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Playing on its home turf, James Madison dominated Vassar College to the tune of a 77-5 win Saturday in the Round of 16 in Harrisonburg, Va. JMU's size and speed proved to be too much for a smaller Vassar squad.
The game started extremely well for the Brewers as they stripped the opening kickoff away from James Madison. After winning several rucks, a pass headed for the Vassar forwards struck the referee and the play was blown dead. In the pursuing scrum James Madison drove the Vassar forwards backwards and down the field. After a series of errors on the Vassar goal line, JMU finally went over for the first of its 13 tries when it stole a Vassar put in. The big No. 8 took the scrum weak side for an easy score.
JMU demonstrated real poise and executed well-timed offloads, outflanking the Vassar defense time and time again. JMU went into the break up by 37 and well in command of the match.
Despite being outclassed by a bigger and faster opponent, Vassar continued to play hard, finding some success in the second half by picking and exploiting the fringes of ruck. The Brewers made their way on to the score sheet with a try in the corner off a five-meter scrum.
Unfortunately for the Brewers, they could not gain any continuity in their system of play. Too often backs ball resulted in a turnover to JMU. Combined with lackluster tackling, the turnovers resulted in several counter-attack tries for the home team.
"There were periods in this game where we were not playing our best," said JMU coach Mark Lamborn. "Some offloads were not executed and several times we lost the ball in contact. Execution will be immensely important in a tighter affair."
James Madison will battle Illinois State Sunday for a semifinal berth.
James Madison 77
Tries: Larson Saintcross, Lauro(2), Harrison, Byrnn(3), Katz, Fedeninko, Buthenwath, Taylor, Kunkle
Cons: Harrison Kunkel(5)