By DANIEL SOLTERO, staff reporter
It wasn’t just another regular season match. And it certainly wasn’t a standard road game. There wasn’t a game winning drive at the end of the match nor was there any specific play that stood out from the rest.
It was just pure dominance – Central men’s rugby at its finest.
The Wildcats men’s rugby team beat Air Force Academy 81-28 on Saturday in the first round of the 2013 Varsity Cup Collegiate Rugby Championships and will now advance to the semifinals.
Central plays No. 1 seed Brigham Young University on Saturday, April 27 in Provo, Utah. During the opening minutes of Saturday’s game, the Wildcats and the Zoomies sought to establish dominance early on. Both teams looked to move the ball around the pitch and penetrate their opponent’s defense.
Central wasted no time getting on the board. When the Zoomies gave up a penalty in the eigth minute, senior fullback Alex Reher was able to convert on a penalty kick and ensure the first three points in the Wildcats’ favor.
Sophomore center Zack Siemens increased the Wildcat’s lead further when he ran in the first try of the day at the 14-minute mark, making the score 10-0 Central.
Central worked hard to make every opportunity count, leaving the Zoomies unable to gain possession at the tackle.
The tough play allowed the Wildcats to work the offense and punish the Air Force, which spent more time backpedaling than running forward to score.
The Wildcat speed and sync passing from backs Aladdin Schirmer, Tanner Barnes and Andrew Nelson proved to be devestating to the Air Force.
Central fended off one Zoomie attack after another, while its offense kept advancing. The Wildcats were able to score on four tries in the subsequent minutes, coming from Tyler Coffman, Jacob Bates and Sean Wanigasekera, increasing the lead to a comfortable 29-0 margin.
The Zoomies responded by scoring in the 29th minute, but it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Wildcats. Central led 43-14 at halftime.
The second half resembled the first as the Wildcats opened up by tacking on five more tries.
After the final whistle blew, the score read 81-28, completing the Wildcats’ goal, which was to move on further into the championships.
The Wildcats were hoping of host a game in the cup with a loss from BYU, but the Cougars defeated UCLA 69-8, and will play as hosts in the semi-finals of the Varsity Cup.
The two teams met in 2012 in Seattle, where BYU prevailed over the Wildcats, but that was 2012. Central has showed improvement each week and will be a different team when the two meet again.
Kick-off for the BYU-CWU game is set for 1 p.m. MT. The game can be viewed online on the Varsity Cup’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/varsitycup.