Sam Houston Draws D1AA Power Dartmouth In QF: 'We Don't Care'

Deionte McMurray showed up to Huntsville with intentions to walk-on to the Bearkat football team, but had six months until tryouts; four years later he’s captaining the Sam Houston State rugby team to the D1AA Spring Championship quarterfinals.

The Bearkats take on the 2018 D1AA spring champion, Dartmouth. 

To advance to the Spring Championship Final, McMurray and his teammates will have to beat Dartmouth in the Saturday quarterfinal then win the Sunday semifinal in Greenville, NC. 

Watch the D1AA Spring Final LIVE on FloRugby

“If there was ever a time to put Sam Houston on the map this is it." McMurray says, “we have the players, we have the coach, we have the system, we have the funding.”

Every Player Can Hit

McMurray took up rugby to develop his tackling ability to improve as a defensive back. He learned quickly that he had come to the right place.

“Every player at Sam Houston can hit,” McMurray said. “These guys carry the ball hard and they tackle hard. Our physicality will no doubt be our strength.”

The Bearkats are going to need it because Dartmouth has been waiting. 

Dartmouth had the Ivy League title secure by November, while Sam Houston bussed around the state of Texas knocking off incumbent champions Angelo State and Dallas. Dartmouth could have taken a shot at the D1AA Fall Championship, but as in years past Dartmouth used the winter for sevens and conditioning in preparation for the April Championships.

The World Game

Until he picked up rugby, McMurray had never traveled outside of Texas/Louisiana area. Two months into the sport McMurray displayed rare quickness and lateral ability prompting selection to the Texas All-Star team to compete in Canada. He’s since toured the Bahamas, New Zealand and is set for Cayman Islands this summer.

But the Caribbean will have to wait. This weekend the team will fly to Greenville with two matches to win to keep Sam Houston's dream alive. 

Look Who Made The FloRugby D1AA Top 40

This week the Bearkats were misinformed that they’d be playing Iowa State in the quarterfinal. Later confirmation proved Dartmouth would be their opponent. “To be honest we told our coach we don’t care at all because we figured we were going to play Dartmouth the next day, after Iowa State,” said McMurray.

Sam Houston State is 6-0 and the 2019 Texas State Champions. The squad also snuck down to the NOLA Collegiate 7s tournament for a clean sweep cup final victory.

Deionte McMurray came into college having never played the sport. He'll leave the winningest Sam Houston Captain to come through the program in years. The Bearkats are tuned up for their quarterfinal with Dartmouth and if they win they'll have a crack at the winner of Iowa State or Central Florida.

Townsend Makes Wholesale Changes For France Rematch

France v Scotland On-Demand

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend retained just one player, fullback Stuart Hogg, in the starting XV for Saturday's Test with France as the side bid to rebound from their 32-3 pasting by the French last weekend.

Rugby World Cup Titles Gender-Neutral From 2021

The Women's Rugby World Cup in 2017 will be the last to bear that title with World Rugby announcing on Wednesday they are adopting a policy of gender neutrality for their tournaments.

Seawolves Land RUNY Coach Lensing

The Seattle Seawolves have signed former Rugby United New York forwards coach, Kees Lensing, as head coach for the 2020 Major League Rugby season. 

Summer Test or Final Exam: Riekert Hattingh Has To Step Up


The Summer Test Series is a final proving ground for players trying to make the roster for the Rugby World Cup, for a few players it’s the first and only chance to make the squad.

Five Things We Learned About RWC Contenders This Week


Just when it seemed like the sky was falling, and the mighty All Blacks were ready to lose their grip on rugby dominance, order was restored. 

Could Ban KO World Cup Hopes For Gabrillagues?


French forward Paul Gabrillagues's World Cup hopes were in the balance on Tuesday after he was banned for six weeks for a tackle on Scotland flanker John Barclay last weekend.

Argentina Star Isa Left Off World Cup Squad

France-based loose forward Facundo Isa was a shock omission from the 31-man Argentina Rugby World Cup named Monday by coach Mario Ledesma in Buenos Aires.

Italy Veteran Ghiraldini Returns From Injury For World Cup


Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Leonardo Ghiraldini is set to return from injury with the experienced hooker included on Sunday in Italy's largely youthful squad which features 23 tournament debutants for next month's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Cal Welcomes 12-Player Freshmen Class

The Drama Of Jesuit's HS Nationals Victory

The University of California men's rugby program has announced the addition of 12 freshmen to its program.

Welsh Star Halfpenny: 'My Legs Are Killing Me' Before Kicking Penalty


Leigh Halfpenny admitted his legs were "killing" him as he stepped up to take the penalty that sealed Wales's 13-6 win over England on his return to Test rugby after a prolonged absence due to concussion.