Air Force Zooms Past Davenport

Air Force Academy shut down Davenport 40-27 to win the 2018 Women’s D1 College fall championship, showcasing some impressive and balanced play in the process.

Watch Air Force vs Davenport On-Demand

Air Force won the fall title two years ago, but observers would be forgiven for assuming they’d have more trouble against a big, physical Davenport squad. They didn’t. Air Force looked much more powerful in tight than they did two years ago, or even last year, and were far more polished out wide than the young Panthers.

Early on Air Force signaled an intention to attack, and after No. 8 Sierra DeHart kicked a penalty goal, a break from center Sara Cook got Air Force back in scoring position, Cook finished it off with a scything run to pay dirt.

DeHart added another penalty as Air Force methodically built a lead, and then another long break from Cook led to Kaylee Eskeli to come in support and zip into the corner.


Davenport had to sub off starting prop Alexis King at 24 minutes and things got worse for them as time went on. Cook sliced through for another, and it wasn’t until the 30th minute that Davenport scored any points - scrumhalf Oliva Ortiz soaring through bodies to score from short range.

Prop Ashley Willsea powered over for another Davenport try, and at 23-10 the Panthers went into the halftime break feeling like they might have some momentum.


That feeling was crushed in the space of ten minutes as scrappy flanker Adrienne Yoder pushed aside tackler after tackler as she ran in two tries. That made it 35-15, and Air Force was in control.

For Davenport, the backline links didn’t quite fire, and too often the Panthers weren’t able to get numbers to the ball when there was a line break. 

Ortiz was a firebrand, and No. 8 Mariah Pruitt produced key carries, but as a unit Davenport didn’t have the pace out wide, or the unity and power in tight.


That unity belonged to Air Force. Hooker Domonique Gordon and lock Zoe Barnette led a hard-working group in the rucks, and the backline combination of Rhiannon Townsend, Elizabeth Laboe, and the long-striding Cook tested the Davenport defense.

It was a victory, perhaps, also for college club rugby. Davenport is a non-varsity sport at the school - administration-supported but not officially varsity. Air Force, a club team on campus, didn’t let the status affect them and handled Davenport physically and tactical.

Air Force 40

Tries: Cook 2, Yoder 3, Eskeli

Convs: DeHart 2

Pens: DeHart 2


Davenport 27

Tries: Ortiz 2, Willsea, Overbeek, Bird
Convs: Ortiz


RWC Almost Here As Teams Settle In

Paul Mullen: I'm Only One Of 8

The Rugby World Cup kicks off in five days with the host nation, Japan, taking on Russia.

West Coast 7s Teams Set

West Coast 7s 2018 Trop Tries

The West Coast 7s has confirmed the list of teams that will compete at Treasure Island on October 19 and 20.

WPL Round 5 Preview: Pivotal Games On Tap

After Week 4, it's clear who the top dog in the league is, but after that everyone else seems to be pretty even. 

USA Team Picked For Oktoberfest 7s

Corey Jones Fuels NAV Restarts

Phil Greening will lead a USA Men's 7s team at the Oktoberfest Sevens next weekend in Munich, Germany.

Premiership 7s Set For Friday

The Premiership 7s is set for Friday and Saturday with nine of the Gallagher Premiership teams involved.

Four Huge Stars Commit To Barbarian's End-Of-Year Tour

null

Following the intensity of this autumn's Rugby World Cup in Japan, the world's greatest social side, the Barbarians, will be touring to Brazil and Wales to enjoy some good fun and some good footy. 

Leicester Tigers Name Premiership 7s Squad

The Leicester Tigers have named their 12 men for the Premiership 7s this weekend, looking to improve upon their lousy 0-3 performance a year ago. 

Breakout Stars Ready To Build On Premiership 7s Success

Sleightholme Burns Around The Edge

The Premiership 7s is where you'll see next year's starters in action, as players such as Harry Mallinder and Lewis Ludlam become first-team regulars, and the likes of 19-year-old Ollie Sleightholme aren't far away.

Looking Back At WPL Round 4 Action

In Week 4 of the 2019 WPL season, we saw Life West officially establish itself as the juggernaut of the league, Glendale come from behind late, Beantown pull out a defensive struggle, and Twin Cities bounce back in a big way. 

Seven Players To Watch In The Rugby World Cup

Joe Taufete'e Gets A Kiss From The Coach

From a Test match point-scoring stalwart to a World Cup winner, from an Olympic champion to an emblematic leader who transcends sport as well as a fresh-faced rookie, take a look at seven players who could turn out to be the headline-grabbing names of the Rugby World Cup starting in Japan on September 20.