minutes to go in the game but it proved too little too late.
The game ended 58-14.
Cal will play BYU in a rematch of last years Varsity Cup final. Last years game was a thrilling contest seeing BYU defeat Cal as time expired. The game will take place at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 3rd. It will kickoff at 4 PM EST.
Photos by by Michael Pimentel/GoldenBearSports.com, Abel Barrientes, and Paul Meyers.