Higher-ranked teams ruled the weekend in Men's D1A College; here's how it went down.
#1 Saint Mary's vs #4 Navy
Saint Mary's held Navy scoreless until the final 11 minutes, and ended up 20-7 winners in a very physical, grind-it-out kind of game. More here.
#2 Life vs #5 Lindenwood
Played at Lindenwood, this game was expected to be close, but ultimately wasn't. Harley Wheeler scored two early tries, and Marek Lipold, Ryan Rees, and Bryan Mutanga all touched down for a 33-6 lead. Lindenwood conceded a penalty try for a deliberate knock-on at their tryline, and Connor Mooneyham finished off a 47-6 Running Eagles victory.
This clinched the Mid-South Conference for Life.
#3 Cal vs #10 Arizona
This game was very close for the first 40, with two Sam Cusano tries staking Cal to a slim 10-6 lead at the break. But it was basically over ten minutes into the second period, as Nic Mirhashem, Marcus Shankland, Cormac Heany, and Troy Lockyear all scored, and Elliot Webb converted all to make it 38-6 after 50.
Arizona did get a try late, from center Lucas Bartzis, of course, but Cal cruised 55-13 and clinched the PAC Rugby Conference.
#11 Central Washington vs #24 Utah Valley
Having lost by a try to #8 BYU on Thursday, Central Washington needed a big performance to potentially move up in the rankings, and got it.
After giving up an early try, the Wildcats put lock Deven Marshall, hooker Riley Schell, and No. 8 Alex Mackenzie over for a 25-5 halftime lead. Center Reuben Ludick notched the rest with the boot.
Mackenzie's second, converted by Ludick, made it 32-5 before head coach Todd Thornley rang the changes and UVU scored two late tries to finish it 32-19.
Our FloRugby picks were 5-for-5, and the only winning margin we were really wrong about was Life vs Lindenwood, which we thought would be much closer. Now the question is whether any of these performances is enough to cause a shift in the rankings.
There is one more week of competition before the playoff brackets are set. Life takes on Penn State (who played New York Athletic Club this weekend), Cal Poly will play San Diego State, Central Washington plays Grand Canyon, Cal faces Saint Mary's, Arkansas State plays Davenport, and Army plays Navy.
All of those games will have a major impact on the rankings, and therefore the playoff matchups.